Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Points illustrated

Just further to my last post, Simon Jenkins, The William Rees-Mogg de nos jours writes a piece with the first line, Americans think they are good at war and are bad at it; they think they are bad at democracy and are good at it. Now, this might seem a slightly odd statement. It would take a fairly peculiar line on history to demonstrate that the Americans are bad at war in the same way as, say, the Italians (i.e. not good at the execution of warfare) or the Germans (i.e. prone to catastrophic defeat). Jenkins does not, in fact, attempt to demonstrate this. He doesn't go so far as to mention warfare again in the article, which one might think goes a long way to invalidate his unsupported assertion.

And look down to the comments and what do we see? A string of commentors attacking Jenkins, not for the ridiculous statement that America is bad at war, but for daring to suggest that it even has a democracy at all. Diebold, chads, Bush lied, Rethuglicans, stolen elections, disenfranchised, Halliburton. It's like they've got a damp electrical connection: push the button and blue sparks fly everywhere.

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