WEBLOG GENERAL SHOOTING BLANKS
One of the things I've inadvertently collected on this site are examples of the right acting like the left, or rather, the right exhibiting behaviour they claim to abhor in the left, whether it be that old saw of having no sense of humour or being intolerant of particular behaviours. To the list we can add Stanley Gungeon's wet-lettuce attack on yours truly where he seems to be suggesting that if Washington was bombed it would serve me right to be killed or injured because I oppose an immediate war on Iraq.
All I can think of as an explanation for this outburst of sadism is (a) he doesn't like people disagreeing with him and over-reacted (b) he is actually a vindictive psychopath (c) in the absence of any actual arguments--as opposed to rationalistions--he resorted to name-calling and foot-stamping or (d) he was joking, which is often the last-refuge excuse of the intellectually ill-equipped.
Perhaps after people have read his comments they can make up their own minds as to which descriptions best fits.
Stanley also makes the error of basing his bad-tempered puerility upon a false premise. He seems to conclude that because I am less than impressed with weblog generals marching us all off to war that I am, by definition, a tree-hugging member of the pacifist branch of leftism. Such a presumption turns me into a convenient straw-man target for his primary school onslaught (I haven't been called 'tin dunny' since second grade - ah, the memories) but alas it has little relationship to the truth.
Such presumptions, therefore, leave Stanley barking up the wrong tree. The funny thing is, the "arguments" he does mount are so poor, the facts he musters are so obviously wrong, that even the strawman he is attacking beats him senseless. It must almost be a first, surely, for someone to create a strawman with which to argue and then lose? Sort of like the dummy gaining control of the ventriloquist.
So Stanley writes:
What are you going to do when Saddam deploys a little more of that anthrax he has stockpiled, perhaps scattering it in the Washington subway system?
Um, 'more' anthrax, Stanley? That last lot came from America, not Iraq. We
don't know if Iraq has anthrax (see Scott Ritter), but we do know America has. Just as we
don't know Iraq has womd (again, see Ritter and also Mosad, or even this quote from today's paper: "Republicans concerned about what they see as Mr. Bush's precipitous course toward war with Iraq, like Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, say that the Central Intelligence Agency has no evidence that Iraq possesses or will soon possess nuclear weapons.). If this is your logic for going after Saddam, then the good folk of Alexandria better look out too.
Or, if you can't think that far ahead, what do you imagine he plans to do with those other nasty toxins he has in such plentiful supply?
Round two to the strawman, I'm afraid. Exactly what secret evidence, hitherto unavailable to everyone
else in the world, have you seen that Saddam plans an attack on
anywhere? We know that al Qaeda does such things, of course, so why
aren't they the target any more? Or are you still running with the "Iraq has ties with al Qaeda" line? Not even George W. is trying that one anymore. There is evidence of al Qaeda links in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Egypt, and not one skerrick that there's any with
Iraq, whose B'aath Party al Qaeda detest as much as Uncle Sam does. Again we are in the realm of "what if" speculation that some of us (like Colin Powell, Dick Armey, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Brent Scowcroft etc etc etc) don't think is sufficient reason for launching a war. (And Stanley, read the objection carefully, don't go setting up more straw men.)
If not in your adopted home town, should the poor citizens of New York face the prospect of another catastrophe, one far worse than the WTC outrage?
Now Stanley, is this just ignorance or are you actually lying to try and trick us all and make me look bad with bad-faith equivocation? We're talking about Iraq, right? So "another" attack on New York? Wasn't it al Qaeda that produced the last catastrophe? Aren't
they the ones who promised more? What does Iraq have to do with any of
this? I suppose a retaliatory strike is vaguely possible if we unleash
our womd on them, of course . But whoops, that's your plan, isn't it?
Or will you be happy if Saddam simply unloads a further dose of biological agents on Iraq's Kurds?
Now we're really getting down into the gutter, aren't we? Well, I guess the "argument" wasn't working, so why not, eh? Apart from being a sad and desperate ploy from someone who obviously fancies his intellectual skills, it sorta of contradicts your tactic of framing me as a tree-hugging peacenik. You are now fighting straw men on two fronts and since the first one was already kicking your arse, this might turn out to be a lethal over-stretch of your rapidly depleting debating resources. You see, you can't set me up as a peacenik AND as someone who would take pleasure in the biological bombing of Kurds. The idea in arguing a case is to find contradictions in your opponent's argument, not to deploy your own against your opponent. Plus, Stanley, it's a bit sick, isn't it? Was I really asking for that?
Whoops, sorry, silly questions. You’ll doubtless dash off another 20,000 words on the evils of dairy deregulation.
Oh Dear. Now we have reached the bottom of the debating barrel. Though I think 'eye-rollingly stupid questions' is the phrase you're
And then you’ll die -- mourned chiefly by that indolent wretch Margo, who will no longer have a guaranteed supply of free words to fill her dreadful Diary.
No, I was wrong. This is the bottom of the barrel. At this stage I'm opting for option (b) from the choices above.