Monday :: Jan 9, 2006

No proteins for wisdom, it seems (the sequel)

by eriposte

[Post updated to respond to a Goldstein update accusing me of claiming something that I did not and chiding me about not reading his post (talk about projection).]

With a number of other projects (especially on King-George gate, Uraniumgate, WMDgate) pending, I unfortunately don't have "time" to "continue" a "detailed" tit-for-tat debunking of Jeff Goldstein's "post-modern linguistic narratives" posts at Protein Wisdom (and there's enough debunking to do that could keep me busy for days). But, since he has taken the time to "respond" to my earlier "post", I wanted to capture some quick (and final) thoughts on the "parts" of his new post that have anything substantive to do with my post (or, what The Grand Panjandrum Goldstein calls "...this sublimely ironic puddle of self-satisfied piffle").

Here is my brief "translation" into English, of Goldstein's "post":

I know I said that the meme "withdrawal equals defeat" was coined by Democrats, even though I knew it was created by Bush and his patsies for various reasons.

Without actually admitting I made s*** up in my previous post about Zawahiri talking his cues from Democrats (even though we Bushies are the guys who moronically pushed the talking point without thinking about its long-term consequences and Zawahiri picked up our talking point), let me say this:

How dare you piffle-filled lefties like eriposte and Steve Soto point out such inconvenient facts that I now acknowledge are facts, when it destroys my post-modern linguistic narrative that came out of my -------?

A slightly longer response below the fold.

The first point in my previous post was that Steve Soto's views on Al Qaeda were misrepresented by using a deliberately misleading partial quote from his post and by paying no attention to the immediately following sentence in his post, or to Steve's own past positions on the matter. Jim Geraghty at National Notional Review and then Jeff Goldstein, took Steve's point out of context and smeared him. Rather than acknowledge that candidly and apologize to Steve, Goldstein continues to peddle the earlier quote in his latest post. Strike one.

My second point was that the claim that "withdrawal equals defeat" originated as a meme from Bush and his patsies. Here's Goldstein on this point (emphasis mine):

The irony of all this being that eriposte and Steve Soto now have the temerity to turn around and claim that it was the Bushies who pushed this “withdraw equals defeat” meme—when in fact withdrawal under the kinds of conditions many congressional Dems were calling for would in fact have been defeat.  That the Bushies were forced to mention this in order to disabuse certain supporters of the Democratic plan about the wisdom of their shortsighted strategy is now being used as proof that it was the Bushies who made the argument.  That is, “Bush and his patsies” are now responsible for this meme—they own it—simply because they were forced to respond to it in a way that explained its faults and labeled its strategic defeatism.

If you cut past the justifications offered for why the meme is right (in Goldstein's view, not mine), Goldstein is simply admitting that the meme was actually created by the Bushies. That was my very point in the earlier post, where I said that it was dishonest of Goldstein to claim that Zawahiri was adopting the narrative of Democrats when Zawahiri was actually adopting the narrative of the Bushies themselves. Goldstein however fails to candidly admit that he was wrong in his first post. Strike two.

Goldstein, realizing that he has been proven to be peddling BS in his first post on the topic of who originated the meme, tries to linguistically change the subject to why the meme was justified (from his standpoint). Sorry, but linguistically-challenged folks like Steve and I know a thing or two about language nevertheless. Strike three.

(The meme is obviously unjustified, as is Goldstein's "version" of the events. But it is also obvious to me that no amount of tit-for-tat is going to resolve that at this point. And I have far more important issues to write about.)

UPDATE: In an update to his post, Goldstein claims:

...both InkDog and eriposte accused me of skipping over Soto’s mention of the NYT body armor story en route to my dishonest appraisal of the influence behind Zawahiri’s subtitled statement.
Sometimes I wonder if these folks aren’t too busy battling bloodthirsty wingnut strawmen to actually take the time to read the posts they are criticizing in their entirety.

Um, the article I said Goldstein omitted had nothing to do with the "body armor" story. It was this sentence:

But at least Zalmay Khalilzad is doing the right thing by meeting with local insurgents and split them off from Al Qaeda.

Perhaps Goldstein is "too busy battling bloodthirsty wingnut strawmen to actually take the time to read the posts [he is] criticizing in their entirety"...

P.S. My position on Afghanistan and Iraq are not self-contradictory. Without knowing my position on Iraq, Goldstein assumed that I support total withdrawal of American forces. I don't. My position has been that it is unclear to me whether staying in Iraq with far fewer troops than necessary to salvage the security situation is in fact significantly better than withdrawing American troops (in phases or otherwise) which may significantly erode the insurgency and turn Iraqis against foreign terrorists. In Afghanistan we were battling Al Qaeda (and the Taliban). It's not just about bringing "democracy" to Afghanistan that I was concerned about - it was about rooting out Al Qaeda completely from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border regions, which Bush spectacularly failed to do. Leaving an unfinished and crucial job, by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and sending them, using a pack of lies, on a needless and unnecessarily deadly errand to Iraq was uncalled for at that time. Now that we have created a mess in Iraq, I am willing to support the reasoned positions of nonpartisan policy experts who can assure me that they know how best to restore security to Iraq. Anyway, I don't have time to rewrite tons of material from the past.

As I said, I have no time to do a line by line debunking of the rest of Goldstein's new "post" and its attendant fictions, but let me just point out the "irony" of someone who is upset at the fact that I pointed out a fact (see the passage above).

eriposte :: 9:10 PM :: Comments (8) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!