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First: Okay.
Second: I didn't disagree with that.
Third: I didn't disagree with that either, but it does not take anything away from his clearly incorrect statement about public opinion.

Perhaps I was too harsh, but I tend to respond harshly after being stereotyped as a "Bible-thumping, pious militarist" and a "grotesque, abject sucker".

Ames' assertion that Americans no longer believe the war was a mistake is demonstrably false (hence my quoting of two out of many polls recently conducted), and, given the overall tone of the column, along with more than a few vicious attacks, it seems he deserves to be taken down a peg or two.  As far as his characterization of the US media is concerned, few -- especially on the left side of the center -- would disagree with the idea that the press is playing into the hands of Old Cold "Warriors" (quotes used because few of them actually served) who don't realize that it's 2006, and that, more generally, the press is, at best, a joke and, at worst, no less insane than the Bushies.

Further, he brings in the quote from Menon in 2004, saying that Menon believed the war in Chechnya was unwinnable.  Small problem: The quote doesn't say that.  It says that, in 2004 (just as in some earlier year not quoted by Ames), the war was a stalemate.  Ames employed a straw man argument.  (Why anyone would need a straw man argument to take on the press is beyond me, unless, of course, he has no serious rebuttal.)  Again -- and I'm almost finished reading, so I think I know the answer -- I have got to ask: Does he ever even address Newsweek's claims?  I haven't even read the NW article, and I can so far tell that he has not.

He, then, ridicules NW's question :"What happens when--not if--oil and gas prices begin to retreat?"  But he never answers it, nor does he argue that it is not a question of "when" but "if," which would've been an easy argument to make, as you, of all people, know.  This is where my view -- that Ames writes like a high school student -- originated.  A serious writer would've answered NW or provided an argument against NW's premise.

The Cold War was not about defeating Russia, anyway.  It was about defeating communism.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 28th, 2006 at 01:43:24 PM EST
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