Saturday, January 31, 2004
MEALY, MEALY, MEALY:
In the dark of a cold Provincetown Super Bowl eve, Sully finally cops to his screwup on Marshall and 9/11 in typical self-serving, -aggrandizing, and -pitying fashion
He piles on himself in his representation of other bloggers’ criticisms — “He refers to it once at the beginning of the piece, and incidentally once thereafter - so I'm an idiot. Can I read? Nyah, nyah, nyah, etc.”, then sulks a bit more (“I wasn’t engaged in linguistic computer analysis of the piece.”) Finally he tells he typed “nary” instead of “barely,” which sounds to us like he really means “Josh didn’t mention it every other paragraph, thereby mocking my worldview that history began afresh on Sept. 11, 2001, so I’m going to react like a spoiled brat.”
Nothing in the ensuing sophistry about what he put originally changes that. Next time he waxes mirthful over the tortuous way the Times corrections desk tries to avoid admitting its reporters were lazy, just remember this. He’s no better, and in fact a lot worse, when he gets caught.
UPDATE: Roger Ailes devastates this, noting that not only is he lying, he’s letting himself look like an idiot to conceal the growing evidence that he’s as devious and manipulative as he regularly accuses his enemies of being.
posted by Sully 1/31/2004 11:55:00 PM
Friday, January 30, 2004
CAFETERIAS ARE OPEN TO ALL:
Jo says Sullivan should be careful whom he accuses of political inconsistency:
Of course this comes from a person who describes himself as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” and is a gay, republican, catholic. Yeah, I’d say the Duchess owns a single spot on the planet (barely), and is certainly knowledgeable enough to recognize someone who is “all over the map.”
posted by Sully 1/30/2004 12:56:00 AM
YES, IT WAS IN THE NEW YORKER:
It’s one thing to call Andrew Sullivan on his failure to read fully that which he links to. It’s another thing when a writer experiences it personally and calls Sullivan on it.
Josh Marshall not only reminds Sullivan that he did mention 9/11 in his New Yorker piece., he adds, entirely too generously:
And in case there’s any unclarity, when I referred to September 11th, I was referring to the terrorist attacks that happened on that day. And in the previous sentence when I referred to 'terrorist attacks' I was referring to the hijacked airliners that were flown into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in central Pennsylvania.
Andrew is of course right that I don’t see Bush administration foreign policy as simply a logical and unavoidable response to 9/11. I see it as both a pretext for and a catalyst of the implementation of an approach which the architects of the administration’s foreign policy had supported long before they even considered al Qaida type terrorism much of a threat.
Quiddity Quack provides helpful visual aids for Sullivan, and hits The Blog Queen right between the eyes:
Maybe you’re a partisan hack. Maybe you insert qualifiers so that you can slime somebody, yet have an out should you be called to account.
Ted Barlow at Crooked Timber actually decided to call Sullivan on it, and got this email back:
he has a one sentence aside in a 4000 word piece.
my point entirely
So now “nary a mention” can mean “one sentence”? This kind of sets a new standard for moving goalposts. And he wonders why Atrios won’t rise to his challenge?
Ted doesn’t know what to say, but we have to, and now we’re beginning to understand how he can redefine reality to assure himself that Bush isn’t really backing the FMA.
IN THE BEGINNING WAS ATTA:
Actually, this does speak to something we wanted to say originally, before we had the chance to read Marshall’s piece and vet it ourselves ... Sully’s ongoing obsession with 9/11 as an event of not only the great historical significance which none of us would dispute, but of almost mystical and cosmological significance, as Jo Fish has pointed out on several occasions. What will he fault for not mentioning 9/11 next? The New Testament? The Constitution?
Here’s a hint, Andrew: Some of us have this desire, perhaps incomprehensible to you, to see that life goes on in America in the wake of that dark day. That we see more similarities than differences between life before and life after. That is perhaps why we don’t fall so easily for the “9/11 changed everything” meme anymore ... because it hasn’t. Lame reality shows still secure high ratings, George Bush is still a dolt, nobody’s happy with the Bowl Championship Series except the winners and we still live much more peaceful and placid lives than the Israelis do.
To pretend otherwise is to ... well, there was a catch phrase about this that was popular back in those dark days of 2002. You may remember it. It went something like, “If I/we don’t do X, then the terrorists will have won.”
It was often used as a joke, but it points to something that the terrorists wanted most to take away ... American optimism. That is why we insist on seeing that the world will go on more like it did before than not. What is it about neocons that makes them unable to share this? To appropriate another once-voguish phrase, why do they hate America?
Perhaps they might want to keep company with the only other group of people in the world who also believe that 9/11 changed everything: Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaa‘idah leadership.
posted by Sully 1/30/2004 12:53:00 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2004
MAYBE BETTER JUST TO LEAVE IT ALONE:
Kevin Drum how Sully still screws up when correcting himself.
Good for Sully for correcting himself (honest!), but what’s the point of doing it if he continues to screw up what Krugman said? In fact, Krugman specifically mentioned increases in defense and homeland security spending, which are the bulk of the discretionary increases we've seen from Bush.
And Sebastian claims credit.
posted by Sully 1/29/2004 01:06:00 AM
NOW EVEN THAT CASUS BELLI IS OPEN TO QUESTION:
It’s been widely blogged already, but the keynote essay in this year’s Human Rights Watch annual report casts a lot of doubt on even that one where Iraq is concerned:
Indeed, if Saddam Hussein had been overthrown and the issue of weapons of mass destruction reliably dealt with, there clearly would have been no war, even if the successor government were just as repressive.
Unusual among human rights groups, Human Rights Watch has a longstanding policy on humanitarian intervention. War often carries enormous human costs, but we recognize that the imperative of stopping or preventing genocide or other systematic slaughter can sometimes justify the use of military force. For that reason, Human Rights Watch has on rare occasion advocated humanitarian intervention — for example, to stop ongoing genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia.
But if Saddam Hussein committed mass atrocities in the past, wasn’t his overthrow justified to prevent his resumption of such atrocities in the future? No. Human Rights Watch accepts that military intervention may be necessary not only to stop ongoing slaughter but also to prevent future slaughter, but the future slaughter must be imminent. To justify the extraordinary remedy of military force for preventive humanitarian purposes, there must be evidence that large-scale slaughter is in preparation and about to begin unless militarily stopped. But no one seriously claimed before the war that the Saddam Hussein government was planning imminent mass killing, and no evidence has emerged that it was. There were claims that Saddam Hussein, with a history of gassing Iranian soldiers and Iraqi Kurds, was planning to deliver weapons of mass destruction through terrorist networks, but these allegations were entirely speculative; no substantial evidence has yet emerged. There were also fears that the Iraqi government might respond to an invasion with the use of chemical or biological weapons, perhaps even against its own people, but no one seriously suggested such use as an imminent possibility in the absence of an invasion.
The lack of ongoing or imminent mass slaughter was itself sufficient to disqualify the invasion of Iraq as a humanitarian intervention. Nonetheless, particularly in light of the ruthlessness of Saddam Hussein’s rule, it is useful to examine the other criteria for humanitarian intervention. For the most part, these too were not met.
Humanitarianism, even understood broadly as concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people, was at best a subsidiary motive for the invasion of Iraq. The principal justifications offered in the prelude to the invasion were the Iraqi government’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction, its alleged failure to account for them as prescribed by numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, and its alleged connection with terrorist networks. U.S. officials also spoke of a democratic Iraq transforming the Middle East. In this tangle of motives, Saddam Hussein’s cruelty toward his own people was mentioned — sometimes prominently—but, in the prewar period, it was never the dominant factor. This is not simply an academic point; it affected the way the invasion was carried out, to the detriment of the Iraqi people.
To begin with, if invading forces had been determined to maximize the humanitarian impact of an intervention, they would have been better prepared to fill the security vacuum that predictably was created by the toppling of the Iraqi government. It was entirely foreseeable that Saddam Hussein’s downfall would lead to civil disorder.
Another factor for assessing the humanitarian nature of an intervention is whether it is reasonably calculated to make things better rather than worse in the country invaded. One is tempted to say that anything is better than living under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, but unfortunately, it is possible to imagine scenarios that are even worse. Vicious as his rule was, chaos or abusive civil war might well become even deadlier, and it is too early to say whether such violence might still emerge in Iraq.
Still, in March 2003, when the war was launched, the U.S. and U.K. governments clearly hoped that the Iraqi government would topple quickly and that the Iraqi nation would soon be on the path to democracy. Their failure to equip themselves with the troops needed to stabilize post-war Iraq diminished the likelihood of this rosy scenario coming to pass. However, the balance of considerations just before the war probably supported the assessment that Iraq would be better off if Saddam Hussein’s ruthless reign were ended. But that one factor, in light of the failure to meet the other criteria, does not make the intervention humanitarian.
posted by Sully 1/29/2004 01:02:00 AM
Jo Fish this time.
Finally in further Andrew Antics we find that the Duchess of DuPont Circle has still not been able to reconcile the fact that Krugman was up front about once consulting for Enron (he’s a two-faced liar don’t you know?), but that Cheney who ran the company and is still getting paid by them may be truly ethically challenged. He says that the left is “shrill” in its attacks on Cheney. Hey, Andrew. Pot ...Kettle ... Black. Familiar?
Nice companion to the “Princess of Provincetown.”
posted by Sully 1/29/2004 12:48:00 AM
WHEN HUTTON TALKS, SOME ASK QUESTIONS:
Via Steve Mussina we learn that “Hutton” may be British for “Warren”:
Lord Hutton confounded a widespread assumption among commentators that he was going to dole out criticism evenly between the government and the BBC. Instead, he came down overwhelming and unequivocably on the side of the government and against the BBC, blaming the corporation for the row that led to the death of the Iraq weapons inspector David Kelly.
Lord Hutton leaves himself open to accusations of having cherrypicked the evidence that supports the government case and sidelined that which supports the BBC. Awkward bits of evidence that do not fit his final conclusion are left lying around unanswered.
Evidence emerged during the inquiry from John Scarlett, the head of the joint intelligence committee (JIC), who drew up the dossier, that the 45 minutes related not to long-range weapons as had been widely assumed at the time but to battlefield weapons.
This is significant, because it supports the BBC case that the threat from Saddam was not as grave as the government dossier suggested.
But Lord Hutton said in his report that the distinction between battlefield weapons and long-range ones deployable within 45 minutes “does not fall within my terms of reference.”
Lord Hutton refers to criticism by Dr Brian Jones, a senior official in the defence intelligence staff, of the way the 45 minutes claim was described in the weapons dossier. He merely says that the criticisms were rejected by Dr Jones's superiors, making no comment on government denials that there were any complaints about the weapons dossier from within the intelligence community
Lord Hutton portrays the government as trustworthy and honourable and the BBC as having a less stringent code of behaviour.
But a whole series of issues raised during the giving of evidence are not explored. Who, if not Downing Street, leaked details of David Kelly to the Times, before his identity became public?
Nor does he address the extracts from the diary of Alastair Campbell, the then Downing Street director of communications, hinting at a personal vendetta against Gilligan taken to the final conclusion.
At one point in his diary Mr Campbell said it would “fuck Gilligan” if Dr Kelly turned out to be the source of his story.
It was revealed last night that the family of Dr Kelly expressly referred to Mr Campbell's diary entries in its final submission to the inquiry. The family argued that the government wanted Dr Kelly’s name to come out as a way of assisting its battle with the BBC.
The family said: “Alastair Campbell’s diary reveals that it was his desire and the desire of others, including the secretary of state for defence, that the fact and identity of the source should be made public.”
Lord Hutton is critical of Dr Kelly for having unauthorised discussions with journalists.
But evidence was given by the government that it was part of his remit to brief journalists and that he had told the Foreign Office what he was doing.
The bulk of Lord Hutton's report consists of reprinting oral evidence to the inquiry, with little analysis.
He repeatedly emphasises the “grave allegations” made by Andrew Gilligan and repeatedly dismisses accusations that the government’s behaviour was “dishonourable, underhand, and duplicitous.”
Where the evidence appears to be conflicting, he invariably gives ministers and government officials the benefit of the doubt rather than the BBC.
Yup, no wonder Sullivan likes this so much (And just when he showed signs of getting a clue, too!)
(We should add, by the way, that we believe that, despite extremely sloppy methodology and a lack of investigative rigor in some circumstances for which it should justly be pilloried, the Warren Commission nevertheless reached the righr conclusion. That’s how strong the evidence was. But this does not mean it should not be criticized, nor that Hutton is himself totally right).
posted by Sully 1/29/2004 12:41:00 AM
WOULD THIS COUNT:
Christian says something nice about Sullivan. As he admits, this doesn’t happen often.
posted by Sully 1/29/2004 12:25:00 AM
THIS MIGHT ACTUALLY COME TO PASS:
1StepAhead visualizes Sullivan going into merchandising.
Yes, this blogging as begging phenomena is more widespread than just AndrewSullivan.com. Indeed, Atrios and many other top-tier lefty blogs run fundraising pleas but Andrew Sullivan’s tone and content is so uniquely self-aggrandizing that I can’t help but giggle at the sentence: “Reader contributions are still our most important source of income.”
And also there we find this link:
Sullivan is still mostly nuts — the next post is a link to an argument for regime change in Iran, which I presume we will effect with the half-million testosterone-lubed, pharmeceutically-enhanced supertroops that are billeted somewhere in Sullivan’s warped mind ...
posted by Sully 1/29/2004 12:22:00 AM
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Capozzola whistles three hot ones past Sully’s ear.
... please, will someone finally steer this ignoramus away from Catholicism and theology? Just because the average newspaper editor knows nothing of either doesn’t mean there’s no one else out there who doesn’t know a great deal about both.
Really, Andy, “they”?
Do you mean “they” as in “liberals” or “the left” or “the fifth column” or “the traitors”? Or do you mean “they never learn,” referring to Republicans, who for the past 25 years, and who by virtue of the idiots in the punditocracy, of which you were plainly in the vanguard, earned an entirely unwarranted reputation for fiscal restraint? I mean, where the hell were you?
Andrew Sullivan, in a January 26 post, “Sex Slaves Epidemic?”, is all too happy to imply, to conclude, based on no commentary added to two random posts on the web, that sexual slavery is not and should not be a concern to anyone, this against the 8,500-word, meticulously researched, and impeccably documented article by Peter Landesman (“The Girls Next Door,” January 25) in the New York Times Magazine, the very same newspaper in which pages Sullivan, on Minnesota Public Radio, on Sunday, January 25, bragged about his recent appearance, though merely as a book reviewer, a fact that was left unmentioned by the Princess of Provincetown.
Never stop what? Seeking a herpes sore from the same infected channel that brought us the unbearable discharge known as Jonathan Goldberg, flatulent friend of Andy?
Plus this response to the Atrios flap.
As for “Atrios Punts,” the brief post Sullivan added to his site this afternoon, it is the most supremely ignorant, dishonest, and lazy collection of sentences ever uttered in the blogosphere. Sullivan wants “three specific instances in which Atrios has criticized the left.” Atrios already gave him 11, but Sullivan, who obviously hasn’t read Eschaton except while on a desperate search for what makes for a truly interesting blog, can’t be bothered. Looks like the blogosphere has a new Village Idiot
That counts as a pickoff, too.
posted by Sully 1/27/2004 12:21:00 PM
HE MUST HAVE BEEN HOPING YOU DON’T CLICK:
A leftwing writer who thinks the Bush=Hitler meme is wrong and overdone nevertheless gets emails from Germany, from older Germans with ancestors who actually remember Hitler saying Bush reminds him of Der Führer ... and even that is too much for Smalltown Boy? Obviously the very idea, not just wild half-assed manifestations of it (which is to say, most of them), is to be considered beyond the pale.
Just for the record, we think that Bush/Hitler comparisons are trite, lame and tend to betray a lack of imagination in making an argument as well as an insolent ignorance to history ... we’ve tended to prefer comparing the neocons to Stalin’s minions, which works better. More importantly, just as Hitler was compared to Napoleon in his time but not after, Bush is Bush, not Hitler, and succeeding generations will Google these up and yell at us across the paper as to why we didn’t see that he was Bush.
However, in the here and now, free speech is what it is, and you just have to accept that some people will make that comparison.
posted by Sully 1/27/2004 12:08:00 AM
Monday, January 26, 2004
THIS SAYS IT ALL, IN CASE EVERYTHING ELSE THAT SAYS IT ALL HASN’T ALREADY ...:
I go to Lucianne.com when I want to feel like I belong. I go to Andrew Sullivan when I want the painful truth.
Wow. Talk about your closet cases.
UPDATE: World O’ Crap sez:
Andrew, if your fans feel like they belong at Lucianne.com, then you are attracting some pretty disturbed and deluded people, and it's bizarre that you would want to brag about it.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 11:59:00 PM
IF THIS IS TRUE, THE PARTIES ARE BECOMING MORE ALIKE ...:
I honestly don’t know how to respond to the all the plaudits raining down on the oratory of John Edwards from conservatives who ought to know better. Watching him, I saw in him the worst traits of Clinton all over again. The demonization of those with honest policy differences, and the casting of those disagreements in moral terms, the encouragement to voters to think of themselves as victims of malevolent right-wing forces ...
We hope that Sullivan was at least laughing when he made this one up.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 11:57:00 PM
REALITY CHECK BOUNCES:
Sully had in the past quoted from an email missive, purportedly from a Marine chaplain, you’ve no doubt seen about how so many of a long list of putatively good things we’ve done in Iraq have been missed by the media.
Christopher Allbritton, who unlike Sully had the quaint idea to raise money from readers not to do renovations to his beach house but to, like, actually go to Kurdistan and practive journalism, shoots that one full of holes.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 11:53:00 PM
NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE GOT A CODE ANYMORE:
Sebastian has a challenge of his own for Sullivan, and a commentator deduces from Sullivan’s behavior what he considers to be the Blogger’s Code:
The Central Tenents of the Blogosphere:
1. Don’t write under an alias, because it would hinder your efforts to gain credibility by bragging about your days as a real journalist.
2. Don’t read what you link to — even if it could prevent you from making misstatements about said linked item — because it only wastes your valuable time.
3. Keep your readers in suspense by changing your opinion every sentence or two about whether Bush has endorsed the amendment to ban gay marriage.
4. Have frequent funding drives in which you mention how expensive it is be read by a trillion* readers a year. (* Don't worry about providing the actual readership stats — everybody in the blogosphere lies about that kind of thing.)
5. Pout if anybody criticizes you.
6. Practice questionable sexual ethics.
7. Make fun of John Derbyshire whenever possible.
How many of these tenets do YOU follow?
(Link added, obviously)
OK, this goes on the blogroll at some point.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 11:42:00 PM
HOLD THAT THOUGHT:
In comments at Eschaton and a post at Sadly No (very good, by the way, expanding on the themes we developed yesterday ... also check out this comment), it was noted in connection with Sullivan’s attack on Atrios’s anonymity that he had changed his letters policy slightly in the last year or so.
Sebastian wondered why.
We know. Or think we do. And it’s the result of another embarrassing episode in Sullivan’s blogging history that we did a great deal of research on but never ran the item we wrote (hint: we alluded to this here a few weeks ago).
We had promised we would blog it tonight, but realized that we need to get, or attempt to get, one more possibly key piece of info for this. So we are delaying publication of this for 24 hours.
Please indulge us during the wait.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 11:38:00 PM
SULLY SIGNALS FAIR CATCH:
As we said, Atrios would respond. We need not add to his words:
The thing is, of course, is that no matter what I write in “defense” of the challenge, debate team gold star winner Andy will declare victory. You see, it all depends on how we define “the left” and what it means to criticize them.
I’m not sure what “the left” means in Andy’s world. Sometimes it’s Salon and the New York Times. Sometimes it’s Tom Daschle. Sometimes it’s Hillary Clinton. Sometimes it’s the mythical Transnational Progressivism movement, operated out of Barbra Streisand’s basement. Sometimes it’s some guy with a sign somewhere that Andy doesn’t like. Sometimes it’s a website in the Netherlands which proves the existence of a liberal fifth column operating out of liberal blue state enclaves like Provincetown and Washington, D.C.
As for criticize, I’m sure what Andy will require is that I’ve criticized them in a way he agrees with. It won't be enough to prove I’m ever critical of the Left, but critical of them from a perspective he endorses.
Anyone who reads this blog knows I regularly criticize the New York Times and Salon. I’ve criticized the American Prospect and even the liberal New Republic. I regularly criticize the congressional leadership. I’ve criticized Daschle for selling out for farm interests. I’ve criticized Clinton, Kerry, Lieberman, and Edwards for their Iraq war votes. I’ve criticized Russ Feingold for voting to confirm John Ashcroft. I’ve criticized Dennis Kucinich for his abortion flipflop. I’ve criticized all of the major Democratic candidates for various things they've done in the campaign. I’ve criticized the Dems for passing that Medicare nonsense. Given that they’re the minority party, there’s little to criticize them for doing proactively — such as stupid legislation they've proposed . They’re the minority party — they can’t do much but react. But, I’ve criticized Fritz Holling for being behind stupid digital copyright-related stuff. I called for Jim Moran to resign from his leadership position after his anti-Semitic comments, as did Nancy Pelosi, and he subsequently did step down. I said that their little “pledge of allegiance under God” performance was when I was most embarassed to be a Democrat. Andy may not agree with these criticisms, but they are criticisms nonetheless.
The implication of Andy’s statement is that in order to make “my team” look good, I only ever criticize the other team. That’s what a hyper-partisan would do — never find foul with anything they do. So, if, say, Tom Daschle proposed a constitutional amendment banning abortion I’d say “You rock Tom! That's Great!” despite my lifelong opposition to such a thing. I don6t do that. I can't think of any major person/entity/publication on “the left” that I haven’t criticized.
Actually, there is one thing to say: A moment we had dreamed of for a long time finally arrived last night. Atrios has gained equal footing on The Blog Queen.
Hesiod also responds before Sully challenges him, too.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 06:26:00 PM
FEELS GOOD TO GET OUT OF THE RAIN:
Before provoking Atrios into the discussion referred to in the last post, Sullivan had earlier launched on another impromptu attack of choice on our comrade, choosing a line that also strikes at us (perhaps intentionally?): his anonymity. (Hmm, all this rhetorical aggression ... just like Bush and the war on Iraq).
“No one knows who you are,” he lamented. Atrios parried this rather well, noting that many magazines, even The New Republic, have carried unsigned commentary (as opposed to anonymous commentary, unsigned commentary usually can be narrowed down to a known group of people) in the past, and the host noted that Junius and Tom Paine also preferred to speak without attribution, forcing the reader to focus on the power of their words.
(And just who is Sullivan to whine about this? Go back and reread any TNR’s “Notebook” section in the front of the book from when Sullivan was editor, or even just involved with the magazine. You can practically see now just what he wrote, right down to the lame “awards” and “watches” he still does (actually, as blog posts go, they’re pretty good) and that he was as swinish then when he didn’t have to risk his reputation and name. And what Sully didn’t write often bears the equally telltale fingerprints of Gregg Easterbrook.
We blogged about this way back in our earliest months, and everything we said then still stands, most notably that the Mighty Wurlitzer had a demonstrable history of personalizing every argument as a way of concealing the weak foundations on which many of them stood. Take away the person outside of the words, and as long as you don’t claim any special knowledge that cannot be verified without knowing who you are, you force your opponent to respond to your words, facts and arguments instead of you.
Perhaps now that Sullivan has created such an issue for himself, he understands all too well and wishes he didn’t have it as a liability. And that episode, as a commentator at Atrios reminds him, certainly taught him everything Atrios already knows about the virtues of online anonymity.
Or is it deeper? Does Sullivan suspect, deep down inside, that if all bloggers were forced to check their identities at the door and live or die by their words alone, no one would be able to tell he once edited a once-important opinion journal? Atrios built up a readership almost as impressive as Sullivan’s with nothing but his pseudonym, as we’ve noted before. Sullivan is too much a free-marketeer not to see the obvious lesson.
Up your big hairy fat beary one, Captain.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 02:01:00 AM
BEHIND CIRCLED WAGONS:
We’ll let Atrios defend himself, when he gets around to it. He has helpfully provided a link at which you can hear both him and Sullivan in their portion of the show. (UPDATE: Susie at Suburban Guerilla has transcribed the relevant bit).
By the way, there has got to be some irony in finally hearing The Voice of Atrios on the very same night Simpsons watchers heard the slightly Brooklyn-accented voice of famously reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon, playing himself (although drawn as wearing a bag over his head, preserving his visual anonymity), possibly the closest thing to a public appearance he has ever made. Perhaps we should have called in ourselves.
But aside from that, we do find it strange that Sully imposes no such demand on right-wing bloggers. Can anyone recall him demanding that Reynolds or den Beste attack “the right” from time to time to prove ... what? Their independence? We suspect that pro forma attacks on one’s own side, the sort of behavior that ultimately leads to the “Even The Liberal [insert pundit, publication or hack name here]” Syndrome (or perhaps just Foot in Kaus Disease), is seen by too many readers for exactly what it is due to its dripping insincerity and rarely impresses the people it is supposed to impress (other than those Kool Kidz who pressured the mark into doing it in the first place).
If conservatives are, as his and other blogs and news reports attest, increasingly fractious, well that’s just too bad. Comes with the territory of being a dominant majority. The left is not going to argue with itself (although it does, anyway) just to make the right feel better.
We were also struck by the gratuitous nature of Sullivan’s attack. Atrios had not said anything nasty about Sullivan at all until Sullivan just happened (as he so often does in print) to drop the charge in, apropos of nothing whatsoever. He should thus not at all be surprised that Atrios defensively referred to the charge as “a complete lie.”
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 01:25:00 AM
IT’S NICE TO HEAR HIM ADMIT THIS, BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE US SLEEP ANY EASIER KNOWING HE THINKS THAT WAY:
The critics that harp on the notion that Saddam was not integral to the murderers of 9/11 don’t understand that that that was always part of the point.
This is right down there with Richard Perle’s admission that the Iraq war was a violation of international law as evidence that the soul of neoconservatism resides in those pre-1914 images in memory of monocled, balding Prussians with Maltese crosses all over their chests, viewing nations and their citizenry as abstractions, pieces in the great chess game.
Further fisking follows:
We have given the world notice that we are not returning to pre-9/11 notions of fighting terror as a narrow crime enforcement enterprise.
And, in the process, have legitimized the claim of the jihadists to their recruitment base to be warriors, and thus somehow entitled to serious consideration of their political agenda, instead of the cold-blooded butchers they are.
Iraq was proof we were serious.
Like we said, proof of concept.
If we had caved, we would have suffered a terrible loss of clout and credibility. and we have removed a potential source for WMD programs in the hands of terrorists.
Aside from the bad editing, what was there to “cave” about exactly? Saddam was the one who caved, not us. We didn’t have to start the war in the first place. We could have resolved the situation without any loss to our international credibility.
And “removed a potential source of WMDs”? Hello? Did you read what you just posted, Smalltown Boy? You are now admitting that it doesn’t look like there are any, so you weasel by saying “potential.” Like terrorists are going to wait a few years for Iraq to develop something Saddam probably wouldn’t give them anyway when there’s a much better source in the former Soviet Union.
But if the administration succeeds in disarming Libya (a direct Saddam-war consequence)
Nope, that’s merely administration spin. Try again.
if it can successfully prevent the Saudi government from subsidizing and exporting Wahhabist fanatics; if it can deal with the real source of terror in the Middle East — the mullahs in Tehran; if it can bring democracy to a united Iraq; then the administration will have proven itself up to the most important task we currently face.
All of which are gambles that, if they don’t pay off, could make the situation on the ground worse than the status quo ante, for both us and the Middle Easterners we want to help. And the postwar in Iraq gives us little faith that the current administration can accomplish those things.
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 01:00:00 AM
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH, AT IT AGAIN:
We were able to manage a rueful smile that the first thing in Sully’s litany of gripes with Kerry is “the pathetic demonization of drug companies.”
And what would a lengthy, off-the-cuff Sullivan post be without at least one copy error — in this case, “He even wants to lower the retirement age for Petessake.”
BUSH: NOT QUITE A LIAR WATCH:
I for one certainly believed the British and American governments when they insisted that such WMDs did exist before the war. It was one factor among many that persuaded me that the war was worthwhile. But it turns out I was wrong to believe what the intelligence services were telling me, just as Colin Powell was wrong to rest America’s international credibility on what turns out to be a mistake. Notice I said: mistake. I do not believe and there is no reason to believe that there were any deliberate deceptions. But it seems to me incumbent on president Bush to be candid in what he said before the war that now turns out not to be true. That’s called keeping faith with the American people.
Y’know, it’s a real sad thing when conservatives are obfuscating and equivocating like this and leftist intellectuals can put this in a simple sentence: HE LIED!
posted by Sully 1/26/2004 12:35:00 AM
Sunday, January 25, 2004
WITH LOVE FROM JO:
Democratic Veteran on Sully’s latest blast at Moore.
posted by Sully 1/25/2004 12:47:00 AM
Roger Ailes knows how Sullivan can find out who went to the White House to watch the speech.
posted by Sully 1/25/2004 12:46:00 AM