Why Are Righties So Obsessed With Labels?

Neocons (and, yeah, that was a label) Stephen Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn write at the end of a long article,

There has been very little talk about the global war that the Obama administration sometimes acknowledges we are fighting and virtually nothing about what motivates our enemy: radical Islam.

This is no accident. Janet Napolitano never used the word “terrorism” in her first appearance before Congress as secretary-designate of Homeland Security on January 15, 2009. Shortly thereafter, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had dropped the phrase “Global War on Terror” in favor of “Overseas Contingency Operations.” And just last month, we learned that the White House’s forthcoming National Security Strategy would not use religious words such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism.”

When asked why she did not utter the word “terrorism” in the course of her testimony, Napolitano explained that she used “man-caused disaster” instead to avoid “the politics of fear.”

The Department of Homeland Security was created after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history to prevent further terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. And the head of that department is worried that using the word “terrorism” is playing the politics of fear.

As many people have pointed out, the label “war on terror” is, um, stupid. It’s not “terror” we’re supposed to be “fighting,” but a movement that foments terrorism. Further, affixing the label “war on terror” on something limited to “radical Islam” is a distortion of reality, since radical jihadists are not the only terrorists potentially active in the U.S.

Even more further, as I wrote a few days ago, there are pragmatic reasons why it’s useful to keep the rhetoric toned down. The only real effect of wantonly tossing around the words “terror” and “terrorist” is to make people more terrorized. Making people feel more terrorized is hardly an effective way to counter terrorism.

Most furthest, slapping the label “terrorism” on something doesn’t change what it is. If we hear news stories saying some Muslim guy tried to blow up a car in Times Square, does it really add anything to our knowledge or understanding of the incident to label it “terrorism”? It was what it was. It might be useful if we were all more discriminating about the use of the word terrorism and confined it to a limited definition, but when you slap it onto every alarming act that happens to have been committed by a Muslim, the word no longer has a useful purpose.

I think the authors do have a point when they say,

But success in the war on terror is not apprehending terrorists after their attacks fail. Success is preventing them from attempting the attack in the first place.

However, the idea that there could ever be 100 percent prevention is sheer fantasy. Real success, the ultimate goal, is reducing the level of extremism in the world so that fewer people will be inspired to attempt acts of terrorism. Even then, there’s no way to prevent lone wolf whackjobs from, say, killing 14 people in a shooting rampage. And let’s not forget those who bomb abortion clinics or blow up a federal building.

How many times has some individual committed some act of mass violence, after which people commented, Wow, I never would have thought he would have done something like that. He was such a quiet guy? The only way you could attempt to prevent all such incidents would be to turn the U.S. into a police state, encouraging people to report to authorities every time their family members and neighbors make an offhand remark about wanting to shoot somebody.

And, of course, that much statist authority would provoke a lot of people into violence.

Hayes and Joscelyn continue,

The Times Square attack was the third time in the past six months that an individual terrorist with ties to high-level Islamic radicals overseas has launched an attack on the American homeland. In each instance, America’s vast, multibillion dollar intelligence and law enforcement establishment failed to detect the terrorists’ plans beforehand. And in each instance Obama administration officials moved quickly to minimize the significance of the attack and downplay the connections that the attackers had with international terrorists.

The degree to which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan or Faisal Shahzad had “ties to high-level Islamic radicals overseas” is a bit squishy, but this is coming from Stephen Hayes; he and Dick the Dick were among the last holdouts to abandon the much debunked “Atta in Prague” story (if indeed they ever really abandoned it). So you know Hayes really wants there to be “ties to high-level Islamic radicals overseas,” and will see ties whether they are there or not.

Anyway, my understanding is that Abdulmutallab and Hasan were in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, thought to be a high-level al Qaeda recruiter. But it seems doubtful they were acting under the direction of al Qaeda leadership (and if they were, al Qaeda leadership ain’t what it used to be). They and Shahzad seem more like wannabees than anything else. Even the Right’s one-time hero Gen David Petraeus is saying that Shahzad acted on his own. He was “inspired by militants in Pakistan but didn’t have direct contact with them,” Petraeus said.

The vast, multibillion dollar intelligence and law enforcement establishment is, I hope, tuned to the machinations of real high-level radicals, Islamic or otherwise. The fact that only low-level lone-wolf amateurs have been able to slip through the cracks ought to be reassuring, I would think.

All three men appear to have turned to radical Islam after making a mess of their personal lives or otherwise wandering into some psychological cul-de-sac. One suspect their radicalization was as much a product of psychological pathology as anything else. Their ethnic and religious backgrounds determined how the pathology expressed itself, of course. These three fancied themselves to be warriors for Allah as opposed to, say, freedom fighters striking a blow against big government.

But in Hayes’s world, death and destruction fomented by radical Muslims is more worser than death and destruction fomented by radical [fill in the blank]. This is why the labels are so important to him, I suppose.

40 thoughts on “Why Are Righties So Obsessed With Labels?

  1. There is at least one sense that the labels are crucial. If we’re in a War on Terror, that means we’re at war, which gives the President special powers. At least that was the theory that the previous administration used.

    It became a justification for asserting unlimited power by the Executive, free of oversight.

    I think that’s what these people are complaining about. If we’re not in an endless war against an amorphous opponent and we’re not in a continual state of emergency, it’s much harder to justify needing being “defended” so much.

  2. I have often wondered if, say, some Afghani or Iraqi mother ever looks at her dead child – dead as in collateral damage – dead from a US made and drone-launched bomb – and said, “Christians did this. Christians killed my child.”

    Just a thought.

  3. “The Times Square attack was the third time in the past six months that an individual terrorist with ties to high-level Islamic radicals overseas has launched an attack on the American homeland.”
    Really? Who are these high-level Islamic radicals that they were tied to?
    Some Middle Eastern versions of Wile E. Coyote with ACME purchase cards? What, J. Had Foreyouitbee! Super-terrorist! told some uber-competent terrorist wannabe to, “Put on this pair of underwear packed with C4, then go buy a pair of wide wale corduroy pants three sizes too small. Remember to walk through the airport bow-legged. Then, when you’e on the plane, keep rubbing your thighs together real hard until the C4 goes off from the friction. Then, your mission is accomplished! You and your nuts will be in Heaven with Allah and the 72 virgins, and the white infidels will be blown straight to Hell. Yes, it’s a great plan. It’s fool-proof. Mwa-ha-ha!!!”

    We should be thankful that terrorist’s we’ve seen lately are about as incompetent as Republicans.
    But to paraphrase John Stewart, ‘What happens when their A-team shows up?’
    What we need to guard against the serious terrorist’s (not the lone wolves who’ll always be there) is good cooperative investigative team work by the CIA, FBI and police, which can minimize the success of these cells. The 9/11 hijackers were practically standing in the park screaming about what they were going to do. Some parts of law enforcement picked up different aspects of their plans. But those that did weren’t able to pull it all together enough to convince those that didn’t really want to listen that there was something serious a foot.

    All joking aside, the right in this country, I believe, is praying for another version of 9/11 that they can wrap themselves with the flag in, take down Obama and the Dem’s, and have their ‘Thousand Year Conservative Reich.’
    That’s what all of this BS is about. Keep catapulting the fear and setting the stage for, “See, no one took our warnings seriously.” This is coming from the same people who, last time, didn’t take anyone elses warnings seriously.
    The only positive I can see in this is that in some versions of the classic fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” the boy was eaten by the wolf. Maybe what we need to point out to these folks is that if they keep bringing up warnings about the wolf, maybe the wolf will want to eat them to shut them up. Maybe that’ll scare ’em. They’re scared little people anyway.

  4. There is prevention of attacks, there is apprehension after attacks, and there is another component of a sophisticated response to terrorism that they ignore: depriving attacks of their power to create rampant terror. Terrorists strike not mainly destroy hotels or banks or government buildings, they strike to scare the populace.

    If the government promotes a healthy, confident stance that acknowledges that sometimes bad things happen, but the world is not coming to an end and that a strong country can withstand a bombing here and there (just as we withstand natural disasters and crazed postal workers and corrupt church leaders), then the terrorists are deprived of their goal.

    “Keep calm, and carry on” as the saying goes. Refusing to indulge in alarmist rhetoric and name-calling is not a failure, it is a vital component of an intelligent response to terrorism.

  5. It seems to me, that to somebody vested in conservative evangelism faith, multivariable nuance is more painful to consider than the simple stuff.

    “Islam is satanic” just feels better than “cultural identity stemming from living in overpopulated parched lands, with highly inequitable distribution of wealth and power, an ancient history of superpower dominance followed by modern history of dominance by superpowers,…,…,…,…”. It all gets too secular and complex and… politically correct.

    It’s so much easier to lock all that complicated stuff into the box of “evil liberal postmodernism”. Ahh. Feels better now. Islam = terror. Dusty brown people = evil. And who cares what postmodernism really is as long as postmodernism = evil.

  6. Barbara: ABC News is reporting that Faisal had DIRECT contact with al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan. Yes, we should be worried about terrorist extremism in any form. But it’s simply insane for leftists like Contessa Brewer to wish that Faisal was a tea partier. Unfortunately, this post in putting you over in that territory.

    • ABC News is reporting that Faisal had DIRECT contact with al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan.

      Americaneocon, it would have been really nice if you had provided a link, because as far as I know ABC News said that because somebody’s cousin said so, or you misunderstood what you heard, or something. The most recent ABC News report to be found on their website says this (emphasis added):

      U.S. investigators and intelligence agencies are trying to establish whether accused bomber Faisal Shahzad was trained or recruited for the Times Square operation by any Pakistan-based terrorist organization, including the Pakistani Taliban. Shahzad, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, spent five months in Pakistan before returning to the United States in February and preparing his attack.

      This suggests that nobody, including ABC News, actually knows anything. As I wrote in the post, assuming you read it all the way through, it’s acknowledged that Shahzad was in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, who is thought to be an al Qaeda recruiter. But just because you’ve talked to a recruiter doesn’t mean you made the team.

      Further, people claiming to represent the Pakistani Taliban have both claimed responsibility for the incident and denied any relationship with Shahzad, so we’re not talking reliable source here.

      But I’m saying it’s simply insane for righties like Hayes to wish Shahzad was working under the orders and direction of al Qaeda or the Taliban or any other terrorist organization. Your eagerness to spread an apparent rumor is putting you over in that territory. What’s not insane is keeping one’s head and not leaping to unsupported conclusions. Panic is not helpful. I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and assure you I take terrorism very seriously, but I also learned from that experience that not panicking is a real lifesaver.

  7. I don’t think the “war on terror = unlimited powers for the executive” argument is what the Right is making in this instance; at least not intentionally. That would mean unlimited powers for Obama, and in their eyes the brown man with the Muslim-y name has way too much power already.

    These deep thinkers on the Right simply mean to argue that the Obama administration has failed to keep us safe. But remember, this is the same crowd that continues to maintain there were no successful terrorist attacks on American soil during George W. Bush’s administration. Honesty is never their policy, nor is logic. The lust to regain their lost power motivates every single thing they write, say or do. They want to control the federal government– all three branches, now and evermore– while propagandizing the citizenry into a constant state of terror so they, the Right, can exercise unlimited powers.

  8. Americaneocon: this post doesn’t make any of the points you pretend to dispute. (Also, what’s an “eocon”? Now you’re just making up words.)

  9. “Barbara:ABC News is reporting that…..”
    Americaneocon, if you swallow every bit o’ information you hear on your tee vee, you you may be a “tad” misinformed.
    You may recall that immediately after 9/11, our cable news networks were swarming with Israeli ambassadors and pitchmen repeating the word “Terrow” over and over, as if to implant irrational fears.It worked, they succeded in elevating Muslims to the level of pond scum while perpetuating the myth of Israeli victimization.
    We can be sure of one thing, dead babies and slaughtered wedding parties will piss-off the locals, be they Taliban, Pashtu, or anything in between.These predator drone strikes are “not helpful”, this path is a “psycho-path”.
    Just imagine what the Arab news broadcasts to billions daily in living color, they see the effects that are banned from the American media.

    • Americaneocon — thanks for the traffic, but you never did provide a link to the ABC story. Why is that?

  10. Contessa! Contessa Brewer, a leftie!?!?
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Now THAT’S funny!
    Just because she doesn’t spout Republican talking points EVERY time she opens her mouth, like the FOX News “Blonde Bimbo Brigade (and my apologies to all bimbo’s for associating you with something as cheap and sleazy as FOX News),” doesn’t exactly put her in the same ballpark as Katrina Vanden Heuval and Joan Baez.
    Tune back to FOX News, there, ‘Americaneoclown.’* In tuning away, I think it made you tear away a muscle that was attached to the bone in your head. Put some ice on it. And remember – R.I.C.E. No, not Condalisa – rest, ice, compression and elevation.
    Contessa, A LIBERAL! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    *Begging, I know, Joan to ask me what’s – an “eoclown?”

  11. Gulag, eoclown sorely needs some eocontext and eocomprehension. Not to mention some eocommonsense, if that massively failed “response” to maha’s request for a link is an indicator. Some days it’s just no eochallenge at all.

  12. Americaneoclown,
    We do take acts of terrorism seriously around here. We just don’t get all hysterical about it and want to start rounding up every falafel vendor in a 25 mile radius.
    People like you and Hayes have an investment in acts of terrorism being perpetrated by Muslims and foreigners. It fits the agenda you have for getting back in power. If, on the other hand, it turns out to be another Tim McVeigh, that just sort of, metaphorically speaking, or course, makes everything blow up in your face.
    Without any due respect, crawl back into the troll hole you came out of.

  13. Americaneocon – Speaking of ‘out to lunch’ reminds me of that odd fellow Curveball, the Iraqi defector whose made-up intelligence on Saddam’s WMD programs was central to Bush Administration case for invasion.

    So who was ‘out to lunch?’

  14. Hmm. I don’t always agree with everything Barbara writes, but she is never “out to lunch”. I wish more political bloggers were so astute.

  15. Maha,
    You should know. The link is like him, it’s a “Missing Link.”

  16. “but you never did provide a link to the ABC story. Why is that?”

    Because I wrote a whole post, lined above, that includes the link. Now waiting for your response …

    Barbara, you’re losing your mind over “right wing extremists” when Islamists are trying to blow up Times Square. Why is that?

    • Because I wrote a whole post, lined above, that includes the link. Now waiting for your response …

      I’m performing in a chorale concert tonight and will be leaving for pre-rehearsal warm-ups in about an hour, so I don’t have time to look at videos or argue with you. But I did look at the ABC News story you cite (here’s the link, folks) of May 7, which is directly contradicted by the ABC News story I linked to, of May 8, which (if you read it in a calm frame of mind) reveals that all connections between Shahzad and known terrorist organizations are speculative. Nothing is “known.” Connections to the Taliban are being investigated, and not yet ruled out, but nobody knows anything for certain. And if this guy is the best the Taliban can send, I’m not too worried.

      What I want to know is, why are you so eager to help do the terrorists work for them? You’re running around the web screaming about al Qaeda and people losing their minds, trying to stir up terror. This doesn’t help anyone.

      Barbara, you’re losing your mind over “right wing extremists” when Islamists are trying to blow up Times Square. Why is that?

      Possibly because I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and know what real terrorism looks like.

      Listen, I am not at all unconcerned about Islamic terrorism in New York City, but when you live this close to Ground Zero you learn not to get hysterical every time somebody yells “bomb.” I take NYC trains and subways frequently. My children are probably in the subway system right now. I am not unmindful of the terrible potential of terrorism. I’m saying the Times Square incident is a concern, but not something to cause me to run in circles screaming. Because running in circles screaming doesn’t help.

      And I am not “losing my mind” over right-wing extremists, either. I’m just pointing out that terrorism and mass violence are not the exclusive to Middle Eastern extremists, which Stephen Hayes implies.

  17. Americaneoclown,
    Are you reading anything that other people have written here, or do just pop up like some mentally challenged Jackoff-in-the-Box to spout the same lines every few posts?
    Maybe if you read something here, you might understand. Your question has been answered many times. But I guess reading comprehension is something they don’t teach at Neoclown College.
    I’ll bet you they taught you to make some mean balloon animals filled with hot air. I’m sure that you’re great in your neoclown outfit, teabags hanging from your floppy hat, at scaring children at birthday parties. Probably telling them that there are Jihadist’s lurking under their beds at night, and warning them that if their Mommy ever wears a towel on her head after a shower for too long, they should call Homeland Security to report her.
    Now, do you care to discuss things, or continue your mantra-like repeating of the same imbecilic question? I’d prefer you to slither back under the rock that covered your sorry carcass until today.

  18. Just calling them terrorist lets them win. They are only terrorist if we react in terror. Calling their actions ‘man-caused disasters may not really nail the idea. The gulf just suffered a man caused disaster but it has nothing to do with terrorism or Radical extremist as far as we know. Avoiding religious terminology is a great idea. I hate when it seems like the progressives are searching for acceptable words. No word coming out of a progressive’s mouth is going to be acceptable to neocons.
    Another thing. Progressives have been put on the defensive with this ‘prevention’ thing. No one will ever be able to prevent all criminality and even if they did how on earth could you prove it to someone incapable of listening to facts. What looks like has happened since 9/11 is attacks have become less sophisticated and coordinated. WE could be preventing the big ones but how can that be established.
    If the stock market shows us anything yesterday, it is that FEAR is not going to make things better, so why inflame it.

  19. What’s that sound I hear? Could it be a troll whistle? And gulag, OMG FTW!

  20. Sorry, but look, I grew up in NY City.
    We used to play what was called the dozens. It’s an insult game.
    George Carlin once described t it this way:
    “You wanna play the dozen’s,
    Well, the dozen’s is a game.
    But the way I [email protected]#% your mother,
    Is a Godamn shame!”

    I’d love to play the dozens with Americaneoclown any day, any time. Something tells me he won’t be back.
    And did you see that picture?
    I can see why he’s the way he is, though. When you’re way too old, and way too ugly, to even hope to be a 4th string luggage-carrier at ‘Senior Rentboy,’ you might be angry, too.
    Bye, Americaneoclown….

  21. CUND Gulag – You are in good form today. I am not sure what pulls our troll’s chain. Butit’s obvious he wants people from here to read his post and start a controversy. It’s a bit pathetic to try to build your blog traffic by picking fights. I won’t add to his traffic.

    The other component that makes labels necessary is the strategy of demonizing your enemy. I have run into a BUNCH of neocons who are intent on trashing the ENTIRE religion of Islam. For some neocons this is as much a Christian jihad for them as it is a Muslim jihad for Islamic extremists. Just like their counterparts in the mid-east, the strategy is to drag as many people into a war as they possibly can.

    My opinion on the ‘end game’ of the war on terror is that we in the west and those in the mid-east will have to find ways to contain and neuter our extremists. What’s commendable as I read the comments here is how CLEARLY the group Barbara has been mentoring gets this.

  22. I was in Belfast during the 2004 riots, and in England during the London train and bus bombings. Frankly, we Americans do hysteria much better than anyone I saw over there. Could maybe even say we’ve mastered the art of being “terrized” — even about things that could have happened. But didn’t.

    Seeing’s they’ve been on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for ages, I’m probably the last person on this blog to read “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones into Schools” by Greg Mortenson. I learned more about Muslims, the Taliban, Pakistan and Afghanistan than I thought I ever wanted to know. I was wrong. The information packed into these books is priceless.

  23. You’re pwned, Barbara.

    A “chorale”? Never heard that one, but you’re kinda forgetting your comments on Farouk Abdulmutallab and Malik Nadal Hasan. Video at my post completely proves your ignorance. As for Faisal, at today’s Los Angeles Times, “Times Square bomb suspect had ties to key Pakistani militants”. And Faisal claims he’s inspired by Yemeni radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. See New York Times, “From Condemning Terror to Preaching Jihad”.

    “Faisal Shahzad, who is charged in the attempted bombing in Times Square, told investigators that Mr. Awlaki’s prolific online lectures urging jihad as a religious duty helped inspire him to act.”

    And this is a logical fallacy: “I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and know what real terrorism looks like.” It’s a form of argumentum vericandium and proves nothing except you’re bogging down and you’ve got nothing.

    Pwned.

    And sorry to say, but you’ve got the dumbest commenters evah!

    • A “chorale”? Never heard that one

      You can probably find the word in a dictionary. It involves a bunch of people singing.

      As for Faisal, at today’s Los Angeles Times, “Times Square bomb suspect had ties to key Pakistani militants”.

      See the subhead. Note the “allegedly.” As I said, if you read the actual stories and not just the headlines you see it’s all speculation. Nobody has facts. Especially not you.

      Pwned.

      In your dreams.

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  25. As one of those “dumbest commenters evah!”, I gotta confess all I’ve gotten from Americaneocon’s postings is this: According to media reports, Faisal could have been connected with Pakistani militants and Awlaki’s lectures inspired him to blow up Times Square.

    Could be. And your point is?

    Seeing’s americaneocon seems to have some aquaintance with argumentum vericandium fallacies, one can only wonder why he elected to employ ad hominem attacks rather than laying out his position syllogistically so even we “dumbest commenters evah!” could follow what he’s trying to say. You know, the old major premise, minor premise, conclusion thingie.

  26. “It’s a form of argumentum vericandium…’
    “Pwned.
    And sorry to say, but you’ve got the dumbest commenters evah!”

    Argu veri somthin… What a vocabulary. Swahili, aint it (I mean, how would I know, I’m one of the dumbest commenters evah)?
    Don’t you just love when the children try to act like grown-ups?
    And oh my, what a wit (you pick which kind – half, nit, or dim)!
    And what a great, clever takedown. Somewhere Oscar Wilde is green with envy. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for explaining your point of view and for all that you brought to the table. I loved how you cleverly engaged all of us in argument, logically bringing us (we?) “dumbest commenters evah” along until eventually we came to agree with your point of view.

    Ah, but that’s what might have happened in a rational universe…
    Instead, you came uninvited to the party in a drunken state, started screaming, insulted the hostess, farted in front of the air conditioner vent, pissed in the punch-bowl, pulled out your junk for all the world to see (and laugh at – I wouldn’t go anywhere near the new airports screening devices with that thing, they’ll ask why you have pencil stub and two raisinete’s protruding from your vagina), threw-up on the floor, shit on the kitchen table, and screamed that everyone else was a drunken fucking idiot, that everyone needs to be afraid of Muslims, and finally throwing in a latin phrase that even a 7th grader wouldn’t consider sophisticated.
    That’s my take on it.

    Uhm, (no) thanks for playing, Americaneoclown, and no home version of the Maha game to take back with you.
    Oh, and in the words of the great John Stewart: “Go fuck yourself.”

  27. Of course, the best way to prevent terrorism is for the U.S. to stop funding the state-sponsored terrorism and nuclear proliferation of the worst rogue state in the Middle East – Israel!

  28. I see our guest troll is still trolling for people to visit his blog. Which would be fine if there was any indication that inhis blog there was anything but the hysteria and fear-mongering he has visited on us.

    Been there – done that. Bush is gone – I wish the troll would join him.

  29. One has to laugh at the accusation of “argumentum verecandiam” (or, as we normally say, argumentum ad verecundiam) from a guy who is having a tantrum because people won’t accept superficial readings of popular news stories and a YouTube video as proof of his position.

    But who am I, as one of the “dumbest commenters evah” to point out that someone might be guilty of the very fallacy he accuses Barbara of?

    And, truly, I must be dumb, since I can’t for the life of me understand why it is so important to A. to pick a fight over the degree to which the phrase “a bit squishy” does or does not apply. Granted, since A. has not presented any case for why it matters in terms of American rhetoric and policy whether or not these men had “ties” to Islamic radicals overseas, perhaps I can be forgiven. Even if I am dumb.

    “Ties”, of course, is an inherently “squishy” concept, which is often deployed in service of alarmist and/or simplistic rhetoric. I, for example, can reasonably be accused of “ties” to the King County Metro, in that I frequently take their buses to work and back, but does that control or determine anything relevant about my behavior? Does it mean I’m influenced or in league with nefarious others who have ridden the bus in Seattle? I once received CPR training from the American Red Cross. Does that mean they control me as a foot soldier in their global struggle?

    Perhaps.

    A. could, if he chose to, make such a case, I suppose, though I, being dumb, might have trouble understanding it. It does seem clear that making coherent, logical arguments is not A.’s métier, so we will never know whether I would be “pwned” by the brilliance of his reasoning.

    Oh well.

  30. I’ve been boning up on my Latin this morning..You never know when a good Internet comment exchange will call for some superior intellect to stifle the less developed minds of liberal bloggers. I was quite impressed with Americaneocon’s intellectual dexterity and Buckleyesque manner and decided to incorporate the phrase “argumentum ad verecundiam” into my repertoire of Internet skills. But what I lack is practical example of how that phrase would be applied. I’m thinking that George Bush’s statement of ” They hate us for our freedoms” would serve as an accurate representation and interpretation of that Latin phrase. So, if any of you Latin speakers out there could offer me guidance in usage my new found knowledge of Latin…It would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Not to beat a dead horses ass, but there was a front page article in today’s NY Times about a DC cleric, who used to preach peace, but who now is living abroad and support jihad.
    What Americaneoclown, and people of his ill(k), doesn’t understand is that if you continually vilify a people, as he is doing, they will become one of two things, defensive or offensive.
    And if you back almost any animal up far enough, even the most defensive one, it will turn offensive at one point as a survival mechanism.
    So, there’s is a self-fulfilling prophesy because it will eventually force peaceful people to react in a manner which, if you hadn’t poked and prodded and goaded them, they would never have chosen as an option.
    So, eventually, he’ll probably be right, and not because he is right, but because he’s wrong…

  32. It seems Americaneocon came over to this party and promptly insulted the hostess. Then, he insulted the guests (commenters). What boorish manners he has. I wonder if his mother taught him to be this rude; or, if he learned from his neocon acquaintenances. In the end, it seems all he wanted was traffic at his site. May I suggest the old saying, “you get more bees with honey than vinegar.”

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