A recent NY Post artilce entitled "Battling for Baghdad" got to me. Unsurprisingly, it's the same talkingpointish BS that we hear everywhere from right-wing media outlets. But I thought I'd make this article a case study in why so many of the right's screeds are not just wrong, but dishonest.
What bothers me most isn't the obvious partisan bias of the author or his wishful potrayal of the situation. It's his constant use of logical fallacies to support his flimsy reasoning.
As Democrats, Iraqi insurgents and terrorists all struggle to prevent an American win, it's hard to get an accurate sense of Iraq nowadays.
We don't actually mean the majority party (yes...) in this country is allied with terrorists, just that they want the same thing. We're not implying guilt by association or anything...
Proposals to limit the freedom of action of our troops reflect domestic politics at their shabbiest - and you and I know it.
THERE are no guarantees of success.
Quite the platitude. I'm thinking it means "if it fails, we reserve the right to blame Democrats", as if they're not going to do that anyway.
Personally, I continue to believe that 2007 is the year of decision - when the Iraqi government and its security forces have to show their mettle. But 2007 has barely begun. Let's not declare defeat for April Fool's Day. The stakes are so high that Iraq merits this last chance.
This "next x months will be crucial" meme has been used so often it has a name: the Friedman Unit (6 months). Friedman himself has finally given up on hoping victory is just around the corner. If the author had actually read the NY Times (gasp!) columnist, he might not have made the same silly claims.
There's one thing we know won't work: The nutty Pelosi-crat proposal to restrict the mission of U.S. troops to "training Iraqis and defeating al Qaeda." Would our troops have to wait to return fire until they checked the ID cards of their attackers? If they saw a massacre of women and children in progress, would we want them to stand by until they received a legal opinion as to whether the killers were bona fide foreign terrorists?
Another straw man, this time with a childish eptithet that still tries to use a derivitive of "Democrat" as an adjective. Even Bush had to apologize when he was caught doing that during the SOTU. And perhaps Pelosi meant no more heavy-handed patrols or UN-style peacekeeping in the midst of sectarian violence, not "checking IDs"? More of an appeal to ridicule, really.
But our brave men and women in uniform have new coaches and a new playbook for Iraq. They believe they've got a reasonable chance to cross the goal line - and they've got more at risk than a sports celebrity's salary. Yes, the Iraqis have to pick up the ball - but it would be an immoral act of strategic madness to fumble the ball on purpose. In the end, we may not win. But you can't win if you walk off the field while the game's still under way. The clock may run out on hope for Iraq. But it hasn't yet.
I think the football analogy is insufficiently belabored. It should say "it's not yet time for a Hail Mary", or maybe "It's only third and short, but the Democrats already want to punt and Osama bin Laden is a good returner".
I'll leave it to The New York Times to betray our military secrets.
Non sequitur, and when did the Times do that? The author may be referring to the exposure of the commander in chief's repeated Fourth Amendment violations by authorizing warrantless wiretaps, or maybe the similar banking records thing. If he's talking about things like troop movements or specific intelligence items, the betrayers were respectively war cheerleader Geraldo Rivera (of Fox News channel) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).
Compare this, say, with a left-leaning journalist (I picked Frank Rich off the top of my head). If these fallacies were commonplace, you would expect to hear it from our side as well. Rich's most recent article (warning: paywalled) is hardly what would call objective, or even nice:
Watching the administration try to get its story straight about Iran's role in Iraq last week was like watching third graders try to sidestep blame for misbehaving while the substitute teacher was on a bathroom break. The team that once sold the country smoking guns in the shape of mushroom c...
But notice, Rich can be vicious without appealing to popular sentiment, absurd interpretations of the other side's arguments or name-calling. Our best and brightest don't have to do that. I know it's only one paragraph, but the rest of the article is in similar vein.
It's a measure of how rhetorically inferior their positions are that they have to.