The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, October 21, 2002


John Moyers, editor of TomPaine.com, replied to my slam on "Osama wants you." I replied, and asked if I could post his response and my reply on my blog. He said "go for it", which I greatly appreciate.

Mr. Moyers' email:


Floyd:


As long as your yahoos are going to consider the I WANT YOU image we
created at TomPaine.com, why not show them the compendium of links to
articles that back up the concept of the ad and its text? If they
bothered to read it, they will find that many credible people -- left,
center AND RIGHT -- have raised substantive concerns about the impact of
American troops in Iraq WHETHER THAT PRESENCE IS JUSTIFIED OR NOT...
People from the Cato Institute, Pat Robertson's UPI, Arab foreign
ministers (who no one would mistake as liberal), Jim Pinkerton, Gen.
Schwartzkopf, Gen. Scowcroft, Gen. Zinni, the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace (centrist) and many others have raised credible
concerns that American troops in Iraq could play right into Osama's
hands EVEN IF THEIR PRESENCE THERE WAS NOT A MATTER OF CONTROVERSY IN
THE U.S. OR AMONG OUR ALLIES (which it most certainly is thanks to
Bush's failure to forge a consensus for us or the allies going in)...


To reiterate: even if everyone in the U.S. agreed that we should invade
Iraq, doing so threatens to destabilized the region, send more misguided
youth into the ranks of the fundamentalists, draw Israel into a fight,
distract us from fight al Qaeda, etc etc etc... WHY IS IT THE SO-CALLED
CONSERVATIVES WHO READ YOUR SITE CANNOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THESE
POSSIBILITIES?... It seems like the people on your site think calling me
and TomPaine.com nasty names is as good as a substantive refutation...
It isn't, and until they are willing to engage in something more than
nasty namecalling, they will remain where they are -- on the far and
forgettable fringe of public discourse. TomPaine.com is right in the
middle.


Here's the link: http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/6420


John Moyers
Editor
TomPaine.com


My reply:


>As long as your yahoos are going to consider the I WANT YOU image we
>created at TomPaine.com, why not show them the compendium of links to
>articles that back up the concept of the ad and its text? If they
>bothered to read it, they will find that many credible people -- left,
>center AND RIGHT -- have raised substantive concerns about the impact of
>American troops in Iraq WHETHER THAT PRESENCE IS JUSTIFIED OR NOT...
>People from the Cato Institute, Pat Robertson's UPI, Arab foreign
>ministers (who no one would mistake as liberal), Jim Pinkerton, Gen.
>Schwartzkopf, Gen. Scowcroft, Gen. Zinni, the Carnegie Endowment for
>International Peace (centrist) and many others have raised credible
>concerns that American troops in Iraq could play right into Osama's
>hands EVEN IF THEIR PRESENCE THERE WAS NOT A MATTER OF CONTROVERSY IN
>THE U.S. OR AMONG OUR ALLIES (which it most certainly is thanks to
>Bush's failure to forge a consensus for us or the allies going in)...

This is not a particularly impressive list of names. Robertson is a loon, Scowcroft one of
the reasons that Saddam is still in power, Zinni fought police actions -- not wars. I generally
agree with Pinkerton and Cato, but I would say the same things to them that I said to you.
I went to ceip.org and one of the first things I saw was "North Korea Non-Proliferation Resources";
hardly impressive. As for dragging in Arab foreign ministers on the ground that no one would
mistake them as liberal, I can't even get insulted by this, only bemused.

>To reiterate: even if everyone in the U.S. agreed that we should invade
>Iraq, doing so threatens to destabilized the region, send more misguided
>youth into the ranks of the fundamentalists, draw Israel into a fight,
>distract us from fight al Qaeda, etc etc etc... WHY IS IT THE SO-CALLED
>CONSERVATIVES WHO READ YOUR SITE CANNOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THESE
>POSSIBILITIES?...

I did directly address these arguments in my blog post. I am not a conservative and I
have no idea whether the people who read my site are or not (nor do I care). I argued
against invading Iraq (though from a different perspective) here:

http://floyd.best.vwh.net/weblog/2002_09_01_archive.html#81255177

>It seems like the people on your site think calling me
>and TomPaine.com nasty names is as good as a substantive refutation...
>It isn't, and until they are willing to engage in something more than
>nasty namecalling, they will remain where they are -- on the far and
>forgettable fringe of public discourse. TomPaine.com is right in the
>middle.

Your site contains an article that encourages soldiers to refuse to obey orders
to attack Iraq. Advocating mutiny is hardly in the middle of American public discourse!




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