I've been traveling (and wouldn't you like to know where) and I come back to read the following. Once again quoting Buchanan (apparently opposition to the war gives him a pass on this as Tom Connelly noted) and Larison, Mark sees it as yet a reason to agree with the following comment:
Everybody in the whole world (except the Anglophone centre and right) predicted disaster, more-or-less of the kind that occurred. Hippies did. Gaullists did. Andean peasants, Buchananite reactionaries, John Paul II, Al Gore, the career US military, pulp novelists, realist IR professors and pissy arts students all saw this one coming. I know it’s kind of embarrassing for the English-speaking right to admit that they didn’t have the foreign policy chops of the Berkeley Women Studies’ department, but them’s the facts.
That may be a nice theory, but it's also counterfactual. As Niall Ferguson has noted on more than one occasion, even if the neocons were completely wrong in all their works that doesn't make the anti-war crowd right. Now I know that Mark is aware of this because he linked approvingly to a Ross Douthat blog on First Things in which he writes the following:
It was critiqued, of course, but mainly by left-wing shouters like the “poets against the war,” and, what seem in hindsight like the best arguments against the invasion—the conservative arguments against it—were often conspicuous in their absence. One of the great virtues of the conservative movement has been its willingness to encourage debate within its own ranks, and on the question of invading Iraq—the most momentous question, so far, of the post–September 11 era—I think the movement didn’t live up to those standards, and we’re all the worse for it.
So much for consistency, I guess. Either everybody was for the war or everybody was against it (a far better characterization would be that most of America was for the war and most of Western Europe and the Davos crowd was against it), take your pick on this one. As to his quotation from the Catechism, I would note that the Vatican whose recommendations he is now castigating anyone who still supports the invasion now holds that the reconstruction of Iraq holds that religious and political leaders should support Iraq's reconstruction, an event that will most assuredly not be served by reverting to the isolationism so enjoyed by his paleocon and anti-war buddies. I'm going to keep pointing out the Vatican's current view on the subject as long as he keeps using its stance from 2003 as a convenient rhetorical club.
He then tries in a very bad attempt at parody to mimic our views on torture with regard to human sacrifice, which given that our views are identical to those of Jimmy Akin and Dave Armstrong (as he would learn if he ever read what we wrote here for content) once again illustrates that while all animals may be equal, but some are more equal than others.
As a way of explanation in the combox, he explains his behavior in the following terms:
I could take the tender feelings of the Coalition more seriously if the blog were not filled to bursting with personal insults and profanity directed my way (though I'm happy to report that they draw the line at fat jokes and dogmatic declarations of my Nazi sympathies), as well as Star Chamber investigations of guys like Mr. Comerford. If the parallel between the Maya scholar and the linguistic acrobatics of the Coalition causes discomfort, don't blame me for pointing it out.
First of all, I really don't think you want to cry outrage at personal insults being injected into the debate at this point given the number you sent our way long before this site was set up. Not that we really mind, but you called the tune and now it's time to pay the piper. I understand that Jimmy Akin wants the insults removed from the debate and I'm okay with that, but we're more than happy to dance as soon as Mark names the tune. Additionally, both the fat jokes and the claims that Mark would have been a Nazi came out in the comments and were promptly dealt with as soon as myself or Victor expressed our disapproval. Judging from some of the loonies that have popped up at CAEI over the last several years, one would think Mark would sympathize.
As for the Richard Comerford thing, Mark characterizes it as:
Ah well. If it's *only* Mr. Comerford, then I guess a Combox Star Chamber is just fine. Pay no attention to Mr. Connelly, who was rightly repulsed by this little conclave of character assassins digging for whatever dirt they could find. Keep defending it. Nothing disturbing about that at all. Comerford is clearly an Enemy of the State and must be destroyed. The Coalition is a force for righteousness.
... See. The thing is Mr. Comerford isn't, like, guilty of doing anything except saying "Torture is a bad thing" in some comboxes So I'm unclear as to what necessity there is in self-appointed Inquisitors like the Coalition to be searching for dirt on him. I'm sure the Coalition would all love to have their histories equally well-researched, gossiped and speculated about, but for some reason, they've neglected to do this service for themselves.
But do keep pettifogging and making excuses for this repellent behavior. It just makes my point about the Coalition all the more clear.
First of all, I understand Mark's point about this "investigation," as I don't like cyber-stalking on general principles for a variety of reasons. And if Comerford were making the same types of arguments that Mark or Zippy do, that would be fine. While I am extremely leery of anyone engaging in digging up personal dirt online, I am even more leery of buying into appeals to authority on as complicated as those that Mark has raised and he has repeatedly invoked Comerford as such in these debates. The ironic thing is that he then proceeds to get furious when we dare to question his view of Veritas Splendor.