Carnival of the Reason writers
Great stuff at Hit & Run this morning:
Michael Young, in a WSJ Op-Ed, has an original take on the Iraq war & the Middle East. It's tough to summarize (please RTWT), but he's basically saying that liberal-minded Arabs should be asserting their self-interest a lot more effectively than they are:
From the Arab side, encouragement of a democratic Iraq, and its fulfillment, would have proved the viability of an Arab democracy, denting Israel's presumption that it is the "only democracy in the Middle East." By becoming a dominant cornerstone of U.S. policy, Iraq would have relativized Israel's paramountcy; and a truly representative Iraq would have highlighted Israel's denial of Palestinian representativeness in the occupied territories. For all these reasons, American achievement in Iraq could have been looked on with greater self-interested approval and imagination by the Arab publics. It never was.
[...] By refusing to profit from the prospective democratic upheaval that Saddam's removal ushered in; by never looking beyond the American messenger in Iraq to the message itself; by lamenting external hegemony while doing nothing to render it pointless, Arabs merely affirmed their impotence. The self-pitying Arab reaction to the Iraq war showed the terrible sway of the status quo in the Middle East. An inability to marshal change for one's benefit is the stuff of captive minds.
Not exactly a feel-good story, but a fascinating perspective.
Still on Iraq, Nick Gillespie notes the stern words of Republican and unimpeachably right-wing Senator Chuck Hagel's ("we're not winning"), and has this to say:
Whatever else you can say about Iraq, this much seems inarguable: The Bush administration has failed to define the parameters of success there in any really convincing way. And whatever the successes of the occupation may be, they've done a piss-poor job of making clear a) what they are and b) precisely what level of American sacrifice is both required and acceptable.
Inarguable indeed - this failure can not be schlepped off on the ol' MSM.
And on a much, much lighter note, Julian Sanchez informs us that Hunter S. Thompson's ashes were shot off in fireworks on Saturday night. Click through for the funniest post header you'll read this week.