Is He Stupid Or Just
Is He Stupid Or Just Intellectually Dishonest?: I read an editorial against the ‘War on Terrorism’ today by Hugh McKay in the Sydney Morning Herald and it prompted me to once again ask myself a question that I often do after reading arguments made by the anti-war left; are they being intellectually dishonest or are they just stupid?
Although I’m strongly in favor of the ‘War on Terrorism’, I would concede that it’s possible to make an intelligent argument against it. Now in my opinion, the case for the war is much, much, stronger, but sometimes reasonable people can disagree even if they accept the same set of basic facts. But how could any intelligent, rational, reasonable person possibly get things as wrong as Hugh McKay did? Let me comment on some of the things in the editorial that he wrote and I think you’ll see what I mean…
“It’s possible to imagine how nations could decide to go to war over territorial issues. The urges involved are ancient and primitive, and you can see why land has always been such a potent symbol of survival, security and, therefore, of identity as well.”
Primitive urges? Symbols? How about acquiring important resources, controlling key defensive areas, or what about just needing more space? We’re in the opening sentence of the editorial and it’s already obvious that McKay has not the slightest clue about the reasons his fellow humans do things. It’s almost like McKay is an alien who studied human beings but doesn’t really fathom the intricacies of their behavior.
“What might happen to the Iraqis after that is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they’ll be thrown to the next pack of wolves, as the Afghans have been. (Who ever presumed the Northern Alliance would be a safer bet than the Taliban?)”
We’re pumping billions in money and supplies into Afghanistan, we’re freely admitting that we plan to be there for years, and we’re helping their new government build itself from scratch. Yet that’s “throwing them to the wolves?” Also, since McKay apparently hasn’t been watching the news for the last eight months or so, we didn’t exchange the ‘Taliban’ for the ‘Northern Alliance.’ The fact that Karzai wasn’t a member of the Northern Alliance, that we’re trying to help Afghanistan build a Democracy, that millions of refugees who fled the Taliban are returning, etc, is just lost on McKay. But why doesn’t McKay know these things? What is his major malfunction?
“Translation: “We don’t trust Saddam Hussein, so we intend to get rid of him by invading his country.”…
Does this mean that any regime the US doesn’t like is fair game? Will the US rove the world like some bandy-legged western sheriff, evaluating regimes and deciding which may survive and which should be toppled by military intervention?
Will Zimbabwe be next? What about North Korea, part of Bush’s infamous “axis of evil”? Or Libya? (Oops, I forgot: Gaddafi has suddenly, remarkably, changed from a bad guy into a good guy, it seems.) What about Saudi Arabia, breeding ground for most of the terrorists involved in events of September 11?”
I’m sort of surprised that he references 9/11 after just making comments that seem to indicate that he DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT HAPPENED. How can else you explain the fact that he tosses Zimbabwe in there? I mean how could anyone who knows about 9/11, the ‘War on Terrorism’, the Bush Doctrine, & the ‘Axis of Evil’, think that Zimbabwe should make just as must sense as Iraq in Bush’s eyes? This just doesn’t seem like something that should puzzle ANYONE who’s even been paying the slightest bit of attention to the events of the last eleven months. So why doesn’t McKay seem to get it?
“If the new world order means the US can impose its will on the regimes of other countries by military intervention, why wouldn’t other countries follow suit? Why wouldn’t India, for instance, decide to effect regime change in Pakistan? And mightn’t someone, some day, decide the US is itself ripe for regime change?”
I really hate to disillusion McKay here, but nations have been imposing their will militarily on other nations…well…since there were nations. That’s something the most basic and cursory reading of history makes amply clear. So why doesn’t McKay appear to understand this? Why doesn’t he understand that India WOULD CONQUER Pakistan tomorrow if they could do it without getting nuked or suffering serious losses? Also, it’s our carriers, planes and tanks that keep other nations from deciding that the ‘US is itself ripe for regime change’ and nothing else. That’s how it always has been, is, and will likely be in the future. What does McKay think has changed in 2002 that means the sum total of human history no longer applies?
“Bush talks about “weapons of mass destruction” as though such things are the abhorrent figment of some alien imagination. He appears oblivious to the irony of his own position, as custodian of the world’s greatest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. The US defence, presumably, is that such weapons are safe in the hands of Americans, but not in anyone else’s … so that’s all right, then.”
Again, why does McKay not seem to understand that we see a difference between an aggressive, pro-terrorist, anti-American, dictator who’s used WMD against his own people having nukes and say Britain having them? This is like running across someone who doesn’t understand the difference between your mother using a knife to cut a Thanksgiving turkey and a having a mugger holding a knife on you in an alley. Yes they’re both people holding knives, but one is a threat to you and the other isn’t. How can any intelligent person not understand this?
“At one level, I can see why John Howard would support whatever mock-heroic schemes Bush might propose between now and the US mid-term elections: our PM wouldn’t want to find himself on the list of leaders earmarked for “regime change”.
My first inclination here was to think that McKay was joking but when you look at everything else he wrote, you have to think he’s serious. I mean isn’t this the same guy who earlier in the editorial said that, ‘(d)oes this mean that any regime the US doesn’t like is fair game?” For all we know, McKay may be digging out a bomb shelter in the outback right now and stocking it up with home-cured Koala Bear jerky to prepare for the upcoming war with the US that’ll happen if John Howard doesn’t go along with our invasion of Iraq.
So after reading all of this, ask yourself this question; is McKay stupid or intellectually dishonest? Because he has to be one or the other…