Links, 9/11/09

  • Jay Cost has an excellent evaluation of the rhetorical task that faced the President recently, and how he did not quite live up to it. fta – Democrats need rallying because of internal divisions over actual policy disagreements. President Obama did not deal with those divisions. When you strip away the setting, the soaring rhetoric, the poetic cadences, and all the rest, you’re left with the criticism that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain leveled at him through all of last year: he voted present.
  • What’s going on in Afghanistan is utterly frightening – read about the destruction of a NATO convoy because of a border dispute, and note that ways to get supplies to troops is limited. It is safe to say that if the Coalition does not have the will to beat the Taliban and see this thing through, then liberal democracy is an abysmal failure. There may be certain compromises one can make with tyranny; the Taliban must be eradicated even with that lack of a standard in mind.

I’m going to try and have something blogged later today – apologies for the lack of entries recently. Working on Xenophon right now, and no, the Greek/barbarian distinction does not impact how I assess present-day politics. Prudential considerations are informed by value, of course, but they depend heavily on circumstances that for some strange reason don’t quite care what one’s values are.


  1. Why do you think if Afghanistan fails then liberal democracy fails? I agree with you that the war is important but I don’t think its existential- like say WW2 was- its a cost benefit thing ultimately about whether the war is worth fighting and its consequences/

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