OK, it’s “dumpster-diving”:https://crookedtimber.org/2003/12/16/rough-trade/, but I was quite taken with the writing style of this post on the “Arrogance and Evil of Crooked Timber”:http://tjic.com/blog/2006/06/18/the-arrogance-and-evil-of-crooked-timber/.

bq. I’m reading through more and more of the comments now, and the hideous intellectual dishonesty of the leftists continues to alternatively make my blood boil in anger, and run cold in fear of the kinds of totalitarian “reforms” they would make if they ever seized control of society.

The boiling blood running ice cold and then boiling up again makes for quite an arresting metaphor. But then, don’t watery liquids simultaneously boil and freeze in the vacuum of deep outer space? (perhaps the author is trying to tell us something about where he’s dialing in from).

Derbyshire’s war

by John Quiggin on June 18, 2006

Quite a few people have commented in John Derbyshire’s apology for supporting the war in Iraq.

I haven’t seen anyone deny Derbyshire’s suggestion regarding his National Review colleagues who still publicly support the war that

If wired up to a polygraph and asked the question: “Supposing you could wind the movie back to early 2003, would you still attack Iraq?” any affirmative answers would have those old needles a-jumping and a-skipping all over the graph paper.

but then I haven’t looked hard. I’d be interested if anyone can point to any examples [1].

My main interest, like that of many others is in Derbyshire’s reason for recanting his support. While he wanted a war with Iraq, his idea was that the US should drop a lot of bombs, demonstrate that it’s a power to be feared and then leave, without wasting time on futile projects like nation-building. As lots of commenters have pointed out, Derbyshire’s position is worse, in moral terms, than that of most of those who continue to support the war.

It does however, raise some important issues that go to the heart of the debate between supporters and opponents of the Iraq war and the debate over war and peace in general.

In the leadup to the Iraq war, many different arguments were presented for and against going to war, and many different predictions were made about the likely consequences of war. People supported war for a range of reasons, some of which were logically inconsistent, and the same was true of people who opposed war. Many people made many predictions, many of which turned out to be wrong. However, there is a fundamental asymmetry here.

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