Thursday, August 07, 2008

QOTD

Rand Simberg on Pajamas Media Monday:
“There is no military solution.”

“We can’t drill our way out of this.”

How many times have we heard these tired, toxic bromides from the Democrats? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard them spouted on shouting talking head shows and on the campaign trail over the past months and years, I could single-handedly fund either presidential campaign. Not that I wouldn’t have much better uses for the money.

They are both straw-man arguments, of course, one of the favorite debating tactics of those who are losing the war of words, and desperate because they lack valid arguments. They pretend that someone has made an argument that is easily knocked down, and then they knock it down, and hope that no one was paying attention to the actual argument, which is much more robust. In both cases, there is a false implication not only that their political opponents are proposing a single solution, but that the solution proposed is in fact not even a part of the “true” solution.

But while there are some situations in life to which there is a simple, single clear solution (need groceries? Go to the store), winning a war against Islamic extremism, or finding new energy supplies to free us from foreign suppliers (related to the first problem) aren’t two of them, despite the simple-mindedness of the chants. . .

With whom are they arguing? And even if one grants that such people might exist, the sound bite (I won’t dignify the talking point with the description “argument”) continues to fail to address the arguments of those many more who believe that it is at least part, and an important one, of the solution.

And again, note that drilling is not only not the solution in their minds, but it isn’t even a component of it. After all, even if it were only a part of the solution, how could they rationally oppose it, given the current straits of the energy market and their toll on the American consumer (and voter)? And yet they do.

Winning the war in Iraq required (note my tense) a range of tactics and strategies, some military, some diplomatic, some intelligence related, some involving aid and infrastructure. General Petraeus himself recognized that there was no solely military solution, which is why the misnamed surge was more than simply pouring in more boots on the Mesopotamian ground. It involved a major shift in tactics, including the building of new alliances among the Iraqis, providing them with the protection and confidence they needed to rid themselves of the nihilists who had been terrorizing them. To think that the general’s plan and actions had no effect on the outcome (as Senator Obama and other Democrats seem to be attempting to rewrite recent history to indicate) requires, in Senator Clinton’s words in another context, a “suspension of disbelief.”
(via Instapundit)

7 comments:

OBloodyhell said...

> They pretend that someone has made an argument that is easily knocked down, and then they knock it down, and hope that no one was paying attention to the actual argument, which is much more robust.

ummm, bob -- someone's noticed your technique.

Anonymous said...

Winning the war in Iraq requires acknowledgement by Islam terrorists that the Koran needs to be edited in the portions that refer to "infidels," "jihad," "women," and other barbaric portions that refer to cutting off heads and other body parts.

Geoffrey Britain said...

"OBloodyhell said...ummm, bob -- someone's noticed your technique."

No, you're doing what's known as 'projection'.

"Anonymous said...Winning the war in Iraq requires acknowledgement by Islam(ic) terrorists that the Koran needs to be edited in the portions that refer to "infidels," "jihad," "women,"etc."

That is NOT going to happen. Overwhelming military force, open and constant ridicule and united condemnation of terrorists and any who support them, until they are thoroughly discredited is the only thing that will cause that 'weed' to die.

OBloodyHell said...

> No, you're doing what's known as 'projection'.

Yes, geoffrey, I avoid the actual arguments all the time, in favor of a straw man. Excuse me?

That's not, by any means, on the other hand, *exactly* what bob engaged in in attempting to discredit conservatives by pointing out the long-observed and repeatedly, loudly noted fact (**by conservatives**) that Bush was not, in fact, even vaguely conservative. Naw. Bob was... telling the truth, according to you???

I take it you like the role of the gadfly.

A shame, as you seem by another comment, in another thread, to actually have a capable mind. To require your every post to be carefully examined for gadfly oriented bullshit is a waste.

Nice of you not to actually make an argument for your case but to simply cast unsupported epithets.

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey: "That is NOT going to happen. Overwhelming military force, open and constant ridicule and united condemnation of terrorists and any who support them, until they are thoroughly discredited is the only thing that will cause that 'weed' to die."

Sounds right to me.

How do we get the interested parties, i.e., the entire nonIslamic world to join together to accomplish this goal? Perhaps the joining of interests will unite the sane portion of the world in a way that we can all live in a productive peace.

Geoffrey Britain said...

obloodyhell,

I apologize.

I misunderstood your comment and was remiss in not reading further to be sure of what I was commenting upon.

Less frequently now but occasionally I do open my mouth before engaging my mind.

Your reprimand is a painful reminder that I have not mastered that character flaw.

Anonymous,

If i knew how to accomplish that, I would be the republican nominee :-)

Carl said...

I've previously longed for a "Martin al-Luther" who would reform Islam, mostly by distinguishing between state and mosque. I'm not sure I think it ever will happen. Does anyone still think that likely?