Watcher’s Council, November 3rd

The winners for the November 3rd Council nominations are as follows:

Watcher’s CouncilGates of Vienna took first place for Female Genital Mutilation in Georgia: Who is the Perp? . Since the writing of that post, there is now a website devoted to Khalid Adem, who was found guilty of the mutilation of his daughter. I said before, and still believe, that while Mr. Adem may have had knowledge of this crime, he had neither the know-how nor the opportunity to commit it without being discovered. To me it still looks like the pediatric nurse maternal grandmother and the mother herself who were most complicit in this barbarity. They should have been on trial, too.

Just goes to show our cultural ignorance that anyone would believe two males would carry out this procedure. It’s definitely an operation performed on little girls by other women.

This was a travesty.

Here are two websites with further information:

Khalid Adem is Innocent, and

Free Khalid Adem.

Done With Mirrors was second for You Would Weep. And when you think deeply on this flaw that runs through the American character, you realize how ancient it is, and perhaps how intractable. It is certainly evidence of our original sin, one which is being played out in Iraq today:

A little more than 200 years ago, a bombastic U.S. agent named William Eaton (today he would be special op) led a handful of U.S. Marines, several hundred foreign mercenaries scraped from the taverns and brothels of Alexandria, and a pack of hired bedouins in a march across a desert that hadn’t been crossed in force since classical times. They captured Tripoli’s second largest city, then defended it against counter-attack and won a tremendous victory.

The tyrant of Tripoli had captured a U.S. warship and enslaved its 300 sailors. When they died in captivity, the Bashaw Yussef threw their bodies to the dogs in the street. The Jefferson administration wanted them free. America in those days had not entirely forgotten what “honor” meant.

The White House approved Eaton’s mission, but didn’t expect it to succeed. Until then, the only thing the Marines had going for them was a Washington, D.C., marching band which the citizens loved but the violin-playing Jefferson despised. Instead, he trusted the wily diplomats, who played the game the European way. Headlines in the administration mouthpiece newspaper blared “Millions for Defense but not a Cent for Tribute,” but secretly Jefferson authorized ransom for the sailors.

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When you go to read the rest, you will see history and you will see the present situation in Iraq. Our leaders are a disgrace…especially the “negotiators.” We rush in to the rescue and then we rush out again, leaving people who believed us to their own fate.

I was so sure the U.S. could not be so stupid, so craven, as to cut and run once again. But it is and they are. The elites in this country, beginning with Thomas Jefferson, have never gotten over doing things the way their betters in Europe do.

So once more, people are left to die:

Worst of all, it sold out every honest ally the U.S. had in Libya. All the North Africans and Bedouins who had cast their lot with the Americans, all the residents of Derne who had helped the Americans defend it, the Arab women who had slipped between the lines and warned Eaton of their enemies’ plots and plans, were left to their fate. Everyone knew the town would be looted and the inhabitants massacred when the Americans left. Eaton wrote from Derne to a friend describing his feelings when he read the diplomatic order to withdraw the American forces and the details of the deal that had been cut:

You would weep, Sir, were you on the spot, to witness the unfounded confidence placed in the American character here, and to reflect that this confidence must shortly sink into contempt and immortal hatred…

Yes, indeed: “the unfounded confidence placed in the American character.” Plus ça change…

And if you do go read the rest, be prepared to weep. Or at least for the knot in your stomach…

Taking first place in the non-Council was Isis’ Guide to Sensible Islam Posting ink10|’-guide-to-sensible-islam-posting/. His post dealt with one of my favorite, if somewhat prickly, Muslims, Ali Eteraz.

Ali doesn’t respect us much, I don’t think. But I still like him, and I think he’s a fine writer. This winning post is a long one and hard to extract from without losing the context, but here is a snip.

Isis explains Ali’s role in attempting to gain more freedoms for Muslim women:


Ali] obtain[ed] a letter describing the execution of an Iranian mother witnessed by her son. LGF is obviously unaware of Ali’s involvement in attempt to secure greater freedoms for women in the wider Muslim world. Ali is the classic example of a Humanist (the word he and I both prefer to “Moderate”) Muslim that the Rightosphere pundits seemingly desire to see (but more often silence).

The story Isis tells is well worth reading. Be sure to clink on the link just to read that first paragraph!

Michael Fumento was second for his …what should I call it? Perhaps a meditation of sorts?” In his essay, Covering Iraq: The Modern Way of War Correspondence, Fumento asks some pointed questions about our “war” “correspondents”. Here’s the first one:

Ramadi, Iraq

Would you trust a Hurricane Katrina report datelined “direct from Detroit”? Or coverage of the World Trade Center attack from Chicago? Why then should we believe a Time Magazine investigation of the Haditha killings that was reported not from Haditha but from Baghdad? Or a Los Angeles Times article on a purported Fallujah-like attack on Ramadi reported by four journalists in Baghdad and one in Washington? Yet we do, essentially because we have no choice. A war in a country the size of California is essentially covered from a single city. Plug the name of Iraqi cities other than Baghdad into Google News and you’ll find that time and again the reporters are in Iraq’s capital, nowhere near the scene. Capt. David Gramling, public affairs officer for the unit I’m currently embedded with, puts it nicely: “I think it would be pretty hard to report on Baghdad from out here.” Welcome to the not-so-brave new world of Iraq war correspondence.

Vietnam was the first war to give us reporting in virtually real time. Iraq is the first to give us virtual reporting. That doesn’t necessarily make it biased against the war; it does make it biased against the truth.

Compare his story with the one Callimachus tells in the Council section. It does make you want to weep – in frustration, in shame, in sorrow for our military.

Like the other elites —- academia and career consular officers in the State Department – the MSM grows daily more dangerous to the welfare of our country. Yet they are so entrenched what are we mere villeins to do? France’s evil view of how the world works is rampant among those in charge.

All the others remain here at The Watcher’s Place. As usual, it is full of variety.