Wednesday, October 19, 2005

...In which Jason gets raked over the coals! 
I don't get slammed too often in the blogosphere. That's not because I don't deserve to just as much as the next guy, but because bloggers are the biggest whores for confirmation bias on the planet. We tend to link to people who agree with us, and not read blogs from the opposing team.

Well, here's someone from the loyal opposition who did read Countercolumn, and has a few things to say.

1) The entry represents this gentleman’s personal opinion and we are all entitled to an opinion, except, of course, if people like the author allow the current political party to maintain political power. The author’s opinion is, if I am reading it correctly, that the most recent Bush fiasco was OK because “everybody else does it” and the example he uses is the preparations for some kind of corporate pitch and/or board meeting. Of course, the author fails to mention that the “board meeting” he is excusing as bussiness as usual, is a propaganda event whose sole purpose is to convince everyday hard working Americans to keep supporting an Imperialistic War. And I also doubt that CEO’s, before going into board meetings, rehearse “ad-libs” WITH THE PARTICIPANTS. I saw the tape so, the question is “Who do I trust…You or my lying eyes.”

2) It is a complete waste of time.

My own response, which I put in the comments section of his blog, follows:

I think you make several unjustified leaps of logic. Chiefly, you have not established that the soldiers in the piece were saying anything other than their own honest opinions.

Calling their smiles "phony" does nothing to advance that because A.) Even if true, it's irrelevant to your claim, and B.) You are not in a position to know whether those smiles are phony or not.

You also do not know what criteria was used to select these people. As someone who has selected soldiers to appear on similar VIP panels, for example, I do not pick the soldier I can predict, nor do I pick the soldier who tends to agree with me.

I pick the most articulate griper.

A lot of commanders do the same thing.

Third, you have not established that rehearsing the format of the event equals the production of a fraud.

Your choice of argument is an ad homineim attack against the credibility of the soldiers, not a substantive response to the content of their comments. Indeed, the successful elections and the prevention of large-scale attacks during the election actually confirms that their optimistic outlook was entirely warranted, reasonable, and justified, wrt the elections themselves.

Splash, out


Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.
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