From Pine View Farm

Close Encounters of the Wingnut Kind 3

A few days ago, I accompanied my girlfriend to the doctor’s office–she was on light duty and not allowed to drive.

There was an older gentleman there–yeah, even older than me. Apparently he was a regular customer, because he was joking with the secretary. In the course of his comments, it came out that his grandson was in the Navy.

So I mentioned that my son was in the 82nd.

As the conversation progressed, I mentioned that I didn’t think much of my son’s boss.

And off he went. “We’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here blah blah blah.”

I said that, as regards Afghanistan, I agree completely; as regards Iraq, we’ll have to agree to disagree, and went back to reading Samuel Pepys Diary.

Later, my girlfriend complimented me on my restraint.

I said, “There’s no point in arguing with a true believer.”

But there is a larger point.

How can he believe that we are fighting them in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them here, when there is no evidence that they (by which I assumed he meant Al Qaeda and their allies, as Iraq never posed a threat to the United States) were there in the first place?

Because he believes Bushie lies. Even after all that has happened to expose them.

That point is that there are persons out there who simply don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the world.

It is that ignorance which is the enemy.



  1. Opie

    June 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    You’re engaging in self-deception when you try to write off such opinions as "ignorance." There are people who have watched what is going on in the world and arrived at the same conclusions he did after serious thought.

    To begin, saying we’d rather fight them "over there than over here" does not necessarily imply strictly Iraq. This man (or anyone else) may well mean "over there" to mean the Middle East in general. And however we got to where we are right now, the fact is that at the moment, we are fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, if only because they came and met us there after we overthrew Saddam. The view that "Saddam and Al Qaeda had no connection" does not address the entire regional situation. (By the way, there are reasonable mainstream analysts who see progress against Al Qaeda in recent months because of what our military is doing in Iraq.)

    To say that Iraq posed no threat to the US is true only if we have no intention of being relied upon to stand beside our allies in the region. They posed no threat to our soil; they did pose a threat to our credibility.

    You can acknowledge a lot of what defenders of the war believe and still have room to disagree with the original decision to go to war. I’ve never heard a case made for this war that I didn’t think someone could have a bona fide objection to.

    Realizing that both sides have had their rationales and reasons could be important to our nation’s future. I think we would all serve ourselves well to grant some trust to people on the opposite side of the war debate. There were Democrats who voted for this war when it was popular, planning, even as they cast their votes, to blame it all on Bush if things went wrong later on. Having witnessed that, how much stock do you think future presidents are going to take in consulting Congress before committing forces? Why worry about Congress’ consent when we’ve seen how phony it is? It’s worth thinking about.

  2. Frank

    June 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    The way news is treated today has convinced a lot of people that opposite opinions are somehow equal opinions.

    The facts make it clear that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda before the American invasion, despite the statements of the Current Federal Administration.  They also make it clear that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction prior to the American invasion (that’s why the inspectors kept finding nothing–and why Bush kept advancing the deadline; he knew they were finding nothing and wanted to cut them off before the findings were conclusive.)

    Bush lied us into this war.  And a certain number of fools drank the Kool-Aid with him.

    It is one thing to have differing opinions. 

    But, if one of those opinions is based on falsehoods, there is only one word for it:  Lie.

    If someone chooses to base his opinions on lies, I will call him or her out for being a fool.

  3. Opie

    June 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Telling a person what their opinions are based on isn’t true discourse; it’s just putting words in their mouths, and really just another way of building a straw man. It doesn’t take a lot of time to find some serious, coherent thought people have put in to this issue and to learn about what they really think.  And where this comment about how news coverage makes people think opinions are always equal came from, I don’t know; it certainly wasn’t anything I intended to say. I just don’t know a person is supposed to build their own opinions without considering the deepest and most thoughtful of all sides; to only cite the weakest arguments of one or more sides is illogical to me, or if you prefer, unscientific.