Friday, August 24, 2007

Drum: Evidence That the Surge is Not Working

Vaguely going more-or-less on hearsay, I recently suggested that the surge was enjoying at least military, if not political, success. Drum provides actual evidence about its effectiveness. And, unfortunately, it does not look good.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Bad link, BTW.

Drum uses stats from May-June-July whereas the forces weren't even fully in place until mid-July. One would almost think he was fishing for reasons to assert it's a failure.

Nah. Surely he doesn't hate America. Not even Bill Maher would sink that low.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

There were more forces there during this time, even if ALL the forces weren't there.

It's the right that started all this by trumpeting the success of the surge when there's little but anecdotal evidence in support of the claim. If we want to criticize somebody for drawing conclusions before the troops were all there, it'd seem to be the right that deserves the blame.

Furthermore, you have no evidence that he's fishing. If this is a mistake at all-something that's in no way clear--it seems to be an honest one.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Oh, and I know: all of us over here west of the extreme right hate 'Murka.

Bwahahaha! I can't wait until we help the Islamofascists take over! They will help us restore Communism!

7:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Communism took over 50 million lives. I don't find it amusing.

You no doubt find Drum and Maher's search for bad news patriotic. I don't.

As far as I know, the extreme right like Pat Buchanan is closer to Maher than to me or even the moderate left.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

You've gone off the deep end, Tom. Really, truly.

But who's joking? I'm serious: I HATE AMERICA. I want a communistic caliphate to rule the world.

You've found me out. Hatred of all things America is the driving force in all my thinking.

True Americans like you make me sick. Your calm, perfectly rational love for your country eats away at my dark, shrivelled soul. But some day we will bring you down and make the world safe for tyranny.

Ia, Cthulhu fhtagn!

3:33 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Aside from everything else wrong here, I'd just like to point out the following:

I also like how, according to Tom, "Communism" took over 50 million lives. As if it's some integral part of communism that you kill 50 million people.

That's about as accurate as saying Christianity is genocidal since, during the Crusades, Christian crusaders killed off unbelievable amounts of Jews in what some historians call "The First Holocaust".

Of course, Tom despises Communism and loves Christianity..


7:48 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, I think I'm more-or-less with Tom on this one. He didn't say that being genocidal was essential to communism, just that, as a matter of fact, that's what happened...which is at least some evidence that communism has--as a matter of fact if not necessity--those tendencies.

Though Christianity in general, and Catholocism in perticular, has a pretty bad track record as well...

3:56 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

He said "Communism took over 50 million lives".

No, "Communism" did not. People claiming to be communist did. It provides extremely little evidence that communism as a political theory will result in violence.

How about the fact that Stalin was a loon? The fact that his efforts towards industrialization and collectivization in the 1930s, along with his intensely politically repressive government that are estimated to have cost the lives of millions of people [Wikipedia]? Communism, as a theory, is not so malformed that the deaths of millions is a necessary consequence. Stalin's leadership over it, however, did result in that consequence.

Now, if you said Russian communism under the leadership of Josef Stalin took 50 million lives, I wouldn't have a problem. Same as if you said medieval christianity was genocidal and massively intolerant of other religions.

But extrapolating historic situations in which X was allegedly practiced to indicate that all future implementations of X will be violent is incorrect.

Hence - not only is Tom saying that communism took fifty million lives incorrect, but stating this and then endorsing Catholicism as something great in other threads, is inconsistent as well.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Catholicism isn't relevant here. Apparently relevance is only our concern when it come to me.

I admit being partial to Christian philosophy, which is not synonymous with Catholicism on the ground. (Geez, you hold one Inquisition...) I'm quite willing to engage Karl Marx shorn of the communism that followed, altho it must be noted that Catholicism has proven it can function without murder, whereas Marxism has not.

And I think Bill Maher behaved like a skunk, and Drum's method seemed disposed to find the glass half-empty.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Catholicism has proven it can function without murder, whereas Marxism has not."

Demonstrably not true:

Doesn't make Communism *good*, just not murder-dependent.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Um, there's a religious dimension to the kibbutz. Voluntary, as it turns out, and not conceptually different from the monasteries of the Dark and Middle Ages to which modern capitalism might be historically traced, per Michael Novak.

Marxism, unfortunately, like theocracy, depends on unanimity for its success, and those who ain't with the plan have to get aced, for the sake of the greater good.

But voluntarism, even if we embrace Ayn Rand's somewhat cynical utilitarianism of self-interest, empirically works (CS Peirce might endorse; Adam Smith certainly does), whereas human nature in general continues to defy central planning, and the only antidote to human nature is murder, because Marxism cannot survive a free market.

Voluntarism makes for a good company, tho: an effective corporation, and a helluva rock'n'roll band. Not so much for a Utopia, as some of us will do anything we can to fuck it up, including me, and you, I bet, just on general principles. Unanimity sucks. I keep reminding you, I'm a rebel, too. Why do you think I put up with the shit I get around here?

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is some religious, or at least ethnic, component to kibbutzim, although you seem to be overstating it. I lived on one in the 70s as part of an exchange program in my Temple, and there were many non-Jews there, as well as many Jews who considered themselves 'non-practicing' or non-observant.

The larger point is mostly correct, though, in that Communism, or at least that practiced by the totalitarian states like USSR and generation-ago China require coercion. I'm not convinced it requires murder, though.

And your point about voluntarism is paradoxically backed by the free associative nature of the kibbutzim. People are free to come and go as they please. So in that sense, their continued existence is a testament that communal property can *work*, but only on a voluntary basis. Something which is a world away from Stalin, Mao and various other hideous figures.

12:25 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home