Thursday, March 20, 2003

I'm very, very sad ever to see the day my country did something like this.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The Smirking Chimp reprints a very well-written argument from the Chicago Tribune that forcibly rebuts the argument that we all need to stifle dissent in order to support 'our troops' in Iraq.

He cites Teddy Roosevelt, who said "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

But the best part is about Lincoln, voting to censure Polk during the war with Mexico:

Lincoln voted to censure the president in 1848--while the war against Mexico still raged. He contended that the president's justification for war was "from beginning to end the sheerest deception." Polk would have "gone further with his proof if it had not been for the small matter that the truth would not permit him." Lincoln threw down the gauntlet: "Let him answer fully, fairly and candidly. Let him answer with facts and not with arguments. ... Let him attempt no evasion, no equivocation." Lincoln more than suspected that the president was "deeply conscious of being in the wrong."

Why did Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt hate America so much?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 explains our current situation as only they know how.

Unhitched from all logic

I've been watching Christopher Hitchens get farther and farther estranged from logical thought as he gets more and more invested in his imaginary war against islamofascism. At first, I found Hitchens to be a useful tonic; while reading the opinions of somebody with whom I vehmently disagreed, I was still finding very acute criticisms of my own camp's agitprop.

But now Hitch is starting to put out some truly egregious affronts to logic. Today's Slate column is a particularly nasty sample.

Here's my favorite bit of prose:

On every hand, I hear it darkly pointed out that several neoconservative theorists have wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein for a very long time. Even before Sept. 11! Even before the invasion of Kuwait! It's easy to look up the official papers and public essays in which Paul Wolfowitz, for example, has stressed the menace of Saddam Hussein since as far back as 1978. He has never deviated from this conviction. What could possibly be more sinister?

What could be more sinister? How about your own bad-faith style of argumentation? Nobody's arguing that Wolfowitz's consistent refrain "Invade Iraq" is the big problem; the big problem is that the administration keeps trying to use 9/11 as a rationale instead, because they know that almost nobody would buy Wolfowitz's very-consistent position.

There's more, of course. But that bit alone let me know that Hitchens has stopped being an acute observer of the arguments of others. Now, he's just a pro-war hack like the rest of them.

Monday, March 17, 2003

U.S. says diplomacy over for Iraq

Whew! That last-ditch effort at diplomacy sure was grueling, wasn't it?

Getting together with the two European countries who are already on board, then deciding that diplomacy is over, is not diplomacy. It's a conversation about how to time the announcement of war.

To make sure nobody forgets that it was the irrelevant UN that brought us to this failure of diplomacy, Ari Fleischer said:

“The diplomatic window has closed as a result of the U.N.’s failure to enforce it’s own resolutions for Saddam to disarm.”


The diplomatic window was never open.

This rush to war pretty much guarantees that America will never again enjoy its prestige of years past. This, folks, is evil.