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Old 03-11-2009, 11:52 AM
atropos atropos is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14
Default Re: The Curious Case of Chas Freeman

Originally Posted by mvantony View Post
Rather, people typically decide which arguments to attend to or ignore based on the topic or subject matter of the argument -- i.e., whether they care what the argument is about -- and also, alternatively, sometimes based on who is making the arguments, regardless of the topic (this happens a lot, e.g., with Likud-loving-extreme-right-neocon-Zionist-"Lobby"-hawks). So, e.g., if you were an activist for human rights in China, you'd be extremely interested in arguments for the conclusion that Freeman has a longstanding record of defending China's authoritarian regime (just as these 87 Chinese dissidents do)
I agree that people generally concern themselves with issues that matter to them. I agree that this issue matters to the Chinese dissidents - and likely to many others as well. Those people are operating in good faith and were I concerned one way or the other with Freeman's status I would make it my business to respond to their good-faith objections and arguments (at least assuming there were enough of them to make a difference politically).

I also accept Brian's point in the diavlog that there are some commentators out there who probably don't actually care as much about China as they are claiming and that are truly motived by the Israel issue. A person supporting Freeman should feel exactly zero obligation to respond to those people on the China issue. Why? A response on the issue of China will have no impact whatsoever on their thinking and action in the world. Those people must be dealt with in terms of their good faith objection over his stance on Israel. Until that objection is dealt with they will raise innumerable bad faith objections.
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