Tuesday, May 15, 2012

John Dickerson has a very thin skin.

John Dickerson of Slate and CBS has the unfortunate Beltway hack habit of uncritically mouthing right-wing talking points.

Before I went on holiday, I listened to the April 20th Gabfest in which the Very Serious Threat of Iranian's Nuclear Program was discussed breathlessly. Dickerson began his segment with an appeal to authority fallacy by saying that the "people who know this issue so much better than the three of us do" say that "they [Israel] want to stop this before they [Iran] actually use the nuclear weapon."

He also approvingly quoted Jeffrey Goldberg -- and we all know how reliable he is.

Anyway, the whole awful segment is based on a bunch of assumptions, hypotheticals, guesses and suppositions -- all of which are used by the Bomb Iran crowd to make the following gambit seem reasonable: We must bomb Iran because they might be developing a nuclear weapon which they might at some point use against someone -- even though afterwards they could easily restart building another bomb, at which point we'll possibly have to bomb them again.

It's not reasonable, it's crazy.
Not a single credible source indicates that Israel, or the United States, can destroy the Iranian nuclear program. Every responsible planner must presume that Iran will both retaliate for a strike and rebuild its nuclear program with all alacrity. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv and Isfahan smolder; Hezbollah, Hamas and the IRGC strike back; and we’re in the exact same situation in, say, three to five years.
But Dickerson doesn't think it's crazy -- he thinks it makes perfect sense -- and goes on to say,
People do say that civilization owes action to the Israelis if a crazy man says 'I will blow up Israel' and is trying to get a nuclear weapon to do so. You're compelled to step in.
Note the weasely "some people say" BS. But -- really? We should attack Iran because Ahmadinejad (who's not even the most powerful person in Iran) -- has made bellicose comments about Israel? By that standard, why didn't we nuke Mao and Stalin while we had the chance? They  made Ahmadinejad look like a piker.

Dickerson goes on to add that,
The only proof that he's crazy is when the missile is launched.
Better start bombing immediately!

Except recently, the "crazy" Ahmadinejad says war with Israel isn't necessary. Oops, there goes that talking point.

So I couldn't help but needle Dickerson a bit -- and he didn't like it very much.

Love how Dickerson calls me "drunk" -- then immediately backpedals and accuses me of an attribution error. I assume he thinks that was very clever.

Listen to the Gabfest and decide for yourself. Was I unfair to Dickerson or not?

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