Monday, April 10, 2006

Wild Speculation

1. Notice that calling x "wild speculation" is not the same as calling x false. I trust that nobody is still falling for this kind of inexplicit denial after the "there-are-no-plans-to-invade-Iraq-on-my-desk" debacle. Listen: the media should at least be asking the kinds of questions (e.g. "so you're saying that we are in no way considering plans for nuking Iran?") that force these guys to come right out and lie explicitly--which they've shown they'll do, but only if they can't get by with lesser degrees of deception. If we don't force them to lie explicitly they'll later point out that they weren't technically lying (it was wild speculation, see, but it was also true).

2. Whatever defects Hersh's article might have, it is probably not wild speculation. It may be partially or largely or wholly false, his sources may be lying or in error. Hell, he could even be just making it up. But none of those things is speculating. Lying is not speculating, nor is basing a belief on faulty information.

[Note: Xantippas makes point 1 above in an addendum to a much more detailed post.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the media should at least be asking the kinds of questions (e.g. "so you're saying that we are in no way considering plans for nuking Iran?") that force these guys to come right out and lie explicitly

What the Bushists will really do is repeat their non-denial formula infinitely, while condescendingly asserting that they've already answered the question if only the media weren't so stupid.

What's required is not just the question but the willingness to title the story President Won't Deny Plans to Attack Iran. That takes balls that the lapdog media left at the vet's so it would stop chewing on the furniture.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Alexander Wolfe said...

I made the exact same point about "speculation" on my blog. Great minds think alike?

5:45 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Apparently so...

I'll check it out!

8:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Spengler. (With a little Kevin Drum mixed in...)

12:25 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yup. I'm sure Karl Rove has already done the poll numbers, and I fear that Bush is rocking back and forth and mumbling over his Bible...and that nuking Iran is a real possibility.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, you seem to think this, like almost everything else, is a political, not a real issue.

That's a relief. I've been kinda worried about it myself.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we had kept our powder dry instead of stupidly blundering into Iraq, we would have military options with Iran other than pinpricks and nuclear attacks.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Like what, LL?

8:42 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

No, I think that the *Bush* administration thinks that this is a political issue, like it thinks almost everything else is.

Well, I'm not sure what other *military* options it would open up, but we've got ourselves into a corner with Iran because we acted so irrationally and irresponsibly in Iraq. We spent all our political capital (and moral capital, if there is such a thing). Now everybody hates us and distrusts us, the Middle East is stirred up, and we look like (and to some extent are) a loose cannon.

Having used force when we needn't have on the basis of bogus reasons, how when we face a genuine problem if we use force again we're going to look like complete psychos. Even more than we already do, that is.

This is one reason you want to avoid that first dumb mistake...because then all it takes is some bad luck to put you in a very bad position.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I don't think there is such a thing as moral capital, because you certainly can't spend it. One "mistake" and you're out, like you had no capital in the first place.

The French protected Saddam not because it was immoral to topple a massmurdering dictator, or because they thought he didn't have WMDs. (They did.)

States do not like or dislike, and they seldom trust. They do not have morals, only interests. In this case it was Oil for Food, a term that has slipped down the memory sinkhole of the president's critics.

Oil. For. Food. It was Chirac's corruption, not morality or even prudence, that squandered "moral capital."

3:59 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

So, you're a foreign policy "realist" now?

And presumably you think Reagan sucks for helping Saddam way more than France ever did?

Just curious...

1:58 PM  

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