This is not how I used to do my college papers. The anxiety would’ve done me in. But here I am again, Last Minute Lucy, with the Council posts from two weeks ago. If I didn’t get them done by midnight tonight, I’d have to post a whole bunch more winning entries. And since I like to give you a flavor of the winning nominations, I do tend to let it go till I “have more time.” Like someone is going to create a thirty hour day just for me, right?
So. On September 29th,Soccer Dad won first place with Unhinged or Calculated. It’s old news by now, but he had a good hit on Clinton’s tantrum at Chris Wallace:
It was a premeditated attack on Wallace’s integrity — accusing him of partisanship — and the integrity of his network. (Not to mention an attack on ABC too.) It was a Clinton attempt at inoculating himself against charges that he didn’t take the terrorist threat seriously enough as president and, as standard bearer of the Democratic Party, to pin the lack of success in fighting terror on President Bush.
He also had a good round-up of other blogosphere opinion on this empty suit with the loud mouth.
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The Sundries Shack and Joshuapundit tied for second place.
In No Commitment!, Jimmie poses a question and answer from Rev. John Krenson
Rev. John Krenson asks us a question I’ve been asking myself a lot these days: Why are we so afraid?
Culturally and religiously we are on the defensive in this War on Terror. And it makes no sense to me. We accept immoral expressions of outrage by Muslims across the world and yet fail to have any of our own justified moral indignation at their actions. Instead we apologize for causing their reactions. Perhaps I should apologize to my four year old for his little temper tantrum this morning and for the time he slugged his sister in the face with a toy…
Then Jimmie himself adds his own question to this on-going debate:
I do not understand our fear. We have, objectively, the superior culture which provides more personal freedom and a stable civilization in which those freedoms can flourish. No culture has ever done so much to allow each human being the room to flower as he or she sees fit. Our pre-eminent theology, which could be loosely described as Rational Christian is clearly superior in any number of ways. We spent countless hours wrestling with our beliefs, how they affect us spiritually and how they impact the world around us.
Yet we are scared to death to say such things, even though they are manifest. We would rather see ourselves murdered and enslaved than fight for the supremacy of our culture and religion.
Why? Have we grown that self-centered that we would hold onto the warm glow of faux humility even as killers beat down the door?
A Real Peace Proposal for the Middle East is Joshuapundit’s offering. Here’s how he begins:
As I promised you yesterday, there is a way to achieve peace in the Arab Israeli conflict…or at least reveal what the real obstacles are, as opposed to the PR. Believe it or not, the solution is in the so-call Saudi Peace Plan of 2002, which has been endorsed by every member of the Arab League.
Now, I could be cynical (and I have been) over the real motivations of the Saudi plan. but I think the time has come for Israel to take this seriously, as an opening gambit to resolve the Arab Israeli conflict and respond in kind.
IMHO, the Saudi
Crime Syndicate government, and any proposal it would write, has all the sincerity, contractual integrity, and truthfulness of…of (sorry for the “H” word) an appeasement agreement signed by the Die Fuhrer himself.
Can you say “Israeli Suicide”? That’s what I think a contract concerning Israel proposed by any Arab entity in the Middle East would mean. They could be more honest and entitle it: “Drowning the Zionists.”
Meanwhile, in the non Council arena, more Muslim problems (in this case, the consequences of apostasy), and an essay on political conversion. Come to think of it, both these bloggers were writing about their own quite individual experience of what it means to change one’s mind.
Isaac Schrödinger handily won first place for Fear and Loathing in the Land of the Pure. PLEASE READ IT and then hit his tip jar.
I am a refugee claimant in Canada. This essay goes in great detail about why I am asking for asylum in the West.
Thank you to those who contributed the numerous sources. I hope that, at the very least, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada adds these resources to their national documentation package.
Isaac Schrödinger: An Apostate and a Blasphemer
I was born in an Ahmadi Muslim family in Pakistan. I’m a Pakistani citizen. The attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 and the reactions of Muslims to it changed my mindset. I left Islam in January of 2002.
I didn’t share that information with anyone at the time. I was scared of the consequences. My family lived in Saudi Arabia and I traveled to that country every summer and during Christmas break. Upon entering Arabia, I would have to fill out an entry card which required one to specify their religion. My Pakistani passport clearly states that my religion is Islam and I didn’t dare contradict that. So, for a long time, I kept my “unnatural” thoughts and beliefs to myself.
Isaac is being threatened with deportation back to Pakistan. Deportation = Death.
His post is lengthy, and long posts usually don’t win in the council votes. But he could not have left any of it out. It is compelling.
The Anchoress placed second for an essay about her own conversion to the “dark side. In Civility in Political Discourse she explains the initial experience:
I recall watching one of the debates between then-Governor Bush and Vice President Gore — it was the “townhall” debate, the one where the candidates could stroll about the stage and answer questions from the audience. (Yes, the one where Gore went over to Bush and got in his face, standing there while Bush talked, and the governor smiled, said “how you doin’?” and continued on.)
At the time of that debate, I was no longer calling myself a “liberal democrat” but I still had not gone over to “the dark side” and pulled a lever for a Republican. But I was struck by Dubya in this debate, both by his amused look at Gore, and by a response he made to a woman in the audience. She got up with a little bit of an attitude, doing the “powerful woman and angry Dem” thing. I don’t recall the question, but Dubya’s answer made me pick my head up from my needlework. He said, simply, “well, this is just a difference of opinion…”
A difference of opinion…after 8 years of the Clintonistas turning every issue into a morality play with the Democrats always on the side of the angels against the “morally reprehensible” Republicans, after listening to Al Gore declare that the 2000 election was “a fight between good and evil…” I was more than relieved to hear “this is just a difference of opinion…”
Her story reminds me of the shock I had at church last Sunday, when the Baron told me that a member of our congregation, a staunch Dem who always manned their tables outside our voting precinct, has now transmogrified into an “Independent.” The first step on the toad to perdition…welcome to the club, friend. Soon you’ll be using the “C” word.
The rest of us are still in line at The Watcher’s Place. Y’all come and see us, hear?
I respectfully think you missed the point of what I wrote.
I don’t blame you – I think lots of people did, because I went out of my way to phrase it in such a reasonable fashion that the Arab nations it was addresssed to and especially their western proponents would have to reveal their UNREASONABLENESS if they rejected it out of hand.
That’s why it took the form of a speech an Israeli Prime Minister should give to the Arabs, publicly and openly.
The fact that it seems to have got past an astute observer like you may just be proof that it should be tried.
The Arabs have been cynically using the `Palestinians’ for years
as an excuse for continuing to foment terrorism, justify Jihad against the West and keep the Middle East in turmoil.
Yet, they are on record as having a peace plan, the one endorsed by the entire Arab League and promoted by the Saudis, the Beirut Plan of 2002.
By using these arguments, they have obscured the real issues in the conflict and attracted a number of western adherants.
It’s a given that the Saudi/Arab League Plan is nothing more than a recipe for Israel’s suicide, and I’ve written as much before.
But it IS important that Israel address this (or call the Arabs’ bluff, if you like) by taking them seriously, addressing what they proposed in a sincere manner, and come up with a reasonable sounding counter offer that addresses the talking points I see constantly used against the `Zionists’.
What I proposed deals with the main issues the Saudi plan deals with – the so-called `right of return’and justice for the refugees, Jerusalem, and the final status of the Palestinian state.
It deals with the first issue by saying that since the 800,000 Jews ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after 1948 are unable to return to their homes, clinging to the fantasy that peace is conditional on the 350,000 or so Arabs (and their decendents) who left what is now Israel in 1948 returning there is a recipe for permanent hostility.
So I proposed a joint Israeli/Arab commission to adjudicate claims for actual property losses by ALL of the ACTUAL refugees, both Jewish and Arab, with claims to be paid by the nation that conficated the property.
What could be fairer than that? And how could anyone with fairness in mind object to this final end to the `refugee’ problem?
My proposal likewise plainly states to the Arabs that after all that has happened, Israel can no longer allow the idea of a 2nd Arab Palestinian State on Israel’s borders, and suggests final settlement talks between Egypt, Israel and Jordan as an alternative.
Or if that’s impossible, I suggest that the Arab nations, as a `sacrifice for peace’ and a show of goodwill towards their Palestinian brothers give the Palestinians as much land for a state as Israel already has..preferably away from Israel’s borders.
It’s a fact that after all the rhetoric, the only nation in the Middle East that has ever given any land to the Palestinians is Israel. The Arabs have not given them a single dunam.
It’s also a fact that the insistence on a second Arab Palestinian state ever since Oslo (thanks, Mr. Bill)has been a force for exacerbating the conflict rather than helping to solve it.
IMO, this is a neat way of pointing this little fact out, putting the onus on the Arab nations instead of Israel an doffering a peaceful, face saving way out.
Lastly, on Jerusalem, my proposal details for the Arabs (and any westerners listening) exactly WHY the city can never be shared or divided again, and proposes a compromise, that Israel pay for the transfer and rebuilding of the al Aksa Mosque at a different location, and it is done in language of reconcilliation and reverence for religious traditions that the Arabs might find very embarrasing to simply refuse outright.
Would the Arabs ever accept this proposal? Probably not. But by doing so, they would reveal that the real problem in the Israeli Arab conflict has nothing at all to do with the `Palestinians’and everything to do with their refusal to live next to Jews in peace and equality…especially to a lot of those westerners that still, for some reason, think that Israel and its intrangience is the problem.
Clarity is worth a lot.
On the other hand, if the Arabs accepted all or part of this, it would be a major breakthrough.
And I stand by it.
How about a follow up post on this delineating it as carefully as you have here…which you probably already have, but I can be dense on this subject sometimes, fraught as it is with treachery, death and deceit.
Just an idea…