Ron Radosh on The American Conservative.

Ron Radosh on The American Conservative.

Ron Radosh on The American Conservative.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Oct. 5 2002 1:20 AM

Thug Life

The Fray dissects The American Conservative.

(Continued from Page 4)

I worry that that lack of "forgiveness" that Torricelli spoke of today denies us the talents of the brilliant but flawed, and leaves us alone with the mundane and unimaginative. ...


Ain't got time for the pain: Kurl gives us a "Torch song trilogy" of gloating limericks here, here, and here. ...

Maryland, his Maryland: Last Friday, Saletan explained how moving to Maryland was like going through the looking glass of Texas politics—from default Republican to default Democratic. Baltimore attorney kfa offers a more geographically nuanced explanation the Maryland electoral layout here—the usual high-density islands of red in an ocean of blue. BD says the Texas race between John Coryn and Ron Kirk is Maryland in reverse; The Bell explains how Saletan's indecision is a "microcosm of independent voters today at the national level." … 5:00 a.m.


Monday, Sept. 30, 2002


Iraqathon, round III: As Slate writers debate whether the U.S. should go to war with Iraq, the Dialogues Fray has featured some of the best reader reasoning I've seen, on every side of this debate. (Now that the Iraq dialogue is posted on, readers can expect many more voices in The Fray, and many fewer good threads for the next several hours.)

One way to keep up with the weeklong flood of posts will be to read the excerpts I have appended at the bottom of the "Dialogues" page. Another way for readers to track theSlate line on the war is to look at Abre los ojos'summary here. (Kinsley favors "national dithering," the "Brookings group" is "credentialed and credible," and Weisberg shows "at least tolerable depth and familiarity with the issues.") Perhaps he will come back and provide updates as the dialogue continues. (Hint, hint.) ...

Process, schmocess: Early in his "case against the case against the war," Jacob Weisberg argues that Michael Kinsley and Joe Klein are making "process objections." Robert hall gives process its due here:

While I personally agree with Weisberg that Iraq has to be attacked, I don't see how the process objections Kinsley raises can be so easily dismissed. An honest, democratic process is most likely to get you the right ideas, in general. Bush might be right now, as I think he is, but if democratic process is violated, he could get us in real trouble in the future.

Meanwhile, Kevin Thomson usefully parses the difference between Rumsfeld'sreasons for war and Wolfowitz's here and strongly argues for war and nation-building. ...

Scenarists: Weisberg also hints that only preparation for war could make inspections possible. Readers continue to debate this idea; see Engram here (and the responses) and Mike Klepzig here ("Last time (Desert Storm) we DID prepare for war and look to all the world as if we meant it. Did Saddam withdraw his troops from Kuwait? No!").

NS argues that the war could backfire, driving Saddam closer to terrorist organizations; that the peace could be unmanageable, resulting in a dangerous Iraq—anarchic or Shiite-dominated—and that either one of those scenarios make inspections a better option than war. ...