Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Council Has Spoken! 

Last week's results from the Watcher's Council are now available at the Watcher of Weasels site.

In the council competition for posts by members of the council, there was an incredible three way tie for first place that had to be broken by the Watcher. The eventual worthy winner was Sundries Shack with "It’s Not a War. It’s a Trendy Buzzword!" If you haven't used the word "fascist" with intent since your high school days when the principal imposed a two-item limit on the cafeteria's dessert line, this post could be worth a look. It could also be worth a look if you are trying to make a careful decision over whether any particular society or religiously-based terror movement in the modern world fits the definition:

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
Also worthy of mention in the same breath (or post) as Sundries Shack's winning entry are the two runner's up. JoshuaPundit made the case that it is time for Jews to think about leaving Western Europe, and Right Wing Nuthouse notices that 9/11 tin foil hats are melting -- probably because they were too close to the Super-Thermite.

The non-council competition had a clear winner, with Mere Rhetoric's post, "Hezbollah Probably Lost the War, But They May Never Have Been In It To Win," lapping the competition. Mere Rehtoric supplies a number of insights into the motivations and ramifications of Nasrallah's recent war, this example among them:

It's obvious that Hezbollah never intended this kidnapping to have military consequences and it's at least tenable that Nasrallah is more or less indifferent to rising levels of anti-Hezbollah Lebanese sentiment. His strategy was, if not more subtle, then at least more careful. It was the same strategy that Nasser used when he closed the Straits in 1967, and it's quite similar to the strategy that drives Ahmadinejad's seemingly clownish Holocaust denials. The goal is to change the kind of terms of the relationship that either Israel's enemies or the rest of the world have with Israel. At least according to Abba Eban, Nasser's goal was the humiliation and slow economic strangulation of Israel without conflict. Ahmadinejad's strategy is to undermine Israeli legitimacy by changing what is OK to say out loud and what isn't.

In the same vein, Nasrallah's hope was to make kidnapping of Israeli soldiers just one more thing that Israel's Arab enemies more or less routinely do - to make it a routine part of the conflict.
One last bit of Watcher's Council news: In case you haven't heard yet, Soccer Dad has had a Soccer baby (his wife might phrase that slightly different, but I hopy you get the idea). Somehow, he still managed to compile this week's edition of Haveil Havalim in his "spare time" so why not go over and wish him a Mazal Tov or congratulations, or just let him know he has some baby cheese on his shoulder -- and enjoy a collection of some of the finest Jewish blogging of the last week while you're there.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: