Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Diavlog comments Post comments about particular diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-10-2009, 10:48 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,936
Default The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-10-2009, 11:57 AM
atropos atropos is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Brian's point is simple and compelling: motive matters. It matters in intellectual life and it matters in political life. Anyone who is motivated to torpedo the Freeman nomination because of their position on Israel should say so. Some will, some won't.

Conor's point is equally simple and equally compelling: determining the motive of others with anything close to certainty is impossible. As such, one must take intellectual and political arguments at face value and address them on their merits, irrespective of motive.

I strongly suspect that Brian is correct about the true motives of many of the critics of Freeman. But without certainty with respect to their motives, Freeman must be defended on the merits.

For anyone who disagrees that motive matters I'll offer one purely pragmatic reason as to why (there are others): serious objections to any action/nomination or what have you are endless. Creative people can always find something to criticize - even if it means having to take a position with respect to some hot button issue that they wouldn't ordinarily. In order to actually come to some sort of decision/conclusion - the true motivations behind the endless possible objections must be established and dealt with one way or another. Arguments made in bad faith are endless.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-10-2009, 12:14 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 408
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

atropos:


Your gloss of the conversation is clear and compelling.

The conversation itself sounded like an audiotape of the phone book, as performed by Microsoft Sam.

Note to these dudes: acquire style, personality, a pulse. Something.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-10-2009, 12:34 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 750
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

I managed to make it to the second or third time Beutler characterized his own view as rational and his opponents' as hysterical before getting sick of it. I'm assuming the second half was the same as the first, so correct me if I'm wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atropos View Post
For anyone who disagrees that motive matters I'll offer one purely pragmatic reason as to why (there are others): serious objections to any action/nomination or what have you are endless. Creative people can always find something to criticize - even if it means having to take a position with respect to some hot button issue that they wouldn't ordinarily. In order to actually come to some sort of decision/conclusion - the true motivations behind the endless possible objections must be established and dealt with one way or another. Arguments made in bad faith are endless.
No, that's not how arguments work. First: all arguments are endless, bad faith changes nothing. Second: the motivations are irrelevant to the strength of an argument. Mother Theresa had great motivations for arguing against birth control but she was still wrong on the merits. If the Freeman criticisms have merit than they have merit, it doesn't matter if they're being made by the second coming of Jesus or a serial child molester.

As for Beutler, Yglesias, Walt, et al: I'm amazed that people who complain incessantly about how persecuted they are for their position on Israel refused the opportunity to make the Freeman nomination argument about a topic where they have some public support and instead turned it back to Israel. It seems to me if you're worried about being called anti-Semitic then you should argue that Freeman's perspective would be valuable instead of arguing that a cabal of Israelites is conspiring against him.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-10-2009, 12:40 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 213
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Conor Clarke: Wrong on Jamie Kirchik.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-10-2009, 12:41 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,803
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Regarding the Fallows/Beutler position on Freeman: it doesn't necessarily matter whether or not Freeman's grotesque views on China will affect the way in which he does his job. It matters in a more general sense, though. Analogize it to finding out that Freeman oh, I don't know, beats his wife: this fact probably wouldn't change the way he analyzes intelligence, but you still wouldn't want him in your administration . Character matters. And the fact that Freeman takes an unabashedly pro-totalitarian position says something (tawdry) about his character.

It's silly of Beutler to claim that "all" opponents of Freeman are also staunchly pro-Israel hawks. To name just two that don't fit this simple dichotomy: Human Rights Watch, and, ahem, nikkibong, are critics of both Freeman and Israel.

Poscript: I really wish James Kirchick hadn't come out in opposition to Freeman's nomination. Way to discredit our position, buddy!

Last edited by nikkibong; 03-10-2009 at 12:47 PM.. Reason: apparently his name is 'beutler,' not 'buteler'
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-10-2009, 01:14 PM
Joel_Cairo Joel_Cairo is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 198
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Uh-Oh.
__________________
Full Disclosure: I work for BhTV.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:05 PM
splink1 splink1 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

I think the very famous quotation about freedom of the press is actually from A. J. Liebling: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:39 PM
gwlaw99 gwlaw99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Saudi Arabia and China

The bottom line is that he was a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia who thinks the only problem with the Chinese reaction to Tiananmen Square was that it wasn't quick and harsh enough. Having a head Saudi lobbyist would be as if the head of AIPAC were incharge of the National Intelligence Estimate. I am sure that if that happened there would be hell raised.

I do not believe he is an antisemite in any way. However, his analysis regarding the middle east is simply uninformed for someone in that position. Freeman says Israel has failed in 59 years to make peace with any of its neighbors, not knowing Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. He also directly blamed US support for Israel as the primary reason for the Al Qaida attack on 9/11. Anyone with such a poor grasp of Al Qaida's motives (US troops in Saudi Arabia) and basic facts about the Israeli/Arab conflict can not be a good choice for creating the NIE.

Last edited by gwlaw99; 03-10-2009 at 02:52 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:47 PM
MikeDrew MikeDrew is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 110
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Clarke here seems to be uncommitted to a position in this matter, but nonetheless reciting the false as well as the true talking points of the major Freeman critics. As just one example, he repeated the notion that the NIC head oversees the preparation of the PDB. I believe that has been debunked. Perhaps next time we could get someone who actually cares enough to have a position and be up on the facts.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:47 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

There's a certain amount of irony contained within your post.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:48 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Default Re: Saudi Arabia and China

So basically he was palling around with terrorists - that's your critism?
Or maybe palling around with communists?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:50 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Saudi Arabia and China

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
The bottom line is that he was a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia who thinks the only problem with the Chinese reaction to Tiananmen Square was that it wasn't quick and harsh enough...
That's a distortion of what he said. A more accurate rendering would be that (he believes) if the Chinese hadn't let the situation evolve to the point where critical areas were being occupied ("the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined.") then it would have far less likely to develop into a lethal confrontation. Whether or not you believe he's right about that, it's a far cry from how it's being characterized by the right.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-10-2009, 02:50 PM
gwlaw99 gwlaw99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Re: Saudi Arabia and China

Quote:
Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
So basically he was palling around with terrorists - that's your critism?
Or maybe palling around with communists?
No, that is not even close to what I am saying. Please read what I wrote again.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-10-2009, 03:43 PM
gwlaw99 gwlaw99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Matt Ygleisas

I really enjoy reading his blog. I think Yglesias is a smart commenter and representative for liberal views. I have read him since his early days before he was a paid blogger at the Atlantic. However, I think he is a bad example of someone who doesn't use childish labels against those who do not share his political views (his blog is often used to illustrate the blogging term "snark"--short for snide remark).

In one case, for example, after he called the Third Way's policies "hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit," the editors of thinkprogress.com felt it was necessary to remind his readers that his posts "don’t always reflect the views of the Center for American Progress Action Fund". Matt's modus operandi (and in my opinion something that hurts the credibility of his otherwise well written blog) is to imput a bad motive to everything those who do not agree with him do. He can't just disagree with people he has to say that they do not actually believe what they are saying and their beliefs are simply cynical attempts to gain money and power. This makes for great entertainment for those who agree with everything he says and probably attracts more of that type of reader, but his tone certainly turns off most people whose mind he could have changed (or at least make them pause and consider) on an issue with his persuasive arguments. This is the flip side of conservative bloggers who might say, for example, that all liberals are like Jesse Jackson. I guess "red meat" sells.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:05 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default The Self-hating Jew charge

Since I've had this one thrown at me 20 million or so times since the 1960s, and since it shows no signs of letting up with the new generations, it's worth commenting on why it is such a successful smear.

It is very important for Jews to speak up about Israel's human rights record, belligerence and intransigence.

Of course, Jews do this every day in Israel itself, and no one there would dream of launching the "self-hating" bomb. Only abroad, where any deviance from the Likud line is viewed as treason (largely thanks to AIPAC propaganda) can right-wingers get away with such disingenuous psychobabble.

When Jews in the US do break ranks with AIPAC, a campaign of discrediting and bullying invariably begins. The message, however, is not so much to the dissenting Jew. It is to other (non-Jewish) Americans: "If you dare to go along with this, you'll be vilified as an anti-Semite" (a far more intimidating and free-speech asphyxiating charge).
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:10 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,644
Default Re: Matt Ygleisas

on the other hand....

when your policy prescriptions would also, coincidentally, result in your personal wealth/power rapidly increasing, I think its alright to call your motivation into question. no, on second thought, its more like its mandatory to call your motivations into question.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:30 PM
Lemon Sorbet Lemon Sorbet is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by pampl View Post
I..... Mother Theresa had great motivations for arguing against birth control but she was still wrong on the merits. If the Freeman criticisms have merit than they have merit, it doesn't matter if they're being made by the second coming of Jesus or a serial child molester.
As for Beutler, Yglesias, Walt, et al: I'm amazed that people who complain incessantly about how persecuted they are for their position on Israel refused the opportunity to make the Freeman nomination argument about a topic where they have some public support and instead turned it back to Israel. It seems to me if you're worried about being called anti-Semitic then you should argue that Freeman's perspective would be valuable instead of arguing that a cabal of Israelites is conspiring against him.
I don’t understand this analogy and how you got there. Mother Theresa was revered because she tirelessly acted on behalf of her beliefs (motivations). Motivations do matter. If she was seemingly doing good deeds but we suspect she had ulterior motives, then it would radically change our perceptions of her and instigate a re-review her actions. Also, most of the people who are making the coordinated attacks on Chas Freeman (and yes, there’s no denying the coordination) are journalists, and it seems to me that the first thing journalists have to do is establish credibility on the subject on which they write. I don’t think these writers realize that most them have lost credibility on the subject of the middle east to much of the thinking folks in U.S., so when they now are attacking Freeman on China it’s quite difficult to see it as anything else than a change in tactics in their fight against his “radical” view that Israel has to take a different approach. I will buy yours and Conner Clarke's argument that allegations can still be true regardless of motives and needs to be checked out, but please don’t even try to deny that motivations don’t matter and that there is not a coordinated campaign against Chas Freeman a la Jimmy Carter, the smearing of whom enraged me because I think Jimmy Carter is an incredibly decent man who’s spent the entirety of his post-presidency doing nothing but good for man-kind such as building homes for the poor and trying to stop genocides.

Also, I would say that Mr. Freeman’s views on China are absolutely MILD in terms assessing possible biases that might hinder an official from holding high office positions. If it was acceptable to the likes or J. Chait that people like D. Feith, E. Abrahams, and P. Wolfowitz held defense positions of enormous clout and influence (and we’ve now seen just how much), then there’s no way we can disregard their hypocrisy now on their collective condemnation of Mr. Freeman as being too pro China. I also do not believe that recognizing the reality that conditions in certain countries are not conducive to our style of democracy, and stating so in strong terms, precludes a person from holding high office.

Edited to delete this part because it was kind of mean.

Last edited by Lemon Sorbet; 03-10-2009 at 04:42 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:47 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Sorbet View Post
[...]
Awesome response.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:50 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 750
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Of course, Jews do this every day in Israel itself, and no one there would dream of launching the "self-hating" bomb. Only abroad, where any deviance from the Likud line is viewed as treason (largely thanks to AIPAC propaganda) can right-wingers get away with such disingenuous psychobabble.
Do you have any evidence of this propaganda? A scanned leaflet perhaps, or a youtube clip of a commercial?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Sorbet View Post
I don’t understand this analogy and how you got there. Mother Theresa was revered because she tirelessly acted on behalf of her beliefs (motivations). Motivations do matter. If she was seemingly doing good deeds but we suspect she had ulterior motives, then it would radically change our perceptions of her and instigate a re-review her actions. Also, most of the people who are making the coordinated attacks on Chas Freeman (and yes, there’s no denying the coordination) are journalists, and it seems to me that the first thing journalists have to do is establish credibility on the subject on which they write. I don’t think these writers realize that most them have lost credibility on the subject of the middle east to much of the thinking folks in U.S., so when they now are attacking Freeman on China it’s quite difficult to see it as anything else than a change in tactics in their fight against his “radical” view that Israel has to take a different approach. I will buy yours and Conner Clarke's argument that allegations can still be true regardless of motives and needs to be checked out, but please don’t even try to deny that motivations don’t matter and that there is not a coordinated campaign against Chas Freeman a la Jimmy Carter, the smearing of whom enraged me because I think Jimmy Carter is an incredibly decent man who’s spent the entirety of his post-presidency doing nothing but good for man-kind such as building homes for the poor and trying to stop genocides.
Motivations don't matter, your confusion notwithstanding. You can tirelessly act on behalf of other people and advance an argument that birth control is immoral (as in the previous analogy) or any other wrong argument and you will still be wrong. If you're trying to claim that Freeman's alleged emails are forgeries then go ahead, but otherwise "credibility" isn't relevant. I'm going to take advantage of your double negative command and not even try to deny that there isn't a coordinated attack against Freeman. There's no evidence of any such coordination so I'd have to be a paranoid nut to deny its absence.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:00 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
LOL! You know me well. Nonetheless, I came to this thread to register my objection, and register it I shall.

Attn Brian Beutler:

You're far from the only one who does this, (e.g., e.g.) but please.

As has been noted elsewhere:

Quote:
Among my many pet peeves is people saying "the proof is in the pudding."

The correct saying is "the proof of the pudding is the eating." The common misquote doesn't even make sense, unless you're talking about about a mathematical paper buried in the dessert.

According to bartleby.com, the (correct) quote's source is:

Quote:
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)
QUOTATION: The proof of the pudding is the eating.
ATTRIBUTION: Don Quixote.
Thank you.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:06 PM
gwlaw99 gwlaw99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Re: Saudi Arabia and China

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
That's a distortion of what he said. A more accurate rendering would be that (he believes) if the Chinese hadn't let the situation evolve to the point where critical areas were being occupied ("the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined.") then it would have far less likely to develop into a lethal confrontation. Whether or not you believe he's right about that, it's a far cry from how it's being characterized by the right.

I disagree with your analysis. Let's look at the quote
Quote:
I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than -- as would have been both wise and efficacious -- to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China.
Notice he says all other measures had failed. That means they tried everything short of force before they eventually used force. The only thing he could be referring to when he says the government should have "nip[ped] the demonstrations in the bud" is to "nip" by using force earlier as everything else other than force, according to Freeman, was tried.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:15 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
LOL! You know me well. Nonetheless, I came to this thread to register my objection, and register it I shall.

Attn Brian Beutler:

You're far from the only one who does this, (e.g., e.g.) but please.

As has been noted elsewhere:
If people would only listen to (read?) you...

Issue #1: "the three tragically misunderstood moderators."

Issue #2: "The proof is in the pudding no-no."
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:18 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Matt Ygleisas

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
I really enjoy reading his blog. I think Yglesias is a smart commenter and representative for liberal views. I have read him since his early days before he was a paid blogger at the Atlantic. However, I think he is a bad example of someone who doesn't use childish labels against those who do not share his political views (his blog is often used to illustrate the blogging term "snark"--short for snide remark).

In one case, for example, after he called the Third Way's policies "hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit," the editors of thinkprogress.com felt it was necessary to remind his readers that his posts "don’t always reflect the views of the Center for American Progress Action Fund". Matt's modus operandi (and in my opinion something that hurts the credibility of his otherwise well written blog) is to imput a bad motive to everything those who do not agree with him do.[...]
I don't agree with your assessment of Matt that he uses "childish labels" to impugn others' motivations, and I think your example does not support your claim. To the latter, I'd say that "hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit" is an assessment of a group's actions and results. Agree with it or don't, but it says nothing about their motivations. It's a judgment call based on observable data.

While I'll agree that Matt's good at the snark, and grant that "childish labels" is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, I'd be curious if you could come up with any other examples to support your claim.

And if you make an overwhelming case, then I will say, "He should be allowed to use childish labels. He is, after all, in the Juicebox Mafia." ;^)

What a great term. It has the advantage of being both a good insult and a badge those at whom it's directed can wear with ironic pride.

And speaking of terms, thanks for this:

Quote:
(his blog is often used to illustrate the blogging term "snark"--short for snide remark).
Never heard that before. Certainly sounds plausible. Got any documentation? I see Urban Dictionary repeats this assertion, also without attribution. Kinda seems like a backronym to me, especially given that the word snark has been around for a long time for other uses.

No biggie. Just curious.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:30 PM
Lemon Sorbet Lemon Sorbet is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by pampl View Post
Motivations don't matter, your confusion notwithstanding. You can tirelessly act on behalf of other people and advance an argument that birth control is immoral (as in the previous analogy) or any other wrong argument and you will still be wrong. If you're trying to claim that Freeman's alleged emails are forgeries then go ahead, but otherwise "credibility" isn't relevant. I'm going to take advantage of your double negative command and not even try to deny that there isn't a coordinated attack against Freeman.
I’ll concede that point as I think you may be right (not positive), but this isn’t an academic mental exercise in absolutism, and there is a lot of context here which I think is not being acknowledged. At the very least, I think the subject of motivation of the anti-Freeman camp is a very valid point of discussion and even an important one. The fact that anyone criticizing Israel is immediately subject to attack may not mean that the attack is not valid, but at the same time, it makes the attackers suspect as well. There is a history there and it's perfectly valid to question their motives, for this attack and future ones.

Quote:
There's no evidence of any such coordination so I'd have to be a paranoid nut to deny its absence.
If you mean we don’t have a wiretap recording or a damning memo of coordination between the parties, then, no, you’re right that there is no “evidence”.

Wonderment, I think you are the John McWhorter/Glen Loury of the Israel debate. I have to think you feel so strongly about this because this is not how you see the Jewish people, just as many who have worn the label "uncle Tom" were the blacks who were especially pained by the state of African Americans. I hope you will have your Obama moment.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:33 PM
Francoamerican
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: The Self-hating Jew charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
It is very important for Jews to speak up about Israel's human rights record, belligerence and intransigence. Of course, Jews do this every day in Israel itself, and no one there would dream of launching the "self-hating" bomb. Only abroad, where any deviance from the Likud line is viewed as treason (largely thanks to AIPAC propaganda) can right-wingers get away with such disingenuous psychobabble.).
Psychobabble....bingo. Nothing more need be said. But I would add that it is only in the US that such psychobabble is taken seriously, as this truly exasperating dialogue between a Jew and a goy makes clear. The fact that it a American Jew who defends the right to criticize Israel speaks volumes about the superiority of Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
When Jews in the US do break ranks with AIPAC, a campaign of discrediting and bullying invariably begins. The message, however, is not so much to the dissenting Jew. It is to other (non-Jewish) Americans: "If you dare to go along with this, you'll be vilified as an anti-Semite" (a far more intimidating and free-speech asphyxiating charge).
Again Bingo.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:33 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 750
Default Re: Saudi Arabia and China

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
I disagree with your analysis. Let's look at the quote


Notice he says all other measures had failed. That means they tried everything short of force before they eventually used force. The only thing he could be referring to when he says the government should have "nip[ped] the demonstrations in the bud" is to "nip" by using force earlier as everything else other than force, according to Freeman, was tried.
I think the problem is that that sentence is a grammatical mess. If he gets the job I hope they get an interpreter for his weird sentence construction!

He appears to say that they should have done
A. something to nip them in the bud
instead of
B. using force when all else failed (as would have been both wise and efficacious)

He doesn't describe either action as being something they did do so apparently their mistake was in thinking they should do B, the wise and efficacious option of using force as a last resort, instead of A, a timely bud nipping. Or something. I really don't get it.
Quote:
The fact that anyone criticizing Israel is immediately subject to attack may not mean that the attack is not valid, but at the same time, it makes the attackers suspect as well. There is a history there and it's perfectly valid to question their motives, for this attack and future ones.
But defending Israel is more popular with the US public than defending foreign policy idealism. There's a reason why Freeman's positions towards China and Saudi Arabia were adopted by every president. Claiming that the real reasons for criticising Freeman are Zionist in nature not only doesn't discredit his critics but gives them more credit with the polity than the null assumption does.

Last edited by pampl; 03-10-2009 at 05:38 PM.. Reason: added LS response
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:42 PM
gwlaw99 gwlaw99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Re: Matt Ygleisas

Well I am not going to look up all of them of course, but here is one

Quote:
The whole business of calling people chickenhawks has fallen into disrepute but I, for one, enjoy it greatly.
As far as "snark" goes, just from reading his blog over the years, he seems to have embraced it. This review of his book which Matt posted on his Atlantic blog references his "snarky" style
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:52 PM
Lemon Sorbet Lemon Sorbet is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Cogratulations pampl et al., I think Chas Freeman just pulled out.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:53 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Matt Ygleisas

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
Well I am not going to look up all of them of course, but here is one

Quote:
The whole business of calling people chickenhawks has fallen into disrepute but I, for one, enjoy it greatly.
As far as "snark" goes, just from reading his blog over the years, he seems to have embraced it. This review of his book which Matt posted on his Atlantic blog references his "snarky" style
First, let me remind you that I said in my last:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
While I'll agree that Matt's good at the snark ...
If you think snark is childish then so be it. I don't. When it's good, it's great -- being able to deliver criticism and get a laugh at the same time requires advanced intellect.

I also don't agree with this example. Like "hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit," I see "chickenhawk" as a judgment call based on observable actions and declared stances.

I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, but that's the way I see it.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 03-10-2009, 06:41 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 17
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

That's rather maddening. The degree of incredible, deliberate stupidity that Clarke puts on is just jaw dropping. You can tell he can't say what he wants, he disavows the Goldberg, Peretz, style of zionism, and then just sits around and acts dumb.

The lobby is just democracy! You don't hate democracy do you? Nobody is that goddamn dumb.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 03-10-2009, 07:15 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

And when it comes to self-promotion, I think Brian should lay off. Conor could not possibly begin to compete with The King.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 03-10-2009, 08:10 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Saudi Arabia and China

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
I disagree with your analysis. Let's look at the quote


Notice he says all other measures had failed. That means they tried everything short of force before they eventually used force. The only thing he could be referring to when he says the government should have "nip[ped] the demonstrations in the bud" is to "nip" by using force earlier as everything else other than force, according to Freeman, was tried.
Quote:
I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than -- as would have been both wise and efficacious -- to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China.
It's moot, now - but I think you assumed an awful lot, there. I definitely don't read your interpretation from that quote. But, Pampl's point about grammar is cogent.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 03-10-2009, 09:01 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Great Moravia
Posts: 1,117
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

An unfortunately mixed metaphor.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 03-10-2009, 11:57 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
And when it comes to self-promotion, I think Brian should lay off. Conor could not possibly begin to compete with The King.
More (via).
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 03-11-2009, 12:17 AM
T.G.G.P T.G.G.P is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 278
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Who could possibly defend Freeman's abhorrent take on Tiananmen? This heartless reactionary.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 03-11-2009, 01:26 AM
atropos atropos is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Quote:
Originally Posted by pampl View Post
No, that's not how arguments work. First: all arguments are endless, bad faith changes nothing. Second: the motivations are irrelevant to the strength of an argument. Mother Theresa had great motivations for arguing against birth control but she was still wrong on the merits. If the Freeman criticisms have merit than they have merit, it doesn't matter if they're being made by the second coming of Jesus or a serial child molester.
It is precisely how arguments work in the real world. Let me be more clear so that my position isn't as easily caricatured.

There is, in my view, one major valid reason to argue: to attempt to change minds - the mind of the person on the other side of the argument, and the minds of anyone witnessing the argument (there are some less important but still valid reasons to argue - to test the strength of your own case, etc - mostly these are derivatives).

Quote:
"Second: the motivations are irrelevant to the strength of an argument."
That is certainly true. However I do not claim that motive affects the strength of an argument. What I do claim is that if the purpose of argument is to change minds or in some way to affect the minds of others - then it is important to understand the motivations of the people on the other side of the argument *and* the motivations of anyone witnessing the argument.

In an ideal world with infinite time and resources (economic and intellectual) I suppose I could spend the rest of my life defending one position or another in the Freeman situation - but in terms of changing minds and having effective pragmatic outcomes - I needn't go any further than satisfying the good faith objections of everyone involved. Anything else is a complete waste of time.

Now, as I said originally - it is impossible to know the motivations of everyone involved. Is there probably an important block of people watching this unfold who truly *do* care about human rights in China? Probably yes - so I would probably respond to that criticism on the merits. Do I think that some of the people arguing against Freeman are operating in bad faith? Probably yes, I would probably not respond to every single criticism they offered no matter how minute unless I was concerned that some other person's state of mind on the issue might be changed.

It seems everyone wants to operate in an ideal world - Connor wants the ideal world of pure reason and Brian wants the ideal world of perfect knowledge.

I operate in the *real* world - where knowledge of motivations is imperfect and where I do not have the time nor the inclination to address every conceivable argument on the merits. The more convinced I become that someone is arguing in bad faith the less willing I will be to spend my *finite* resources dealing with him on the merits.

Last edited by atropos; 03-11-2009 at 01:43 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 03-11-2009, 01:27 AM
atropos atropos is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14
Default Re: Do motives matter?

See the above discussion at http://brainwaveweb.com/forum/showth...d=1#post106466 for a response
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 03-11-2009, 01:37 AM
gwlaw99 gwlaw99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Freeman is out. Immediately blames Israel Lobby(tm)'--well he did publish the original article that had to be toned down for the book--which apparanty now includes the 87 Chinese dissidents who wrote a letter to Obama asking him not to nominate Freeman, Amnesty International and speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi.

I found another interesting item from 2002 regarding his knowege of the middle east and terrorism (other than he did not know Israel has made peace with Egypt and Jordan).

Quote:
I'm a very practical man, and my concern is simply this: that there are movements, like Hamas, like Hezbollah, that in recent decades have not done anything against the United States or Americans, even though the United States supports their enemy, Israel. By openly stating and taking action to make them--to declare that we are their enemy, we invite them to extend their operations in the United States or against Americans abroad. There's an old adage which says you should pick your friends carefully. I would add: you should be even more careful when designating your enemies, lest they act in that manner.
Apparanty he was unaware the Saudi branch of Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing of the Khobar Towers in 1996 (during the period when the peace process looked most hopeful). I thought he was an expert on all things Saudi.

His prediction that they would attack the US in the 6 years after after 2002 this speech is also obviously wrong.

The man obviously has a brilliant grasp of the middle east and middle eastern terrorism and absolutely no conflicts of interest (except perhaps that 2 millions dollars the Saudis paid him to cover the complete operating expenses of his Middle East Policy Council).

Last edited by gwlaw99; 03-11-2009 at 01:43 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:56 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Excellent comment!
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.