Monday, March 20, 2006

Questions that need to be asked.

Dennis may have a rather caustic sense of humor but he has done more real work on the Dubai port deal than just about anyone else out there. And I think he is right in seeing this controversy as part of a larger debate:

I am revisiting the issue for a variety of reasons. First, I want to examine in some detail the specifics of the issue itself. This is something that really didn’t happen in either the mainstream media or the New Media of the blogosphere. I have yet to see an analysis of the issue that pulled together the information needed to actually pass judgment in a rational and informed manner. Secondly, I want to examine the conundrum of the Pro-War Right. If the Dubai Ports World controversy highlighted one thing, it was the essential contradiction of the worldview put forth by many (but not all) within the ranks of those supporting U.S. military action in Iraq; that is, how can one maintain that Arabs and Muslims are to be feared, and our Arab/Muslim allies in the Middle East distrusted, while simultaneously justifying, in part, the use of force in Iraq as the start of a process of bringing freedom and democracy to an Arab, Muslim Middle East.

read it all.


MeaninglessHotAir said...

Well, as is usual in these debates, he's beginning with a false premise and drawing what seem to be astonishing conclusions therefrom. Here's the deal: there isn't any such thing as a "pro-war right". That's just a made-up chimera.

When the war broke out the support for the war came from across the so-called political spectrum. I was personally opposed to it. You convinced me that it was probably the right thing to do after all, but I'm still not sure. Your beliefs are hardly the "right". I would call you the "voice of common sense", independent of a lot of those other labels.

So Dennis finds a set of people who were pro-war and he finds another set of people who are anti-Arab and because there is some overlap he calls both of them "right" and thinks he's found a profound logical contradiction. The flaw lies entirely in mistaking the map for the territory in the first place.

Ed onWestSlope said...

While I enjoy DtP, I see that he has joined that vast crowd which wants to divide the folk into 2, 3 or maybe 4 groups. It is an exercise in foolishness.

I think DtP should re-read his own posts on How to Become a Blogger [more to the point than many would probably care to admit] and consider whether he may haved sinned against some of his own observations and advice.

If DtP disagrees, I am sure there will be mention, but that will not stop my clicking on him almost daily.

terrye said...


I see what you mean. I had not really thought about it like that.

I do think there is some debate as to how much we can realistically expect from the Islamic world in terms of political reform-at least in the short term. Even a comment like that is over generalizing because not all Muslims are alike [obviously].

But I do have to admit that I have been offended by some of the over the top antiArab bashing I have seen. I think it is self defeating and will do us more harm than good in the long run.

But I understand it all the same.

I think we underestimate the Islamists. The Bush administration would be lucky to have the ability to manipulate the media the way the jihadis do. The more I think about it, the more I believe that the cartoon riots were designed to piss us off. And we complied, because there was really nothing else we could do.

These fanatics cut off people's heads on TV and yet their willingness to perform for the camera with the deliberate intent of enraging their viewer seems to be constantly underestimated. For a bunch of 7th century throwbacks they sure do a great job of playing us.

I do think that Dennis did a good job of compiling facts on the issue when so many others were acting so hysterical. That must be the accountant in him.

But yeah, there is a certain amount of condescension there.

loner said...

Off Topic

It's the second anniversary, I think, of my first encounter with Syl, Terrye, WichitaBoy and Charlie (Colorado).

...and the war came.

There may or may not be a long movie post sometime in the near future, but, since you asked, Rick:

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?

It’s now been ten years since the A&E/BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice premiered in the United States. That adaptation set a new standard. It is a standard which no theatrical feature of reasonable length can possibly meet because no theatrical feature of reasonable length can do justice to all the characters who by presenting themselves to the observation of the lively mind of the female protagonist lead her to accept the marriage proposal of the single man in possession of a good fortune who has come to the realization that he is, in fact, in want of a wife. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth are well-matched by both the screenplay and their outstanding performances.

To succeed as a faithful adaptation of the novel it is, in my view, these two observations which must be successfully dramatized:

She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!

"...Will you tell me how long you have loved him?"
"It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began; but I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley."
Another entreaty that she would be serious, however, produced the desired effect...

The television production nails both so it is unlikely that I’m ever going to find another adaptation, no matter how lengthy, to be in its league.

That being a given, I enjoyed the two adaptations I saw in a movie theater last year while not bothering to much judge them against the novel and the television adaptation. They are triumphs for Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bakshi and Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and rather forgettable otherwise when it comes to the actors involved. Bride & Prejudice has its Bollywood charms (and I do consider most of them to be charming in reasonable doses) and Pride & Prejudice has its romance novel devices (heroine standing at the edge of a cliff and staring into the distance and a stiff wind, unexpected arrivals and confrontations in the dead of night, lovers running into one another while wandering around on misty meadows in pre-dawn half-light, etc.) The director of Bride & Prejudice, Chandra Gurinder, last directed Bend It Like Beckham, Keira’s breakthrough movie, and, also enjoyable even if you have no particular interest in soccer.


loner said...


second anniversary

terrye said...


You dog.

I had no idea you were loner.

I am surprised you like Jane Austen. I had to read a great deal of her in my college literature classes back in the middle ages.

Her ability to create rounded characters is something most writers can only dream of. I have not seen the newest adaptation of Pride and Prejudice but I intend to. There is something so satisfying about an Austen novel. I rather liked the recent adaptation of Sense and Sensibility as well.

The first "adult" book I ever read was Wuthering Heights and then of course I read Jane Eyre. I know they are not really in the same league as a Austen but I loved them just the same.

Hey don't even get me started on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

It is good to see you again.

Rick Ballard said...

Thanks, Pat. As eloquent and elegant a review as one could hope for. It will be great if you can find the time to continue.

That was an interesting thread at Rogers. Two years is such a short time.

DennisThePeasant said...


You're overreaching just a bit here.

"Made up chimera"? I don't think so. There is a Pro-War Right... it's made up of Republicans and Conservatives who support the actions of the President. They exist and aren't particularly hard to spot. That there are independents, Democrats, etc. who support the war is obvious - they aren't the focus of my commentary.

The point, which you've missed, is that a substantial portion of the Republicans and Conservatives supporting the War in Iraq are speaking out of both side of their mouths... they fear and loathe all Muslims yet claim to support the democratization of the Middle East (i.e. - empowering the Muslims of the Middle East politically).

What interests me is whether one can reconcile this fear/loathing with a desire for secularization/democratization. If it can't be done, then what we have are some Republicans/Conservatives who are supporting the war for other than stated reasons... reasons that need to be identified, examined and judged.