Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Rumsfeld & Rhetorical Errors

The Washington Post yesterday said "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warned yesterday that "moral and intellectual confusion" over the Iraq war and the broader anti-terrorism effort could sap American willpower and divide the country, and he urged renewed resolve to confront extremists waging "a new type of fascism."

The ancient rhetorical tactic of attacking one's opposition in lieu of their arguments was identified centuries ago and given a Latin name, ad hominem. Beginning students of rhetoric and logic learn to recognize this fallacy in first-year classes.

Rumsfeld is further quoted as saying, "Any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere." So, his argument appears to mean that free and open debate will lead to our conquest by the enemies of free and open debate, thus ending free and open debate.

I guess we can no longer blog for fear of bringing down Western civilization.

Asked to name the morally and intellectually confused enemies of free and open debate, Rumsfeld flamed out, unable to come up with even a single example.

Well, Mr. Secretary, I humbly submit that you should spend some quality time in front of a mirror.

Comments:
Rumseld was misquoted.
 
Hi, Mike.
Free and open debate?! How about deliberately siding with our enemies for political gain? Or haven't you read Sen. Rockefeller's plan for Democrats to attack the President and make winning the war impossible in order to make political gains while making us less safe?
 
Gil, thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog.

According to the National Intelligence Estimate, we are now decidely less safe than when the war in Iraq began.

I would be disappointed if the party out of power did not try to gain power by showing the nation the mistakes of the ruling party. (Now defeated in Congress, as I write this.) That's what our two-party system is all about.
 
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