Originally Posted by claymisher
That made me laugh out loud.
I think they teach that style of debating in expensive English high schools. They all do it. It's boring once you can see it for what it is.
Okay, I've made 33 minutes in. I will say that Hitchens was surprisingly deferential to Bob's arguments in the Iraq piece, and I have rarely heard a more clear-cut example of rhetorical victory. Bob didn't get around to all four of the points, but on the key point--Iraq having WMD--the best Hitchens could muster is that the gang-lord Hussein was evasive. He gave off sincerely trying to defend that preposterous point. Fortunately, at this point we have reality to help us parse the arguments: 1) inspectors were let in; 2) no weapons were found then or subsequently; 3) Iraq never had them. To make the case that this was a just war, Hitchens tries to go into the deep weeds about bribes, obfuscation, and other unrelated minutiae.
Oh, and one more point on Hitchens' style: he also selects the most minor, off-hand comment (or phrase or even, as the debate about "irony" demonstrated, word) as the point of attack, thereby avoiding the actual substance of the Earnest Foe's argument.