My life is complete

Those fun-loving SIAWites have given this blog a witty nickname (at the end of the post called ‘that was quick’, if the Blogger permalink fails as usual).

This reminds me that I still technically owe SIAW a reply, which is below the fold should anyone be interested in reading it.

First, it’s legitimate to label people who support a given war as being enthusiastic about it. Enthusiasm is defined as ‘great or intense feeling for a subject or cause’. While it might be possible to support a war while not having great or intense feelings about the outcome, I’d question the humanity of anyone who did so (sometimes, I fear that George Bush may fall into this category). If you’re going to favour a war, then you really ought to feel that the bastards being smitten thoroughly deserve it.

Meanwhile, implying that SIAW thought that the antiwar left’s position was entirely due to heartlessness was obviously untrue. However, the article’s focus was on the invasion’s failure to deliver any humanitarian benefits, and therefore the destruction of the "people who opposed the war are heartless about Iraqi suffering" argument that SIAW commonly deploys. The Iraqi people genuinely wouldn’t be any worse off if Saddam were still in power, which is impressive given how terrible he was, and which should at least give pro-war leftists pause for thought (indeed, it was the miserable failure of the occupation that moved me from the pro- to anti-war camp).

Making a trivial mistake about something tangential in the course of making a hard-to-refute statement doesn’t invalidate the statement, and ignoring the latter to focus on the former implies a stronger dedication to petty point-scoring than any kind of engagement of views. Deliberately ignoring the important points to focus on correcting trivial mistakes is the hallmark of a pompous bore.

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4 thoughts on “My life is complete

  1. I’m like soooo dying to argue with you about "right-wingers not being cool," because I happen to know a few of them who are so fucking cool they’re practically chilly, but I don’t have time today.

    Anyway I referred to you in a post and I thought it would be in bad form to not tell you about it.

    Come see me, john b.

    And you’re a dog, btw. You come, you sniff, you piss and you leave.

  2. "The Iraqi people genuinely wouldn’t be any worse off if Saddam were still in power": If you honestly believe that, then there is no point in further exchanges.
    No great loss, really.

  3. Fair enough. I’d’ve liked an explanation of why the statement is untrue – a cursory look at human history implies that people prefer tyranny to anarchy, and these two states seem a reasonable definition of Iraq before and after the invasion.

    But I’m sure I’m missing something vitally important, like the way that the rule of law is actually really, really strong and it’s just the quisling press pretending that the country is fucked.

  4. Nicely done, John. ‘course, it would work equally well to claim "people who supported the war are heartless about Iraqi suffering". It strikes me even the level of extraordinary moral and political abstraction that the pro-war "left" choose to operate at is becoming unworkable.

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