Thursday, February 03, 2005

Letters to Wingnuts: In which I rebut people I don't know

What is the point of arguing with some people? Is there some third party independent person out there that will say. "Spocko, you have won this argument your opponent has seen the error of his ways and has changed his opinion based on the brilliance of our rhetorical stylings."? I don't really like to rebut people; it's not really fun for me to point out their irrational assumptions, especially when I know there is such a minor chance for change. But sometimes I like to do it just to prepare for my mental debates I have with my wingnut relatives.

This is from the Omaha World Herald on Feb, 2, 2004. Wingnut raving in black. Spocko logic in blue.

We were attacked

The war protesters seem to forget some things. The terrorists attacked us on 9/11.
Are these protesters protesting the Afghanistan war? Or the Iraq war? If it is the Iraq war, I'd like to point out that those terrorists were not from Iraq. The ones who attacked us were 15 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, 1 Lebanese, 2 from union of Arab Emirates and the head of the group was often based in Afghanistan and supported by their leaders. Please note the lack of Iraqis.

Were it not for the Bush administration's efforts toward homeland security, the war would be over here instead of over there. Therefore, we owe a great debt of gratitude to our soldiers.
This is a logical fallacy, the two ideas are not necessarily connected. Homeland security might indeed be responsible for no more terrorist attacks in the US (with the exception of the Anthrax attack. That attacker is still at large.), but you are assuming that the same people who might attack the US turned around and went to Iraq. The people who attacked the US were mostly stationed in the US, Canada and Germany. The terrorists that might attack the US and the ones that were drawn to the war WE started in Iraq are primarily drawn from two different populations.

Yes. We do owe a great debt of gratitude to our soldiers. One method to show them our gratefulness is by only using them when necessary and planning and preparing to get them out of harms way as soon as possible. Saying thank you while not providing them enough armor doesn’t appear grateful enough.

One reason the terrorists hate us is because most of us are Christian. We (Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals alike) like to help people (even theirs) instead of killing them.
Okay, that could be one reason. You suggest that they hate loving, helping Christians who have done them no harm? This knowledge is based on what proof, exactly? The interviews with them and comments from third party observers is that they hate Americans because of their actions and policies. Specifically, because we have defiled THEIR religion by putting army bases in Saudi Arabia. Why did we do that? Was it because we hate THEIR religion? According to appearances they could make a strong case for that.

What if your holiest of holy places was disrespected by a bunch of people from a different religion who didn't believe in Christ? What if, fume belching engines of war and cursing, drinking men of death and destruction were stationed right next to your churches and surrounding your cemeteries? Might that piss you off? Might you work peacefully for years to change that? Might you get so pissed off you finally take the law into your own hands when your leaders ignored your request for relief? But you would never do that because you are a good Christian and it is a sin to kill, right? Only non-Christians kill, correct? It's good to know that our armed forces are filled with Atheists.

You say that Republicans, Democrats, conservatives and liberals like to help people instead of killing them. Yet this conservative Republican government is showing they like to help the people of Iraq by killing them. Not just the insurgents, not just the terrorists who have been drawn by the chaos, but innocents.

The terrorists kill many times more of their own people than they do ours.
According to the medical publication The Lancet, over 100,000 Iraqi's are dead due to the consequences of this war. Are Christians behind this or are American’s behind this? Does George Bush follow American rules, or Christian rules? It can be demonstrated that they are not the same. Does Bush follow Christian rules only when convenient? This doesn't sound like any Christianity I know.

What would they do if they came over here?
Maybe the same things that our soldiers are doing over there right now. Accidently killing innocent people on their way to kill the leaders of the insurgency. If it happened here, would you fight back? Might they see you in the same light?

There are a lot of "God Bless America" bumper stickers around, and God has indeed blessed this country because of our Christian heritage.
It's good that you know the mind of God. What has He been telling you lately about current events? Is he speaking through noted holy men, Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly?

And one of the ways God has blessed us is by keeping that crummy war, which we didn't start, over there.
Yes, it is a crummy war, all wars are "crummy" they are also horrific. Maybe you should read about the war in some publication other than the American Media. Maybe you should talk to some Christian Iraqi's (they do exist!) that have had their homes blown up by mistake or their parents killed at a traffic check point.

Maybe you should read stories from OUR soldiers in Operation Truth. We started the Iraq war. We started it years ago when we supported Saddam, years before his invasion of Kuwait, years before he gassed people of a different tribe living in his country with gas WE sold him. God isn't the one who is keeping the terrorists "over there". Terrorists have been here before, they might be here now. Who is stopping them? Smart dedicated men and women who are tracking down terrorists using solid police techniques and spooky intelligence practices are the ones who are keeping the terrorists out of the US. And by killing all the people "over there" who are not terrorists or insurgents, we are pissing off more and more people. People who don't experience American as loving and helping Christians. People who only see the US military raining down death and destruction for years.

Dale Earhart, Beaver Crossing, Neb.
Mr. Spocko (last name unpronounceable by humans), Star Fleet Academy, SF, CA, Earth. Federation Sector, 0,0,0


Anonymous said...

Once again, Spocko, a brilliantly and logically written post! It's funny, but I read that letter to the editor when it first appeared in the Omaha World Herald. (We call that section, the public-no pulse section) Anyway, I would have responded exactly the way you so clearly wrote.


5:13 PM  
ellroon said...

Wow! Nicely said, Spocko. The desperately sad thing is ...he can't/ won't/ will never listen. Listening means receptivity means reaction means thought process means ability to change one's mind in light of new evidence. They are terrified of that. So the fingers in the ears and the shouting,"I can't hear you! LALALALAL."

11:43 PM  
spocko said...

Thanks Ellroon! I remember thinking, "If I want THEM to have and open mind. Doesn't that requrie ME to have an open mind as well?"
Then I read James Carvelle's book where he disabused me of that idea. There are some things that I do have an open mind about. For example, I don't really know as much about Free Trade as I would like. Paul Krugman whom I admire immensely is in favor of Free Trade, but I also feel that worshiping on the Free Trade altar above all else is bad for most humans.

On the other hand you never know, words and ideas repeated over time DO have an impact. I'm starting to think that the rightwing radio and conservative FOX/CNN TV where they only expose the ideas of stink tank experts and Pro-War Christians has a hypnotizing effect on people. In my research on the brain and thinking techinques, when a situation comes up, people have a thought about that situation. If someone like Rush or Hannity has provided a nice little soundbite to fit into that slot in their brain, so they don't have to think, it comes up.
I debated sending this into the World Herald or mailing it to that guy, but I probably won't. I'll bet he or his friends find it eventually though. It will be interesting what his response is!

Thanks for dropping by and posting!!!

12:21 AM  
Anonymous said...

How accurate is The Lancet? I'e heard everywhere from 15,000 dead to the Lancets 100,000. Do you have a ink to their site.

10:51 AM  

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