Sunday, September 08, 2002

Edit: Fixed a sentence.

Jay Caruso took a potshot at me today, first in a post:

(Honestly, I wouldn't have even responded to this, but what the hell... it's the weekend.)

Yep. The United States was attacked. By Al Qaeda.

Rather a lot of "imposed forgetting" going on, isn't there?

Trying to justify plunging the Middle East into violent chaos and invading Iraq that way is like a German trying to justify invading Belgium because the IRA blew up the Reichstag.

Yes Demos, attacked by Al Qaeda, and now there is evidencing surfacing that Iraq helped them before and after 9/11.

I really don't want to sound mean here, but do people who believe that the Middle East is stable and our attacking Iraq would bring about chaos, realize how utterly ridiculous they sound? 'Stability in the Middle East' is a bigger oxymoron than 'jumbo shrimp.' This was the same ridiculous argument being used to oppose the Gulf War (amongst other wrong reasons) and it's just as bogus now as it was then.
and then as a response in his comments section:

If you actually believe the Middle East has EVER been stable and that a military conflict will THEN make it unstable, then you really need a HUGE dose of reality pills
As should be obvious, Jay's using a falsely binary way of describing the situation- stable vs. not stable. Even if there is some instability in the middle east, it pales compared to what could happen, which is the exact reason why every administration since WWII has tried to protect what stability exists there. Not surprising there- he's pushing a simplistic argument, and acknowledging that degrees of things even *exist* devastates that argument almost by definition.

I mean, look at it like Pakistan. Pakistan is terribly unstable right now, yes. That happens when you have a lot of theocrats rubbing up against a military dictatorship. That doesn't mean it begins to compare to the instability that could exist there, and anybody who doesn't understand that should start mainlining those reality pills that Jay was trying to Ad hominem me with.

And as for his other argument? That "evidence" is practically nonexistent, always has been, and will remain so barring something extraordinary*. If it existed, Bush would be using it. It'd be an instant justification for invading Iraq, and save both him and others a lot of grief and effort. They would have pulled it out a looong time ago. He isn't, even though Cheney has gone on the record telling intelligence officials that he wanted the proof of such a connection to be their first priority. That says volumes.

If I was feeling uncharitable, I'd suggest that Jay should stick to taking cheap potshots at Tom Daschle, completely misunderstanding how the U.N. human rights commission works, and making nonsensical remarks about class sizes that contradict every study ever written on the subject, because he's punching above his weight. Since I'm a nice guy, though, I'll assume that Jay's just having a bad blogging week.

*Yes, it is possible that he'll pull out some sort of connection when he addresses the U.N. I find the prospect extraordinarily unlikely, however, because it makes any such address unnecessary and the entire WMD argument utterly pointless. Besides, why wait? It only means that the U.S. couldn't use the facilities and resources of its allies up until the address, damage the U.S.'s relationships with its allies, and would only work as a political tool against the Republicans who have been against it, because the Democrats have been careful to avoid positioning themselves as against invading Iraq. As a tactical move, it's weak. As a strategic tool, it's counter-productive. I can't believe the Bush admin is that stupid.

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