Thursday, May 18, 2006


Tides and Gnawing

Wretchard, as is his wont, posts an exceptional essay at The Belmont Club. He senses a change in the blogosphere. This fair wind brings hope, I think.

I agree with Jamie Irons, this is brilliant prose. For the rest, as we say, read the whole thing.

For mostly unrelated reasons, I found the following irresistible for comment:

The need to keep mental furniture in order is the curse of the abstract thinker. A recent visitor from the Philippines told me -- not in so many words, but clearly enough -- about how the famous old Communists of the 1970s and 80s had all gone essentially crazy. Not clinically. But they were all of them gnawing at the ends of old plots, editing unread journals, scheming from miserable academic departments; haunting the peripheries of political life. He described this in quiet tones as we sat at some seaside saloon, a grey mist and rain having fallen over the bay; the perfect time he said "for Godzilla to come popping out of the water". And of course there was a better chance of Godzilla actually materializing than that those dusty old Commies should ever succeed at what they were doing. They knew it and that was the madness. It was better, I thought, to keep watching and have another beer.

This describes perfectly the unreformed, un-reconstituted Peaceniks of our youth, who now expend such pointless musings and ravings, “gnawing at the ends of old plots.” That so many of these old Socialists are deeply embedded (installed? tenured?) in the institutions of the press, academia, Hollywood, and Washington, it might be fond to reflect on these curmudgeons with empathy, or pity.

Pity them if you will, but for goodness sake, keep them from the driver’s seat.

Austin Bay agrees with Wretchard’s analysis, and follows the thread to ask what’s caused the change:

If Wretchard is right, what might those “incremental events” be that have led to the change in tone?  Here’s my first guess, one I’m fairly certain is accurate: there’s a growing awareness that Al Qaeda is being defeated– it’s not dead but it’s on its way to defeat. Even Al Qaeda’s latest rants reflect an awareness that their great gambit has failed. Violent political Islamism isn’t defeated– but its Al Qaeda avatar is on the ropes. Let’s hope that leads to a “re-consideration of methods” by other violent political Islamists (like, drop the violent?). Here’s my second candidate: There is also a growing awareness that Iraq’s long slog may well result in the emergence of a new, more open political system in the Muslim Middle East. It’s still going to take a couple of years for this to be evident –and the worst defeatists and naysayers will either go to their graves denying it– but all of the indicators are there.  The bombs still explode in Baghdad (that is what makes the 24/7 news), but the Iraqis are slowly taking political and economic control.

(Via Powerline)

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