May 03, 2004

Our Trusty Leader  

posted by Scott @ 12:19 PM
For a truly specious series of arguments check out John F. Biver's defense of the war in Iraq and by extention his backing of Jack Ryan in the Illinois Reader. It's a perfect case study in how to construct an argument using false premises. Here's just a few:

~there was proof that Iraq was an imminent and immediate threat to U.S. security,
~Iraq is somehow connected to the Islamic radicalism targeted by the U.S.'s "War on Terrorism,"
~Obama is critical of the war only because Bush lied about WMDs and not because the war dilutes resources needed to tackle real terrorist threats to the U.S.,

And there's plenty more. True conservatives should be ashamed by such poor reasoning. Moreover, from the events of this month it really does appear to be true that only "international institutions and alliances legitimize the use of American military power." Even if you think that the war was justified as Biver does, a smart hawk would know that stabilizing a country via occupation has just as much to do with appearing legitimate as having sufficient military power. It only takes an isolated incident (but maybe not) like that in Abu Ghraib prison to turn the whole population against you. And of course Biver touts the coalition of 30 countries as evidence that we didn't go in alone. Please Mr. Biver, look me straight in the eyes and repeat that with a straight face.
I took a formal logic class back in college and one of our assignments was to find fallacious arguments in print media. This one would have gotten me an A+.

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