January 29, 2004

Retiring Deanophobia (Updated)

A few days ago I said Howard Dean is probably toast. Then I felt foolish. Who says? Me? The heck do I know? I don’t think anyone predicted the primary race so far. The silent majority of the Democratic Party gave the media and the blogosphere the middle finger in Iowa.

However. If there’s anyone in America who worried more about Howard Dean than Jonathan Chait, I don’t know who it is. Today he shut down his Diary of a Dean-o-phobe blog at The New Republic. That should tell us something.

My work here is done.
And good work it was.

UPDATE: William Swann at the Centrist Coalition reports that some of Dean's biggest supporters in the blogosphere are done with him, too.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:02 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

Ideology and Denial

Philosophy Professor Keith Burgess-Jackson has a smart piece in Tech Central Station about his escape from ideology.

His was an ideology of the left, and there are, of course, ideologies of the right. The pitfalls are the same.

I’ve said before that partisan politics is intellectually corrupting. Here’s why.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

January 28, 2004

Traitors

Paul Berman is a thoughtful left-wing intellectual who isn't known for his rants. At least not in print.

But he's ranting now in Dissent Magazine. Ranting about those who are traitors to the left. And no, he's not talking about hawks like me.

This "traitor" business gets old really fast, and I don't have any patience for it. But Berman here is talking about people who betray left-wing principles rather than those like me who, because of those same principles, would rather walk away than accept the new party line. Take a look.

(Via Roger L. Simon.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 4:04 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

My Guy in Third

I’m disappointed in New Hampshire. John Kerry and Howard Dean over John Edwards? Sigh.

I suppose it’s better than Wesley Clark and Al Sharpton clobbering Howard Dean.

I still have a little bit of hope that Edwards will do well in the South and at least take Dean off the board. But maybe I’m the guy Gerard Van der Leun is talking about.

Watching these sad captains who were sane enough a few months back to say "goodbye to all that" warming to this, that, or the other Bozo bobbing to the surface of the tank is depressing. It's like watching a drunk who has finally wised up to the dangers of drink; who's gone on the wagon, gone to the meeting, suddenly start sniffing damp wine corks in the Boom-Boom Room while clutching a club soda.
I do think Edwards is better than that. A Bozo bobbing to the surface of the tank? Then again, he isn’t up at the surface. The cream isn’t rising.

A nationwide showdown between Kerry and Dean will be a disaster. Roger L. Simon says why.

[A] two-man race of this sort will push the Democratic Party to the left, particularly on the war. With Dean surging like this, and pushing on Kerry, the contest will become about which candidate more despises the War in Iraq. Intelligent discussion of the most important subject of our day will be minimized.
Andrew Sullivan says Bush is in trouble. And that is probably true. He’s earned every bit of that trouble. But the Democrats aren’t gearing up to replace him. They winding themselves up to flail.

I know two people who say they might vote for themselves as write-in candidates for president. They have my sympathy.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:10 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

January 27, 2004

I am Tom Paine

I thought I might be Thomas Jefferson, but I guess I’m not!


Which Founding Father Are You?

(Thanks to Natham Hamm for the link.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

A Threat

Iraq war opponents of the Bush lied! variety like to cite weapons detective David Kay to bolster their case. His post-invasion report doesn’t ratify what the Bush Administration said before the war.

Here he is in an interview with Tom Brokaw:

TB: Intelligence report says ... "Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with range in excess of U.N. restrictions. If left unchecked it probably will have a nuclear weapon within this decade."

DK: Well, I think it’s got elements that we have certainly seen are true. The area that it’s probably more seriously wrong in is in the nuclear area.

TB: But as you know, the vice president and, to a lesser degree, the president of the United States, raised the nuclear threat as a reason that the United States had to go to war against Iraq.

DK: I think the weight of the evidence — was not great.

But the anti-warriors might not want to make him their poster child just yet.
TB: David, as you know, a lot of the president’s political critics are going to say, “This is clear evidence that he lied to the American people.”

DK: Well, Tom, if we do that, I think we’re really hurting ourselves. Clearly, the intelligence that we went to war on was inaccurate, wrong. We need to understand why that was. I think if anyone was abused by the intelligence it was the president of the United States rather than the other way around.

TB: The president described Iraq as a gathering threat — a gathering danger. Was that an accurate description?

DK: I think that’s a very accurate description.

TB: But an imminent threat to the United States?

DK: Tom, an imminent threat is a political judgment. It’s not a technical judgment. I think Baghdad was actually becoming more dangerous in the last two years than even we realized. Saddam was not controlling the society any longer. In the marketplace of terrorism and of WMD, Iraq well could have been that supplier if the war had not intervened.

There’s more.
TB: But as you know, the administration and its supporters, not just suggest, but insist that there was a real connection between Saddam Hussein and terrorist organizations that would be a threat to the United States.

DK: Look, I found no real connection between WMD and terrorists. What we did find, and as others are investigating it, we found a lot of terrorist groups and individuals that passed through Iraq.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

Jihad

Islamist thugs are murdering Buddhist monks in Thailand.

It’s not because Buddhist monks are “colonialist oppressors,” nor is it because Buddhists drive the engine of corporate globalization. And it’s not because Thailand is a superpower that deserves to be brought to heel. Thai Buddhists don’t need to ask “why do they hate us?” It’s because Buddhists are “infidels.” And that’s that.

As Omer Bartov put it this week in The New Republic:

[W]e still do not seem to have learned a simple crucial lesson that Hitler taught us more definitively than anyone else in history: some people, some regimes, some ideologies, some political programs, and, yes, some religious groups, must be taken at their word. Some people mean what they say, and say what they will do, and do what they said.

(Via Exit Zero.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:14 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

European Anti-Semitism Watch

The Guardian and Ha’aretz published polls which gauge the level of anti-Semitism in some European countries.

One in seven people in Britain think the scale of the Nazi Holocaust is overblown.

22 percent of Italians says Jews are “not real Italians,” and 17 percent say Israel has no right to exist.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:13 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

January 26, 2004

Martian Crater

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity sends photos from the inside of an impact crater at Meridiani Planum.

mars_hill

mars_slope

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 7:57 PM | Permalink | Comments Off
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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