Angrier Bear

Not so long ago, I echoed CalPundit’s sentiment that “… the Standard really a more interesting, more unpredictable, and basically more honest conservative magazine than National Review?”. Well all it takes is the impending start of war for the Standard to go off the deep end. Here’s a typical hyperbolic quip by the author: “the United Nations, which is now a theme park for anti-American hatred”. Of course the writer is Austrailian, making him a member of one of the “group of 30” nations supporting–but not committing troops to–the U.S. (ok, I’ve read somewhere that the Australians will send either 100 or 1,000 troops, but I don’t consider either of those numbers to be “support”). Fortunately, Ezra Klein is here to give a thorough Fisking to this silly essay.

This is important, people. Repeat this until it sinks in: opposing the war with Iraq is not the same thing as hating America. Failing to grasp this makes you an idiot. It’s the classic syllogism mistake:


All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore Socrates is mortal.


All men are mortal.
Ann Coulter is mortal.
Therefore Ann Coulter is a man.

So while those who do in fact hate America likely oppose the war, opposing the war does not mean that you hate America. Use some logic, damn it. Similarly, those who support the war don’t ipso facto hate Muslims.


Note: why do I say “likely”? Well, even many on the Right argue that bin Laden’s objective was to start a Holy War between the West, primarily the U.S., and the Muslim World, so some of those who hate America may support the war. Assume OBL’s objective was in fact to start such a war. This makes him pro-war, but it really, really, doesn’t make make him pro-American.

UPDATE: The syllogism mistake nearly perfectly describes House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert, who in response to criticism of the president by Tom Daschle said “[Daschle’s] comments may not undermine the president as he leads us into war, and they may not give comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close.” I like Josh Marshall’s take on Hastert: “Almost needless to say, Senator Daschle is a Vietnam vet, Air Force intelligence, if I remember correctly. Hastert, during the same years, was otherwise occupied.”