L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

21 July 2007 Blog Home : July 2007 : Permalink

Petraeus vs "Scott Thomas"

Across the pond the "debate" about Iraq continues to show the difference in quality between the anti-war nutters and the pro-war folks. Recently the pro-war side had a chance to hear Gen. Petraeus being interviewed by Hugh Hewitt (transcript, audio)  and the anti-war side found an anonymous soldier, "Scott Thomas" who was willing to talk about all sorts of atrocities.

The pro-war folk dug into the tales of "Scott Thomas" and found oddities. Lots and lots of oddities. These oddities include word choice, phrasing, descriptions, apparent ESP, not to mention the fact that despite the fact that these abuses have supposedly been widespread and well known, no one has apparently bothered to tell an officer who cares. In other words the chances are that the writer is not actually in the military and/or is repeating and exagegrating 3rd hand scuttlebutt and rumour.

The anti-war folks attacked Gen Petraeus for daring to appear on a "right wing" radio show. Statements like:

If I were eager to maintain a semblance of military independence from the agenda of extremist, Republican partisans, I wouldn't go on the Hugh Hewitt show, would you? And yet Petraeus has done just that. I think such a decision to cater to one party's propaganda outlet renders Petraeus' military independence moot. I'll wait for the transcript. But Petraeus is either willing to be used by the Republican propaganda machine or he is part of the Republican propaganda machine. I'm beginning to suspect the latter. The only thing worse than a deeply politicized and partisan war is a deeply politicized and partisan commander. But we now know whose side Petraeus seems to be on: Cheney's. Expect spin, not truth, in September.

and this:

And speaking of Petraeus, what should we expect from him come September? It’s probably best to lower expectations now. Petraeus’ credibility suffered a serious blow this week when he appeared on far-right activist Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and stuck closely to the White House script.

Do you notice a difference between the ant-war nutters and the pro-war folks? As in, how come the anti-war guys are attacking the person and the delivery but the pro-war folks are attacking the content? I am, on the whole, on the pro-war side and the reason is clearly illustrated here. Us "right wingnuts" look for the weaknesses in what people say or write and expose their lies, inconsistencies or shadings of the truth. The "nutroots" on the other hand seem to prefer to attack ad hominem, and it seems to me that you don't do that when you have a better argument.