And now it's time for Weekend Recap, brought to you by Tman in Tennessee......
Last week brought us two debates focusing on the war in Iraq and the current state of left-right politics in general.
In New York you had "the grapple in the Big Apple" (transcript here), a much publicized meetup between two Brits who could not possibly be more politically opposed. In this corner weighing in at possibly 2 million+ barrels of illegally obtained Iraqi oil during the Food For Oil Scam- George Galloway, the elected MP for Britain's Bethnal Green and Bow. And in the opposite corner you had Christopher Hitchens, the one time trotskyist turned liberal-conservative after watching his intellectual brethren fall off the deep end in their support for Islamic terrorists and fascist regimes. Read the transcript if you would like to see how silly the whole affair was, but in this humble bloggers opinion, Galloway did much to demonstrate the intellectual vacuum of the anti-war left. He stated things like "there were no terrorists in Iraq before the war" which would certainly be news to one Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who fled to Iraq after getting injured in Afghanistan, not to mention Al-ansar, Abu Abbas or Abu Nidal. But the best smackdown came at the beginning when Hitchens laid out perhaps the most compelling justification for liberating Iraq I have ever heard, here is an excerpt-
I've argued, I will argue that the war was both just and necessary. I think I can separate perhaps the two concepts.
Um, Iraq had lost its sovereignty as far as a state can do under international law. There are four conditions under which a state may be deemed or said to have sacrificed its sovereignty. These are: if it participates in regular aggressions against neighboring states or occupations of their territory; if it violates all the letter and spirit of the terms of the nonpre, pre, excuse me, the non-proliferation treaty, and in other words, fools around promiscuously with the illegal acquisition of weapons of mass destruction; third, if it should violate the Genocide Convention, the signatories to which are obliged without further notice to act either to prevent or punish genocide; and fourth, if it plays host to international gangsters, nihilists, terrorists, and jihadists.
Iraq met all these four conditions repeatedly, and would demonstrate its willingness to repeat them on many occasions. Its sovereignty was at an end, it was under international sanctions, it was a ward of the international community. Uh, its people were being starved in order to build palaces for their psychopathic dictator. And it was further more imploding as a state and as a society that the divide and rule policy of the Baath party had led to appalling ethnic and confessional hatreds within the country.
An imploded state would have made these worse and you know who would have invaded them. Turkey would have invaded to try and take Kurdistan. Iran would have invaded to support its extremist Khomeinite proxies and Saudi Arabia would have intervened in order to do the same favor for the Sunni and Wahhabists and Salafist extremists. As a matter of fact, all these three foreign interventions are taking place at present, all those three powers are trying to meddle in Iraq but we are fortunate as are the Iraqi people that there is a coalition to hold the ring and to prevent it from becoming another Rwanda or another Congo, another vortex of violence and cruelty and destabilization and war.
The other debate was between Capitalist-pig-turned-touchy-feely-liberal Arianna Huffington (dahhling!), and Raisin farmer/classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Victor David Hanson. You can watch this mismatch here. I haven't had the opportunity to yet, but being familiar with both of their viewpoints I can pretty much imagine what it would amount to. And as this review of the debate notes, I am probably pretty close-
For Arianna Huffington, it all adds up to imperialism: the "hubris and incompetence" of the Bush administration's war in Iraq, the failure of the Democratic Party to provide an opposition voice, and the media's inability to speak "truth to power." The neo-cons always wanted war in Iraq to "get control of the oil,"(ed.-JEEBUS ENOUGH ABOUT THE OOIIILL!!!IT'S FREAKING $3/GALLON YOU IDIOT!!) Huffington said, "and 9/11 became a way to convince the American public we had a justification and reason to go in."
The lies that led to the public's acceptance of war -- linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, warning about weapons of mass destruction that Saddam was supposed to have -- were a measure of an empire, said Huffington, a liberal commentator with her own online magazine, the Huffington Post.
There is nothing imperial in America's DNA, said Victor David Hanson.
An imperial power wouldn't have a popular culture that is so critical of its own country, said Hanson, a conservative author of the classics and frequent contributor to the National Review online magazine.
"We don't have an imperial culture, we don't have imperial literature," he said. "After 9/11, we had literati that was quite critical even in our most difficult hour."
Empires take peoples' territory, something the United States hasn't done since 1898 in the Philippines, Hanson said.
"We're pulling out everywhere," he said. "We lost a lot of Americans in Okinawa, and we gave it back to Japan, willingly. That's not a trait of an imperial power."
Hanson views America's military forays as benign.
"Look at what the U.S. military has done," he said. "We've closed bases in Saudi Arabia and Germany, and we're reducing our role in Korea. We went to Grenada and took out a totalitarian dictator and left a democracy. That's not what empires do."
Why these two were matched up is anyone's guess, but few people are as annoying as Arianna to me. And if even one of her fanboys were shown the hollow shell that is her intellectual argument, then it was worth it.
Hurricane Madness Continues:
If you are like me, you are probably pretty sick of watching the news-orgy over Hurricane Katrina. Yes, we should all donate all we can to help those less fortunate. I'm not trying to diminish the relief efforts in any way whatsoever, but it feels like the major newsmedia has officially jumped the Katrina shark right now. There is no way I can possibly do a better job of detailing the insanity of this phenomena than John at Wuzzadem, take a few minutes, put down your drink and behold-
The "Disaster Porn" Stars of Cable News (Part I)
The "Disaster Porn" Stars of Cable News (Part II)
Dean and Ted's Excellent Surprise
John also did a parody of the dizzying performance of Senator Mary Landrieu on Fox News Sunday, but the sad part is it really isn't much of a parody- it's pretty much word for word..
Mary Landrieu Bobs, Weaves, Implodes
THE TITANS ARE BACK!!!!
That's right kids, your Mighty Titans have regained their lost swagger, and it couldn't have happened against a more despised opponent in the Baltimore Ravens. The Titans demolished the Ravens 25-10, completely shutting down Jamal Lewis, holding him to a measly 9 yards the entire game. They defense held Baltimore to a grand total of 182 yards on offense, while the Titans offense methodically held up their end, giving up only one turnover, and keeping the Baltimore defense from making a big play to bring their offense back. McNair was a respectable 19-of-36 for 195 yards, no picks and one touchdown, while playing close to the vest the whole game. The danger with the Ravens is to get too cocky and let their defense get them back in to the game. McNair never fell in to the Ravens trap, and helped keep the defense rested by converting on some big third downs. It was nice to watch the Norm Chow Offense begin to get more loose, as the various sets and formations kept the Ravens guessing the whole game. This offensive scheme is getting more impressive each week. I look forward to the coming weeks as we play less frightening defenses than Pittsburgh and Baltimore, which should allow it to spread out more. It was also nice to see the Titans Defense bring back the swagger from years past. They seemed amped up from the first snap on, sacking Anthony Wright six times. If they can play like this for the rest of the season, we could realistically be looking at a playoff shot.
Hey, a fan can dream, right? GO TITANS!!!!!!!!!