Joe Wilson, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and anonymous posters to this blog have at least one thing in common–repeated, loud, ad hominem, attacks on the war in Iraq.
From the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Ad hominem – A phrase applied to an argument or appeal founded on the preferences or principles of a particular person rather than on abstract truth or logical cogency.
Apoplectic attacks and commentaries which rely on insult, insinuation, and intimidation appeal to the lowest common denominator and serve to persuade or convince no one. They are like the child on the playground who throws a tantrum–an entertaining specatacle to be sure–but who usually takes her or his ball and goes home. It is reminiscent of a debate I once had with several friends about “branding” and the value of buying naming rights to sports venues and events. The discussion was heated and ended abruptly, not because one of the two parties won, but because one of those involved dropped the “f-bomb”–effectively shocking and offending all involved. Was this a successful conclusion to the debate?
Apoplectic – Suffering from, or showing symptoms of, apoplexy
Apoplexy – A malady, very sudden in its attack, which arrests more or less completely the powers of sense and motion; it is usually caused by an effusion of blood or serum in the brain, and preceded by giddiness, partial loss of muscular power, etc. Further, overcome with anger – having symptoms of a stroke.
On Monday Norman Podhoretz, editor-at-large of “Commentary” and 10 books, wrote an excellent article. He responded at length and in great detail about the accusations of deceit on the part of the Bush administration in leading us to war. It is long but warrants serious examination. Owing to its size and complaints about my over-long posts I will break it up into bite-sized portions.
Who Is Lying About Iraq?
A campaign of distortion aims to discredit the liberation.
BY NORMAN PODHORETZ
Monday, November 14, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST
Among the many distortions, misrepresentations and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.
What makes this charge so special is the amazing success it has enjoyed in getting itself established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by evidence and argument alike. In this it resembles nothing so much as those animated cartoon characters who, after being flattened, blown up or pushed over a cliff, always spring back to life with their bodies perfectly intact. Perhaps, like those cartoon characters, this allegation simply cannot be killed off, no matter what.
Nevertheless, I want to take one more shot at exposing it for the lie that it itself really is. Although doing so will require going over ground that I and many others have covered before, I hope that revisiting this well-trodden terrain may also serve to refresh memories that have grown dim, to clarify thoughts that have grown confused, and to revive outrage that has grown commensurately dulled.