Thursday, July 13, 2006

More Shea high-[sic]-lights

This will be my last word on this topic unless a sudden attack of reason or (more likely) another fit of Intellectual Tourette's strikes The Dark Beast of Seattle. And here, I'm just going to sweep together some detritus worth noting.

We got Shea's pathetic excuse for the whole thing, the 2am defense (read the comment I linked to and Shea's response). What a maroon. What an embezzle. It is no defense against slander that "I was tired when I did it." Now this is not to say that people don't write things in haste or under the siren call of Morpheus that they don't think through clearly or carefully. But the thing an intellectually serious person would do when he got up in the morning and someone says "you're misreading this guy" (as happened right away) is to think "hmmm ... I *did* read him at 2am. Maybe I wasn't at my best." And reread and reconsider. But no, this is Torture Pharisee™ Mark Shea we're talking about. Further, this post came at midnight and after a series of comments from Shea himself, just in that thread, at 353pm, 423pm, 512pm, 517pm, 541pm, 543pm, 602pm, 631pm, 850pm, and a whole day of deleting quotes from others (meaning that he had all the time he needed to reconsider and retract, without excuse).

But the lying continues, even in that midnight post:
As to blackening Ledeen's character, nothing does that nearly so effectively as his own evil words. There's nothing "unexpressed" about "kill, don't capture". He's advocating prisoner slaughter just as much as Peters.
Except that "kill, don't capture" is not in Ledeen's NRO Corner post (which must contain "his own evil words" as they are all he has said). The title was "Kill or Capture?" (note the question mark and the disjunctive "or") and he doesn't come down on one side or the other in the exhortatory manner that Shea is illiterately attributing to him. Shea might ... might ... be more persuasive if he could cite a single Ledeen quote accurately.

Unsurprisingly, he quickly resorts to a mix of self-righteousness, question-begging, coarse misreadings and obscenity.
The curious thing, of course, is that you seem more upset at my anger at Ledeen's evil rhetoric than you are at the evil rhetoric itself. Like so fucking many of my comboxers.
No, Mark. We fucking comboxers think you are lying about Ledeen's evil (according to you, without a scrap of evidence from his mouth) rhetoric. Lying. Which is also evil, I think. So your presupposition that Ledeen is engaging in "evil rhetoric" does not apply. And (switching to myself and a few others) we fucking comboxers also are contemptuous of your inability to even frame a question in a way that doesn't presuppose your own (self-)righteousness. The classic being "have you stopped beating your wife yet," only here you're presupposing a judgement about Ledeen's rhetoric that those who are disagreeing with you do not share.

Later Shea starts engaging in ridiculous posturing using one of his favorite lines:
Incoherence is to be expected because sin makes you stupid and Peters' thinking is marinated in the sin of murder.
Now as a theological point, this is meaningless. All men have sinned and so "sin makes you stupid" cannot be a categorical universal truth about empirical facts, unless "all men are stupid" is true, just as simply. Which is defensible in a sense, obviously. But the rhetorical note Shea is trying to hit presupposes that he himself is not stupid. But he therefore cannot have sinned, which is obviously not true and the most monumentally arrogant claim a man can make. I could add that Shea's thinking is marinated in the sins of lying, self-righteousness and arrogance.

The context of Shea's remark was fucking comboxer Publius (a man of saintly patience obviously) noting that Shea's exigesis that Peters had meant X¹ was probably not right because it would contradict Point Y, which Peters made elsewhere. Said reader further noted that had Shea concluded instead that Peters had said X², which would not contradict Point Y. So maybe Peters meant X². Shea typically waves his hand -- "sin makes you stupid." I mean, really, who is Mark Shea, a man who has repeatedly shown himself to have not the slightest familiarity with military history and tactics to call Peters and Ledeen "stupid" on such topics.

In a relatively sane post today, Shea says the following, but probably without thinking through the implications of it:
One final note. For some reason, people seem to think that I'm objecting to the idea of shooting combatants who use surrender as a ruse de guerre. Obviously, I don't. They deserve what they get and good riddance to them.
Fair enough. But the problem is that each soldier has only one life, accepts each surrender only once, and has no way of knowing whether any particular surrender is sincere or a ruse. The whole point of a ruse, after all, is to fool in a particular case. So the only way to institutionalize the judgment that "combatants who use surrender as a ruse de guerre ... [should be shot]" is to shoot those who attempt to surrender. Such a judgment can only be institutionalized -- it can never be implemented on a case-by-case basis because fake surrenderers, by definition, do not declare themselves as such until after the fact. That's why they're called *fake* surrenders. Which is what sensible militaries, such as the US in the Pacific during WW2, have done when faced with an enemy that habitually (the key word, and it's inevitably a judgment call) used fake surrenders as ruses de guerre. They Took. No. Prisoners. In other words ... exactly what Peters and Ledeen (accurately or otherwise) are getting damned to hell by Shea for. It once again proves that Shea is just thinking with his patella reflex or his moral gut and not thinking through the implications of everything he says. "Shooting unarmed prisoners" ... that sounds bad. "Evil, Evil, Evil." "Shooting people who try to fake surrender" ... that sounds reasonable. Never even wondering how easily the two stances might (or might not) sit alongside each other. Shooting someone who fakes a surrender looks like this ...

One comment that I have saved (because I know His Most High Sheasus Christ will delete it) is from someone whom I have never seen comment on these issues before.

You're being completely unfair and delibarately misrepresenting what was posted by both Ledeen and by Peters. For someone who dislikes Andrew Sullivan's support on toture because of his "cant" on sexual issues, you tread a mighty fine line. Indeed, I think you cross it. You have become so convinced of your own rightness that you are now completely unworth reading about when in comes to anything having to do with the war. I wish you the best, but doubt I'll be reading any longer.

I also note one other warning. I know of at least a couple of people who have given to Shea's Quarterly Pledge Drives in the past who have said they will not do so in the future over these slanders.

But no post on Shea's idiocy would be complete without noting the latest glib defense for knownothingism from Zippy:
But I haven't so much as read the Hamdan decision, because I am not a legal positivist to begin with and reading that sort of thing gives me indigestion.
Obviously, one has a perfect right not to be a legal positivist, but how that relieves one of the obligation to know what the law is and how it was arrived and what the arguments for Positive Law X Y or Z ... is ... unclear. At best. Even that Secular Nihilist Incoherent Legal Positivist Thomas Aquinas had a place for positive law and said it had to be promulgated duly by competent authority. I've been relieved for a long time for personal reasons from the obligation to take His Zipness seriously. But nobody now has any excuse for taking what he says about the law seriously.

1 comment:

Dan said...

"Secular Nihilist Incoherent Legal Positivist"

Is that a form of Marxist Postmodernism :p