Little Green Footballs

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mark Steyn: Not doing much to improve the situation

Middle-aged men like slapping each other on the back, telling themselves how great they are, and today it's Mark Steyn's turn to get a pat from Charlie in LA.

The entirety of CJ's recommendation reads: "Steyn on the Iraq Study Group and the AP. Must-see TV: Video: Steyn slams the AP and Iraq Study Group on O’Reilly."

Anyone clicking through to watch the clip will find that Steyn doesn't in fact say anything meaningful about what journalists do in Iraq that hasn't already been screeched by one right-wing pundit or another, and as for his comments on the Iraq Study Group, he bascially admits that they are the conclusions "any semi-well informed person" would reach "plus several really bad ideas" and he somehow doesn't find the time to explain why they are "really bad".

Then he accuses journalists of being "hunkered down in the Green Zone" (a word nobody in Iraq uses) but lambasts them for reporting on the atrocities happening outside of it. Eh?!?

According to Steyn, who has probably never been to Iraq himself, "most of" the schools and hospitals in the country are open, but he conveniently fails to mention that parents aren't sending their kids to school anymore and that people are getting murdered in the hospitals.

Of course, we shouldn't expect too much from a man who, a few weeks after the invasion in 2003, wrote:

"Isolated atrocities will continue to happen in the days ahead, as dwindling numbers of the more depraved Ba'athists confront the totality of their irrelevance. But these are the death throes: the regime was decapitated two weeks ago, and what we've witnessed is the last random thrashing of the snake's body."

He then went on to praise the "genius" of Donald Rumsfeld.

Well, Mr Steyn, how about coming up with some "genius" ideas for how to get America out of this QUAGMIRE you helped push it into?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/06/01/wsteyn01.xml

In fact, Steyn not only went to Iraq, he went wandering around on his own, apparently without much of an escort (or any at all.) You left-wing, terrorist-hugging. valueless drones should do more research. I found that article almost instantly, and I do recall him mentioning it more than once in his other work. But maybe research isn't your strong suit, huh?

Here's another "hypothetical" question for you: If Party A does a good thing, and Parties B and C react to this good thing -- perfectly voluntarily -- by doing many, many bad things, who should get most of the blame? I'm not saying Party A shouldn't get any blame for the bad people doing their bad things, but what I would expect from disinterested spectators is at LEAST an equal assignment of blame to A, B, and C.

I would expect disinterested spectators to place at least some of the blame for the violence on its most immediate and local cause, i.e. people blowing themselves up in places where civilian casualties will be maximized.

But you hate the United States, Party A, and love the Islamic fascists who would likely slit your throats if they ever gained any political power over you, Parties B and C. So you don't make very good disinterested spectators, certainly no better than CJ and crew.

[By the way, don't bother telling me that you don't understand my hypothetical question. You can play dumb, but we both know you're not dumb: you're willing worshipers of evil, yes, but not stupid.]

The Sublibrarian said...

"You left-wing, terrorist-hugging. valueless drones...." "But you hate the United States...and love the Islamic fascists...."

Your argument (what little there is) gets lost in the ad hominem. And the vitriol makes you look very, very silly.

So, go beat your hairless chest somewhere where someone gives a f**k about being more Ahmerikun than anyone else.

Those of us who genuinely care about the country, its history, its values, and its people will get on just fine without you.

Richard said...

Terrence: Steyn needn't have gone to Iraq at all. His opinions wouldn't have been affected in the least since ideologues like him (& you) already have such strong pre-conceived notions of what reality is that no amt. REALITY (the real thing as opposed to your delusions) can change your minds.

I am an AMerican who loves my country. But I detest this war & welcome efforts of LGF Watch to monitor one of the most hateful right wing websites in the blogsphere.

Why don't you crawl back to LGF & slip into a nice pair of those comfy Pajamas suited only for right-wingers.

X said...

Here's a (non-hypothetical) question for you, Terence: WHY would we "hate the USA", and WHY would we "love the Islamic fascists"?

As for Mr Steyn's Iraq road trip: congratulations! If he'd like to go again, and take Charles along, we'd be more than happy to refund him his costs when he returns full of stories of how pleasant things are over there now that George Bush has introduced them to democracy.

Anonymous said...

A dash of orientalism, a sliver of the soft bigotry of low expectations, a general ennui toward capitalism, and a huge heap of insignificance.

And allow me to explain: there are no negative consequences, right now, for loving Islamic fascists and hating the United States -- especially for non-Americans, or for Americans from very blue states. But there are quite a few positives: you get the chicks, you get to distance yourself from George W. Bush, you get to talk about how open-minded and tolerant you are, compared to the "Christian-Nazis" who inhabit LGF. You get to take the moral high ground of the peace-loving, non-violent dissenter.

It's a simple enough explanation: leftists are rational. They'll believe what gets them the biggest payoff, and as long as their influence is fairly insignificant, the highest payoff comes from having pro-fascist, anti-American beliefs. Of course, conservatives are susceptible to this as well.

I'm not sure about the rest, but adoring the Islamic fascists probably alleviates some of the guilt that particularly sensitive leftists seem to feel in response to colonialism and the exploitation that was its result. Maybe you would like the United States blotted out, no? And the rule of "le sauvage noble" to take its place in the world?

Maybe you just recognize in the Islamic fascists people totally devoted to a cause -- no hypocrisy or weakness of will here, unlike those pathetic Christian conservatives! -- and in that total devotion you also recognize some kind of similarity to yourselves. Or how you would be, if you could just detach yourself from capitalism, pull on your Che shirt, strap on some explosives, and blow up a Wal-Mart. I'm sure they wouldn't mind blowing up a Wal-Mart, either.

X said...

Here are two things you've got to understand, Terence: First, George W Bush and his administration does not equate with America. Dislike (or even hatred) of one does not imply dislike of the other.

Second, and in a similar vein, the people you call Islamist fascists do not represent all of the downtrodden people of the world. I know Charles Johnson has been trying his best for the last five years to make people believe that every Muslim is bin Laden, but that simply isn't the case. So, defending the right of Muslims not to be blown up by jihadi or American bombs does not mean you support "islamofascism". Does that make sense to you?

cokane said...

OMG how stupid are CJ supporters?

Terence is a fine example of the arrgoant stupidity of the average liztard.

Terence, did you bother to check the date on the article you posted about mark steyn?

"Filed: 01/06/2003"

Yeah, that's definitely an accurate picture of Iraq almost 4 years later!!! Go back to your cave idiot

Anonymous said...

I don’t think much makes sense to him, unless you phrase it in the party A, incident B timeline, he seems to prefer that type of lack & white question.

Hey Terrance, instead of running into yourself with self defeating arguments about how we leftist scum are all terrorist hugging types, which even a modicum of intelligence on your part would have allowed you to figure out, why don’t you answer LGF Watch & my question from earlier. Can you point us to any ideas Mark has postulated for the future in Iraq, or even just point us any predictions Mark has made on Iraq that are correct?

Go on, I double dare you

Anonymous said...

Cokane spewed the following:

"Terence, did you bother to check the date on the article you posted about mark steyn?

"Filed: 01/06/2003"

Yeah, that's definitely an accurate picture of Iraq almost 4 years later!!! Go back to your cave idiot "

Gee, and I thought the original poster's claim was that Steyn had probably NEVER been to Iraq, not that he'd never been to Iraq after a certain time, t, that apparently only you and him were aware of because it never made it into his post.

Oh, brilliant Cokane, please let me in on the value of t, hidden though it was, so that I may come out of my cave and more precisely challenge the glittering turds of wisdom that slither from the keyboards of the leftist swine who post here.

Sublibrarian gurgled:
"Your argument (what little there is) gets lost in the ad hominem. And the vitriol makes you look very, very silly."

I thought I offered evidence against a claim (that Steyn had never been to Iraq) and then offered a hypothetical question, as yet unanswered. Then, being the altruistic person I am, I suggested how I would EXPECT reasonable, disinterested people to answer it, and observed that at least some people aren't answering it that way, and gave reasons why my expectations might be going unfulfilled.

Sub, you're right. I AM silly for trying to explain that to someone like you :-).

Richard's post doesn't even deserve an answer, except to say that I have NEVER posted at LGF. Not once. Ever. Nor do I usually leave comments on blogs. Nor am I an American. Oh my God, Richard -- you suck! Can't you get anything right?

X, at least, makes a good point. George Bush != America. You know that; I know that. But does everyone in the world make that distinction to the same degree? And yes, it matters, at least a little. It matters because if the enemies of the United States view a defeat for Bush as a defeat for America -- if they don't make the distinction as finely as you do -- then a failure of his foreign policy will only embolden them.

That's certainly a reason for wishing that his foreign policy had been different from the very start, I agree! But it's also a prima facie reason to wish that it would succeed, isn't it?

... that is, unless you like bolstering the confidence of Islamic fascists.

The Sublibrarian said...

"I thought I offered evidence against a claim (that Steyn had never been to Iraq) and then offered a hypothetical question, as yet unanswered. Then, being the altruistic person I am, I suggested how I would EXPECT reasonable, disinterested people to answer it, and observed that at least some people aren't answering it that way, and gave reasons why my expectations might be going unfulfilled."

Uh, not so much. You managed to leave out of your outline all the feces you smeared in the spaces between and among sentences.

Your hypothetical question was not a question so much as an act of bad faith to enable yet more invective in a postulated answer.

All you have is 1) unsupported categorizations of the people you disagree with and 2) snot-nosed invective derived from those categories.

You get off on being self-righteous. Period.

cokane said...

Hey liztard

the post said: "According to Steyn, who has probably never been to Iraq himself, "most of" the schools and hospitals in the country are open, but he conveniently fails to mention that parents aren't sending their kids to school anymore and that people are getting murdered in the hospitals."

Key word: probably

Also key is that the picture steyn paints of Iraq is dated. Iraq in early 2003 is not the same as Iraq at thend of 2006--i.e. where we are now. Steyn's piece derided other Iraq coverage because he argued it created a negative image of Iraq. And he accused many journalists of not going out and canvassing the whole country for an accurate picture.

Steyn was only in Iraq 4 years ago and yet professes to know what the true state of that nation is. And yet he has only been on the ground in Iraq as soon as nearly 4 years ago. What I'm saying is--and I need you to slow down here to get this one Terrence--Steyn is guilty of the same hypocritical false reporting that he is attacking others for.

Perhaps the LGFW post was a bit of an exaggeration, but false it was not. I.e. "probably"

Steyn's argument on the other hand is not only false, but completely hypocritical.

How you can not get this is beyond me. But then again, there's alot in your thinking that's specious. Such as the fact that if you criticize the president you must love america's enemies. Hmm... if you criticize The Party's Leader you are working for the Enemy. What does that sound like?

Anonymous said...

"Uh, not so much. You managed to leave out of your outline all the feces you smeared in the spaces between and among sentences."

Aw, poor, poor Sublibrarian. Well, let me say this: I left from my outline anything I thought would fascinate you to an unhealthy degree. Just looking out for your well-being, mental or otherwise. So yes, I left out any mention of fecal material.

"Your hypothetical question was not a question so much as an act of bad faith to enable yet more invective in a postulated answer."

And yet, my hypothetical question raised interesting issues about the allocation of moral responsibility, issues that (in my opinion) are hardly ever addressed in discussions about Iraq or about warfare in general. I guess that possibility escaped your grasp. With your hands being slippery from handling all the feces, perhaps that's understandable.

"All you have is 1) unsupported categorizations of the people you disagree with and 2) snot-nosed invective derived from those categories."

Well, I would say they're not THAT unsupported. After all, it took two seconds (ok, ok 4) for me to find out if Steyn had ever been to Iraq before or not. But I wasn't blinded in some way... was lacking something in my eye (no, not feces: that's YOUR obsession)... something that apparently stopped some people from being more cautious in their own assumption-making.

Surely, you'll forgive me for deriving some tentative conclusions from this observation, especially since I've seen it repeatedly. That doesn't make my categorizations unsupported; only, in your own mind, not supported enough. And it's certainly understandable that you think so.

Anonymous said...

Cokane yipped:

'Perhaps the LGFW post was a bit of an exaggeration, but false it was not. I.e. "probably" '

My browser has this neat function, "Find In This Page", and when I search for the word "false", I only find hits in your comment, Cokane. I never said it was an entirely false statement, just that it was inaccurate, i.e. not 100% accurate. Maybe you should have used the equivalent function in your browser, no?

When someone is less than 100% accurate AND improving his accuracy would have required very little effort, then I question his research skills, or his motives. Surprise, surprise, that's just what I did.

"How you can not get this is beyond me. But then again, there's alot[sic] in your thinking that's specious. Such as the fact that if you criticize the president you must love america's[sic] enemies."

Next time you're sloooowing down in a mighty effort to explain yourself, you could actually address what I said, rather than what you wanted me to say. As I already explained to X, no one is disagreeing that George W. Bush != America. We got it -- well, all except for you, apparently.

Steyn's claims about Iraq are contestable, no doubt. Whether they're completely false, true for part of the country, and not for other parts, true at one time, and less true now -- well, finding the right place to "draw the line" was not my purpose here. My goal was more modest than that.

Anonymous said...

"And allow me to explain: there are no negative consequences, right now, for loving Islamic fascists and hating the United States -- especially for non-Americans, or for Americans from very blue states. But there are quite a few positives: you get the chicks..."

Dude, I was at this club in Montreal last night. FYI - I'm bald, overweight, short, unemployed anglophone from Toronto who lives with his mother in the bottom floor of a crackhouse. Then, I started talking 'bout how I love terrorists and hate America and George Bush, and next thing I know, I'm having a three way with these two francophone hotties right on the dance floor.

Now, some points on Steyn: his thesis on demographics is completely flawed. He assumes that rising birth rates mean rising population rates. Having a high-birth rate means nothing if your population starts dying before the age of fertility, which is the case in the Muslim countries Steyn claims will over-run us.

Let's pretend that Steyn's argument is correct: the Muslims will out breed us soon. Does this automatically mean that our culture will not survive? This presupposes that of the Muslims that are fleeing to the West, none of them want freedom of religion, or freedom of choice. If they wanted to be fanatical muslims so badly, why wouldn't they stay in their own countries where it is easier to be a fanatic?

The rest of his reasoning is obsessed with the idea of civilizational breakdown caused by the welfare state - arguments that are completely specious and that he does not provide a single shred of evidence to support. His writing, while funny, is marked by incorrect logic, false or half-true stories, and a lack of the most elementary self-criticism.

It is also worth noting - that the arguments about western civilization declining are not new either. Virtually identical lines of reasoning have been used by respectable people to prove, without a shadow of a doubt that a certain ethnic group is incompatible with western civilization, and that unless we stop them, we will be overrun by barbarian hordes. The Irish, the Jews, the Slavs, the Chinese, the Blacks and now Muslims.

If 50 years, people will look at people like you Terrence, and wonder how it was that people were capable of being as stupid as you.

unaha-closp said...

dipper4life,

If they wanted to be fanatical muslims so badly, why wouldn't they stay in their own countries where it is easier to be a fanatic?

Most of them do. How do we stop them being fanatical in their own countries?

Anonymous said...

If they wanted to be fanatical muslims so badly, why wouldn't they stay in their own countries where it is easier to be a fanatic?

Most of them do. How do we stop them being fanatical in their own countries?

I'm less concerned about fanatics in other countries than I am about fanatics in my own country for the simple reason, that there is far greater likelihood that they will affect my life than some nut case in a cave some where.

However, at the risk of being derided as a terrorist-loving, self-loathing, leftist, stalinist, islamo-fascist, multi-culturalist I shall indulge your question: firstly, the analogy to fascism and world war 2, when describing the current conflict in the middle east, is a false analogy. The islamic terrorists have some fascist characteristics, but they are not fascist. True, they are overtly violent, they do believe in a warped version of Islam that abhores decadence and calls for national rebirth. However, they lack a centralized, hierarchy as well as the capacity to create the necessary fusion between government, the military and the private sector that is one of the key characterists of fascism.

Now that we understand a little better what it is we are dealing with, the question is: how to stop it? I would suggest that, as with all terrorism, there needs to be a sort of two pronged approach: a law-enforcement and intelligence approach that will stop terrorist activities where they occur. The second prong is to address the legitimate grievances that the groups do have. In other words, you need to deligitimize the fanatics in the eyes of the general population. This will involve resolving the israel-palestinian problem, and stop supporting the dictatorships in the region - to put it bluntly.

Combating terrorism requires both a military strategy and a political strategy. For the US, their military strategy is a disaster, and their political strategy is non-existant.