As it is Sunday morning and I am nursing a headache with coffee until I'm awake enough to write decently I thought it was time to recommend the prose of others. Today's focus will be on short, punchy, posts rather than long essays:Daniel Starr
pithily summarizes the positional problem of " the liberal hawks "
in the American foreign policy debate with "they're screwed, because neither side trusts them
". Starr is a recent " Dave
pick" so you know the guy has a good blog.Callimachus
of Done with Mirrors
on the revelation of former number # 2 FBI chief, Mark Felt as the infamous "Deep Throat "
of Watergate fame and how that scandal remains a touchstone for older journalists.New Sisysphus
on Commentary magazine's coverage of Michael " Anonymous" Scheuer
.Colonel Austin Bay
reviews the " Quran/Gitmo/MSM " story
and makes a number of pertinent observations and asks excellent questions ( this post was once short but has been extended by frequent and valuable updates):"I would like to know something about the men who had these Korans. I’d like to know their prison record– are they rude? Do they spew anti-American, anti-Semitic, and/or anti-Christian epithets? What were these men doing when they were captured? Did they beat women in Afghanistan who failed to meet the Taliban dress code? Did they break the heads of men whose beards were too short? (That was another Taliban abuse that Newsweek seemed to have forgotten.) Were any of these characters involved in the destruction of the Buddas of Bamiyan? Did they steal food from World Food Program aid convoys? And if they did, how many times did they commit these crimes against the Afghan people? Yes, call Amnesty International. The investigation seems to be glaringly incomplete."
The esteemed Pundita
examines shifts in foreign policy formulation in general and toward China specifically
"But I press on to my point, which is that Rummy's comments signal a sea change that's been building in Washington since 9/11. For decades the US Department of State ran US foreign policy, then with Clinton's entry into office State managed to hamstring the US military not to mention the CIA. Pundita has no comment about the disputes regarding Rummy's modernization of the DoD, which are outside my purview. However, I feel safe in observing that under Rumsfeld's leadership, and with President Bush's encouragement, the Pentagon has correctly battled to take back advisory turf that should belong to the military. There have no been no bullets fired but this has been a life-or-death battle, with America's future at stake. Foreign policy must be built on defense policy, not the other way around. Yet over the course of the Cold War defense policy came to mean 'getting along with US allies,' which devolved into pandering to allies.
Miss Pundita gets the longest entry today because her topic has the most gravity. And as usual she's pretty much on target in terms of DC inside baseball. One of the reasons the Department of State senior echelon viewed the Reagan administration with apoplectic horror was the National Security Decision Directive that made DoD and the CIA co-equals with State in foreign policy by giving these bureaucracies the final say in the domains of defense and intelligence
State spent eight years fighting a rearguard, scorched earth, bureaucratic battle through the inter-agency process to try and reverse that state of affairs and never completely succeeded until Clinton came into office.
That's it. More coming later today...I'm going to go grab some Excedrin.