Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Teh Stupid: Now With 50% More Burning Power!!!


Last week when I commented on the vacuous musings of Joe Scarborough on his Scarborough Country show, I had to rely on my memory of his argument alone, as the transcripts were not yet available. Looking over the actual record makes me think that I went easy on Clueless Joe. Look at the excitement he shows as if he really just stumbled upon some bit of wisdom that will awe the world:

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, Pat Buchanan, we've been hearing for some time that George W. Bush's policies in Iraq would inspire Islamic terrorism against the United States of America. And my gosh, that makes perfectly good sense because we all know George W. Bush's war in Iraq is what caused Osama bin Laden to attack us on September 11, 2001, right?

... the point is, September 11 happened before we attacked Iraq!...And that‘s why these type of arguments seem so stupid!
Ugh. No, seriously: ugh. Buchanan, to his credit, tries to guide Joe through the complex world of, well, phenomena that extend beyond the number "1" - as in more than one potential terrorist, more than one potential motivation, more than one radicalizing agent, etc.:

BUCHANAN: Well, wait a minute, now. September 11 was the mass murder of 3,000 Americans, unforgivable, unpardonable, unjustified. However, it was not simple terror, it was political terror. What was the terror motivation of Osama bin Laden's terror? If you read his declaration of war against the West in 1998, Joe, there were three motivations. The most important was the presence of American troops on the sacred soil of Saudi-Arabia, and expel them. The second was the persecution, in his judgment, of the people of Iraq, with all these sanctions that he said were killing hundreds of thousands. And third was the occupation or the Israeli occupation, which we support.

....But there‘s no doubt U.S. occupation and invasion of Iraq has inflamed the whole region, expanded the swamp of hatred of the United States from which these recruits come. That is undeniable.
Undeterred by Buchanan's recitation of fact and history, Scarborough goes in for the kill with one of the strangest arguments I have seen yet:

SCARBOROUGH: I think we are safer today than we were on September 11, 2001, because we‘ve sent a very strong message, whether it is a mess and whether Americans are against it and whether they want us out or not, the bottom line is Osama bin Laden figured out that when you knock down two American buildings, chances are good that if the president‘s George W. Bush, he‘s going to take over two Muslim countries.

Now, that inflames a lot of people, but at the same time, it is a cold, nasty calculus that Osama bin Laden has to understand! [emphasis added]

This man has a show. On MSNBC. I suppose I should point out how ridiculous this theory is, how Osama actually tried to goad us into the very overreaction that Scarborough lauds. Or that we're still having sort of a tough time with that whole "take over" part of the equation. But, you know, you don't really need me for that. For this kind of dumb, res ipsa loquitur.

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