Thursday, July 13, 2006

Utter demagoguery

Mark Shea has gone completely off his meds. In his latest rationalization for his ignorant smears of men far more knowledgeable than him, he posts the famous 1969 photo of a South Vietnamese general executing a Viet Cong guerrilla (note that he is civilian clothes and thus is an illegal combatant, deserving execution).

Commenters at Shea's and Catholic Light (Eric's takedown is also most excellent, but I refer to Chris Fotos' comment for this particular point) have given the whole story of the photograph.

But what I want to point is the cheapness of Shea's posting, the posturing emotivism, the demagoguery and the appeal to prejudice. Of course the picture is unpleasant to look at. But what does it prove? Death is unpleasant to look at. Nobody's suggesting otherwise. The issues surrounding the treatment of detainees have nothing to do with that fact. Nada. Zip. Zilch. If the Viet Cong terrorist had been duly tried by an ACLU-approved court and judge, and then executed according to law, the moment of the bullet entering his head would look identical. And produce the identical emotional reaction and instinctive repugnance. This is the classic definition of demagoguery -- an appeal to emotions having nothing to do with the substantive disagreement at hand. It's another fundamentalist habit that Shea has yet to grow out of.

This pharisaical twit is capable of thought only with his patella reflex , drooling like Pavlov's dog ... ring the bell with an image of death, drool on cue with "when you remove all the bullshit, excuses, and whatnot, what Peters wants is *that act*." So all the issues surrounding when death can be appropriate are "bullshit, excuses and whatnot." Remember when I compared him below to a death-penalty opponent who just screams "murder!" to short-circuit moral reasoning. That was awesome. And prescient (it was written last night). Why does anybody mistake Shea for a serious thinker? Or even a very smart person?

1 comment:

Dan said...

On certain issues relating to more theological aspects Catholic faith, I would actually say that he is, Victor. The thing is that there are clearly certain issues, wthose he Deems Beyond the Pale being among them, where he seems to lapse into complete lunacy and emotionalism. Most people have issues like this, I sure as hell know that I do, but we generally try to avoid them as a result whereas Mark's preferred MO has been to create as much controversy as possible whenever it suits him using the worst argumentation possible and then adopting the most sanctimonious attitude imaginable when anyone dares to question his views.

If this demeanor becomes more persuasive I would suggest that it would have an ill effect on his ability to perform in a profession premised around an intellectual defense of the Catholic faith.