Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nonsense of the Day

UPDATE: below

In a recent water-cooler debate about the Middle East, a leftist claimed (among other things) that President Bush invaded Iraq under instructions from god. Prodded for a source, she produced a link to this two-year old post on Candide's Notebook blog.

The page purports to list quotes about god from President Bush. All but the first are unsourced (or, at best, sourced to another unsourced site). This is a waste of hyperlink technology, and seriously diminishes the authority and usefulness of the post. And, in any event, these quotes--if accurate--mostly have the President saying that freedom is every man's God given right. I'm not sure why that would be objectionable, even to atheists.

The first quote, however, is different. It is hyperlinked to a 2005 Guardian (U.K.) story, and reads:
I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it.
If true, this would support my opponent's claim. A few minutes of research revealed that it's bogus--Bush never said it.

The language comes from Nabil Shaath, Palestinian foreign minister at the time of a 2003 Israeli-Palestinian summit -- which Bush attended -- at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. No other delegate heard it, and Shaath didn't report it until two years after the summit, which itself is suspicious.

More importantly, President Bush's spokesman denied saying it. Shaath's then-boss, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, called the supposed quote "completely false." And Shaath himself backed down, saying he "did not believe Mr Bush thought God had given him a personal message."

I've informed my opponent, and urged the host of that blog to delete the first paragraph. Both forget Layne's law: the Internet means "we can fact-check your ass."

As a reminder, President Bush and his Administration repeatedly cited three reasons for toppling Saddam, one of which was (PM Tony Blair said it too) to free the Iraqi people. One may disagree with Bush's rationale. But don't distort it.

MORE:

The blog owner declined to correct his error, calling me a "clown."

10 comments:

OBloodyHell said...

> I'm not sure why that would be objectionable, even to atheists.

Just as acceptance is not sufficient for gays (you must assist them in their activities -- make it as easy as tying your shoes to be gay), so, too, must you make life easy for the atheist.

Mere mention of the concept of God is objectionable, since it challenges their world-view.

OBloodyHell said...

> Both forget Layne's law: the Internet means "we can fact-check your ass."

Wanna bet they don't remove it, much less retract it? Nor will your acquaintance cease citing it. By tomorrow, they will have hit the Liberal Reset Button® and erased all memory of the interaction from their pointy-widdle heads.

> As a reminder, President Bush and his Administration repeatedly cited three reasons for toppling Saddam, one of which was (PM Tony Blair said it too) to free the Iraqi people. One may disagree with Bush's rationale. But don't distort it.

Like I said, we've been telling them this for half a decade and more now, but they keep chanting "Bush lied!" like it's never been refuted by anyone.

Carl said...

>Mere mention of the concept of God is objectionable, since it challenges their world-view.

But it makes no sense. Why do a politician's motivations matter if you agree with the outcome? Don't atheists believe in universal freedom?

OBloodyHell said...

> Don't atheists believe in universal freedom?

What would lead you to that concept?

Most, if not all atheists are liberals. And what liberal have you ever met who actually didn't want to control others? To enforce their "superior diktat" onto those around them?

Q.E.D. -- "universal freedom" is anathema to the heart and mind of almost all, if not all, atheists.


"Professional liberals are too arrogant to compromise. In my experience,
they were also very unpleasant people on a personal level. Behind their
slogans about saving the world and sharing the wealth with the common
man lurked a nasty hunger for power. They'd double-cross their own
mothers to get it or keep it."

- Harry S Truman, pp. 55, American Heritage 7/8 1992, from a 1970 interview --

OBloodyHell said...

Oh, and it's clear -- the intellectual processes which lead to atheism (as opposed to agnosticism) are inherently arrogant.

There is an underlying, unstated presumption of superior intellect -- "Believing in unseen forces and beings. Pfeh! Superstitious rot!"

And, if your intellect is superior, then clearly, others should bow down in acquiescence to its superiority.

And where this is concerned, any who don't are mindless knuckledragging neanderthals yowling to The Gods, thus unworthy of considered opinion.

"Ergo, I should be able to tell anyone who believes in God (sneer) what to do. I am self-evidently mentally superior."

OBloodyHell said...

> The blog owner declined to correct his error, calling me a "clown."

Fact-checking isn't necessary when facts don't matter, is it?

OBloodyHell said...

P.S., I don't think the blog owner called you a clown, I think that was "Van". The blog owner called you a moron.

Not much of a distinction, but let's get our facts right when detailing the incompetencies of the other side...

:oD

Carl said...

Actually, OBH, I think you're confusing the host of Candide's Notebook blog with the host of the Consumer Trap blog. Debate with either is impossible.

Gringo said...

No, they did not exactly show themselves to be shining lights of reasoned debate. Witness the "white-prider" remark directed at me.

Carl said...

Yup, Gringo, but they still call us "intolerant."