A Level Gaze

"What effect must it have on a nation if it learns no foreign languages? Probably much the same as that which a total withdrawal from society has upon an individual."
--G.C. Lichtenberg



Links


New Email Address! levelgaze@gmail.com

Blogs

NoWarBlog

The Lefty Directory

The Agonist
aintnobaddude
alicublog
Alas, a Blog
Altercation
Ambivalent Imbroglio
AmericaBlog
American Street
Amygdala
Anger Management
Angry Bear
Armed Liberal
Bad Attitudes
Barney Gumble
Bartcop
Beyond Corporate
Billmon
Blah3
Body and Soul
Booman Tribune
Brad DeLong
Busy Busy Busy
Buzzflash
By Neddie Jingo
Calculated Risk
CalPundit
Chase me ladies
Chris Nelson
Contested Terrrain
Cooped Up
Conceptual Guerilla
corrente
Counterspin
Crooked Timber
Daily Howler
Daily Kos
Decembrist
Demosthenes
Driftglass
D-Squared Digest
Electrolite
Eschaton
Ethel
Ezra Klein
Fafblog!
Fanatical Apathy
Firedoglake
First Draft
Fistful of Euros
get donkey!
Globblog
The Hamster
Here's What's Left
Horowitz Watch
Housing Bubble
Hullabaloo
Intl News
Istanblog
James Wolcott
Jesus' General
Juan Cole
Junius
Lean Left
Left Coast Breakdown
Letter from Gotham
Liberal Oasis
MacDiva
MadKane
Mahablog
Majikthise
Making Light
Marginal Revolution
Mark Kleiman
Matthew Yglesias
MaxSpeak
Media Whores Online
Michael Finley
Michael Froomkin
MyDD
My Left Wing Nathan Newman
Off the Kuff
Oliver Willis
Orcinus
Pandagon
Pen-Elayne
Pfaffenblog
PLA
The Poor Man
R.B. Ham
Raed in the Middle
Ragout
Raw Story
ReachM High Cowboy
Rittenhouse Review
The Road to Surfdom
Roger Ailes
Rude Pundit
Ruminate This
Seeing the Forest
Seize the Fish
Self Made Pundit
Sideshow
Sirotablog
Sisyphus Shrugged
Skippy
Slacktivist
South Knox Bubba
Steve Gilliard
Talking Points Memo
Talk Left
The Talking Dog
Tapped
TBogg
Ted Barlow
Testify!
Thinking It Through
Through the Looking Glass
TNR Online
Tres Producers
TRR
Two Tears in a Bucket
uggabugga
Unknown News
Vaara
Wampum
War Liberal
Winning Argument
Wonkette
WTF Is It Now


General Interest

BBC News
The Economist
Metafilter
RealPolitik
Robot Wisdom



Bob. A damn fine comic.

Archives


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Friday, September 06, 2002
 
In Michael Kinsley's latest column, he takes Colin Powell to task for the "disloyalty" of having a different opinion than that of the president. A little further down, he claims that "Bush's role in the debate is not to have a clear view of his own." So Powell disagrees with...well, we're not sure yet, but it's definitely something, er, probably.

Further, the "squabbling tribal elders," presumably Cheney, Rumsfeld, Scowcroft, Baker, et al., get a free pass from taking stands fundamentally different from one another. By definition, then, some of them are going to be in disagreement with whatever Bush's opinion might wind up being. For some reason, that's not disloyalty, even when done in the public fora of the nation's op-ed pages. Powell, dastard that he is, has added to the injury of his "disloyalty" with the further insult of inscrutability.

Powell's view, if you read the papers literally, has spread by a mysterious process akin to osmosis. The secretary of state is "known to believe" or is pigeonholed by unnamed "associates" or (my favorite) has made his opinion known "quietly."

To recap: Powell is disloyal because he has not disagreed publicly with the president, whose opinion is unknown. GOP tribal elders, on the other hand, are dutifully performing yeoman's service to the nation through their mutually irreconcilable op-ed pieces.

Powell is Secretary of State, the country's head diplomat. It's his job to make our relations with the rest of the world run as smoothly as possible. If it means 'speaking diplomatically,' (duh!) or not pounding one's fist on the table every time one opens one's mouth, if it means respecting other countries' sensibilities, then Powell is handling the situation perfectly. He is expected to keep in contact with other governments and to relay their communications to the president and congress. He's presumed to be the government's expert on foreign countries. His opinion on issues relating to them is supposed to matter. He's supposed to have one and to give the rest of the government the benefit of it. That's his job. If it weren't, we could dispense with having a State Department at all.

Kinsley closes with:

The Bush administration will decide in the next few weeks that the cause is worth the blood, or that it isn't. In either case, shouldn't someone resign?

My riposte: if Bush decides not to invade, should Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and the rest of the hawks resign?