Thursday, July 19, 2007

SusieQ, Where Are You?

Andrew Sullivan (via Ramesh Pannuru (via IMAO)) has fallen for a Moby attack, it looks to me. SusieQ doesn't have an overtly Republican or conservative name, like "JoeBibleThumper" or "NukeTheWhales", but that's about the only Moby Point she missed in the FrontPageMag comment Sullivan reposted.

I was very reluctant to write this letter because it is so negative, but I've reached the point in which I can no longer stay silent. With your last column, I've decided to stop reading WorldNetDaily. That fact probably means nothing to you since I've never been able to support you financially. But it means something to me. For over eight years I have faithfully read WND every day. I trusted you. I believed you.
I've never read WorldNetDaily, as far as I can remember, so I don't know if SusieQ is a commenter there. It's possible she could have been a long-term reader there, but if so it's very unlikely, given her later points, that she were ever anything but a troll. In fact, the entire comment has markings of having been cut and pasted from earlier work.
To suggest that the press coverage of Abu Ghraib and the reduction of "interrogation" has caused us to "lose" (support for) the war is nonsense. We are losing in Iraq because we haven't defined the enemy and we aren't there to "win." What would winning look like, anyway? This undeclared "war" was never meant to be "won," but to secure a large American presence in Iraq. And why do you and all of the other so-called "conservative" news media ignore the president of Iraq's statement that they are ready for us to leave?
I'm not sure why SusieQ brought up Abu Ghraib and interrogation except as a red herring, since neither were mentioned in the article to which she responded. That is also one sign that the letter is paste-work. Playing on the ambiguity between losing support for the war and losing the war, she then presumes that we are losing in Iraq, even though she cannot even define "winning". With no definition for winning, she can no more claim defeat than victory.

But she follows that with the signature liberal tactic: the argument by adjective and scare quote. With the phrase "This undeclared 'war'", she seeks to label the war illegitimate. Like all failures to establish premises properly, it serves only to annoy. Unfortunately, we are not even rewarded with the pleasure of a reasoned point, because she uses her time to declare (without support) that the war in Iraq was intended to "secure a large American presence" in Iraq. This, despite the universal support by every human being, and even among Congress, for an eventual US withdrawal from that country.

The classic loaded question "Why do you [and all others] ignore..." would be better used if it were factual. Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki said the Iraqis can keep the country secure if the US were to leave "any time they want". Clearly he is expressing confidence born of hope, not of reason, and is readying his people for resolve in the event that our Congress forces a withdrawal, and telling the terrorists not to expect the sheep to be shorn willingly. From that well-known Bush mouthpiece CBS News on Al-Maliki:
"We need time and effort, particularly since the political process is facing security, economic and services pressures, as well as regional and international interference," he told reporters at a Baghdad press conference, without giving a timeframe.
Maliki is not claiming that the Iraqis are "ready for us to leave", but rather, that they would get by if we did. However, if we take Mr. Maliki's words at face value and give them the interpretation SusieQ does, we're winning. Either SusieQ doesn't believe al-Maliki is correct, or she understands that victory in Iraq is in fact achieving conditions such that we can leave.
You and others who claim to stand for conservative Christians have gone down that terrible road of endorsing deception, violence and fiscal irresponsibility to justify the actions of a president (whom I voted for twice) who is not only out of touch with his country, but close to becoming our first dictator.
Disregard the last clause for a moment. Is any more evidence needed before that clause to show that whatever SusieQ is, a conservative she is not? Irrespective of any particular policy position, she displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the conservative world view. The tone is all wrong. Conservative Christians do not look to FrontPageMag or "conservative media" for someone to stand for them, nor do pundits who claim to "stand for" conservative Christians last out the week. Conservatives stand for ideas, not movements or constituent groups. But she says that those who support the war in Iraq do so from loyalty to President Bush, a mistake no conservative would make.

The code words continue with "deception", implicitly allying herself with Joe Wilson and the BushLied™ No-WMD subculture. Decrying "violence" in defense of freedom is drawing equivalence between military action and terrorism. And she then adds "fiscal irresponsibility", which is an exercise in question-begging: things are fiscally irresponsible if they are not important enough for the amount of funds they require versus the amount available. But she is trying to show that the war is not important, so to do so by claiming it's irresponsible is circular.

And if Mr. Bush is close to becoming our first dictator, his tactics to achieve it are really awful.
Now the drumbeats are calling for us to "take care of" Iran next. Hitler had his scapegoat in the Jews and Bush has his in the Muslims. And my fellow Christians are happily following him down a terrible path laced with lies, torture, violence and genocide. After it is all over and the dust has cleared, what will we do when they tell the world that the Christians are now the enemy? Haven't we learned anything from history? When we condemn and entire group of people for the actions of a few, we are no better than those who have turned away from God.
Out comes the Hitler card. The sheer historical ignorance, and the naivety of those who have never lived under true totalitarianism, never ceases to amaze. Even without that, however, there are several differences between the "scapegoats": the Jews never flew airplanes into German skyscrapers, never called for Germany's destruction, never said they wanted to create a Jewish nation out of the whole world, and never blew themselves up at bus stops to get on the news. They were, relatively speaking, innocent. President Bush has never called for any action against Muslims as a group, but instead always carefully and zealously distinguishes between radical Islamic terrorists and ordinary Muslims. The two situations are in wholly dissimilar.
You and the others who support the evolution of our political process into essentially a one-party system are guilty of contributing to the destruction of our beloved republic. I am so sorry that you of all people bought into this madness. I really used to enjoy reading WND, but now I've deleted it from my database because you have become like the rest of the people who claim to follow Jesus: You lust for war, violence, torture and injustice. You will say anything to justify these things, which you know go against the teachings of Jesus. Which Jesus supports these things? Not the Jesus I follow, and I have been a Bible-believing traditional conservative Christian for 24 years. Go ahead and rationalize it all you want. We all have to answer to God for our actions, and I will no longer stand with my fellow Christians and endorse this insanity because after four years, I have come to the conclusion that we were deceived right from the start."

There is a vast difference between opposing a particular party (e.g. the Democrats) because of the policies they espouse, even (hypothetically) desiring the total destruction of that party on the one hand, and desiring a one-party system on the other. To expect that the Democrats will fall so far out of favor that they are forced to disband when they are currently the majority party in two houses of Congress is a bit silly, but to believe that anyone is actively planning such an outcome is really nutty. However, should that unlikely fantasy ever materialize, it takes another leap of imagination to believe that Republicans would either seek or achieve one-party rule thereafter.

As for the charges that the WND folks (and the rest of the people who claim to follow Jesus) are bloodthirsty warmongers, I can only say that I don't know anyone like that. Many Christians do recognize, however, that there is evil in the world which must be stopped, and that there may be some evils better dispatched with force of arms than by prayer and fasting. And they know, at bottom, that even though America is a great place to be a Christian, to expect the non-Christians among us to accept faith as our only defense wanders down a theocratic road I would rather leave untrammeled.

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