Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The There Is No Debate debate

One of the least convincing anti-war arguments is the one that goes "we are not having a real debate".

What this really means is "if we were having a real debate then everyone would agree with me". Its circular. A real debate being defined as one where everyone arrives at the same, anti-war, position.

The Security Scholars for a Sensible Foreign Policy letter is an example of this line of reasoning:
We call urgently for an open debate on how to achieve these ends, one informed by attention to the facts on the ground in Iraq, the facts of al-Qaida's methods and strategies, and sober attention to American interests and values.
They believe that at present there is no "open debate" and whatever debate that is taking place is not "informed by attention to the facts".

So presumable their letter is an example of this heinous state of affairs. Clearly they don't believe that, they are far too open and informed. What they are saying is it's the Public, or more specifically those that disagree with them, who suffer from this handicap.

I'm quite prepared to accept that people who hold an anti-war view are taking part in an informed and open debate and that their opinions are legitimately held. It's a pity the other side is not given the same consideration.


Blogger Jordan said...

ST, I think you will find the problem, especially in the US, is that those who disagree with the Administration are too easily painted as "traitors" - more especially at the grass-roots level. The debate that is going on now should have been at this pitch in 2002. The fact that it wasnt' - and that this is largely due to attempts by Bush et al to paint those who oppose their policies as somehow unAmerican.

13 October 2004 at 1:20 PM  

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