January 14, 2004


*Iraq abolishes civil law in favour of shari'a, ends alimony, according to Juan Cole. Oh, good.

*"It is unrealistic to expect that Canada will ever again field a conventional army with the firepower to destroy another conventional army," John Ibbitson, the Globe today. Sounds about right.

*Shorter Kenneth Pollack: there won't be a disaster in Iraq until at least June. Well, that's... not reassuring at all, actually.

*The number of Americans who think their army should stay in Iraq is down to 51 percent. Shorter Steven Den Beste: it's still a majority!

*the Captain of the Clueless also criticizes a reporter for putting the words "the Pentagon says" in their lede. Anyone who claims to have paid attention in their college journalism class surely should see automatically that attribution was necessary for the statement in question: otherwise it would sound like the reporter had counted up the number of Iraq attacks themselves and given their own opinion. There's no "nudge nudge," Steven. That's how it's always been done.

Posted by BruceR at 10:40 AM


Determined to up the "Bush is Hitler" trope, the Toronto Star's Tom Walkom comes up with something even better: Bush is worse than Hitler! And, by the way, Canadian leaders are like the Iron Guard:

"Former prime minister Jean Chrétien attempted the Swiss solution — stay out of the aggressor's wars but continue to sell him whatever he needs. Hitler was comfortable with that level of tacit support. Bush appears to want more... Martin seems to be veering to the Romanian model of more active support for Bush's military aims."
It's amazing how little most print journalists seem to know of Godwin's Law, the upshot of which being that invoking Hitler is perhaps the only real way to lose a political argument on the internet. Saying "x=Hitler" effectively concedes that you have no interest in persuading the unpersuaded anymore, that you've effectively turned your back and are now only preaching to the narrow band of individuals who happen to think like you.

Which, we hope in Walkom's case, is mercifully few. The idea of such apparently congenital idiocy being more widespread than that would rankle.

Posted by BruceR at 10:15 AM