Quote Of The Day: Non-Contiguous Information Streams, Bush Hatred, & The War In Iraq
James Lileks captured a thought I’ve had for a while now but haven’t gotten around to writing about,
“…(W)e live in an era of non-contiguous information streams. I believe one thing; someone else believes another – and the bedrock assumptions are utterly contradictory. This is what drives me nuts about discussing current events with some people. It’s like discussing the Apollo program with people who think it was all faked, or discussing archeology with those who believe the world is six thousand years old. I think the Iraq Campaign was part of a broad war against Islamicist fascism and the states that enable it; others think it’s all about oil and Halliburton jerking the strings of a Jeebus puppet. No. Middle. Ground.”
Lileks is right about discussing current events in general and the war in Iraq specifically. It’s absolutely impossible to rationally discuss the invasion with many people on the anti-war left. It does not matter what facts you trot out, what arguments you make, or how many mistaken assumptions of theirs that you correct, because they are opposed to the war based on unverifiable feelings that they have about George Bush’s “real” motivation for the invasion. At it’s root, their position is basically, “I believe George Bush is bad, so everything he does must be a bad thing”. You can’t ever “prove” them wrong because their position is based on feelings, not logic.
That’s why their positions so often end up coming across as inconsistent. Just to point out one example out of many, you’ll find a lot of people who justified bombing Kosovo without UN approval solely on humanitarian grounds. Yet, they’ll tell you they were adamantly opposed to going into Iraq, despite the fact that we freed 25 million Iraqis from Saddam’s tyranny, because we didn’t get UN approval.
Once you understand what’s really going on, all the contradictory positions, bizarre theories, and dubious arguments that people on the anti-war left trot out make much more sense. The truth is that many people on the anti-war left are just grasping at any straw, no matter how flimsy, because they’re embarassed to admit the truth; that their position on the war is based on little more than their dislike of George Bush.