Slap shots

by Ted on February 16, 2006

- Even though you can’t trust him to tell the truth about Democrats, I’ve always had a soft spot for George Will. He knows a few things, and he seems to have more on his mind than the care and feeding of Bush talking points. This column makes a strong argument that Congress should not allow the Bush Administration to win the legal argument that the ability to initiate warrentless wiretaps, in violation of FISA, is inherent in the President’s powers. If they do so, it will hobble the willingness of future Congresses to authorize military force, out of fear that future Presidents will make further power grabs. (Will believes that Congress should authorize the wiretaps without conceding the legal point, although I’m not sure if he thinks they should still be required to get a warrant.) (via Matthew Yglesias)

– Mickey Kaus might be the only blogger whose comment section is predominated by people who loathe him. This comment, on Mickey’s dishonesty about Brokeback Mountain’s numbers, is a treat.

I never heard of this, either. I’ve got a funny vibe about the story, though, like it’s something that will get a lot more attention in history books than newspapers.

{ 49 comments }

1

schwa 02.16.06 at 2:46 pm

Mickey Kaus’ continued career is a source of total bafflement to me. He appears to be a walking pseudo-event: the only people who think he is even remotely worth listening to are other journalists, and they only seem to think so because all their colleagues think so.

2

Brendan 02.16.06 at 2:54 pm

Here’s an interesting fact, which seems irrelevant but which isn’t. The number of internet users in China is now 45.8 million. That’s catching up with the US: fast. Internet us is zooming up elsewhere too: especially in the Arab world and South America. That’s a good thing.

What’s depressing is that Americans and Brits and Australians increasingly won’t learn a foreign language (increasingly, ANY foreign language) so this growth in blogs and other webpages, which could open our eyes to other ways of seeing the world, is instead going to be a closed e-book to us all. Increasingly, therefore, the Arab world, and the Chinese speaking world, and others are going to be able to see what we see about them, but we are going to be unable (and/or unwilling) to see what they see about us.

Instead we rely on the increasingly slanted (and increasingly irrelevant) English speaking media, based on the same old tired sources, which faces horrendous pressure on profits, which results in cutbacks in numbers of journalists and their salaries, which means poorer and poorer news, which means less people watch it, which means less advertising revenue, which results in cutbacks in numbers of journalists etc. etc. etc. etc.

No wonder the Turkish fiasco happened. The tragedy is: i wonder how many Americans (or British) understand what a cultural faux pas has been committed. Or care for that matter.

3

JR 02.16.06 at 2:59 pm

Thanks for the Kaus-comment link. That boy can write! Other readers, I encourage you to make the jump.

4

Tad Brennan 02.16.06 at 3:08 pm

yeah, I gave up reading Kaus.

To my mind, he will go to that special circle of hell that he’ll share with Maureen Dowd, i.e. the kewl kidz of the liberal press that cost Gore and Kerry the elections because they thought it was kewler to write snark about a Democrat’s lack of style than to expose the utter corruption and incompetence of a Republican. Despicable man, did and does serious damage to the country.

5

Tad Brennan 02.16.06 at 3:10 pm

oh and by the way–I don’t like Will, either. He has woken up to the depravity of Bush just conveniently at the point in the second term where the Republicans have to find a successor. He is not a man of principles, even if he does pretend to have them sometimes.

6

Russell Arben Fox 02.16.06 at 3:12 pm

Over twenty years ago, George Will wrote a fine, thoughtful, conservative book, Statecraft as Soulcraft; it was a collection of essays that had started as lectures he’d given at Harvard. He doesn’t say anything that Kirk or MacIntyre or others haven’t said better elsewhere, but it was a nice, coherent text all the same. I still sometimes assign stuff from it in my classes. Thing is, he’s become so comfortable with often being nothing more than a Republican tool that I doubt he could affirm most of what he wrote in that book any longer.

7

harry b 02.16.06 at 3:13 pm

Where did that Kaus-comment come from? The commenter is a ringer, surely. Brilliant.

8

Tad Brennan 02.16.06 at 3:23 pm

Where did that Kaus-comment come from?

Here’s the profile:
1) someone who sees through the misuse of statistics effortlessly, and then lays out the correct interpretation of the statistics with equal ease;
2) someone who is familiar with the movie industry from the inside.
3) someone who can write short, punchy, and pointed.

I think it’s pretty clearly Matt Yglesias–the kid’s got a great intuitive feel for numbers, and his dad is a scriptwriter and old Hollywood insider. Only he got Ezra Klein to spell-check it for him first, in order not to blow his cover.

9

theCoach 02.16.06 at 3:29 pm

Most humiliating event in the nations history seems like exactly the type of thing we should avoid inflicting on or allies unless there is a very, very good reason for it.

10

jet 02.16.06 at 3:30 pm

Brendan,
Go here and click on Translate this page. Not perfect, but better than my extremely poor French. I don’t think the mono-linguist are doomed just yet.

11

Slocum 02.16.06 at 3:31 pm

What’s depressing is that Americans and Brits and Australians increasingly won’t learn a foreign language (increasingly, ANY foreign language) so this growth in blogs and other webpages, which could open our eyes to other ways of seeing the world, is instead going to be a closed e-book to us all.

We should feel bad that, in thise case, we don’t read Turkish and aren’t in the habit of perusing Turkish daily newspapers?

I would say, that you’ve got things backwards in the sense that the problem is decreasing, rather than getting worse–despite the lack of multilingual Americans, Brits, and Aussies. There are English speakers in many countries that are doing great work in their blogs both in interpreting local events and also translating stories from local languages into English. Is it unfortunate to have to rely on these folks? For any us, it’s unavoidable–I read a couple of foreign languages with some degree of facility, but Arabic isn’t ever going to be one of them (nor, I suspect, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Hindi — life’s way too short). But even so, I have access to a great deal of timely info about these countries that I never used to have.

12

jet 02.16.06 at 3:44 pm

Here’s what that idiot Tom Tomorrow so conveniently left out

Fadi Hakura, who studies Turkish politics and culture in London for the British research center Chatham House, said that while “the bag incident” continues to rankle in Turkey, most Turks believe in improving relations with the United States. He noted that many Turks attend college in the United States, including the children of Erdogan, the prime minister.

“There is a noticeable shift in attitudes since the start of the war in Iraq,” he said. “But I wouldn’t call it anti-Americanism as much as a reflection of a great deal of anxiety about what the United States is doing in the region.”

And those Turkish Special Forces were there, heavily armed, to investigate the Kurds. Since the Kurds had been an extremely strong ally, and the Turks had just finished stabbing the US in the back, extremely pissing off the US Army, I can see why bags were put over their heads. I seem to recall that using Turkey as an entry point into Iraq was a big part of the military’s invasion plans. And that when Turkey, at the last possible second, informed the US that access would be denied, it not only pissed off many in the US, but cost the military dearly in life and treasure.

So sending in Special Forces to cause a real US ally some trouble, was without a doubt, incredibly stupid.

13

nick s 02.16.06 at 3:55 pm

Here’s what that idiot Tom Tomorrow so conveniently left out

Here’s what that idiot ‘jet’ so conveniently missed: that post wasn’t actually by Tom Tomorrow (and is bylined twice).

That’s a bit of Cheney-esque verbal fire from our favourite numbnut.

the Turks had just finished stabbing the US in the back

Ah, such a cool historical perspective. Perhaps the Turkish response might have had a little to do with the shoddy way the US went into Iraq?

14

Hektor Bim 02.16.06 at 4:07 pm

Jet’s analysis is somewhat slanted, but basically correct.

Why precisely were Turkish special forces in Iraq in the first place? Turkey wasn’t at war with Iraq, and these troops weren’t connected to the ones monitoring the PKK there.

Answer: these special forces were running guns to the Turkmen in Northern Iraq and possibly involved in black ops. There were at the time substantial rumors about Turkish assassination squads aimed at Kurdish political leaders in Northern Iraq, and it is has been proven that the Turkish army is training and building up the Turkmen in northern Iraq to fight the Kurds. The US caught these guys in the act, and quite sensibly, took these gunrunners and suspected assassins into custody.

Since the Turkish army specializes in murdering their own Kurds and destroying their villages, it’s pretty reasonable to be suspicious of special operations forces in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turkish army is not to be trusted when it comes to Kurds, either inside of Turkey or outside.

Frankly, Ted, the fact that you didn’t hear about this at the time shows that you weren’t reading the right material. It was reported, especially in the BBC.

15

Brendan 02.16.06 at 4:09 pm

Slocum

well i don’t know how things are going in the States. But in Britain:

‘English is not enough”; “Young people from the UK are at a growing disadvantage in the recruitment market”, “The UK desperately needs more language teachers”.

Those…(are) the conclusions of the Nuffield Languages Inquiry of the year 2000…. for many years… the major foreign languages, French and German, have been in continuous and sometimes dramatic decline in British schools and universities.’

And you could go further. How many British (or American or Australian or Canadian) young people are actually interested in or even in the slightest bit knowledgeable about French or German culture? Let alone the cultures who will dominate the 21st and 22nd centuries? I’m pretty sure that if anyone who contributes to this blog was asked to name some Anglo-American philosophers they would just reel them off.

Now: what about Indian philosophers? Or Chinese philosophers? Or Arabic writers, poets, philosophers, scientists?

And of these, how many of us have actually read any of them?

How many of us actually watch non-English language plays or movies on a regular basis ? And how many of those are French and German? How many of us are actually up to speed with the new Iranian cinema, or African Cinema, or even Bollywood?

Or, since we are on the subject, bloggers? We all sit down and nod about Chinese bloggers and Iranian bloggers and stroke our chins and commiserate about their struggles.

How many of us read any of their blogs? How many of us can?

This isn’t a trivial point. Increasingly (as a very quick calculation of demographics will show) the 21st century will belong to India, China, South America. Many of these people do not care too much about what ‘the west’ think. Many of them (don’t know how to break this to you guys) don’t really like us very much. They seem to think we are all a bunch of hypocritical, power hungry war mongers. I know i know…where did they ever get that idea from, eh?

Anyway the fact that we can’t even be arsed learning their languages, or even learning the rudiments of their culture or the barest smidgeon of their history is being noted. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to make them like us any more (of course we expect THEM to all speak English and be up to date with the latest Western movies, songs, books and ideas).

The internet COULD be a force against this but ONLY if we actually make the effort to learn a few languages, learn a bit of other people’s cultures, and, most of all, stop being so arrogant about our own (perhaps, from an outsider’s point of view, not so overwhelming) achievements.

16

Hektor Bim 02.16.06 at 4:11 pm

Nick S,

The Turkish response has a lot more to do with the fact that Turks still view northern Iraq as in their sphere of influence. It also has something to do with the belief of Turks that it is within their right to push Kurds around, even outside their borders, to prevent their own Kurds from getting too uppity and wanting real access to political and cultural freedoms.

The US was the source of the humiliation, but the origins go much deeper.

17

Rob 02.16.06 at 4:14 pm

I don’t know, maybe because Turkey has been under attack by Kurdish terrorists? But since that doesn’t fit into the “good Kurd” meta-narrative its glossed over.

18

luci 02.16.06 at 4:21 pm

Is there a right-equivalent of a Kaus? An ostensibly right-leaning, snarky-ass critic of the Republican leaders, writing for a (slightly) right-leaning outlet?

Does this “pseudo-former-leftie taking potshots at lefties” job description mostly exist on the Democratic side? (And with lots o’ cool kids on the blogs gunning for similar gigs, it seems)….

Is reader demand creating the market? A historically contingent phenomena springing from a particularly hapless batch of Dem pols? Capitalist owners/advertisers subtly steering the content? Is it sociological – mocking the Daddy-party Repubs isn’t mainstream, while a narrative that dismisses the nagging mommy-party Dems fits our culture more easily?

19

Hektor Bim 02.16.06 at 4:24 pm

Rob,

Do you know anything about the history of Kurdish resistance to the Turkish state? Do you know, for example, that Kurds have been resisting Turkish domination since the founding of Turkey? Do you know how many Kurdish uprisings in Turkey there have been since 1920?

Did you know that speaking Kurdish in Turkey in public was frequently punishable by prison time until recently? Did you know that thousands of Kurdish villages were destroyed in the 80s and 90s by the Turkish army and that something like a million Kurds are internal refugees in Turkey? Did you know that the actual existence of Kurds in Turkey was resisted by the state for the longest time, and that they were instead referred to as mountain Turks? Do you know how widespread torture and disappearances were in Turkey?

Go on believing that it’s all “terrorism” if that warms your little heart.

20

Tad Brennan 02.16.06 at 4:34 pm

luci–

really good questions.

We know that Ken Mehlman shut down a right-wing site because some of the commenters referred to private accounts as “private accounts”, instead of the GOP-approved term “personal” accounts. I think that tells you something about the likelihood of the right-wing permitting any ideological deviation from the Bush party line–much less tolerating a “right-leaning critic of the Republican leadership”.

21

abb1 02.16.06 at 5:25 pm

You know, Hector, instead of resorting to terrorism Turkish Kurds could’ve done the following:
(1) They could commit completely to non-violence and regularly challenge the Turkish authorities, though it kills them. (2) They could resort completely to mortars and rockets in attacking positions in Turkey. (3) They could do frontal attacks on military installations, despite the high cost in men and materiel.

22

garymar 02.16.06 at 5:45 pm

The NYRB had an article about how the Kurds in Turkey have no interest in a Kurdish state — they want access to Europe through Turkish membership in the EU. Turkey has been playing nice with them in anticipation of snagging this membership.

I tried reading Kaus a while back, and could never understand why other people referred to him as a Democrat. He only ever attacked Democrats. Anyway life’s too short — at most, I will read a comment attacking Kaus in Kaus’ comments section only if it appears in Crooked Timber.

23

JR 02.16.06 at 6:01 pm

luci-
no there is not. and the reason is that kaus and others like him are sell-outs. maybe they used to have principles but now they only care for money. there is plenty of money to be made by being a pretend democrat because there are plenty of rich republicans willing to pay them. but there is no money in being a fake republican.

24

Jack 02.16.06 at 6:09 pm

How is it OK for US troops to be in Iraq and not Turkish ones?
In what way did the Turks stab the US in the back?
How does any of this make it OK to send allied troops home with bags over their heads?
Even if the Turks are in some way wrong to be upset about this, does it also not matter?
Iraqis are on the receiving end of this treatment much more often. Is it a good way to promote freedom and Western values?

25

Justin Blank 02.16.06 at 7:50 pm

One doesn’t have to think that the presence of the Turkish Special Forces troops in Iraq was completely innocent in order to think it’s just a bit weird that so many people have failed to hear about this. It may have been reported at the time, but there obviously wasn’t a very big deal made of it if these people haven’t heard. You’d think something which was viewed as the most humiliating event in a major nation’s history might get a bit more attention than that. That was the original point: as a nation, we treat it as our prerogative to not know about these things (just think about the fact that the BBC is the first reference given by Hector for where this received coverage).

26

Jonathan Schwarz 02.16.06 at 8:30 pm

Here’s what that idiot Tom Tomorrow so conveniently left out

Actually, that post was written by me, not that idiot Tom Tomorrow.

Also, let me gently suggest that jet may have missed the point of what I wrote. I did not assert that every single person in Turkey loathes the United States. Nor did I contend that Turks are justified in being extremely upset by whatever happened. In fact, I assume this fervor was whipped up by whatever the Turkish equivalent is of Fox, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and Mallard Fillmore. (I’m also familiar with all the Turkish history cited by Hektor Bim.)

Instead, I was pointing out that America is so powerful that we can do things that have a huge impact on less powerful places, without even being aware we’ve done them. Beyond that, I was claiming that this is a standard condition for ANY powerful country or individual, and that it tends to make the powerful stupid.

27

Gary Farber 02.16.06 at 11:09 pm

Did you catch what Grover Nordquist said, as well as Will?

Oh, about that Turkish thing?

This Modern World:

I had NEVER EVEN HEARD OF IT. [...] It turns out it’s not just me. Few other people commenting had heard of this, and even those who had mostly didn’t know its significance.

Would it help if I just sent an e-mail about most of my posts? I’ve always figured that would be pretty annoying and obnoxious. Might be better than constantly pointing out posts weeks, months, and years later, though. :-(

28

Kenny Easwaran 02.17.06 at 2:31 am

luci-
Didn’t David Brooks play a role something like this before he got hired by the NYTimes? Or am I engaging in revisionary memory, thinking he used to be much better than he’s become?

29

soru 02.17.06 at 6:07 am

Frankly, Ted, the fact that you didn’t hear about this at the time shows that you weren’t reading the right material. It was reported, especially in the BBC.

It really makes you wonder what other commonly-known facts about the situation in Iraq are similarly unknown to the US blogging and political classes.

And maybe there is something thay all know, but don’t mention much, that europeans don’t?

soru

30

Brendan 02.17.06 at 6:15 am

‘And maybe there is something thay all know, but don’t mention much, that europeans don’t?’

You’re hinting that you know. Care to enlighten us backwards Europeans?

31

soru 02.17.06 at 8:08 am

err, I am a european.

I was asking the rumsfeld question – what is it that I don’t know that I don’t know?

soru

32

Hektor Bim 02.17.06 at 8:32 am

garymar,

Yes, that’s the amazing thing, really. Despite the oppression of the Turkish state and the Turkish army, the dominant Kurdish political position in Turkey is obtaining their cultural, political, and human rights within the framework of the state of Turkey. The EU accession program and the rise of the Islamic-leaning party to government have transformed the issue. Where before, the secularists linked hyper-nationalism with militant secularism and suppression of ethnic minorities, now the situation is completely changed. Hopefully, Europe won’t get cold feet and we will see an end to civil war and outright oppression in Turkey. It’s a tribute to the European Union and all the people who have struggled in Turkey for human rights all these long and lonely years.

One main sticking point is the Turkish army, which just recently blew up a bookstore and tried to pin it on the Kurdish rebels but were caught in the act. Who knows how many more dirty tricks and black ops they will engage in?

33

Jonathan Schwarz 02.17.06 at 8:33 am

And maybe there is something thay all know, but don’t mention much, that europeans don’t?

Nope. The ignorance only goes one way. That’s the way power works.

(Also, note this doesn’t have to do with things that people “don’t mention much.” The point is that if there were some issue regarding Turkey that people in the US talked about as much as people in Turkey apparently talk about this bag incident, then people in Turkey would definitely have heard about it. For instance, I suspect people in Turkey are aware the US wanted to use Turkish territory to stage the invasion of Iraq.)

34

Jonathan Schwarz 02.17.06 at 8:55 am

Frankly, Ted, the fact that you didn’t hear about this at the time shows that you weren’t reading the right material. It was reported, especially in the BBC.

?

That’s actually the exact point I and (I assume) Ted were trying to make.

By contrast, here’s the entirety of the coverage I could find on American television via Nexis:

1. ABC WORLD NEWS SUNDAY, July 6, 2003

TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS:

And now to other news in Iraq. A Turkish official said today that the US military has released nine Turkish special forces who were detained Friday by US troops in northern Iraq. Their arrest created more tension between the US and Turkey, and this weekend led to protests by Turks. US military officials have not said why the soldiers were being held. Their reported release came after Vice President Dick Cheney spoke with Turkey’s prime minister today.

2. CNN, July 7, 2003

O’BRIEN: Nic, could you bring us up to date on that rather odd story about U.S. troops arresting Turkish troops in the north? The allegation is those Turkish troops last week were involved in some sort of plot to harm civilians. That’s entered a diplomatic phase right now. The U.S. and Turkey ironing that one out?

ROBERTSON: It has been ironed out to the degree that those special forces troops and some Iraqis who were working in the same building in Sulamania (ph) in northeastern Iraq when the — when there was a raid by coalition troops on that building — 34 people arrested in that raid and detained. Now those Turkish special forces troops have been let go. That’s followed telephone discussions between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and also conversations between Vice President Dick Cheney and the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and so that — to that degree it’s been ironed out. But it has, as far as the Turkish media been concerned, been a high spat, if you will, between the two countries. But at least the soldiers have been released. So it does appear that whatever diplomatic rift opened up over the weekend on that particular issue, it is beginning, at least, to be laid to rest to some degree, Miles.

3. CNBC, July 15, 2003

NANETTE HANSEN, anchor:

In Iraq today, the US apologizing for detaining Turkish special forces soldiers last week. US officials alleged the Turks were planning to assassinate an Iraqi Kurdish official. Turkey denied any such plot. Overnight the US and Turkey pledged to work more closely to avoid any problems.

35

J Thomas 02.17.06 at 11:23 am

Since the Turkish army specializes in murdering their own Kurds and destroying their villages, it’s pretty reasonable to be suspicious of special operations forces in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Entirely apart from arguing which side is justified, doesn’t this imply that the USA is likely to have to choose between turkey and kurdistan at some point?

We never quite had to choose between turkey and greece, we were able to keep both of them in NATO even though we made sure that turkey was far better armed. But this time, isn’t it likely we’ll have worse problems?

I don’t see that it was particularly embarrassing about the bags and all. Isn’t that how we treat anybody we capture? Journalists? Captured US contractors? Sunnis, shias, kurds, turkmen iraqis? Why would we treat captured turks any different from the ways we treat anybody else we capture? I’m sure if we happened to capture UN officials or SAS guys or whoever in the wrong place at the wrong time in iraq, we’d point rifles at them and put bags over their heads too.

36

Ray 02.17.06 at 11:36 am

I’m pretty sure that if the British press were to print photos of US troops pointing guns at SAS members with bags on their heads, the caption would not be “This is all normal SOP, and really, we don’t know why we bothered printing this picture at all.”

37

abb1 02.17.06 at 12:37 pm

…doesn’t this imply that the USA is likely to have to choose between turkey and kurdistan at some point?

Not necessarily. The US could continue suppoting both suppression of Kurdish separatist movement in Turkey and Kurdish separatist movement in Iraq. Why not? Stranger things have happened.

38

J Thomas 02.17.06 at 2:14 pm

Ray, that was pretty much the response of the british press when the iranians found some british SAS guys in iran. The british government said they were moving their little boat along the river, just patrolling away, and they got lost and landed on the wrong side. The iranians gave them back right away and there were various quotes of the men making little jokes at their navigator.

But then I think they didn’t have photographs of the capture.

39

jet 02.17.06 at 4:19 pm

Sorry Johnathan. My calling of Tom Tomorrow an idiot had nothing to do with blog entry. My only problem with your post was that it appeared to cherry pick from the article when the article also contained the more moderating excerpt I quoted.

The reason Tom Tomorrow is an idiot has to do with this.

40

jhlipton 02.17.06 at 6:35 pm

The reason Tom Tomorrow is an idiot has to do with [this link].

The reason you call Tom Torrow an idiot is becasue you got reamed in your own comment section. Nice of you to come here so you can get it again!

41

J Thomas 02.17.06 at 8:36 pm

Jhlipton, the stuff jet was pointing to was more than 2 years ago. Just because jet was being an utter idiot then doesn’t mean he has to still do it now. A smart person can learn a whole lot in 2 years.

And sure, he was taking a lot of offense at his interpretation of a harmless cartoon back then, but he didn’t burn down any embassies or make death threats.

42

jet 02.17.06 at 10:05 pm

Are you two delightful fellows under the impression I’m Citizen Smash? I’m sure you’re both quite up to snuff when it comes to left wing bloggers, but you are obviously out of your depth with knowledge concerning “the other side”.

43

J Thomas 02.18.06 at 1:40 am

Jet, you aren’t the one who did that? Good! But then, why would you link it? Why would anybody think that exchange reflected badly on Tom Tomorrow except the one who burned himself making the claim?

44

Ray 02.18.06 at 3:53 am

J thomas, I think the difference between photos of an ally like the US marching your troops away with bags over their heads, and a report of a hostilish power like Iran returning your troops unharmed is important.

45

J Thomas 02.18.06 at 8:32 am

Ray, that does make sense.

However, I think the turks understand that while they are sort-of our ally (and we won’t know how far that goes until we need them), we are not their ally.

And to lesser extent that’s true for britain. They are definitely our ally, but we are mostly not their ally.

The only superpower doesn’t have or need allies. We accept lackies if they have something that’s useful to us, and they do whatever we want, and they accept that they have no influence on our policies.

Clearly this is how it is with our allies turkey and britain.

But with israel it’s reversed. We are israel’s ally, but israel is not our ally.

46

Jonathan Schwarz 02.18.06 at 12:21 pm

My only problem with your post was that it appeared to cherry pick from the article when the article also contained the more moderating excerpt I quoted.

Yes, I understand that. However, as I said above, the point I was making was not that every person in Turkey has vowed to hate America forever. It was that there was something very specific that many Turks are apparently angry about, yet Americans are mostly unaware of this.

Also, to be honest, I did take away from that link that one of the people involved is an idiot. But the idiot is not Tom Tomorrow.

Moreover, it’s a little weird that, given the events in Turkey we’re discussing, you would bring up a right wing nationalist trying to whip up anger over some perceived slight. I hope you perceive the irony involved.

47

jet 02.18.06 at 1:37 pm

Moreover, it’s a little weird that, given the events in Turkey we’re discussing, you would bring up a right wing nationalist trying to whip up anger over some perceived slight. I hope you perceive the irony involved.

But we weren’t talking about Turkey, the conversation had changed to Tom T.

Yes, I understand that. However, as I said above, the point I was making was not that every person in Turkey has vowed to hate America forever. It was that there was something very specific that many Turks are apparently angry about, yet Americans are mostly unaware of this.

Yes, I fully understood that, but I was trying to apoligize. Your comment did not deserve the vitrolic response I gave it. So I was explaining the “idiot” remark.

Also, to be honest, I did take away from that link that one of the people involved is an idiot. But the idiot is not Tom Tomorrow.

So says you, but I’m gonna put my money on the guy who makes a cartoon mocking those he disagrees with, poisoning the debate. Tom T. makes up a genre of people who don’t exist (those who were pro-war and take credit for “fighting the war on terror” ), to blast all the warbloggers, and he got called on it. Never mind that by his standards, you can’t support the war if you haven’t fought in it (or are going to). Is the reverse true? Can you not be against the war if you havent walked the walk?

Either way, your original blog entry made a good point, and if I would have realized it wasn’t done by Tom T., I would have pointed out the more moderate excerpt, agreed with your basic point, and moved on.

48

J Thomas 02.18.06 at 1:59 pm

Never mind that by his standards, you can’t support the war if you haven’t fought in it (or are going to). Is the reverse true? Can you not be against the war if you havent walked the walk?

Yes, of course.

You can’t make a moral equivalence between cheerleading the country into a war of choice, versus opposing a war of choice.

49

Jonathan Schwarz 02.18.06 at 2:00 pm

mocking those he disagrees with, poisoning the debate.

Well… I hate to tell you this, but if those are your standards, you’re going to have to find some other species with whom to discuss politics.

Tom T. makes up a genre of people who don’t exist (those who were pro-war and take credit for “fighting the war on terror”)

Christopher Hitchens:

I consider myself to be in the front line, and everyone in the United States to be. That’s what’s different, precisely, about this war. So the whole point is that civilians are probably in more danger than people in uniform.

Andrew Sullivan:

One thing the [Iraqi] blogger gets right: “American public opinion is a matter of life and death to us here, at this particular time.” That’s why some of us are still fighting in a different and far safer way over here as well.

I could go on, but we both have lives to lead.

In any case, thanks for your kind words about the original post.

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