Tuesday, September 26, 2006

That's not an *if* clause, Tork

Torquemada wrote below (emphasis mine):

I predict that IF Mark's hyperbole and self-righteousness deteriorates any further...

That was written before this post on Cheney and this post on detention.

As for the first, I'm past the point of calling Mark Shea a liar. He spread a falsehood -- that Cheney blamed September 11 on Saddam Hussein -- based on partial quotes. Then was called on it in the comboxes based on the complete quotes. There really is no ambiguity -- the administration said consistently that Iraq had ties to terrorism generally and Al Qaeda specifically; there was no conclusive or even very hard evidence of a specific, operational Iraqi role in September 11. Some of the points in these two clauses might be emphasized more in a specific context, but once you understand that THAT was the administration's actual argument, it never swayed from it, nor should it as it is correct. But such adult description is too hard for Shea's simple-minded, color-coded view. His predictable reaction:

I knew my readers could be counted on to find a way to make excuses for Cheney's obvious falsehood.

He dismisses the truth as excuse-making against his own lying, immunizing himself in advance from any criticism. Sheeesh, what an ass (sorry, but I'm past the point of thinking "liar" is enough). A text without a context is a pretext. Shea is now simply a deranged hater, looking for pretexts.

The other post is admittedly not quite as bad, more a case of him not thinking through the implications of what he's saying. (It's a measure of how off his rocker Shea has become that this is merely a small intellectual sin by his standards.) He gets called on it in the combox -- that since POWs are, by definition held indefinitely (because wars don't have defined temporal ends, like a prison sentence), to argue against indefinite detention per se is to argue against holding POWs per se.

All Shea had to say was to roll his eyes in mock sarcasm, meaning in effect, "I didn't say that." Even though people were saying it was the logical implication of what he DID say. The double standard is Reason #98476293467 why nobody should take Shea seriously as an intellectual. He does damn little else in engaging others than to say "So, what you're really saying is ..." or "What that really means is ..." with a perfect Shavian Straw Man™ to follow. But heaven forfend that anyone take HIS ideas [sic] to THEIR logical conclusion, even correctly (while his explorations are almost never correct).

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