October 01, 2006

My own take on internecine warfare on the "Right"

First comment

Ymarsakar (www):
It was wrong on the premise that Malkin doesn't respect our Muslim allies, and it was wrong on the premise that Malkin is required to do something about all those right wing trolls who talk about dumping Iraq for America. Malkin cannot seriously do anything about those who are interested in iraqi civil strife or a 3 state solution or anything like that. She has no influence on that side of the Republicans, the "pro-war" tent if you will. People like Ralph Peters and skippy, what is she going to do with them? If Dean has a problem with people who disrespect our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, then he should stick up for them specifically and attack their attackers, instead of calling upon LGF and Malkin to do the attacking.

I'm a neutral party in this conflict. I'm not on Ralph Peter's side, and I'm not entirely on JihadWatch's side, and I am definitely not on the Left's side of let's give Iraq to the wolves.

So in a way, I can perceive why LGF and Malkin saw your post, Dean. They saw it as an accussation against them that they were heartless and immoral for not sticking up to our allies. Since Malkin does believe she sticks up for moderate Muslims and good Muslims, your lack of specifics Dean, seemed to her as a broad based broadside. Just out there, with no specific target. Your reply to that one guy, further contributed to a sense that you were ranting and enraged, not being reasonable or open minded. This of course, would not prevent LGF and Malkin from responding as to why they support Iraqis or why they don't attack those who attack Iraqis as being lazy layabouts. However, it would discourage them from doing so if they believe they are not finding an open forum.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Matoko-Chan. The only Muslim allies I recognize are those in Iraq and Afghanistan, more or less. If a person hasn't proved his loyalty and friendship to me, I'm not exactly going to turn my back on him and his family of jihadists, now am I.

As for Dean's argument. Logically, it was consistent inside of its premises. Meaning, there IS a problem with people, Americans, who sacrifice Iraqi allies for some perceived gain. Let's say Ralph Peters who wanted to get out, 3 state solution, get the Iraqis fighting and we do our own thing. That's not exactly loyalty to our allies, you know. However, those people who scorn our allies and are willing to sacrifice them, are not LGF and Malkin in my view. If Dean believes otherwise of JihadWatch and Co, then he definitely does need to bring up specific examples and his interpretations of those examples. While Dean gets some points for not trying to be pedantic with a list of stuff that he rants on and on about concerning LGF or Malkin. We are after all, not in a conversation, but an exchange of letters. With such an exchange, precision matters a lot more than length. In a conversation, if someone started presenting me 50 specific points that they found wrong with me, at the same time, then it might be a little bit rude. But on the internet, it is just good policy to present a list of grievances as the Founding Fathers did.

OK, but would you agree that if I had given a lengthy list of citations, it would have seemed like an indictment? Because I was not wanting to level an indictment. I thought it would be a discussion, not an angry point/counterpoint.

if you want a discussion dean, you need to use private email. If you want a debate, in the public, that is another thing entirely. They attack you precisely because they perceive you as having attacked them. It is a classical diplomatic scenario for those who study military history and diplomacy.

Second Comment

I disagree almost entirely with Dean's characterizations of JihadWatch and Malkin, even with his examples. Specifics increase precision, but it doesn't make you right. I had trouble with Dean's conclusions even before he added in the updates. There are 1 premise, 1 conclusion, and a premise based upon that conclusion. The one premise is that there are people who treat all Muslims as the enemy and therefore detract from America's chances of survival by shitting on Karzai as a puppet and so forth. That is true, as a premise, because Democrats, the Left, and etc do do that in any and all circumstances. This includes people on the right, btw. And not just the David Duke anti-semites either.

The conclusion, however, is pretty inaccurate. In that Dean concludes that this then means Malkin and Co are guilty of the premise outlined in the first place. They are not, and even if you changed the logic structure, it doesn't make the conclusion any more correct. Therefore the second premise, which is that the things JihadWatch and Malkin write and title, are condescending or so and forth concerning Muslims, is incorrect. Why? Because it all goes back to the original premise of Dean's. Is Malkin and Jihad Watch part of the same faction as skippy and Ralph Peters, do they believe sacrificing allies in the Middle East for pragmatic benefits to America is a good long term solution?

Since they do not, then obviously, Dean's logic breaks based upon deduction, not induction. Since it is deduction, this is independent of any evidence Dean may present or Malkin refute. Why does this matter? Because as I see it, Dean started with deduction first, when he did not include specifics. He wasn't going about it scientifically, point/counter-point after all. So when Malkin and LGF say that Dean is painting them with strawman brushes, they are refering to the premise that Dean used to formulate the keystone of his argument.

So that would have to be my conclusion, concerning whether I think Dean's arguments are correct or not. On both Malkin and Co, as well as his original argument.

I just wanted to ask the question: shouldn't we do a better job of recognizing and embracing our Muslim friends who hate terrorism and radicalism? Who serve in our armed forces, and/or fight alongside our armed forces in the fight to capture or kill terrorists?

basic premise correct.

Listing such things would read like an indictment, and I was trying not to do that.

Sometimes things happen regardless of how you intended it. Self-fullfilling prophecy. Attempting to make it less an indictment, actually made it more of one, given how people perceive things. Human psychology, really has little to do with facts.

This very statement--that Islam is incompatible with democracy--is why I fight so hard with many of my friends on the Right: accepting that statement means we have to declare war on the entire Muslim world if we're to hope for human freedom to survive.

you know, Dean. If you had mentioned that you are fighting with Ralph Peters, instead of saying the "right", you would have been able to enlist Malkin's help instead of her enmity. Just saying.

I think that many of America's rightists--including, sadly, Michelle Malkin--have done a piss-poor job of making such vital distinctions.

if you look at your original post, here Dean. You will see that after listing some general critiques of the "right" concerning bad behavior in characterizing Muslims, the first person you mention specifically on the right, is Michelle Malkin. Why would she not take this as an indictment against her? You said you had problems with friends on the right, concerning how they treated Muslims, and then you mention her. So she has to ask herself, is this about an open letter from Dean asking her for help to fight against American ally disrespecting Ralph Peters, or is this an accussation from Dean that Malkin has a problem he doesn't like? Tricky, Tricky.

Indeed, I would like to publicly challenge Michelle Malkin: you've said you've stopped using terms like "Islamo-fascist" and "Islamic radicals" because they don't make sense. Oh really? Then how is it, Michelle, that you guys at Hot Air and Michellemalkin.com still approvingly highlight statements by America's Iraqi and Afghan allies, like Hamid Karzai and Nouri al-Maliki? They are Muslims. Born and bred Muslims. They're Muslims right now. They will almost certainly die Muslim. So why do you treat them like enemies and liars?

After that kind of rhetoric Dean, it is quite obvious that it would be taken as an "indictment". First you make a point about them not using such words because it doesn't make sense, without explaining what they meant, and then you say that they support allies like Karzai, presumably hypocritically. That's not exactly a call for help from Malkin and Co, Dean. Surely, you recognize that. Why does Malkin and Co treat them like enemies and liars when Michellemalkin.com still approvingly highlights statements by America's Iraqi and Afghan allies? Irrespective of the facts, that makes no sense logically. Why would they approvingly highlight Karzai's statements while treating Karzai as a liar? No sense dude.

This is our Muslim ally, damn it. Should you not acknowledge him as such??

okay, okay, it's almost over. Meta-secondary conclusion, as a reminder. First premise of dean, that Muslim allies are the Good, is correct. Conclusion of first premise, and second premise based upon first conclusion, however, is pretty wrong. The conclusion or the premise that Malkin treats our allies like enemies, or that Malkin and Co are disrespecting our allies, is incorrect. It is that incorrectness that LGF and Malkin have seen and are attacking, Dean Esmay.


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