[eDebate] wayback machine
Tue Jul 7 19:04:14 CDT 2009
(-- sorry for the clutter; just tying up loose ends --)
when a former debater puts forward a bunch of arguments (and persists
in name-calling), but then qualifies it all by saying 'don't confuse this with
continuing the debate', it's a safe bet their position is rather weak and
they're attempting to defray further exposure. below is a case-in-point:
j.s.: "after listening to you on iran, you don't even get the sense that you
are defending the CIA..."
there's a reason for that, jack - because i'm not. why concoct some gerbil-
bashing 'hermeneutics of suspicion' when the fact is i'm not defending the
"as further evidence of CIA involvement comes to light..."
but you haven't presented any evidence! so far you've got the following:
robert fisk didn't immediately burst out laughing or shout 'that's absurd!',
and the bush administration had a program to destabilize iran which we
don't know the obama administration officially ended. not one shred of
evidence showing the c.i.a. was behind this. not one.
"why is gerbil so adamantly committed to whitewashing even the possibility
of the CIA's involvement in the soft coup?"
of course it's possible. it's also possible that china tried to orchestrate a
soft coup, or that the election was stolen, or that mousavi is a martian.
...the practical question is, what knowledge from reliable sources can help
us move from the possible to the plausible, and from there to the likely or
even the actual? you're now teetering between possible and plausible;
you're nowhere near likely or what actually happened.
"gerbil probably would have (based on his use of reese erlich) defended
the CIA in 1953 in the weeks following the coup from similar allegations
leveraging the lack of definitive evidence."
you mean would i assume u.s. state-planners are behind all power plays
in world affairs without any evidence? you're right, i wouldn't. obviously,
we've got different criteria of adequacy here. and if an instance arose
where there was no evidence of interference, but the u.s. did interfere,
then i'd be wrong. i accept that. for better or worse, i don't pretend to
know things i don't know. my point is the alternative is far worse. why
don't you pretend to know that the c.i.a. ousted the honduran president,
for example? are you 'whitewashing possibilities' there? ...and why can't
you accept that the c.i.a. is just a front for the illuminati who meet to
pick the leaders of all nations on a quarterly basis? do you see the slope
you're slipping down?
"suddenly, you agreed that ahmadinejad won but still did not answer the
similarities between mousavi's declaration of victory the night before the
election and CIA inspired declarations of a stolen election in georgia and
gee, that's spooky. i've never once heard of a candidate declaring they'd
won before the election results were in, unless there was a c.i.a. coup in
the works. got me there. (erlich also criticizes the comparison - more on
"if mousavi clearly lost by your own admission, i don't see why a random
recount of 10% which is the same kind of recount conducted in the US
and other western democracies would not be sufficient."
because the real issue (as i've been repeating since this argument began)
is not which candidate won, but whether basic 'democratic' conventions
- such as the right to protest and the impartiality of electoral officials -
will become normal in iranian politics. that's why i care more about the
fact that people were demonstrating than whichever candidate they were
demonstrating for; that's why i care more about a ruling body that's not
the guardian council doing the recount than whether the election is
proved to be stolen. the institution of norms is more important to me than
contingent factors like candidates and results. (this isn't necessarily a pro-
'democracy' (whatever that means) stance, by the way; it's this same
distinction which allows badiou to distinguish between the formal and the
empirical corruption of democracy.)
"...your own previous defense of the US state dep't requesting twitter not
see, this is why you get things twisted, jack. i never defended the u.s.
state department; i *asked you a question* as to whether *you* thought
that request was an interference in iran's internal affairs. if it was, then
why not focus on criticizing that, instead of shadowy c.i.a. scenarios of
which you have no evidence? you never answered my question directly, but
my hunch was that foreign meddling which makes the mainstream papers
isn't as sexy as the stuff you cull from conspiro-blogs.
"why did you need to respond to key dropped arguments when you were so
i needed to show that they didn't matter to anything i was saying, since you
apparently required such a showing, that's all.
a word about reese erlich. he is a well-respected journalist cited *by your
own authors*. he has dedicated decades of his life to reporting on things
like the c.i.a.'s crimes against iran. yet you accuse him of 'trickery' because
he states matter-of-factly that there's no evidence of any c.i.a. involvement
in this event. quote, "these con artists [e.g., reese erlich] are worried that
no definitive evidence has yet surfaced linking the CIA to perpetrating claims
of a stolen election". he's a 'con artist' because he waits for evidence before
he makes accusatory claims? how many comrades are you willing to toss off
the bus in order to keep up the appearance that you weren't wrong on iran?
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