« Capitol Hill's Most Beautiful Person | Main | Hezbollah Surprised by Israel's Response »

The Grand Unified Theory Of The Moonbats

Damn, he did it again...

Over at Big Lizards, Dafydd ab Hugh has a fascinating essay up. In it, he doesn't say anything I haven't said before. But he manages to put it all together and take it to the logical conclusion I never quite reached.

Go and read it. It's the kind of piece I've been trying to write for a couple years now.


Comments (23)

You've been trying to write... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You've been trying to write a piece tearing down a bunch of strawmen masquerading as liberal arguments?

I like to set attainable go... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I like to set attainable goals, mantis.

But it does fit the known facts quite well...

J.

Ok, let's go down his list ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ok, let's go down his list and see if they fit the known facts. Note first of all that he offers no links to anyone on the "Left" that puts forth these views. Just saying it would be nice to know who some of these people are, because I've never heard most of these.

* It's wrong to punish countries disproportionately to their "crimes," such as killing more of their soldiers than they killed of yours... it's too much "tat" in the tit-for-tat equation;

I'll give him this one, sort of, though he doesn't seem to recognize that the civilian deaths are what usually provoke such calls for proportionality, not the deaths of soldiers or terrorists. I don't know of any liberal who would tell one country at war with another to not kill so many of the enemy's soldiers. Do you?

* It's wrong to "collectively punish" the people living in the enemy nation by, e.g., dropping bombs;

I'll give him this one too, however we should note that Israel is not at war with Lebanon, so who is the "enemy nation" here, and who is being collectively punished? Obviously the firebombing of Japan's cities during WWII would qualify as collective punishment, but I would also note that we at least warned the Japanese living in those cities beforehand.

* In fact, killing enemy combatants is wrong in general, because we're against capital punishment;

Total bullshit and you know it.

* It's wrong to "punish" a country for the actions of a terrorist group within that country;

It may or may not be "wrong", but it will only help the terrorist group within that country, so it's probably a bad idea.

* It's horrifically wrong to "punish" a country before it has actually committed the crime or even taken steps to commit the crime (pre-emption); that would be the same as putting someone in prison because you thought he might commit a crime in the future;

I don't know if anyone says it's "horrifically wrong", but it's certainly outside the bounds of how we would traditionally justify wars. In addition, such a doctrine opens the door for aggression based on nothing at all; all you have to do is say a nation was thinking about doing something, and war is justified.

* It's wrong to go to war without first holding a criminal investigation and finding the enemy country guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the transgression;

A criminal investigation? Who advocates that? Most of the liberal arguments regarding war that I read merely require a justification based on national security grounds, or aggression towards a neighboring ally nation.

* Captured unlawful enemy combatants must be tried in civilian courts (presumably for "conspiracy") with all the protections afforded ordinary criminal defendants;

Who says they should be tried in civilian courts? What I hear is just that we should justify their imprisonment with some evidence, and allow them a chance to defend themselves. Imprisoning them indefinitely on scant or nonexistent evidence is wrong. We should have some reason. (Obviously we do have reasons for imprisoning many of the people we have, but the many who have been released on lack of evidence after years of imprisonment with no chance to defend themselves show that we had little cause for at least some).

* Captured unlawful enemy combatants may not be interrogated unless they have a lawyer present, and they cannot be interrogated at all if they "take the Fifth;"

Who the hell says this? Interrogation is not opposed by anyone. Torture is.

* Once combatants have "served their sentences," which must be "proportionate to the crime they committed," they must be released, even if there is a chance they will return to the front lines and "commit more crimes;" after all, they've paid their debt to society.

Another one I've never heard before. Who says this?

Ok, anyway it's clear that these are all inferences drawn from his theory that liberals see war as a punitive action designed to punish criminals, all because of recent calls for proportionality on Israel's part. I don't personally subscribe to the proportionality argument, and I think if Israel could wipe out all of Hezbollah for one rocket they should. However, proportionality is pushed by some because of the destruction to the entire nation of Lebanon, the civilian deaths (which are largely Hezbollah's fault, I admit), and the consequences of this conflict, all of which have nothing to do with criminal punishment.

Let me offer a hypothetical to illustrate why his argument doesn't hold much water.

Imagine there is a group within the United States that is so upset about illegal immigration that they start committing terrorist attacks on Mexican land (firing rockets, perhaps). Would Mexico be justified in bombing the US, including infrastructure the terrorists used to get to the border and civilian neighborhoods in which they lived? Would it have been wrong for Mexico to "punish" us, in this scenario?

In any case the reason that the current attacks on Lebanon are being called "punishment" is not because liberals see war as a criminal-justice program, but because Lebanese civilians are being punished for Hezbollah's actions. No one is saying that Hezbollah is being unjustly punished. You see what Sci-Fi boy is saying here is that "Arabs" are the enemy, and punishment for them is entirely justified by virtue of their Arabness. Thus his big Gotcha! question:

if terrorists kill 3,000 Americans, how many terrorists will you allow us to kill before you decide our response is "disproportionate?"

Is yet another strawman, unless you believe that every Arab, every Lebanese, or probably every Muslim, is a terrorist, as he clearly does.

The response was disproport... (Below threshold)
Lee:

The response was disproportionate, but appropriate in my view given the history of southern Lebanon. Sometimes disproportionate is called for - as it was in this instance.

To say it wasn't disproportionate is jingoism. Maybe you need to look both words up in the dictionary.

"It's horrifically wrong to... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

"It's horrifically wrong to "punish" a country before it has actually committed the crime or even taken steps to commit the crime (pre-emption); that would be the same as putting someone in prison because you thought he might commit a crime in the future;"

If you see a man chasing a woman down the street with his pants down, you can bet your ass he isn't trying to bum a cigarett. It is certainly OK to incarcerate someone before they commit a crime. As it is OK to assualt any nation that threatens, and has the power, to assualt you.

If Jimmy Carter had bombed the shit out of Iran when the hostages were taken, non of this would be happening today.

mantis:As I read i... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilotb:

mantis:

As I read it, the article was intended to give a general picture of most liberals beliefs on the terrorist subject. While I agree that there are not any references to actual quotes, the continuous rhetoric from the left, leaves only the conclussion that the article accurately reflects their attitude.

Perhaps, some concrete suggestions as to what should be done, as opposed to a continuous stream of bitching and moaning might help to clarify the liberal position more accurately.

As I read it, the articl... (Below threshold)
mantis:

As I read it, the article was intended to give a general picture of most liberals beliefs on the terrorist subject.

That's how I read it too, it just happens to be wrong.

While I agree that there are not any references to actual quotes, the continuous rhetoric from the left, leaves only the conclussion that the article accurately reflects their attitude.

Well, the lack of references doesn't need your agreement, and as for the "only" conclusion, please point to the rhetoric that supports this.

Perhaps, some concrete suggestions as to what should be done, as opposed to a continuous stream of bitching and moaning might help to clarify the liberal position more accurately.

Ok, first of all most of my suggestions are based on the fact that I can think of not one single terrorist group that has been defeated by superior military force. In fact, I can only think of overwhelming military force bolstering support and recruitment for terrorist groups. I submit that we need to think differently about terrorism. I think that we should look to countries such as Egypt and Jordan, that have renounced the recent violence against Israel. I see their peace with Israel to be a product of their realization that it was in their economic interest to be at peace. I think we need to do all that we can to convince the governments and people in countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, that it is in their economic interest to control and eventually eradicate the terrorist groups that operate in their borders. Of course most of them are aware of this, but may lack the means to do what needs doing. In these cases I would suggest a host of economic, trade, and investiment incentives for progress against terrorism. As the people who support groups like Hezbollah, groups that help them with social services, see that their lives become safer and more prosperous when the terror groups are inactive, they will support those groups less, as will their governments.

These kinds of suggestions do not preclude military action. I think that strategic strikes against known terrorist targets should be used. I just believe that overwhelming military action like what we're seeing from Israel is counterproductive in the fight against terrorism.

Mantis:</p... (Below threshold)

Mantis:

Say, I've got a great idea... why don't you come to Big Lizards and leave those very same two comments on the post to which you're actually responding, the "Proportionality" Fallacy?

I would be happy to respond to you, and we'd have a dialog.

Thanks,

Dafydd

Jay you need to listen to L... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Jay you need to listen to Limbaugh more. I listen to him about 10 times per year and I've heard him say these things about 5 times.

mantis I wish I had the energy to read all you wrote. Maybe in the morning.

Mantis, Lee. Here war are ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Mantis, Lee. Here war are again at kiddie school. I'll be teacher, you be what ever. The difference between WWII, Korea and Viet Nam was proportional response. In WWII, which we won, we kick the shit out of the enemy, at home and on the battlefield until they surrendered unconditionally. Got that concept of war winning? We did not start is, but we did finish it. Korea and Viet Nam are examples of proportional response. Liberal foolishly think the enemy is reasonable. Are you aware of Iran using children in frontal attacks on the Iraqi enemy? How would you suggest we fight an enemy like that? One that is determined to destroy Israel and the United States. What is it about Neville Chamberlain that you admire so much?

oh damn......=======... (Below threshold)
Paul:

oh damn......
===========
-----------
* In fact, killing enemy combatants is wrong in general, because we're against capital punishment;

Total bullshit and you know it.
-----------

NOPE. Liberals all the time love to talk about how many people have died in Iraq. They count everyone to get the number as high as possible. We both know that. "All Liberals" no. "Many liberals" you betchya.

==================

------------
* It's wrong to go to war without first holding a criminal investigation and finding the enemy country guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the transgression;

A criminal investigation? Who advocates that?
------

Maybe it was phrased poorly but your answer is "basically every major liberal in the courty"

Look at the shit liberals gave the administration before Powell went to the UN. (forget hindsight mantis)

Powel went beforre the UN as much for the liberals as they did the security council... No they went MORE for the libs than the sec council... And you know that.

====================
--------------
* Captured unlawful enemy combatants must be tried in civilian courts (presumably for "conspiracy") with all the protections afforded ordinary criminal defendants;

Who says they should be tried in civilian courts?
--------
mantis mantis mantis I'm not even going to answer that.
============================
----------
* Captured unlawful enemy combatants may not be interrogated unless they have a lawyer present, and they cannot be interrogated at all if they "take the Fifth;"

Who the hell says this? Interrogation is not opposed by anyone.
---------
see also the above. you know better.
==============================
----------
* Once combatants have "served their sentences," which must be "proportionate to the crime they committed," they must be released, even if there is a chance they will return to the front lines and "commit more crimes;" after all, they've paid their debt to society.

Another one I've never heard before. Who says this?
-------------

who says this ummm...

www.thewholelefthalfoftheblogosphere.com

===================

Come on mantis. You know I love you becasue you don't have (too much) bull shit about you.

You gave him every point exect the ones I answered and frankly you didn't give much of a reply to these.

Clinton's whole stratergy was to treat terrorism as a criminal issue not an act of war. This has been documented ad infinitum. (even if I can't spell it)

And as far as enemy comatants being given every civil right they don't deserve see also gitmo.

I was interested in your post mantis because you rarly type that much. This was weak weak weak.

--And you know it is.

And as for your second repl... (Below threshold)
Paul:

And as for your second reply it is as bogus as shit.

The current whack jobs that want us dead don't give a shit about economics, it's religion.

Bin Laden has billions yet he wants you dead.

I'm a free market capitalist guy but we can't "trade deal" our way out of this.

>I think that we should loo... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>I think that we should look to countries such as Egypt and Jordan, that have renounced the recent violence against Israel. I see their peace with Israel to be a product of their realization that it was in their economic interest to be at peace.

WRONG! It was just like the cold war but different. It was MAD.

Massive Arab Distruction.

Egypt got its ass kicked in the Yom Kippur War so (3 years later) they finally sign a peace treaty.

As far as Jordan they lost their ass (well a lot of land) in the six day war... Even though Israel warned then to stay out of it.

Isreal let them have the land back but warned them to leave the alone or else.

It is the military superiority of Israel -not economics- that has kept egypt and Jordan at bay.

read some history dude.

As usual, USMC Pilot nails ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

As usual, USMC Pilot nails it.

That's why he's a USMC Pilot. He can't afford to have his head stuck up his ass, since he would then perish in a heap of smoking metal.

If only he had license to strap in for a sortie over So. Leb., and maybe take out a few enemy emplacements on the way home, over Mantis' and Lee's hometown.

The current whack jobs t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The current whack jobs that want us dead don't give a shit about economics, it's religion.

I know that, I'm talking about the government of Lebanon, specifically, and possibly Syria. I don't think it would work too well with Iran at the moment, since it is the state that openly supports terrorism. In any case I'm not talking about terrorists, but governments and civilian populations. I know bin Laden doesn't care about money. But Egypt and Jordan are very religious countries, but they are not exactly big supporters of terrorism, anxious to invade Israel, are they?

I don't believe overwhelming force will subdue or destroy terrorist groups. The only way to get rid of them is internally, which we cannot do directly. Therefore we need to try indirect means, and if we can provide incentives and support for governments to actively suppress the terrorist groups within their borders, and the benefits of those are felt by their populations, I believe this will decrease terrorism. Maybe I'm wrong, and it's just an idea, but as I said before I don't subscribe to the superior firepower method against this type of enemy, and it has often been asked, "well what should we do instead?". So that's my answer, for now. Anyway, back to Dafydd:

NOPE. Liberals all the time love to talk about how many people have died in Iraq. They count everyone to get the number as high as possible. We both know that. "All Liberals" no. "Many liberals" you betchya.

Liberals talk about how many civilians have died, they do not lament the deaths of terrorists or insurgents (if they include them in the body count, that is dishonest, but I doubt consciously so). Notice that Dafydd says "killing enemy combatants is wrong in general". I don't know anyone who says killing the enemy (the guys with the guns) in war is wrong, do you? Were the liberals crying about all the dead Taliban?

Look at the shit liberals gave the administration before Powell went to the UN. (forget hindsight mantis)

Powel went beforre the UN as much for the liberals as they did the security council... No they went MORE for the libs than the sec council... And you know that.

Maybe so, but that still does not amount to a criminal investigation. It doesn't seem so out of bounds for people to demand justification for war, whatever their metric might be. It took a long time and an attack on our soil to convince the public that getting involved in WWII was necessary. While I think we should have gotten involved sooner, I like that we at least had a government that gave a shit what the public thought. Of course back then Congress actually had to declare war on a country for us to invade. Good thing we got rid of that formality.

Who says they should be tried in civilian courts?
--------
mantis mantis mantis I'm not even going to answer that.

No, really, who says civilian courts? When I hear civilian courts I think of our justice system, for American citizens. I'd like to know who advocates trying the prisoners at Gitmo in our courts in the first place. I've heard a lot of people demand that they be charged with something and not held indefinitely. I've heard people who favor courts martial over military tribunals. I've heard people demand that detainees have access to council. I've never heard anyone say they should be tried in the 3rd Circuit Court or any other civilian court. Maybe you could point me to someone who holds that opinion. It's interesting to note that even the Germans executed as unlawful combatants in Ex parte Quirin were entitled to council and appeal.

Who the hell says this? Interrogation is not opposed by anyone.
---------
see also the above. you know better.

Nope, I've never seen any reasonable person object to interrogation of detainees (I haven't seen any unreasonable people object either, but they may be out there). Torture is another issue. Just point out one person who says we shouldn't interrogate them and I'll concede.

On serving their sentences and paying their debt to society, seriously who advocates this? If they are shown to be terrorists, I don't know of anyone who wants to let them go at all. The point is that a lot of people rounded up in Afghanistan especially have been shown to not be associated with terrorists or the Taliban, but were rather just sold to us by Afghani warlords. That's why we advocate giving the detainees some legal recourse through the military justice system, so that they can prove their innocence if in fact they are innocent.

I'll admit it was weak, I started it and then was distracted by other matters. But I read a few liberal blogs, I read the newspapers, and I just don't see most of these arguments being made. If someone can point me to them, I'll gladly reconsider.

It is the military super... (Below threshold)
mantis:

It is the military superiority of Israel -not economics- that has kept egypt and Jordan at bay.

read some history dude.

I'm well aware of the history. Sadat achieved what he wanted in the Yom Kippur War, through the reclaiming of the Sinai Peninsula in the peace talks following the stalemate. If you read up on the economic reforms of Sadat, the foreign aid he secured by signing the peace treaty with Israel, which has more or less lasted to the present, you'll see that there was a great deal of economic incentive for Egypt to have a peaceful relationship with Israel. This did not happen because of Israel's great strength (we bailed their asses out of that one. They are much stronger today).

While Jordan did suffer heavy losses of land in the Six Day War, consider their actions in the subsequent four decades. They have gradually warmed to Israel, first renouncing claims to the West Bank and then siging the '94 peace treaty.

My point is not only have these countries not been overtly aggressive towards Israel in recent decades, but that they have not engaged in the kind of terrorist support that Iran and Saudi Arabia have. I believe that the reasons for this are in good part economic. It is much more profitable to make business than war. Though consideration that the above countries have vast supplies of oil to sell, so they can have business and war. We should probably deal with them differently.

I admit I could be complete... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I admit I could be completely wrong about this, and the current smackdown of Lebanon by Israel will be enough for them to crack down on Hezbollah, and the Lebanese people will resolutely reject Hezbollah for bringing this upon them. That would be ideal, I admit, I just don't think it will happen. If it does, I will gladly admit I was mistaken.

Cool! By Dafyydd's... (Below threshold)
DDT:

Cool!
By Dafyydd's and Teabaggers logic, the next time a murderer hides in an apartment building, I can burn the whole building down to get to him!
Wheeeee!!

No, DDT, that's no logic. ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

No, DDT, that's no logic. That's your mischaracterization of their arguments.

If you had shown up in philosopy class in college (had you gone), you might be able to understand a logical argument, and perhaps sustain one on your own.

But you didn't, you don't, and you can't.

Mantis:</p... (Below threshold)

Mantis:

Strange... you seem not to have taken me up on my offer that you should post your critique of the "Proportionality" Fallacy over on the blog where it appeared, Big Lizards, where you could join the lively discussion there, offering your incisive and scintillating viewpoint.

In all the excitement, did you miss my suggestion here?

Since you appear to have such strong opinions, I thought sure you would leap into the fray to defend your thesis.

Dafydd

That does it. I'm gonna sta... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

That does it. I'm gonna start treating these links to Dafydd like I do to my own postings at Willisms and close comments. That way, mantis and others will have no choice but to go debate the issue where it belongs.

J.

Jay Tea:</... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:

Sorry, Jay; I tried!

Thanks for linking; I just wish Mantis had taken me up on my offer. He had an interesting critique, and I wanted to respond over on BL.

Dafydd

Jay Tea:</... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:

By the way, we're always overjoyed when you link us. Since your readership is ten times ours, we always get a big spike. Thanks!

Now if only I could figure out how to approach your 22,000 visitors a day level....

Dafydd




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy