Bloggers respond to the latest Democrat antics to scale down the war in Iraq. They also deplore the jail sentence for an Egyptian blogger and doubt that the tomb of Jesus is one being publicized by the "Naked Archaeologist" and, yep, James Cameron.
The micromanagerial revolution: With Rep. John Murtha's proposal to limit spending on Iraq looking pretty anemic in the House, a few Senate Democrats have suggested repealing the original 2002 war resolution, which they say needs revision. This new plan would also stipulate milder rules for how future federal dollars can be spent on the troops. To make things more interesting, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman has said leaving the Democratic caucus is a "very remote possibility."
Lefty Steve Benan at The Carpetbagger Report tepidly endorses the Senate Democrats' plan: "[I]t seems to be an entirely defensive exercise, designed to rebut inevitable charges. It doesn't affect funding, so Republicans can't attack and Lieberman shouldn't jump. It doesn't 'micromanage,' so that takes another far-right talking point off the table. It's not a "precipitous" withdrawal, so it should maintain strong public support. What's more … they can point to the Iraq Study Group to bolster support, since it was the ISG that targeted March 2008 in its report."
Noting that under the all-but-dead Murtha plan, the president would have to disclose whether funding was going toward deploying troops less than a year removed from combat, conservative Christi S. King at CommonSenseAmerica fumes: "You see, that is the key. Public humiliation. And under the guise of some sort of delusional mandate they feel they were handed in the last election, this will continue. The Democrats believe the American people handed them a golden ticket to go after this administration, assure defeat in Iraq, and bring our President, our military, and this nation to shame in the eyes of the entire world. They couldn't be more wrong."
And righty "lawhawk" at A Blog For All sallies: "Not a single Senator who supports this nonsense can defend it on grounds of national security. Not a single one. How does limiting the President's capabilities as commander in chief improve national security? How does limiting the military's capabilities to send reinforcements as it deems necessary to complete its mission improve chances for victory? It does not."
But liberal Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister doesn't care about Lieberman, and she sees a deeper strategy: "I'm sure the idea of repealing the war resolution has something to do with the saber-rattling over Iran, because there have been fears that the administration will try to use the resolution to justify military action against Iran, by virtue of some vague wording. … So repealing the resolution is a good idea for more reasons than just hastening a withdrawal, although that's reason enough."
Read more about the Dem agitation against the war.
Illegal prose of Cairo: Abdel Kareem Soliman is the first blogger to be sentenced in Egypt for criticizing the Mubarak government and "insulting" Islam. (He'd formerly accused his university, al-Azhar, of suborning terrorism and suppressing intellectual freedom.) Soliman's four-year sentence has incensed bloggers worldwide.
Zainub Razvi at South Asian collective Desicritics comments: "What is most ironic…is how the judge had imprisoned Abdel for three years, on the charge that he 'insulted Islam', when Islam's own history is replete with examples of extremely contrasting forbearance. The Prophet Muhammad … on countless occasions ignored the abuse that was hurled at him by the Arab pagans."
At Like It Is, Britgirl, a British expat living in Toronto, argues that Mubarak's regime is actually working against itself: "If you blog we will arrest you, prosecute you to the limit of the 'law' and see that you spend many years in jail. This is archaic, paranoid and demonstrates the intolerance of that country. The thing is, jailing Kareem has actually done what this kind of thing always does – brought lots of attention to the fact that a blogger has been jailed for blogging – and how afraid of criticism the government seems to be."
Allahpundit at conservative Hot Air says that Egyptian bloggers are "becoming a major headache for Mubarak. He had one of the country's most popular bloggers, Alaa Abd al-Fatah, arrested last year but released him after 45 days due to the uproar. WaPo wrote about the incident and declared blogging a 'fast track to prison' in Egypt. Today's verdict bears them out."
Read more about Soliman's conviction.
They've found Jesus? James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici, the History Channel's "Naked Archaeologist" are peddling a new documentary that claims a tomb found in a Jerusalem cave in 1980 is the final resting place of Jesus Christ and his earthly parents. Not so much, say Israeli archaeologists and Bible scholars, who have cyberspace on their side.
Jersualem blogger Izzy Bee at Isreality Bites writes: "Devout Christian congregations will abhor Cameron's publicity stunt as absolute heresy. Some 27 years after archaeologists first uncovered this unprepossessing family tomb containing half a dozen inscribed caskets and four unmarked ones, the sensational scientific claims now threaten to debunk belief in the Resurrection, a cornerstone of the Christian faith."
Teófilo de Jesús has watched old episodes of The Naked Archaelogist and posts at Vivificat: "What I disliked about the mini-documentary was its repeated assertion that the inscription of the box provides extra-biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Not that I doubt the historical existence of Our Lord, but I also recall that a demographic estimate of the number of related people named 'Jesus,' 'Joseph, ' and 'James' during the middle of the 1st century yielded about numerous such instances. The urn would only be a proof that the names were in common use during those years and that they could be found in the same family, nothing more."
Read more about the Cameron-Jacobovici documentary.