August 7, 2002

MARTIN DEVON is echoing a question of my own: why are the arguments offered by those opposing the war of such generally poor quality? I can make up better, more coherent arguments against the war than those who seem to have made it their mission to oppose it. (Fortunately, thanks to Jim Henley, I don’t have to). In Martin’s words:

Part of the reason that the New York Times’ approach to the coming Middle East war annoys me is because there are plenty of real questions to be asked without manufacturing fake dissent. From what I can tell, the real issue that troubles liberals about starting a war with Iraq (or Iran, ‘Saudi’ Arabia and Syria) is that it does not fit into their rule-based worldview. . . .

Yes, let’s have a debate. Do the bigwigs at the New York Times think that we should sit idly by while Saddam acquires weapons of mass destruction? If they don’t trust law-abiding citizens with handguns, why do they trust unbalanced dictators with nuclear weapons? How do they propose to keep America safe from attack?

Unfortunately, I think too much opposition to the war (like much support for gun control, as well) is cultural, not intellectual. The New York Times editorial board takes these positions because they feel they’re the positions people like them are supposed to take. Thus, no actual argument is really necessary. I think this explains why people will call warbloggers blustery warmongers, even when they ultimately turn out not to disagree all that much on the issues. It’s just so, well, not done, to actually say things like that, whether or not they’re right.

I love Martin’s opening quote, too.

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