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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

CK Hammer Strikes Again

Is there a more duplicitous columnist out there than Charles Krauhammer, one more inclined to say whatever makes his case with no regard for the truth? Take a look at this column., where he explains why deterrence will fail with Iran while it worked with the U.S.S.R.

First we find that Iran "routinely" employs suicide bombers, including the recent bomber in Bulgaria. Well, here is what the White House said about the Bulgarian bombing: 'White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated, "It is certainly the case that Hezbollah and Iran have been bad actors, as a general matter, but we're not, at this point, in a position to make a statement about responsibility."'

But just because the White House doesn't know who was behind this yet, that doesn't mean Krauhammer doesn't know: he has super-secret insider information the White House doesn't. And in any case, how is this relevant: if Iran is using suicide bombers through proxy agents, that is evidence directly contrary to Krauthammer's case: it shows they are very afraid of retaliation, and wish to hide their trail.

To prove the opposite, he quotes... an Iranian official? No, he writes: 'The classic formulation comes from Tehran’s fellow (and rival Sunni) jihadist al-Qaeda: "You love life and we love death."'

Then he says, "The Soviets never proclaimed a desire to annihilate the American people." And Iran has never proclaimed a desire to annihilate the people of Israel, and Krauthammer knows this. This is classic Goebbels: just tell a big lie, and thenkeep repeating it until it is believed.

So Iran must be attacked, at a huge loss of life, because of something they never said and something someone from a rival group said.

This is sick stuff.

Paging Daniel Larison.

10 comments:

  1. Ahmandinejad's remark reminds me of Khrushchev's "we will bury you" comments, which were also interpreted as a direct military threat.

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  2. Gene, I'm not sure Krauthammer "knows this" as you say. I could easily see him reading the Wikipedia entry and thinking, "Oh give me a break, we're splitting hairs. The reason he doesn't like the current regime is that he denies the right of the Israel state to exist."

    It's just like with the "You didn't build that" line. Yes, there is an obvious sense in which Obama didn't "mean that" at all, because he was probably referring to the roads and bridges, not to the business. But he also explicitly said that some business owners think they got where they are because of being smart and working hard, and that they were wrong to think so.

    So, Mitt Romney supporters can have no trouble going along with making fun of "You didn't build that," even after you point out that Obama was "quoted out of context." They can do this, and not in their minds be engaged in systematic deception.

    By the same token, I cannot believe what you, Blackadder, and Ken B. are saying in defense of Condi Rice at my blog. I am prepared to recognize that you think I'm being incredibly obtuse when reading her, in my own right. None of us is consciously lying.

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    1. "But he also explicitly said that some business owners think they got where they are because of being smart and working hard, and that they were wrong to think so."

      Well, what he said was that it wasn't *only* that: "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

      And thinking "Israel has no right to exist" is far different from wanting to wipe out all of the people there. Lincoln thought the Confederacy had no right to exist, but he never sought to "annihilate" the people of the south. (Yes, he killed quite a few of them, but only to destroy the independent state.)

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  3. A logical possibility of course is that the White House isn't telling the truth. I seem to recall you believing that has happened in the past.

    "And Iran has never proclaimed a desire to annihilate the people of Israel, and Krauthammer knows this. "

    I'm curious if you can cite any public speeches Hitler gave announcing his intent to kill all the Jews in Europe. Because you cannot. He gave the same sort of vaguery Ajad did.

    I think Bob has the right general take here. Do you guys co-ordinte these posts, so Gene wins the debates at FA and Bob wins the ones here? Just curious.

    And in answer to your rhetorical: Ezra Klein.

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    1. "I'm curious if you can cite any public speeches Hitler gave announcing his intent to kill all the Jews in Europe."

      Good God, Ken, *Krauthammer explcitly says Iran PROCLAIMED this*. It is no defense of this claim to contend that they secretly intend this!

      And there is quite a difference between the Nazis and the Iranians here: the Nazis were quite clear their problem was with the existence of Jewish people in Europe. (They did have plans to exile them to Africa and such before they came up with the final solution.) The Iranian government has made it quite clear their problem is with the existence of the current Israeli regime. You might find that objectionable, but it is hardly the same thing: the US, for instance, objects to the existence of the current Iranian regime, without, I think, intending to wipe out the Iranian people!

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    2. "The Iranian government has made it quite clear their problem is with the existence of the current Israeli regime."
      Which some of us do not believe.
      At ther very least their problem is with the existence of a Jewish state, not just ther current cabinet. It might be more than that, with the existence of Jews in the middle east entirely. That's the point of my Hitler question. There was never any explicit public proclamation by Hitler (or Heydrich etc). Just citing the public procalamtions of an ideologically and religiously driven brutal regime is unconvincing. Bob often accuses me of not taking people's religious faith seriously. I think it's clear that in fact I take those things *very* seriously indeed. And I take the Iranian regime's religious delusions and drive seriously. If you believe the occluded 12th imam is about to appear your reaction to rational incentives will be different than most peoples'.

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    3. "Which some of us do not believe."

      That's fine, Ken. It would be one thing if CK said, "While Iran has never said this, I believe it secretly wants to annihilate the people of Israel."

      But he said they PROCLAIMED it. So how, exactly, does it defend his claim to say they mean to do so despite not proclaiming it?

      This is not a thread on "The nature of clericalism in Iran." It is a thread on "CK lies to persuade people."

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    4. "At ther very least their problem is with the existence of a Jewish state, not just ther current cabinet. It might be more than that, with the existence of Jews in the middle east entirely."

      I hope that you do realize that there are Jews in Iran, that they are a small part of the Iranian government, and that they have condemned those who have said that they are a mistreated minority.

      Of course Iran's leadership has a problem with a Jewish state, anybody in their right mind would be against such a thing for quite an array of reasons. Theocracy comes to mind. Murdering and/or imprisoning non-Jews, as well. The thieving of lands. Not to mention that it is probably the most racist policy that a nation could come up with (remember, the Nazi's wanted a purely German state). I don't know how familiar you are with Israel, or if you've ever been there, but from my own travels much of this fits my first impressions of Israel. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that modern Israel is the new Nazi Germany. Ironic, but true.

      Obviously, the entire Arab world has a problem with the Israeli regime's handing of the Palestinians. I don't know if you realize this, but the Palestinians are corralled behind giant walls, cannot come and go as they please, cannot trade freely, and are essentially being treated just as the Jews were in the ghettos. Not only that, Jewish settlements are everyday taking more and more Palestinian land. So yeah, just about every Arab, Persian, Muslim, etc is pretty angry at the Israeli regime, and rightly so.

      As far as I can see, Israel has taken steps to wipe away its Arab population, Iran has not taken steps to wipe away its Jewish population.

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    5. Before anybody says it, I understand that Arabs and Persians aren't nearly the same peoples. I am not attempting to equate them in the above statement.

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  4. He didn't proclaim it in the article you linked to. He did claim Iran has a hostility to the existence of a Jewish state. He did not, in that piece, say they proclaimed even that, though I agree he implied it. But it's pretty clear that it's the hostility to the existence of a Jewish state they proclaimed, not necessarily a desire to annihilate persons.

    [There is an issue here with 'people' we should avoid. People properly used is a collective noun, often abstract. I take your meaning to be 'the persons of'.]

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