September 10, 2007
the Table with bin Laden Conflation
There was, back in
early 2003, a general belief that you couldn’t believe what liberals
said about Iraq because they were a bunch of pansies. You could present
a reasonable, fact-based assessment of why invading Iraq would turn into
the disaster it has become, and the response would be that you were
guilty of being a coward and of crimes against the nation’s sense of
manliness, which at the time was itself mistaken as patriotism.
We soon departed
those waters, and have now arrived at their older, not necessarily wiser
cousin – liberals are wrong because Osama bin Laden reads Noam Chomsky.
The latest popped up
last week, when another tape from bin Laden surfaced. In it, he
suggested that the Democratic Party wasn’t giving the American people
what it wanted and suggested that America was hurting the world through
things like global warming.
This theme was
promptly picked up in various news outlets, perhaps most notably by New
York Times columnist David Brooks, who said that Osama bin Laden sounded
like any liberal blogger who might have an account at the mega-site
The thinking is
based on simple association. You say something, and I say something.
They are very similar, so we must not only agree that these things are
true, but we must likewise like each other and offer each other
Who needs that when you can just jump to a conclusion?
It worked for a
short period of time – perhaps about a year or so – before everyone
caught on to the underlying stupidity of it.
Over the years, it’s
been hard to convince conservatives that this isn’t really an argument.
Some of them insist that the war was just, but the execution was flawed
(you go to war with the incompetent president you’ve got, not the guy
you want); and a few insist now and again that if liberals would just
shut up about the war, the insurgency would be finished by now.
It’s a one-trick
pony, although it’s the one you use when you don’t have much left in
your corner. As they say, if you have the facts on your side, argue the
facts; when you have the law, argue the law; when you have neither,
pound the table. Hence, Osama bin Laden equals liberal bloggers.
You wouldn’t think
it necessary to point out the obvious here – no one has ever come close
to endorsing what Osama bin Laden’s organization did on September 11,
2001. There are people who have argued from a standpoint of
understanding, which prompted the mistaken belief that understanding
There could well be
some Americans who identify themselves as leftists and who thought 9/11
was not a bad thing. There could well be some Americans who identify
themselves as conservatives who feel the same way. The point isn’t
whether there are people who believe that way, because in a nation of
more than 250 million people, it’s inconceivable that you won’t find
someone who stakes out every position imaginable.
But the point is
whether this represents the opinion of a majority or even a sizable
chunk. The simple, sad, tragic fact is that most liberals think that
anyone who aided or planned the 9/11 attacks should be imprisoned for
the rest of their lives – that is, if they don’t favor killing them.
What is sad and tragic is that virtually everybody realizes this and
understands it to be correct. That probably even includes the people
making the claim.
Why they would
continue making the same specious claim is really anyone’s guess,
including those pushing the argument in the first place. To make a
conflation so obviously false undoubtedly requires a great deal of
self-deception, not to mention a complete lack of shame. This, however,
could help explain a few things, like why they’re still pushing the same
line about the war – real men support their president, pansies who don’t
are maybe at some level highly suspect.
© 2007 North Star Writers
Group. May not be republished without permission.
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