Which side are you on?

In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be (I am fully aware that this sounds arrogant and simplistic, but I believe it nevertheless). So it is with Joe Klein’s and James Fallows’ pieces in support of Jeff Golberg’s “who will bomb these meddlesome Persians” piece. In each case, the basic thrust is that Jeff Goldberg is a serious person who has written a serious piece. In Klein’s case, this predictably devolves into “fuck you, peasants, you don’t know what journalists do”. In Fallows’ case, it ends (also predictably) with some warmed-over freshman seminar musing about action versus inaction. Both tell readers to ignore the fact that Goldberg’s Iran scare-mongering is identical to his Iraq scare-mongering, neither mentions that Goldberg continues to push the myth of an Al Qaeda/Iraq connection or that, while Goldberg was claiming to be undecided about the bombing, he was encouraging everyone’s favorite canonized cancer-victim to talk about how we had a “moral obligation” to overthrow the Iranian government.

Glenn Greenwald’s piece (that John linked to earlier) on all of this is worth reading, but I don’t think it goes quite far enough. Fallows and Klein’s aren’t just motivated by elite media’s desire to forget the Iraq War, they’re motivated by a general loyalty to their class, the class of respectable elite journalists. Given the choice between killing a million Persians and discrediting one member of their club, they’ll kill the Persians every time. Bob Somerby once quoted The Iliad in a similar context:

Lost to the clan,
lost to the hearth, lost to the old ways, that one
who lusts for the horror of war with his own people…

One should always remember with Fallows, with Klein, with nearly all establishment bloggers and opinion writers, that their loyalty is to their career and their clan, not to their country, not to mankind, not to the truth, and certainly not to you, the reader.

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198 replies
  1. 1
    kdaug says:

    Howsoever shall we stop them?

    Here’s a fucking hint: quit linking to their shit and driving up their page views.

    The water on these wicked witches is to be ignored.

  2. 2
    4tehlulz says:

    @kdaug: You just killed the blogosphere, and possibly the entire Internet.

  3. 3
    valdemar says:

    At the risk of seeming very stupid, how would bombing Iran in any way undermine the regime? Clearly a few bombs dropped on supposed military targets would have the same effect that bombing Tripoli had – strengthening the regime. People rally against foreign attacks. The kind of sustained blitz that could bring down a government without committing land forces would have to totally dislocate society – it would kill so many innocent Iranian that it would constitute a horrendous war crime. And then America really would be the Great Satan. Or is that what these supposed experts want?

  4. 4
    Linkmeister says:

    there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments

    Which is why I’ve maintained that shows like The News Hour should use Tim Russert’s white board when it wants to put on opposing points of view from AEI or Heritage during those discussions it likes to present.

    “We didn’t need to inconvenience so-and-so from the Heritage Foundation by asking him to come into the studio. You and we already know what his viewpoint is, so we’re just going to use this white board as a stand-in. Fill in his remarks in your head as needed.”

  5. 5
    matoko_chan says:

    when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments,

    then why is Kain here?

  6. 6
    eemom says:

    In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be (I am fully aware that this sounds arrogant and simplistic, but I believe it nevertheless).

    Wow.

    No, it doesn’t “sound” arrogant and simplistic. It IS both of those things. It is also lazy, contemptible and dangerous.

    And that’s without even getting into the mind-blowing arrogance of assuming that you “understand” all those things about someone else — much less someone who is an absolute stranger to you as an actual person.

    I’m sure you don’t give a shit, but I have just lost all respect for you.

  7. 7
    DougJ says:

    @eemom:

    Never had any for you. You’ve always been an off the rails commenter.

  8. 8
    freelancer says:

    I feel like you and TNC are in the same kind of headspace today:

    My problem is that I have come to view some questions–gay marriage among them–as beyond the realm of debate. In a world where Newt Gingrich, is allowed to credibly position himself as a defender of “marriage,” there is something gut-wrenching about engaging people who think gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry. I feel like I am watching Andrew very respectfully reply to a critic who demands that he prove his humanity. It is not my right to feel that way. Perhaps it isn’t even logical, And surely someone must do it. But increasingly–in all such matters, and in this way–I feel unwilling.

    Debates on whether to start a 3rd war when we’re already on the cusp of bankruptcy and collapse, it really shouldn’t even have to be said or pushed back upon that Goldberg’s opinion is utter garbage. It’s as psychotic and unhinged as Goehmert is about the “terror babies”, but Goldberg and the rest of the fatalistic neocon right are VSPs. And so the “debate” rages on.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    @matoko_chan:

    He’s actually a rare counterexample. If you lump him in with the stereotype of a conservative, you’re being wrong and unfair.

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: This Goldberg article really seems to have stirred up levels of anger far beyond anything I would have expected.

  11. 11
    eemom says:

    @DougJ:

    Given the above, I am perfectly delighted to hear it.

    oh and you’re an asshole. An on the rails one, to be sure, but an asshole nonetheless. Also too.

  12. 12
    Derelict says:

    All very true. And all as unstoppable as the sunrise. The elite listen only to themselves, and that self-amplification makes their voices heard in the White House and in Congress, effectively drowning out ours.

    Remember, too, that the elite decided ten years ago that competence is a very, very serious character fault. In the ensuing decade, they have worked hard (and successfully) to make sure that who who were right–about the war, the economy, the environment, labor, etc.–have all been marginalized and driven from the public discourse. Only those who have been most consistently and spectacularly wrong are now allowed to participate in the debate.

    Shorter me: We’re fucking screwed!

  13. 13
    Seebach says:

    @eemom: I’m sure you give all of Sarah Palin’s and Glen Beck’s books a thorough read-through just to ensure there’s nothing of value in them. Why, it would be arrogant to dismiss a writer without having read everything they’ve written.

  14. 14
    fasteddie9318 says:

    So, somewhere between DougJ’s “I don’t hafta read it if I know the person who wrote it” and eemom’s “We must never allow a writer’s context to distort our reading of just what appears on the page” there must be a broadly acceptable middle ground, no?

  15. 15
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It has nothing to do with Goldberg’s article itself, or the Iran issue.

    I just really, really despise ignorant closed-mindedness. And I am very saddened to see it so ingrained in certain people here.

    Maybe all blogs go to shit eventually, no matter how well they start out.

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    @eemom:

    Because that’s the important thing, right, not another million dead people in the Middle East?

  17. 17
    Dan says:

    “when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be (I am fully aware that this sounds arrogant and simplistic, but I believe it nevertheless)”

    well now at least we’re getting somewhere. This isn’t about the article at all. No point arguing then. You were surprised when goldberg bashed the ADL over the whole cordoba institute/ground zero controversy, weren’t you? Was it because you assumed that, given what you KNOW about his motivations/loyalites/outlook, he would side with the ADL?

  18. 18
    cleek says:

    FUCK GOLDBERG AND HIS MADE-UP CRISIS

    he’s not that important.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @fasteddie9318: Weak-kneed compromiser!!! I’ll have you run out of here on a rail.

  20. 20

    @valdemar:

    At the risk of seeming very stupid, how would bombing Iran in any way undermine the regime? Clearly a few bombs dropped on supposed military targets would have the same effect that bombing Tripoli had – strengthening the regime. People rally against foreign attacks. The kind of sustained blitz that could bring down a government without committing land forces would have to totally dislocate society – it would kill so many innocent Iranian that it would constitute a horrendous war crime. And then America really would be the Great Satan. Or is that what these supposed experts want?

    Indeed, and look at how effective 9/11 was at undermining the Bush regime.

  21. 21
    Seebach says:

    @eemom: You’re welcome to go read another blog, such as Powerline or Hugh Hewitt, because you never know what enlightening things they might say.

  22. 22
    eemom says:

    @DougJ:

    this isn’t about that, hysteria-monger; and if you have a shred of integrity or self-awareness, you know it.

  23. 23
    DougJ says:

    @Dan:

    I’m talking about Klein and Fallows on this issue, not Goldberg.

  24. 24
    Jewish Steel says:

    In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be…

    Worse still is having to explain your interlocutor’s position to him or her. I get this all the time living in the heart of redness.

    An extreme example: In the midst of a climate change argument having to stop the bus to explain to a wingnut that there was no such thing as a glacier-melt denialist.

    I could tell by the way his eyes flickered when I used the phrase “Human Agency” that he was hearing, ♫ You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar/When I met you…♫

  25. 25
    DougJ says:

    @eemom:

    No reason to be hysterical about another war in the Middle East, right?

  26. 26
    Third Eye Open says:

    @eemom: Or maybe simple-minded blog-readers get so wrapped up in their own philosophical hobby-horse that they forget that no one comes here to read them, only to point and laugh at their simple-consistency. Y’know the line: Hobgoblins. Also, too!

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    This is going to be a long, vituperative, and vicious thread.

  28. 28
    kdaug says:

    @eemom: Whaaa? This is a spoof right?

    I just really, really despise ignorant closed-mindedness. And I am very saddened to see it so ingrained in certain people here.

    Ignorant closed-mindedness? And then you proceed to blanket-accuse us of this? (Or is the “certain people” caveat supposed to mean something outside of your head?)

    Shit or get off the pot.

  29. 29
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Well, I just read Goldberg’s piece and found it fairly reasonable in it’ s description of the situation. I suppose if you start out with the notion a neo con can never write something reasonable, especially about the ME, then every word might have a diabolical and destructive secret meaning.

    It all comes down to whether you believe a nuked up Iran is mostly benign, or dire. It is not only Israel that will be fearing and reacting to such an event, when it happens, it will involve the entire region of Sunni Arabs as well, who also fear Iran’s hegemonic aspirations. And with a lot of cash on hand could be expected to build their own bomb. A heavily nuked ME kind of scares me a little. Probly gives the rapturists the expectant tingles though.

    So can an air strikes effectively destroy the Iranians nuclear infrastructure to the point of actually destroying it. Word is not so much, as it is underground largely. Might delay it a bit, but that is not good enough to outweigh the consequences of such a strike. If it would, then I would likely be for it, but for us to do it. Not the Israeli’s

    I think it is anti neo con knee jerk to blithely brush away the really bad idea of Iran’s Mullah’s and more importantly it’s Revolutionary Guard from getting such a weapon. It will be destabilizing for not only the region, but the world. imo.

    So to me, there are only three options, first to rally the world to draconian sanctions, though I doubt even they will deter religious zealots from their goal, second, rally the world for an or else threat of invasion, and it would take the entire world to be legitimate and wise for such an undertaking. or, third, to deal with a nuked Iran.

    I think by elimination of the less than likely first two instances, we are going to have to accept the last one. Goldberg appears to accept the air strike as a viable option. I don’t agree is all. But I didn’t find Goldberg’s article polemic in the least, as to arguing outright for his preferred coarse. Though as Goldberg pointed out, the other options do have the possibility of working. And this is not about Iraq, or viewing everything that happens through that prism. That way is braindead dogma/

    I did not and am not going to read the other articles, because I am sick of these little blogosphere press food fights. But claiming Fallows, and even Klein, though more so are the only ones acting out of some kind of personal bias, whether professional or something else is absurd, and double absurd not including Greenwald, and suggesting he is operating in some selfless manner for the betterment of something other than his own self. But that is my opinion, and it disagrees with Dougj and Cole, but that is no secret.

  30. 30
    DougJ says:

    All right, I’m through arguing. I’m never going to convince some people that another war in the middle east is more important than Jeff Goldberg’s fee fees. So be it.

  31. 31
    sparky says:

    @DougJ: oh, fine. writing as if loyalty isn’t the only virtue evah! if you lived inside the charmed circle, you’d understand these things.

    and on another note, watch out with that additional million casualty stuff, or you’ll end up being called the Chris Hedges of BJ. zOMG

  32. 32
    eemom says:

    @DougJ:

    None of any of this hyperbolic bullshit of yours — or Goldberg’s, for that matter — has a single shred of relevance to the possibility of that occurring in the actual, you know, world.

    As I said yesterday, before I fully understood what a fraud you are, it is all a tempest in a teapot.

  33. 33
    Bob Loblaw says:

    eemom, don’t you have some humanitarian slaughters to cheerlead or something? I don’t think you’re a good arbiter on respectability of a person…

  34. 34
    kdaug says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Looking forward to it.

  35. 35
    Alex S. says:

    Do we have a full moon tonight?

  36. 36
    Catsy says:

    @eemom:

    I just really, really despise ignorant closed-mindedness.

    Self-loathing is a very terrible, destructive thing. Seek help.

    I do not need to read the arguments of torture apologists in order to know that their arguments are dangerous bullshit.

    I do not need to read the arguments of christianists to know that all of their arguments against same-sex marriage amount to “gays are icky” with no rational basis.

    And I do not need to read the arguments of dishonest warmongers like Goldberg to know that they want war with Iran regardless of the context and will lie as freely in aid of that goal as they did when pushing the Iraq war–sometimes with the very same verbiage.

    What you classify as ignorant closed-mindedness, I see as having the sense to know when not to waste valuable minutes of my life reading horseshit that I know will be horseshit because of the author’s well-established track record as a purveyor of horseshit.

    For instance, I usually skip over most of your comments.

  37. 37
    eemom says:

    @kdaug:

    I read the goddamn article with an open mind and drew conclusions accordingly.

    From what I can tell, at least 98% of the people who have discussed it on this blog did not.

    If that doesn’t answer your question, fuck off.

  38. 38
    kdaug says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Define “destabilize”.

  39. 39
    morzer says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Indeed there is – we don’t know who writes Sarah Palin’s slop, so we shouldn’t read it either way.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    @eemom:

    Okay, I’ll bite again.

    I opposed the Iraq War but in a very wimpy, almost Joe Kleinian kind of way. Now, from my view, the same propaganda machine that led to that one is being fired up again. I have no illusions that anything I say or do will have much effect one way or the other, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be a Vichy liberal this time around. I really don’t care if that pisses you off or not. And I’m trying to be as respectful as I can, given that I’ve seen you go off the rails before. (EDIT: not that going off the rails on a blog is a terrible sin.)

    I suspect John feels the same way, maybe moreso since he actually supported the war.

  41. 41
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Alex S.:

    Do we have a full moon tonight?

    Well, it is Friday the 13th, there’s that…

  42. 42
    eemom says:

    @Catsy:

    Jamesie? That you?

    I can’t be sure because I skipped over what you actually said. That way, you know, I can pass judgment on you from an informed perspective.

    Looks like DougJ has lots of company in his God-like comprehension of everybody’s entire essence.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Alex S.:

    Actually, the full moon is nearly 2 weeks off.

    So much for that theory…

  44. 44
    kdaug says:

    @eemom:

    Oh, I read it. In point of fact, I quoted from it in a earlier thread, to wit:

    “American’s play baseball, we play chess.”

    Eventually Iran will have nukes. Full stop.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kdaug: At heart, I am a diplomat. I would like everyone to rationally discuss ideas and either come to an agreement or respectfully agree to disagree. I would also like a pony. A dappled one.

  46. 46
    The Moar You Know says:

    This is going to be a long, vituperative, and vicious thread.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thankfully, most of it will be directed at “eemom”, who is a fucking psycho nutjob.

    Oh yeah, fuck you, cause you said something I disagreed with once.

    Fuck John Cole, too.

    Fuck Fridays, big business, Daily Kos, my car, rusty needles, office supplies, my condo HOA, cheap soup and pet hair.

    What? I got lots more.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Friday the 13th.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Why does Iran want nukes?

    Because they’ve seen what happened to Iraq, and they’ve seen what happened to North Korea.

  49. 49
    kdaug says:

    @Alex S.:

    Well, it is Friday the 13th…

  50. 50
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    One should always remember with Fallows, with Klein, with nearly all establishment bloggers and opinion writers, that their loyalty is to their career and their clan, not to their country, not to mankind, not to the truth, and certainly not to you, the reader.

    A harsh assessment, Prof. Chomsky, but one I largely agree with.

  51. 51
    Svensker says:

    @freelancer:

    Yes. Thank you. Beautifully said.

  52. 52
    Alex S. says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Well, at least, Tunch should negate any black cat effect.

  53. 53
    eemom says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    reeeeealllly? You wanna play who’s-a-psycho-nutjob?

    IIRC you’re another genius who doesn’t read shit. I guess that’s why you’re so sane.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You’ve got me there.

    Still, the moon is pretty darn new…won’t be full for nearly two weeks.

    But, of course, the tides are more extreme as a result of the alignment, so there’s that.

    Is Jupiter aligned with Mars? Nope, we can’t rely on that particular astronomical phenomenon to explain things…

  55. 55
    Lev says:

    I don’t agree with Goldberg here, but it’s not as bad as his Iraq “never again with the holocaust” shtick: http://www.theatlantic.com/int.....dea/61346/

    Frankly, I think that any journalist who didn’t aggressively question the Iraq War should not be working today. No fuckin’ standards. But it is what it is.

  56. 56
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @kdaug: Mostly a proliferation of more nukes, and more fear that will come with them, that always causes people to do stupid shit more than when they are not afraid. Especially, afraid in an existential way that comes with nuclear weapons.

    And don’t kid yourself, if a nuclear bomb goes off in that part of the world, whether in Pakistan, or India, or wherever, the paranoia and stupid shit will explode with it, around the world.

    The Saudi’s will almost certainly pursue a bomb if Iran gets one, and then it begins, first as something like a cold war when every little encounter gets magnified a hundred times.

    And then, anything can happen.

  57. 57
    Dave C says:

    @eemom:

    Subtext and sarcasm are apparently not your strong suites. You might want to read Moar’s comment again.

  58. 58
    DougJ says:

    I started it and it’s my fault, but I think we should all ease off on eemom here for a while.

  59. 59
    patrick II says:

    I am particularly disappointed in James Fallows. I have been a fan of his writing at the Atlantic for a long time. His articles on a wide spectrum of subjects from computers and the internet to airplanes to beer to foreign policy and economics have shown him to have an eclectic and impressive intelligence. His books “Blind Into Iraq” and “Looking at the Sun” were both very influential works for me, and in neither was he shy about disagreeing with the mainstream press or political powers about important issues. But it seems that Mr. Goldberg’s propaganda piece he has caused Fallows to put his impressive analytical powers aside. I don’t know how that happens, and it disappoints me and scares me that even people of such intelligence can let themselves avoid seeing the obvious for reasons I don’t understand.

  60. 60
    matoko_chan says:

    @Doug

    He’s actually a rare counterexample.

    he is not.
    hes McMegan with a Y chromosome and Douthat without the protective layer of sterile latex that keeps him from touching the icky grrl parts. The stealthy conservative assclowns are a thousand times more toxic than the overt conservative assclowns like Levin and Beck.
    they give their base cover to be ignorant christian triumphalist racists.
    Kain should lead, follow, or get out of the way.
    Right now hes just in the way.

  61. 61
    Svensker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I would also like a pony. A dappled one.

    I gotta used one ry-cheer. With sparkles! And I take paypal — would you like the e-mail address?

  62. 62
    kdaug says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Fuck that. That’s what landed us in Iraq in the first place. We may not have any influence, but goddammit let’s have the debate.

    Now we’re laying the groundwork for taking on the fucking Persians? A third damned war in the ME?

    But don’t touch our tax cuts?

    And, BTW, we’re really concerned about that deficit???

    This is how the American Empire dies.

  63. 63
    Violet says:

    @eemom:

    None of any of this hyperbolic bullshit of yours—or Goldberg’s, for that matter—has a single shred of relevance to the possibility of that occurring in the actual, you know, world.

    Bullshit. Part of how the Iraq War happened is that the Bush administration, who wanted the war, used the media and Serious People to gin up support for it in the rest of the country. You think Americans would have wanted to go to war in Iraq, when it was the Taliban in Afghanistan who were responsible for training and harboring the 9/11 terrorists and Bin Laden? Why would the average person even think about us going to Iraq? Because Serious People, and trusted individuals like Colin Powell, told us we should.

    So now the drums of war are starting. Oh sure, we’ve got Obama in the WH, but let’s say the economy is still crappy in 2012 and dog forbid someone like Sarah Palin wins the Presidency. Well, they’re all ready to go to war with Iran. And they’ve got two years worth of “reasons” and “critical thinking” from Serious People in the Village.

    It’s important to call them on their bullshit warmongering crap now so that bombing Iran doesn’t happen.

  64. 64
    Catsy says:

    @eemom:

    Jamesie? That you?
    __
    I can’t be sure because I skipped over what you actually said. That way, you know, I can pass judgment on you from an informed perspective.

    Apparently your informed perspective does not extend to being informed about my name–a name available to anyone capable of clicking a link or exercising teh googles.

    Looks like DougJ has lots of company in his God-like comprehension of everybody’s entire essence.

    A position I vastly prefer over your non-stop parade of debilitating ignorance.

  65. 65
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @DougJ:

    Or what, she cusses out the world and everyone in it some more? How will we ever cope?

    Sheesh, take your prozac and get back in the toll booth, eemom.

  66. 66
    srv says:

    Oh, you’ve redeemed yourself for this week DougJ – asshole.

    Like Goldberg, Klein and Fallows, some folks on this very blog can rationalize bombing/destabilizing another country and killing a shit-load of folks and then calling it a tempest in a teapot.

    Sociopaths are all around us. Mass murder is being open-minded to them. But fuck if that Greenwald guy isn’t a shrill fuck.

  67. 67
    Svensker says:

    @patrick II:

    But it seems that with Mr. Goldberg’s propaganda piece he has put his impressive analytical powers aside. I don’t know how that happens, and it disappoints me and scares me that even people of such intelligence can let themselves avoid seeing the obvious for reasons I don’t understand

    I am still bothered by a picture of Obama from a year ago or so, walking to get on a plane and carrying a copy of a Tom Friedman book. TOM FRIEDMAN! Obama fucking reads Tom Friedman! Made me think he’s not so fucking smart after all. It still haunts me.

  68. 68
    eemom says:

    @DougJ:

    Yes, please. Great minds like the ones on display here do intimidate me, I confess.

    And I am sorry for being off the rails, uttering the occasional obscenity, and expressing strongly held opinions. I am painfully aware of being the only one here who has ever done that.

    Carry on, Righteous Ones.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @patrick II:

    Yeah, I share your sentiment on Fallows. Goldberg is basically undefendable on this, if you value intellectual honesty, which I always thought Fallows did. But then he goes all Villager tribe on us. Klein is such a whore that it’s not at all surprising that he’s defending Goldberg, but I expected much more of Fallows. Like to make no comment at all, at best.

  70. 70
    kdaug says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Agreed. But I think that the Saudi’s and the entire OAE have “contingency plans”, shall we say. Either they own ’em, or they have agreements that make ownership irrelevant.

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    @Jewish Steel: Don’t try to talk to them about peace in The Lebanon.

  72. 72
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    eemom speaks her mind, though sometimes a little too quick with the flames, when there is not a personal insult at play to respond to. She is consistent at being skeptical of group think, and some of you fuckers could take a lesson there

  73. 73
    srv says:

    @Svensker: I’d pray that Obama doesn’t read what he’s carrying anymore than all the intellectual book-of-the-week that W was always seen carrying. All optics.

  74. 74
    Catsy says:

    @eemom:

    And I am sorry for being off the rails, uttering the occasional obscenity, and expressing strongly held opinions. I am painfully aware of being the only one here who has ever done that.
    __
    Carry on, Righteous Ones.

    I’ve seen less passive-aggressive, butthurt martyrdom on LJDrama.

    Would you like nails with that cross?

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    rationalize bombing/destabilizing another country and killing a shit-load of folks and then calling it a tempest in a teapot.

    Ferfucksake. Can someone just have a SHRED of honesty here for once?

    How in God’s name does talking about what someone did or did not say in an article equate to RATIONALIZING the KILLING of people??

    Seriously, now, FUCK this. You people are morons.

  76. 76
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Because of course you’re on her side, Stuck. Of course you are. You’ll get that Greenwald monster yet!

    Just too bad you’re willing to get into bed with someone who cheered those Turkish murders a while back. Remember that? Yeah, those fuckups at the IDF sure got themselves into one hell of a pickle on that one. But they weren’t nasty Muslims or anything, so it’s cool. Keep walking on.

  77. 77
    John O says:

    It took me a blogosphere to understand how deep tribalism runs.

    It’s like Club membership is the blood in, “blood is thicker than water.”

    I quit the Boy Scouts to my parents’ mild consternation after about 2 weeks in because it was too creepy for me.

    That Woody Allen (?) quote about not wanting to be a member of any group that would have me must have struck a nerve at precisely the right time.

    On the upside, it’s good that we, even our Villagers, try to see some good in each other, I suppose. I slogged through Goldy’s work and found it serious indeed, as serious as, say, more wars we can’t afford in any way.

  78. 78
    bkny says:

    gotta say i was honestly stunned to see fallows’ piece defending goldberg. i had considered him one of the few voices of reason at an increasingly unreadable magazine.

  79. 79
    kdaug says:

    @Catsy:

    Would you like nails with that cross?

    BTW, I am stealing this, effective immediately.

  80. 80
    morzer says:

    @patrick II:

    I agree with you. For a long time, Fallows and TNC have been the only redeeming features of the Atlantic, and now both of them have gone whoring out their credibility for the fanatical and deeply dishonest Likudnik Goldberg. It’s time to remove the Atlantic from speed dial and shake the dust from my electronic feet.

  81. 81
    Svensker says:

    @eemom:

    Seriously, now, FUCK this. You people are morons

    I think you should take one of the little purple pills now. Seriously.

  82. 82
    morzer says:

    @John O:

    Groucho Marx, I think.

    “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”

    (Although there are quite a few variants).

  83. 83
    eemom says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    To be honest there, Stuckie, I feel that I’ve been the target of personal attacks I never provoked more than I’ve dished them out.

    For example — except for taking on DougJ above — I don’t think I’ve ever said a rude word to any of the people who attacked me on this thread.

  84. 84
    Catsy says:

    @kdaug:

    BTW, I am stealing this, effective immediately.

    Not mine originally by far, but have at.

    I can be as much of a douche as anyone on the intarwebz, but I try not to whine when it lands me in a flame war.

  85. 85
    eemom says:

    @Svensker:

    purple ones? What do those do?

  86. 86
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    Jesus, this is a ridiculous thread, even by Balloon Juice standards. Pretty much ALL of you, on both sides (one of which seems to be just eemom), are making stupid, over-the-top statements and making extremely bad faith arguments about each other.

    Grow the fuck up. It would help if DougJ, as the front pager, went first, but it applies to at least a half dozen of you.

  87. 87
    matoko_chan says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: ill give her props when she apolos for gettin’ punked by the warpimps on Assange.
    until then, not a drop of compassion.

  88. 88
    Pangloss says:

    I prefer the intravenous outrage drip to mainlining.

  89. 89
    Ailuridae says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Especially as it relates to anything to do with Israel, their foreign policy or their military aggression.

  90. 90
    morzer says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    Alternatively, a small majority are fighting a private battle, for reasons that remain obscure, while the rest of us get on with our worthless thread-dogging lives…..

  91. 91
    DougJ says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    I remember playing the adult to my lefty friends who were childishly hysterical about the run-up to the Iraq War. I’m not proud of it.

  92. 92
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @Svensker:

    I think you should take one of the little purple pills now. Seriously.

    I don’t know about her, but you’ve certainly given me heartburn.

  93. 93
    matoko_chan says:

    Grow the fuck up.

    nevah!

  94. 94
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @DougJ: And so your response is to make bad faith arguments about people? That’s a very strange reaction.

  95. 95
    John O says:

    Count me as one who doesn’t give a crap if Iran gets nukes.

    What’re they gonna do, use them?

    This peculiarly American exceptionalist idea that we’re the only rational country on earth is tiresome, particularly when we’re talking about one of the OLDEST civilizations on earth, Iran. 60% of their population resides in 4 easily (and already, I’d bet) targeted areas.

    They’re no more suicidal than the rest of us. Let them have nukes, and describe the consequences of using them in no uncertain terms. Like we’ve done with everyone else for the past 55 years.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kdaug: Hey, I was just stating my preferences (and my desire for a pony, a dappled one), I know that isn’t how things work.

  97. 97
    DougJ says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    I’ve explained my problems with Goldberg’s article in mind-numbing detail. They are a lot like the bad faith problems I have with Paul Ryan’s roadmap and the plan to get rid of the 14th Amendment.

    I’ll do one more post, explaining this, taken from the comments.

  98. 98
    Ailuridae says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    What, exactly, is bad faith about Doug’s characterization of Fallows or Klein in his post (or eemom in the comments to this thread)? I’m asking honestly as I tend to take the same view that Somerby and DougJ do about this stuff: the greatest sin in Washington is to be rude or impolite even if the person you are arguing with is arguing for an unjustifiable war, or torture or subjugating another people under apartheid conditions.

  99. 99
    kdaug says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Got the snark. Just sick of hearing the meme, and felt a childish reaction to punch back. I’m better now. (At least until I get my + on).

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ:

    In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be.

    I vehemently disagree with this, just as I disagree with those who wouldn’t want you to link to these bloggers and pundits.

    And it’s not that I disagree with your main point. It is becoming clear that there are political leaders, supported by factions in the media, who are trying to drum up support for an attack on Iran and for marginalizing Muslims in America and elsewhere.

    Ultimately, these people need to be dragged into the light and they and their arguments actively challenged, fought, taken down. Because you know people like Jeff Goldberg will keep pushing this stuff.

    And if journalists like Fallows have any integrity at all, people have to keep asking him why does he continue to support or defend the people who are pushing lies.

    Because, in the end, the old union song “Which side are you on,” is a challenge and a rallying cry.

    And although I agree with much of what Greenwald says, he is not only a tiresome, predictable scold, but a part of a predictable anti-elite, that is in some ways as narrow in its perspective as people like Goldberg.

    That’s the effect of attacking a country: incentivizing them (and others) to obtain nuclear weapons in order to deter future attacks.

    This so is so clearly ignorant of other nations’ views of their national interest that it is risible. Pakistan and India both developed nuclear weapons because it gave them a national hard-on to do so. South Africa developed nukes as part of their general apartheid paranoia. The Soviet Union and China developed nukes to give themselves parity with the West. The French developed nukes because they are … French.

    And Greenwald appears to admit that an attack can be successful in foiling a nation’s nuclear desires:

    What actually halted the Iraqi nuclear program was not the Osirak attack (as Goldberg himself recognized in 2002) but Operation Desert Storm and the U.N. inspections regime ….

    This doesn’t support the idea of attacking Iran, but it does complicate any argument against doing so.

  101. 101
    Ailuridae says:

    @John O:

    Well we aren’t the only reasonable nation in the world who meets the requirements to use nuclear weapons effectively. Israel is perfectly reasonable too.

  102. 102
    kdaug says:

    @Ailuridae:

    the greatest sin in Washington is to be rude or impolite even if the person you are arguing with is arguing for an unjustifiable war, or torture or subjugating another people under apartheid conditions.

    Exactly what I was saying. This time, let’s at least have the fucking debate. Not that we here can change the outcome, but we can sure as shit can give holy hell to the jackasses who go along.

  103. 103
    Catsy says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    Jesus, this is a ridiculous thread, even by Balloon Juice standards. Pretty much ALL of you, on both sides (one of which seems to be just eemom), are making stupid, over-the-top statements and making extremely bad faith arguments about each other.
    __
    Grow the fuck up. It would help if DougJ, as the front pager, went first, but it applies to at least a half dozen of you.

    Ah yes, the old “sanctimonious adult who’s above the fray” schtick. A real classic. It’s easy to pull off, too: wade into a heated thread you haven’t been participating in, completely ignore any context or nuances or history behind the argument, make high-handed and self-righteous statements about how immature everyone else is, and recommend everyone else grow up and/or chill the fuck out, apparently painfully unaware of the irony of flaming people in order to criticize them for flaming each other. It’s right up there with the “guy who tries to win the thread by making a Monty Python reference”–another true classic of internet traditions.

  104. 104
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Maybe I’m just more cynical, but it seems simple enough to me. Fallows and Goldberg work for the same shop. It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it, and all that. Or, more prosaically, don’t shit where you eat.

    It’s not just a journalism thing, or even just a Village thing. It’s an organizational thing. Professors at the same school also tend to get a little obtuse when it comes to the stupidity of a colleague.

  105. 105
    F says:

    The Atlantic is going to hold a debate to discuss Goldberg’s piece, take a look at the list of debaters.

    http://www.raceforiran.com/the.....ho-chamber

    Wow, they just lost me as a reader.

    Goodbye TNC, James.

    P.S>

    Buckle up boys and girls, we’re going to war.

  106. 106
    John O says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Point taken, but at the time it wasn’t a bad call, in my judgement, and the positive out of it all is that everyone now understands the horror, which makes the MAD principle work.

    Lemonade and all.

  107. 107
    John W. says:

    I lose you when you say that Greenwald of all people doesn’t go far enough. I mean, seriously.

    What’s contemptible is not that Goldberg or Klein want to kill Persians (they don’t), it’s that they are more than happy to ignore that in the analysis, and any ramifications thereof.

    In fact, in relation to Israel and terrorism, that’s the most important aspect; look at what Biden said in the debates: Iran is one bomb. If Pakistan tumbles, there’s a whole f’n arsenal.

    They’re not evil, they’re just stupid.

  108. 108
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @Ailuridae:

    eemom in the comments to this thread

    Arguing that eemom has, as Bob Loblaw put it:

    eemom, don’t you have some humanitarian slaughters to cheerlead or something?

    is insane. Or DougJ going on that:

    Because that’s the important thing, right, not another million dead people in the Middle East?

    because she disagrees with him about the interpretation of an article.

    What’s going on here is that there is a difference of opinion as to what Goldberg’s position is. eemom is relying upon what he actually says. DougJ, and a bunch of others, are making a reasonable assumption that Goldberg is being dishonest. In fact, we don’t really have anything to point to in either direction.

    Arguing that someone is an apologist for mass murder because they disagree with you on this sort of interpretation is completely and utterly out of line. Yes, eemom is impolite and jumps to conclusions of her own. She isn’t being any better behaved. However, the accusations being made here about other posters are stupid, petty, immature and speak poorly of those making them.

    As I said, there needs to be a lot of growing up in here.

  109. 109

    @eemom:
    purple, i believe, is the v1agra. don’t know why that would be applicable, but there ya go.

  110. 110
    DougJ says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote. I read Goldberg’s piece as well as various analyses of it and I went back and compared it with portions of his pieces on Iraq. I wasn’t sure what would be in it, exactly, though I suspected it would be essentially an argument in favor of bombing Iran.

    Fallows and Klein wrote exactly what I thought they would write about it. They failed to address any of the serious criticisms of Golberg’s article. I don’t think either is an idiot and neither writes this way when they aren’t defending one of their own. I can’t see how it’s bad faith to extrapolate that they defend their own.

  111. 111
    les says:

    @John O:

    Finally. Thanks. But, ya know, that doesn’t resolve the Goldbergian need for middle east armageddon, so, ya know, bomb bomb bomb…

  112. 112
    DougJ says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    eemom did cheerlead the IDF attacks on the flotilla. I wouldn’t have phrased it so harshly but it’s not like that came out of nowhere.

    And I think that her complaining that I am making out a tempest out a teapot deserves the response that I think no I am making a tempest out of a possible large-scale war. I don’t see how you could possibly disagree with that, unless you are being deliberately obtuse.

  113. 113
    Maxwell James says:

    The Sinocism blog post that Fallows linked to was quite interesting. And I think, a more insightful criticism of the Goldberg piece than any other I have seen.

  114. 114
    Tim in SF says:

    DougJ

    In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be (I am fully aware that this sounds arrogant and simplistic, but I believe it nevertheless).

    This is no way arrogant or simplistic. Or even far-fetched. I remember Alan Dershowitz said the same thing of William Reinquist:

    Rehnquist’s judicial philosophy was result-oriented, activist, and authoritarian. He sometimes moderated his views for prudential or pragmatic reasons, but his vote could almost always be predicted based on who the parties were, not what the legal issues happened to be. He generally opposed the rights of gays, women, blacks, aliens, and religious minorities. He was a friend of corporations, polluters, right wing Republicans, religious fundamentalists, homophobes, and other bigots.

    More here.

  115. 115
    les says:

    @Catsy:

    It’s right up there with the “guy who tries to win the thread by making a Monty Python reference”—another true classic of internet traditions.

    What!?? Are you suggesting that doesn’t work?? Fuck.

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Maybe a beer summit is in order?

  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    @John O:

    Count me as one who doesn’t give a crap if Iran gets nukes. What’re they gonna do, use them? This peculiarly American exceptionalist idea that we’re the only rational country on earth is tiresome

    Who says that America is rational?

    And one worse case scenario is that Israel attacks Iran and pulls the US into a larger conflict or pointlessly poisons any US efforts to become a more honest broker in the region.

    By the way, there are some folk in the “Possibly Paranoid Military Watchers Club” who believe that a recent plane crash in Romania in which six Israeli military personnel were also killed may have been part of a practice run for an Iran attack, and that there is a surprisingly diverse number of countries who would support or at least not oppose a military response to stifle Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

  118. 118
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @eemom: Well, I was speaking of your first response to Dougj. And my observation is a minor quibble, as I sometimes throw the first punch myself to a front pager to start a flame war. But usually not.

    And Stuckie? puhleease

  119. 119
    TuiMel says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:
    Sometimes I wonder if the blind-faith believers in American exceptionalism think that its “power / influence” actually extends to eliciting positive responses from people whose countries we choose to invade or bomb. It is incomprehensible to me.

  120. 120
    HyperIon says:

    @John O wrote:

    It took me a blogosphere to understand how deep tribalism runs. It’s like Club membership is the blood in, “blood is thicker than water.” I quit the Boy Scouts to my parents’ mild consternation after about 2 weeks in because it was too creepy for me.

    @John O wrote :

    Count me as one who doesn’t give a crap if Iran gets nukes. What’re they gonna do, use them? This peculiarly American exceptionalist idea that we’re the only rational country on earth is tiresome, particularly when we’re talking about one of the OLDEST civilizations on earth, Iran. 60% of their population resides in 4 easily (and already, I’d bet) targeted areas. They’re no more suicidal than the rest of us. Let them have nukes, and describe the consequences of using them in no uncertain terms. Like we’ve done with everyone else for the past 55 years.

    Thanks for both of those comments. I like how you can make substantive points and not resort to snark once. I wish there was more of that here.

  121. 121
    Ailuridae says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    You might want to revisit the threads about the flotilla.

  122. 122
    jinxtigr says:

    I’m with DougJ, wholeheartedly. Looks like these are desperate times.
    The trouble is, if someone is in reasonably good faith playing with matches around pools of gasoline, freaking out in a directed, constructive way isn’t unreasonable at all.
    I do not find this talk of ‘saddle up, folks, we’re going to war’ amusing.
    I don’t think the situation is at all analogous to the last time.
    And I’m getting god-damned tired of being Vichy just because my own existence is pretty tenuous and influence feeble. It looks like to do nothing is not an acceptable response- and truth be told, never was.
    It’s a sort of opposite-wing teabagger feeling.
    I realize it might be not the ideal solution to go out firebombing these neocon and Zionist maniacs until I’m killed. I’ve never understood that point of view better, though.
    But DO NOT fucking tell me not to rage at them, or to be reasonable and tolerant about it. Not after what happened last time.
    I am not sure I’m the guy to stage suicidal attacks on those I see as preparing to kill millions of Iranians. I don’t know shit about that stuff.
    But I AM sure that if they are preparing to kill millions of Iranians, that would be among the right things to do.
    This all is so desperately wrong that it’s really frightening. Don’t EVEN be making excuses for it.

  123. 123
    ckelly says:

    with nearly all establishment politicians, especially Republicans, that their loyalty is to their career and their clan, not to their country, not to mankind, not to the truth, and certainly not to you, the voter

    Wow, I never realized how much Beltway establishment “journalists” and politicians had in common.

  124. 124
    eemom says:

    @DougJ:

    No, I did NOT “cheerlead” the attacks on the flotilla, and if this were the real world I might just sue your ass for that.

    I understand that it’s CW for you and your fellow shitbrains to accuse me of that, but I was actually responding in those threads to very specific statements you and others were making about Israel that I felt to be wrong.

    Somebody asked me why I didn’t “condemn” the attacks, and I said, who the hell am I, the Secretary of State? And that was prompted by irritation at the way I was being misrepresented there, just like I’ve been here.

    I have never cheered the killing of anybody, and I would appreciate it if you would retract that statement.

  125. 125
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Can’t we give the revolution a few more years?

  126. 126
    eemom says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Yeah, you too, asshole. Revisit it and read what I said this time.

  127. 127
    TuiMel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Forget the summit; I’ll just take a beer. And I don’t even like beer.

  128. 128
    eemom says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Well, I did like it better when you were the General. Why were you de-commissioned at this late date?

  129. 129
    John O says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t understand your point. We may not be rational, but we should at least strive to be so. And I’ll never be surprised again about large contingents of populations who favor war.

    @HyperIon:

    It’s really not hard. Thank you, though.

  130. 130
    matoko_chan says:

    @eemom: well…you did get badly punked by the warpimps on Wikileaks. Assange is still redacting the 15k docs he kept back.
    a correction would be nice….do people do that here?

  131. 131
    Ailuridae says:

    @eemom:

    I take being called an ass hole by someone like you a high compliment. You’re a tribalist; I’m not.

  132. 132

    @eemom:

    if this were the real world I might just sue your ass for that.

    Someone is WRONG on the internets!

  133. 133
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @Ailuridae: I have no interest in revisitng those threads, as they were as ridiculous as these ones. They way they were going before I left, I suspect that there has been some out of context claims made. If she went all the way in defending the Israeli response, I partially retract what I said above.

    Not entirely, though, because I still don’t see the connection to some of the arguments being made here.

  134. 134
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @eemom: I always open The Funhouse in run ups to elections, no time for generaling.

  135. 135
    matoko_chan says:

    @jinxtigr: agreed. but they can’t drag us into WW III while we are still quagmired in Af-Pak and Iraq. the american people aren’t that clueless.
    however, if we do manage to extricate ourselves, bam!, bibi will launch in heartbeat and force us in.
    that is prolly why O is dragging his feet getting out.
    insurance against the crazies.
    you see….the only way they can beat the demographic timer is that repubs win in wartime.

  136. 136
    Ailuridae says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

    She went far, far beyond that.

    So when DougJ points out that someone is an “off the rails” commenter when (s)he was demonstrably off the rails in no fewer than a dozen threads that like the Goldberg piece were about Israel that is absolutely, entirely fair game.

    And there is also nothing in bad faith about his characterization of Fallows and Klein who are both here reflexively defending Goldberg while ignoring his long, sordid, lie-filled history of drum beating for war against Iraq and Iran.

  137. 137
    Tim in SF says:

    So is “eemom” really just Darrell? It seems their writing styles are identical.

  138. 138
    matoko_chan says:

    @Ailuridae:

    drum beating for war against Iraq and Iran.

    that would be, for war against Islam.
    They never say that….but that is what they mean.

    and that was a sweet quote, DougJ. i heart the Iliad and the Aeneid.

  139. 139
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    So is “eemom” really just Darrell? It seems their writing styles are identical

    Now this is bullshit, but is how eemom is being treated. Not unlike the lynch party for Kain a few days back. I hate pack behavior, especially from supposedly enlightened liberals. There was little red meat in this controversy, so you circled one of your own for pointing that out. jeebus.

  140. 140
    celticdragonchick says:

    @DougJ:

    Because that’s the important thing, right, not another million dead people in the Middle East?

    Feeling self important today?

    I had no idea so much was riding on a 6 page report in a magazine that 95% of the American public do not read.

  141. 141

    @celticdragonchick:

    I had no idea so much was riding on a 6 page report in a magazine that 95% of the American public do not read.

    Unfortunately, it’s the 5% who do read it that is the issue.

  142. 142
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Now this is bullshit, but is how eemom is being treated. Not unlike the lynch party for Kain a few days back. I hate pack behavior, especially from supposedly enlightened liberals. There was little red meat in this controversy, so you circled one of your own for pointing that out. jeebus.

    Thank you for noticing. I am at a loss for words for the rabid bullshit spewing in these threads. Take a look at this lovely gem here from Uncle Clarence Thomas towards eemom.

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Then why not do GG one better, from your perspective, and make a rational case against what he actually said instead of blowing an unsupported summary cuntfart out of your hag mouth?

    <a href="@celticdragonchick: “>My response:

    It is telling that some men cannot make a cogent argument against a woman and must rely on vile, misogynist imagery based on sexual humiliation and degradation.

    Bravo, sir. Your bravely anonymous use of agumentum ad hominum is a shining example of profiles in courage. Te saluto!

  143. 143
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Lynch Party? Oh my …..

    Eemom’s comments on the flotilla specifically and Israel broadly stand on their own. They run contrary to the entire progressive/liberal tradition and are pure, unapologetic tribalism.

  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    @John O:

    I don’t understand your point. We may not be rational, but we should at least strive to be so. And I’ll never be surprised again about large contingents of populations who favor war.

    You said,

    Count me as one who doesn’t give a crap if Iran gets nukes. What’re they gonna do, use them? This peculiarly American exceptionalist idea that we’re the only rational country on earth is tiresome

    There are many countries that do not want to see Iran’s nuclear ambitions achieved, even if in public they cheer Iran on. In semi-private they are willing to assist Israel and the US.

    And it is not simply a case of the US pretending to be the only rational country on Earth. There are irrational factions in every country willing to go to war over trivia, even if it would mean their utter destruction, even if it would wreak havoc on countries trying to stay neutral.

    This also means that there are countries that will do anything to prevent Iran from getting nukes, even if it starts a wider war.

    But there are also countries betting that no one would come to Iran’s defense if they are attacked.

    In short: this whole mess is a complicated game with a number of governments willing to call other nations’ bluffs. There are a lot of different motives, not all of them rational. And certainly there are folks not striving to be rational.

    Also, and maybe more to your point, the idea that countries with nukes will be equally reluctant to use them is an interesting notion. I don’t know. There is this, for example,

    Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari said on November 22, 2008 that his country was ready to commit to no first use of nuclear weapons against India. This promise took the establishment in Pakistan by surprise, with analysts and politicians saying the “uninformed” President may have spoken “off the cuff”. Pakistan has not formally subscribed to No First Use

    So far, so good.

  145. 145
    eemom says:

    @Ailuridae:

    so I take it you didn’t take your own advice and, like, go back and read what I actually said on the flotilla threads?

    That says more about you than it does about me.

    And just out of curiosity, what “tribe” is it you think I’m a part of?

  146. 146
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae: I suspect your comprehension on what eemom has actually said is no better than it was for what I say. And “tribalism” really? twenty on one and the one is the tribe. You are an ignorant fool.

  147. 147
    Ailuridae says:

    @eemom:

    No, I remember very clearly what you wrote in the flotilla threads. That you don’t think your view on Israel is rank, unapologetic tribalism has nothing to do with whether your view actually is rank unapologetic tribalism.

    Most bigots don’t think they are bigots, either. You weren’t unfairly attacked in those threads. You were rightly attacked; you views are repugnant to anybody who takes the liberal/progressive tradition seriously.

  148. 148
    John O says:

    @Brachiator:

    Can we agree that there’s a lot of room between “rational” and “suicidal?”

    Do you think the leaders of Iran are suicidal? We can cut this short quick if you do. Yes, I’ll stipulate that there are irrational actors everywhere.

  149. 149
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae:

    to anybody who takes the liberal/progressive tradition seriously.

    I would be interested in learning more about what this tradition is. Maybe Cole can give you a guest front page ticket and you can educate us. I am sure, judging from this comment and others you’ve offered lately, that you would be an excellent spokesman and voice for the er, what was it? Liberal/Progressive Tradition. Yeah, that was it. Carry on.

  150. 150
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Do you honestly think that something as basic as voting rights is not a core part of the liberal tradition? What about equal rights?

    This is really basic stuff. Maybe you should stick to inflationsnipe hunting.

  151. 151
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Do you honestly think that something as basic as voting rights is not a core part of the liberal tradition? What about equal rights?

    So eemom is against voting rights and equal rights? somehow I doubt that. Are you on drugs?

  152. 152
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Are you daft? Eemom has defended Israel at every turn to the point of not even being able to admit that the treatment of the people in the occupied territories isn’t clearly, morally wrong. And those people are being denied all sorts of basic rights. So supporting Israel’s horrible decision to occupy and then its subsequent decision to blockade those territories which is collective punishment does indeed run contrary to the entire liberal tradition.

    Do you have any idea what Israel is doing in the occupied territories?

  153. 153
    Hugin & Munin says:

    Stuck temporizes in 5..4..3..2..

  154. 154
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae: You will have to show proof of those allegations, otherwise, you are a fucking liar, which I already said yesterday.

    Do you have any idea what Israel is doing in the occupied territories?

    yes, and a lot of it I don’t like. But they are at war with Hamas, and Hamas with Israel. There is no peace possible because Hamas will not budge from it’s promise to push Israel into the sea. I am not for that, and support Israels existence, which as far as I know, is perfectly allowable under your bullshit rules.

  155. 155
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @4tehlulz:

    And BJ, even.

  156. 156
    tkogrumpy says:

    @John O: Samuel Clemens to Groucho Marx to Woody Allen.

  157. 157
    Hugin & Munin says:

    Ding!

    Stuck: proof that hasbara is effort well spent.

  158. 158
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    I have to show evidence of a blockade? I have to show evidence of collective punishment? What?

    Its not a question of whether you like it or not. Its a question of whether it is morally wrong or not.

    Honestly you might be too stupid to continue interacting with. Good luck inflationsnipe hunting. At least you dropped the absurd allegations of lynching….

  159. 159
    tkogrumpy says:

    @John O: Pure gold. Every word. Can someone point to one example of imperialistic expansion on the part of Iran In the last oh, three hundred years?

  160. 160
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae: You made some specific charges against eemom, and now you come back with I got nothin’ and yer a big meanie Stuck for asking for evidence , so gonna take ball go home.

    bye

  161. 161

    Is this Gen. Stuck? or just some random Stuck? I iz confused!

  162. 162
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    It’s all random dude. :)

  163. 163
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    You can just read the threads. She was repeatedly asked time and again to admit that the blockade of Gaza was wrong and she was unable to bring herself to do so. Heck, she couldn’t even admit the IDF acted wrongly in the flotilla incident.

    Now you can believe those things. But, that’s tribalism.

  164. 164
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae: Well, i think Israel has a right to blockade for weapons people who are at war with them. That is international law. But the way they were doing it wasn’t, so far out to sea.

    I didn’t participate in those flotilla threads, just like I no longer do on Israel/Palestine threads because they are largely insane and full of factual error, and willfully so.

    So I don’t know what you are talking about, and I have read eemom’s stuff here for a long time, and I seriously doubt she was cheerleading the Israeli raid that people got killed on. But I will say reading liberal blogs generally on the subject the usual polemic bullshit was evident in contrast with what actually happened. Eemom wants facts, and so do I. You can slam her for insisting on them, but that says more about you than her. And that goes for a number of other posters on this thread, including Dougj.

    Now if you are going to persist in your allegations, it is always up to the person making them to provide evidence. Otherwise stfu.

  165. 165
    liberal says:

    @eemom:

    so I take it you didn’t take your own advice and, like, go back and read what I actually said on the flotilla threads?

    You mean like, we Americans should temper our criticism of Israeli ethnic cleansing in the West Bank because America ethnically cleansed the native Americans here?

    Among other morally putrid assertions.

  166. 166
    liberal says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Well, i think Israel has a right to blockade for weapons people who are at war with them. That is international law.

    Nope. It’s international law if the other party is a state. Gaza is not a sovereign state.

  167. 167
    liberal says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    I didn’t participate in those flotilla threads, just like I no longer do on Israel/Palestine threads because they are largely insane and full of factual error, and willfully so.

    If you’re not willing to skim the threads, then why don’t you drop the subject, as you’re clearly then not qualified to comment on it?

  168. 168
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    So, per usual, you admittedly are completely ignorant of the area you are defending eemom about? FFS read this

    Here’s the best she could muster in response to repeated attempts to get her to be remotely reasonably about the IDF killing nine people on the flotilla

    further to my lack of “condemnation”—who the hell am I, the Secretary of State?
    My opinion about what happened is very simple. Yes, I’m sorry people died…..but innocent people die every fucking day, all the time.
    (echo: “So just because innocent people die all the time means Israel can do whatever it wants??”)
    And I do NOT believe those people were innocent. At the very best they were tools. Those ships were sent as an act of provocation—if you think that’s justified, fine, but it was NOT about getting supplies to the Gazans……because anything that wasn’t on the Israel “list” would have gotten there anyway, and the “activists” knew there was no fucking way Israel was going to let the stuff ON the list get in there no matter what.
    The Israeli response played right into their hands, and for that, I condemn the Israelis for being stupid as shit.

    Nobody who was involved in those threads except eemom (and TenguPhule who was comparably off the rails and tribalistic) is under any illusion about what was going on.

    Again, the unarmed people the IDF killed on the flotilla were not innocent.

    Its not my job or anyone else’s to be the bibliographer of previous threads. In the future use the google. You can get some of eemom’s greatest hits with just Israel + eemom + balloon-juice. Read through them (or as I suggested earlier the flotilla threads) and you’ll see “off the rails” was quite polite of DougJ

  169. 169
    Ailuridae says:

    @liberal:

    But! But! But!

  170. 170
    Keith G says:

    @eemom:

    For example—except for taking on DougJ above—I don’t think I’ve ever said a rude word to any of the people who attacked me on this thread.

    I was about to respond with a “I don’t think so”, but I see you beat me to the punch with this to Ailuridae:

    Yeah, you too, asshole. Revisit it and read what I said this time.

    And there are more examples than this.

    Hey, I enjoy well used profanity more than most do. Your claims to act otherwise is not helpful to credibility.

  171. 171
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae: This is the left wing wurlitzer bullshit I was talking about. It is not what happened. Israel has been boarding these ships for while now, and nearly without incident. This one boat was a trap from the beginning. Did you see the video’s? The Israeli commandos were clubbed before they even got off the ropes. But I know, like I have read elsewhere, those videos were doctored by shifty jews to show that. Israel is to be blamed for conducting raids so far out to sea, and not in port. They are to be blamed for not being ready for such a set up and walking into it. JUST LIKE EEMOM SAYS. They did not land on that ship and immediately start machine gunning it’s passengers. That is bullshit. And a perfect example of the left wing insanity regarding this issue. And so is your allegation of eemom, and likely now me, being against civil rights, or whatever.

  172. 172
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @liberal: Oh fuck me. It’s liberal and his stooopid riding to the rescue. What, you gonna accuse me of being something bad, and expecting me to prove myself innocent. How does that fit into Allurdae’s trendy liberl/prog traditions? Christ, you people are dense and pathetic.

  173. 173
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @liberal: You are wrong. as usual.

  174. 174
    liberal says:

    @srv:

    Sociopaths are all around us. Mass murder is being open-minded to them. But fuck if that Greenwald guy isn’t a shrill fuck.

    Double heh.

  175. 175
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Yep, you’re an Israeli tribalist too. That doesn’t come as a surprise given your inability to integrate new information when it is presented to you.

    Disproportionate force doesn’t apply to Israel apparently.

  176. 176
    liberal says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:
    Nope. The relevant law applies to states.

    You’re wrong, as usual. Not surprising coming from you, of course.

  177. 177
    liberal says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    This one boat was a trap from the beginning.

    LOL!

  178. 178
    Ailuridae says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Keep hunting inflationsnipes!

    How someone as demonstrably ignorant as you in so many areas can toss around accusations that others are dense is fine example of a lack of self-awareness.

  179. 179
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Yep, you’re an Israeli tribalist too.

    LOLwut? is this some secret prog designation for people who follow facts in contrast to your dogma. If so, guilty as charged.

  180. 180
    liberal says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    What, you gonna accuse me of being something bad, and expecting me to prove myself innocent.

    I’m not accusing you of something “bad,” merely pointing out that if you want to defend eemom re the flotilla threads, maybe you should read some of them. It’s not really much of an onus.

  181. 181
    liberal says:

    @Ailuridae:
    What’s the inflationsnipes reference?

  182. 182
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @liberal:

    CAN ISRAEL IMPOSE A NAVAL BLOCKADE ON GAZA?

    Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.”

    Now shut up you moron.

  183. 183
    Ailuridae says:

    @liberal:

    Stuck is desperately worried that inflation is right around the corner and is tired of the Chinese buying up all of our debt. I’ve pointed out to Stuck a couple of times that there is no risk of inflation and that China isn’t financing our debt but he’s still fucking that Chicken.

    And of course snipe hunt

  184. 184
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @liberal:

    How someone as demonstrably ignorant as you in so many areas can toss around accusations that others are dense is fine example of a lack of self-awareness.
    Reply

    man , you are sounding more like Corner Stone every day. Who’da thunk it.

  185. 185
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Stuck is desperately worried that inflation is right around the corner

    no I’m not you lying sack of shit, I say it’s a possibility down the road, not right around the corner.

  186. 186
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Tim in SF: No. Regrettably, I caused the eemom infestation, for which I am eternally sorry.

  187. 187
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ailuridae: Nice job trying to parse that out. But no dice. Hamas is still considered the elected governing force in Gaza. That was the bane for them winning the election, and I am not so sure that the US still considers Israel as occupiers in Gaza. Israel pulled out, they sometimes go in for military excursions, but that is different than being an occupying power. I could be wrong about this though, and you will have to gives links to show you are right. But everything I have read from reliable sources, says that Israel has the legal right to blockade Gaza for weapons.

  188. 188
    Xanthippas says:

    In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be (I am fully aware that this sounds arrogant and simplistic, but I believe it nevertheless).

    First of all, DougJ, this accurately describes you.

    Second, this:

    I agree with him that we are all operating in the dark here. But my instinct is that on any given day, the price of action — ordering an attack — is likely to be higher than the price of inaction. The big difference is reversibility. If you don’t attack today, you can always change your mind tomorrow. But once you attack, you’ve foreclosed decisions for decades, not to mention the other consequences of initiating a war. (We will certainly have troops in Iraq ten years after George Bush decided that he couldn’t wait any longer to invade.) History provides examples of both kinds of costs — of being too slow, and being too hasty. But because the main example of the cost of inaction — the rise of Hitler — is so horrific, it tends to blot out distinctions and make restraint reek of Chamberlain, rather than, say, Eisenhower.

    That does not sound like someone who is loyal to career and clan, and not country. I’m sorry that he doesn’t meet your requirement of righteous denunciation of Goldberg so as to permit him to join the ever-shrinking club of “people whom DougJ thinks are worthwhile human beings.” DougJ, you and I really are on the same side on a lot of this stuff. But you confuse style for substance, which is why you want to go off on people who don’t fling their arms around and accuse people of being disloyal to their country (NPR, Kevin Drum, James Fallows.) And confusing style for substance is exactly what you accuse people like David Brooks of doing (well, maybe I accuse him of that but whatever.) You really shouldn’t have a litmus test for tone for who you think is wroth reading. Not everybody has to write like an unpaid blogger for Balloon Juice to have something useful and worthwhile to say.

  189. 189
    mclaren says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Just too bad you’re willing to get into bed with someone who cheered those Turkish murders a while back. Remember that? Yeah, those fuckups at the IDF sure got themselves into one hell of a pickle on that one. But they weren’t nasty Muslims or anything, so it’s cool.

    General Crackpot Fake Name doesn’t care which atrocities he condones as long as they’re atrocities. The prospect of innocent people getting murdered or tortured gives him a woody, as it does for all sociopaths. So as long the human suffering keeps on comin’, General Crackpot Fake Name approves. As Dougj pointed out, once you know someone’s motivations and beliefs, you needn’t read what they say.

    Sociopaths lack empathy. They have a blank spot where the rest of have a conscience. They regard watching (or imagining) people suffer and scream and die as nifty entertainment. General Crackpot Fake Name and Mnemosyne could mail it in with automated ‘bots that repeat nothing but “Killing and torment and human degradataion are grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!”

    As for eemom, an exclamation like “Seriously, now, FUCK this. You people are morons” represents a good start. But you want to put a sharper edge on that kind of critique. Explain in detail why the Balloon Juice commentariat are morons. Back it up with hard evidence. Dig down, come up with examples of commenters making fools of themselves by spouting gibberish. (It ain’t hard.) Then I’d be right there with you.

    As it is, “you people are morons” fails to reach the mark. Too generic. That sort of response covers just about everything said or done by both the Republicans and the Democrats in the last 9.5 years. Sheer laziness. We want incisive pointed debate around here, not some one-size-fits-all general complaint. That shows no effort, no verve, no brio, no vim, no moxy. “You people are morons” qualifies as the McDonalds Happy Meal of poltical criticism, when what we really crave is a main course at a five-star Michelin Guide restaurant.

  190. 190
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    That shows no effort, no verve, no brio, no vim, no moxy. “You people are morons” qualifies as the McDonalds Happy Meal of poltical criticism, when what we really crave is a main course at a five-star Michelin Guide restaurant.

    tee hee

  191. 191

    “In many cases, when you understand someone’s motivations, loyalties, and basic outlook, there is no reason to read that person’s actual arguments, because you already know what they will be (I am fully aware that this sounds arrogant and simplistic, but I believe it nevertheless).”

    Actually, it’s not just arrogant and simplistic. It’s conveniently arrogant and simplistic. Your arguments typically rely on broad, nuance-bereft proclamations (usually stated in the most hyperbolic, absolute terms), and entertaining the notion of complexity in your analysis threatens the perch that lets you spew poorly argued assertions. It’d be silly to confuse the quoted text for proof of insight. It’s just an excuse to ignore and dismiss whole commentators based on isolated arguments you don’t agree with. That’s your prerogative, mind you, but please don’t pretend it’s anything but a way to engage people you dislike without actually providing the substance that discredits what you dislike.

    By saying insane, inflammatory nonsense like “Given the choice between killing a million Persians and discrediting one member of their club, they’ll kill the Persians every time.” you turn a discussion about the substance of what Fallows and Klein are arguing into a one dimensional “us vs them” affair that conveniently lets the reader ignore that you didn’t confront or address a single thing Fallows wrote in your pseudo-denunciation of him. You just dishonestly summarized his argument, ignored what he actually said, stated your disagreement and then called him an Evil Elitist as though that settles the matter. It doesn’t. I didn’t agree with a single thing Goldberg wrote and I found the following point reasonably argued:

    “Taken line by line, the article hews to a strictly reportorial perspective: this is what the Israeli officials seem to think, this is how American officials might react, this is how Israeli officials might anticipate how the Americans might react, these are the Israeli voices of caution, here are the potential readings and mis-readings on each side.

    Moreover, rather than guess at Jeff Goldberg’s policy prescriptions, we can read his explicit presentation of them, here. He argues that there is one highly desirable outcome — success of the “Obama plan,” a combination of pressures, threats, and incentives to shift Iran toward a different path. If that doesn’t work, as he explains, the remaining options are all bad, and we will choose among them when we have to. So disagree with him about Iraq, if you will and as I did. But after that, please take his reporting for the achievement and contribution that it is, and his “profound, paralyzing ambivalence” about military strikes on Iran on its own merits.”

    “B-BUT CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS IS A SECRET PROXY FOR GOLDBERG’S TRUE OPINION!” does nothing to change the fact that in the article, Goldberg DID explicitly state a preference for Obama’s diplomatic/soft power approach. While what he’s done in the past should absolutely factor into your opinion of HIM, I think his words by themselves should be all that factors into any denunciation of the article. The fact that it presents war and Iranian suffering as a foreign policy inevitability instead of one option amongst many is damning enough. It’s more defensible to leave it at that.

    Attempting to take this one example as a sign of The Elite coming together to try and manipulate the country into going to war is absurd, and it ignores the alternative: that this could actually be their opinions. That’s fine. I think they’re wrong, and so do you. But if they are, prove it or just leave it to the people actually capable of proving it. Linking them is more useful than trying to use non-existent psychic powers to lazily state a more objectionable and nefarious intent. Particularly when it’s based on nothing more than your finely honed “belief” in your ability to accurately generalize most people’s opinions on most topics.

    Also, I’m curious. How do you square your claim about Fallows’ loyalty to his career over the truth with the fact that – according to this frequently cited piece (http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....576_2.html) they had multiple arguments on the subject of Iraq? It strikes me as a weird thing for a sycophantic, sociopathic, arab-killing careerist to do.

  192. 192
    anna missed says:

    great post. Period.

  193. 193
    Mike says:

    I find it odd to see Fallows placed in the category of tribal loyalist given that he authored one of the most devastating critics of modern American media.

  194. 194
    DougJ says:

    @Mike:

    I Found it odd that he wrote what he did about Goldberg, given his past record.

  195. 195
    eemom says:

    @The Operative:

    That is excellently, eloquently stated, and exactly what I and a hapless few others were vainly trying to explain for the last two days. I thank you for reminding me that not everyone with a voice in the blogosphere is a mindless monger of groupthink.

    As refreshing as it is to hear a voice of intelligence, however, I’m sure you already know you have too much of it to waste your time arguing with thimble-brained conspiracy theorists like “DougJ.” I’ve learned it the hard way.

    Great handle too, btw. The “Operative” indeed. Say hi to Jeff and the Likudniks for me, ok? Maybe I’ll see you at the next AIPAC-Zionist-Lobby-To-Bomb-Iran party with him and all the rest of the Atlantic Tribesmen.

  196. 196
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @eemom:

    You big Israeli Tribalist you. Going Galt myself, see you in a while. If you want, drop by my blog, I’m going to be doing more writing there next week. If you want to, that is

    Stuckie

  197. 197
    eemom says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Thanks dude. And thanks for being on my side yesterday; it really meant a lot to me.

    I know from long experience that there is nothing stupider than getting upset over a bunch of random idiots in cyberspace hurling lies and insults at you, but I guess there are some lessons one never quite learns.

    You’re a good man and I appreciate your friendship. Getting the fuck out of here myself finally, but I will drop by your blog.

    eemom

  198. 198
    matoko_chan says:

    @DougJ
    about choosing sides.
    I say ED gets to stay if he agrees to talk about EVERTHING, not just his carefully chosen topics.
    That means he has to talk abortion and racism and free market ideology and alla the shit he desperately wants to avoid.
    stand and defend.

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