Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Phil Carter on the Petraeus Testimony

This has a good change of being pretty much right, IMHO. Cripes, the shameless exaggeration of the role of AQI is really galling. Too bad the administration didn't put actual energy into taking out the real al Qaeda threat in Afghanistan. Then they might not have ended up in a position in which they need to virtually manufacture an al Qaeda threat in Iraq. It's also too bad we can't get the straight dope from Petraeus. I want to believe that he's an honorable man, and I realize he's in a bad position, but when there's so much in there that even we civilians can tell is inaccurate from thousands of miles away, it makes it impossible for us to put much faith in the other parts.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Shameless exaggeration of the role al-Qaeda in Iraq? If Petraeus did, he apparently didn't spend much time doing it.

Mark Kukis of Time writes:

"During the appearance of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before lawmakers this week, one major aspect of the picture in Iraq got scant mention. Iraq's Sunni insurgency and its most vicious wing, al-Qaeda in Iraq, was hardly discussed, even though Petraeus stressed that the Sunni insurgency remained alive and a potent threat."

Hmmm. Philip Carter admits in his comments section he's an overt Obama supporter, and a link to his opinions seems little more than echo-chambering. Although his blog is under the Washington Post's wing, his bio shows him as a New York lawyer who served in Iraq a year or two ago training the Iraqi police.

His opinion is certainly worthy, but he's not an expert. He's not even a journalist.

Who shall we believe, some blogger guy, WS' account of what he wrote, Time magazine?

America is in an epistemological crisis, I tellya. We can't even know for sure what happened in Washington yesterday in Petraeus' testimony, let alone Iraq itself.,8599,1729309,00.html

3:31 AM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

More like a pissed-em-all-off-ical crisis...

What do you call an echo alleging echoes in an echo chamber? Dunno. Noise?

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you believe Juan Cole, Petraeus is doing the best he can, but he's been dealt a shitty hand and forced into the wrong strategic paradigm:

9:28 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

That'd be close to my guess, too, A.

But is it really impossible for him to give us the straight dope? Is it really necessary for him to exaggerate the role of AQI?

I mean, given that distorted and cherry-picked evidence got us into this nightmare, it seems like we shouldn't be sanguine about getting more of the same, no matter how much we might want to admire Petraeus, and no matter how much we might sympathize with him.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

That's a tu quoque, LL. But it would be accurate if I quoted Rush Limbaugh's opinions, or Jeff Emanuel's from Red State, who also served in Iraq. But I don't. That would be real echo chamber stuff.

2:31 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Tom quoques and ad tominems together at last - I'm really cooking now!

4:47 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

We should have philosophy contests. In them, there should be events like putting together the most fallacies in the least amount of words. Like, you could compact a tu quoques and an ad hominem into the same three word sentence thusly:

"You're retarded, too!"

See? Fun times.

5:30 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

You set a high bar, Mr. M., both in hilarity and degree of difficulty. If LMAO were in fact a plausible fitness plan, I'd try it.

I'm thinking we need German to get to a two-word double fallacy (like the John Lennon Sisters album) - one kitchen-sink noun and a verb (Senator, we need a verb).

Ah, inspiration! Needs audio, though.

"Name-cawwing wetard!" One would have to struggle over the phrase, too, lest one channel Elmer Fudd. Also, hypocrisy is not a fallacy, but it's a nice bonus to have it thrown in.

Is this ugly in its beautiful simplicity or simple in its ugly beautifulty? Or just ugly?

12:08 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, you guys have a certain beauty about you. A perfection, anywayz.

12:11 AM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Sadly in the light of morning, I realize I lost the tu quoque. Bummer.

TVD, I do wish you'd consciously enter this contest, but your latest entry has zero fallacies. (Note - can still be false without being fallacious, at least in the first sense.)

I appreciate your kind words, by the way. I've always enjoyed applause with the back of the hand.

9:28 AM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Wait, no, now I see it again. Guess I should go back to bed...

9:30 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

It's a damn hilarious idea.

11:47 AM  

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