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Yes, bad things happen in the military
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, July 28, 2007

And the military then does what it needs to do when they happen:
A Georgia soldier was following a directive from another soldier when he allegedly shot and killed an Iraqi detainee, according to details of charges the Army released Friday.

The charges offer more information into allegations that Spec. Christopher P. Shore of Winder committed premeditated murder.

Shore, 25, and Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales of San Antonio, Texas, were charged last week in the alleged premeditated killing of the unidentified man on June 23 in an area near Kirkuk, about 155 miles north of Baghdad.

The soldier's commanding officer —- Lt. Col. Michael Browder —- was relieved of his command in connection with the investigation. Browder is not a suspect and has not been charged, base spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Donnelly said in a news release.
I think the most frustrating thing to have come out of this Beauchamp dust-up is the baseless accusation that since I and others question the credibility of the stories Beauchamp wrote we thereby deny bad things happen in the military or in Iraq.

Of course bad things happen. And they reflect badly on that institution.

As we've said time and time again the problems with the Beauchamp piece were specific to the piece and addressed as such. No one has argued that these things couldn't happen. The argument has been, given the way they were described, they were highly implausible and we gave multiple technical and cultural reasons why they were highly implausible.

However that apparently doesn't matter.

Oliver Willis, beaming in on another thread says:
Here’s the thing: on their podcast last week, your co-bloggers Dale and Bruce seemed to say that there’s just no way in the military for any kind of atrocity to happen.
No. That's not what we "seemed to say", and you can listen to what we did say here. In fact, as Dale set up the discussion and asked my opinion, I said "the first thing that struck me about the stories was where are the leaders ...?"

That's a specific point about the stories, not some general attempt to say 'stuff like this just doesn't happen'. The stories, given my experience with similar situations, just didn't ring true and one of the primary reasons they didn't ring true is there was no apparent reaction by leadership.

If you think that an officer or NCO is going to "look away" and ignore the type of mocking that was described in the first story, then I'm sorry, you just don't know what you're talking about. My problem, other than saying that, is I don't know how to properly convey that bit of reality. Anyone who has been in the military, especially the Army and specifically the infantry, know that two privates aren't going to be left to do that sort of a thing. Infantry officers and NCOs are not the shy retiring types.

Dale also makes a very specific point in the podcast when he says, "I read these stories, and that's not the military I served in ..."

That is a specific statement about these stories, not some one-over-the-world statement which says "bad things don't happen in the military". In fact, about half way through the podcast we even cite Abu Gharib and our reaction to it and I say, "so it wasn't like we were denying any bad news coming out of Iraq ...", but apparently Willis didn't get that far in forming his conclusion that we "seemed to say that there’s just no way in the military for any kind of atrocity to happen."

Yet, for some reason, with the audio right there to listen too, Willis attempts to characterize the argument (yes, he used the weasel word 'seemed', but if you listen too the podcast, you know it didn't "seem' at all) in a negative way.

Let me be clear, as the story above demonstrates and as we said in the podcast - bad things happen in the military and in Iraq. And when they do, they should be punished to the full extent of the UCMJ. That is normally what happens when they're discovered as you can see above. I support that fully. I can't be any more clear about that.

However, I'm not about to accept as true something which smells bad just because it was written by a soldier. And that is what we have talked about here on this blog.

The difference between myself and Willis, however, is I actually have the experience to know when something about a military story smells bad and he hasn't a clue. So he's reduced to ignorantly erecting strawmen and claiming things which are completely false instead.

Not that his attempts to do so come as some sort of a surprise and all, but I'll be darned if I'm going to let them lay there unanswered.

Last, but certainly not least, this is a very personal thing for me. I remember when you couldn't wear your uniform off post or in an airport without being insulted and treated like a pariah. I remember protesters outside the gate at Ft. Bragg with signs calling the brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division I served with "The Baby Killer Brigade". And it was because of exaggerations, innuendo and flat out lies told about the soldiers who served in Vietnam by people like John Kerry and the frauds at Vietnam Veterans Against the War that that was the atmosphere we came home too. I didn't have a way to fight that then as I do now. And since I do, I'll be damned if I'll let that sort of trash again go unchallenged.

And if that means I have to also rebut ankle-biters like Willis who wouldn't know an e-tool from a night-vision device, that's fine with me.
 
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However, I’m not about to accept as true something which smells bad just because it was written by a soldier. And that is what we have talked about here on this blog.

The difference between myself and Willis, however, is I actually have the experience to know when something about a military story smells bad and he hasn’t a clue. So he’s reduced to ignorantly erecting strawmen and claiming things which are completely false instead.


You know what? Nobody thinks you should accept it as certainly true just because it was written by a soldier. But you didn’t limit yourself to that. You accepted it as certainly false. You made a decisive judgment on it, under conditions where you almost certainly did not have the information needed to make a decisive judgment. But you substituted dislike of the media and TNR and distaste of hearing the stories for actual knowledge.

Hell, a few days ago you were convinced that the guy was an MFA student. And he’s not. You were wrong.
The guy you linked to had, at least, the stones to say, in his next post, "Hey, I was totally off base.. sorry about that!"

The bottom line is, your military experience, and/or the collective military experience of three or four military bloggers, might give you some level of edge over a random civilian in identifying true stories from false ones.

On the other hand, your emotional bias against wanting to hear about bad things done in uniform comes from the same place and gives you the opposite of an edge over a random civilian. You’re too personally invested in decision of truth or falsity to be interested in (capable of?) objective analysis.

That’s the only explanation for putting up logic like "running over stray dogs with a Bradley would be risky to the person doing it, therefore... it didn’t happen"

Later, when the first guy with less honor than Thomas denies the whole thing, I expect you’ll trumpet that as proof that it did not, in fact, happen as well.
And the counterargument won’t be, yes, it did happen. The counterargument is Why do you keep overstating the certainty of your case?
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Hell, a few days ago you were convinced that the guy was an MFA student. And he’s not.
As usual, glasnost, you get it wrong. I said he and I came to the same conclusions for different reasons (i.e. the guy was most likely embellishing stories he’d heard elsewhere). HE was the one claiming the guy was an MFA student, not me. I simply found his analysis interesting.
On the other hand, your emotional bias against wanting to hear about bad things done in uniform comes from the same place and gives you the opposite of an edge over a random civilian. You’re too personally invested in decision of truth or falsity to be interested in (capable of?) objective analysis.
Oh horsecrap. The technical and cultural reasons to dispute Beauchamp’s stories are legion and laid out there. You, as usual, ignore them in favor of your patented dumb-a$$ed pop-psychology approach to argument.

Rebut the reasons I’ve laid out or keep your yap shut, will you?

BTW, point out, where on the podcast, which I’m sure you haven’t listened too, either Dale or I "seemed" to suggest that bad things don’t happen in Iraq or the military, ok?

Do a little due diligence for a change instead of seizing on something obscure you obviously didn’t understand and trying to turn that into some sort of psychological profile which negates all of the technical and cultural arguments I’ve tendered on this story.

The problem is you can’t. Like Willis you haven’t a clue. So you’re left with psychobabble as your only argument.

And when you attempt it...
That’s the only explanation for putting up logic like "running over stray dogs with a Bradley would be risky to the person doing it, therefore... it didn’t happen"
... you fall flat. The Bradley incident, if you actually read the story, talks about 3 dogs, not one, and it talks about multiple "opportunities" for this guy to seek out things to run over, such as curbs, stalls, buildings and barriers.

Now, if you knew anything, you’d never believe a track commander, who is going to be reporting to a patrol or convoy commander, is going to allow some dimbulb to take out his fantasies of running over things out to his satisfaction whenever he wants. But you, like Willis, haven’t a clue about that stuff. And that’s the problem here ... you continue blather on about something which you obviously have no experience or context in which to base your argument. But it sure doesn’t slow you down, does it?

You simply assume, with no evidence or experience to back your assumption, that because this guy said it and the TNR published it that it must have happened. Plausibility? Phaaa ... "bad things happen in Iraq and I want to believe that". So "fake but accurate" rules.

And then you have the audacity to say I’m biased? What a laugh.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Your desire to never let what happened to you and others when the uniform was publicly worn during and after Vietnam brought back memories of the Gathering of Eagles in D.C.in March, 2007. I don’t remember being verbally attacked when in uniform from 1965-1971, but I was in the Navy and I am said to look and project a "don’t tread on me" attitude. Anyway, the hundreds of guys I talked to during the Gathering of Eagles had a common point. We were not available to fight the good fight before, but we are now older, many retired, have the time and money and we will not allow it happen to this generation of men and women in the military. We have been awakened. And in that vain, many veterans organizations such as the Gathering of Eagles will converge on D.C. on September 15th to support General Petraeus.

While we Navy guys, other than the SEALs and a few other groups, aren’t the most knowledgable about combat equipment, the story about the humilation of the wounded women in the chow hall would have had a quick ending. I was in submarines and we were not exactly the most couth group in the world, but I would have knocked the offender on his butt then and even today. Times have changed, but I imagine my son in the Army stationed in Iraq might just nail the SOB also, after a stearn warning first, of course. Anyway, such conduct would not be unknown to just about everyone in the FOB (or submarine in my case).
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
If you read that guy’s blog its obvious he has pretensions of being a big-time writer - commenters remark that "Hemingway also blah blah blah" and he mentions becoming an "author." That MFA guy was not far off the mark at all.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I don’t remember being verbally attacked when in uniform from 1965-1971, but I was in the Navy and I am said to look and project a "don’t tread on me" attitude.
Verbal attack is little different than general remarks said loud enough to hear, people getting up an moving when you sit down among them and the like. Or being treated poorly or just flat ignored by those serving you in a civilian establishment whose business didn’t depend on military trade (I walked out of a few restaurants where I was simply ignored).

And of course these things usually happened when you were alone, traveling and in uniform. They really didn’t have the courage to say them to us in groups. However there were groups in SF who were not at all reticent about pitching a little "hey, hey what do you say, how many kids did you kill today" chant at you as you passed.

It was rarely as overt as with the protesters with the signs at Bragg or a group in SF. In fact, for the most part, it was fairly subtle, but there was no mistaking it.

I was traveling from SF to Dallas on a flight in uniform. With the experience of SF (3 of the longest hours I ever spent in my life waiting to board a plane), I asked to be seated in the last row of the aircraft. I just felt that would be the place I was least likely to be hassled. They gave me the seat and when I boarded, I was seated in the last row, left side, with a woman I’d say was in her late 20s. Not bad looking. Never said a word or even acknowledged my presence. OK, nothing particularly to be upset with there at all.

But then as they closed the door and it was obvious we were pushing back, she got up gathered her things and moved into the isle where she announced to the flight attendant, "I’m not going to sit here with him, where else can I sit?"

The flight wasn’t full and the attendant, trying to quickly defuse the situation, moved her a few rows forward on the other side of the aircraft, where, I assume, she told her story to those she was now sitting with, as they all turned to give me a look which wasn’t at all hard to decipher.

Later, as I sat there alone during the trip, the same flight attendant came up, pulled down my tray table and put a small bottle of Jack Daniels on the tray with a glass of ice. I looked up, a bit shocked, and she whispered, "welcome home".

She was the one and only person, outside of my family, who ever said that to me. I never got her name, but to this day I remember her face as well as I do that of any of my family members. The interesting thing is we both knew, given the climate, that the best she could do was to whisper the welcome. And at that time, that took real courage. That was the climate that those who told stories like those I’m concerned with in this particular thread created for soldiers then. And from those stories and myths came another myth - that of the "crazy Vietnam Vet".

I’ll be a son of a b*tch if I’ll stand idly by and watch the same sort of crap perpetrated on a new generation of soldiers now. When I see something which doesn’t pass the smell test, I intend to call the author on it and let the chips fall where they may. If that ruffles a few feathers, well, tough.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

Now, if you knew anything, you’d never believe a track commander, who is going to be reporting to a patrol or convoy commander, is going to allow some dimbulb to take out his fantasies of running over things out to his satisfaction whenever he wants. But you, like Willis, haven’t a clue about that stuff.
Argument from authority is a fallacy, and one can point to many articles and books by former military people which point to many misdeeds that don’t go punished, and which get accepted in time of war. As one poster noted, the military is made up of humans, and humans in stressful situations don’t always behave properly. So why not wait for the investigation and not get so defensive. You know there are Iraq vets and Vietnam vets telling tales of military misdeeds (in Vietnam we did have Mai Lai, after all, and if not for Sy Hersh’s reporting that might not have come to light). But I do agree with McQ that this should to taken as license to attack any military official any more than Ward Churchill’s misdeeds and those like him should be taken to attack any academic. That’s a logical fallacy. So I’ll show respect to soldiers coming back from Iraq, and nothing in the Beauchamps article, true or false, will change that. Let’s remove the emotional baggage and look at this logically — because logic will avoid the kind of demonization that McQ unfortunately experienced after Vietnam.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
If you read that guy’s blog its obvious he has pretensions of being a big-time writer - commenters remark that "Hemingway also blah blah blah" and he mentions becoming an "author." That MFA guy was not far off the mark at all.
I have no idea where I read it, but it was reported that Beauchamp and his wife met in a college creative writing class.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Argument from authority is a fallacy ...
[excuse me while I break my personal rule on this one]

Good grief, you can’t even get that right.

The fallacy is "appeal to authority’ and it relates to citing an authority who is incompetent. That would be like citing you as an authority on logical fallacies or just about anything else you write about.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with arguing from authority, which is precisely what you did when you argued you best knew the Senate rules because you served there ... remember?

Of course the fact that you were proven to be completely wrong in your assertion now has established you as someone who perfectly fits the "authority" in the fallacy "appeal to authority" as regards Senate rules.

[now, back into ignore mode]
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Ouch...I like it when you break the rules, McQ.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
McQ, there is nothing wrong with citing from authority, but it cannot prove a case. After all, I’ve got a Ph.D in International Relations, but you’d certainly be right to dismiss any claim I make about superior analysis on the basis of that authority. And I do respect your experiences and authority, but you know that there are veterans out there that tell different stories, and there are studies and accounts written by veterans or who interview and analyze situations involving veterans which may see things different than you do.

Of course, you are not telling the truth when you claim I argued that I knew Senate rules better because I worked there, or that I was proven wrong. You are arguing in a dishonorable manner with such falsehoods. I was wrong in criticizing your attack on Reid as disengenuous because he did use the filibuster in a way he was criticizing the Republicans for using it. I admit that my defense of Reid was therefore wrong. But it’s clear that it is not required by the rules of the Senate that all legislation that passes be supported by 60 or more. Most of the time that is seen as obstructivist — hence the 1991 vote on military action in Iraq which passed 52-47, even though the 47 could have decided ahead of time to not agree to limit debate.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
But it’s clear that it is not required by the rules of the Senate that all legislation that passes be supported by 60 or more.
Erb should be banned for continuing to push this crap. What an a$$.

Oh, and nice Erb Logic on the "fallacy." McQ NEVER stated that his experience proved STB was lying. Just like McQ NEVER argued that 60 senators had to support legislation.

You are consistently dishonest and deserve scorn. You do nothing but lie.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Good grief, you can’t even get that right.

The fallacy is "appeal to authority’ and it relates to citing an authority who is incompetent.
Note here that the fallacy is called argument from authority OR appeal to authority.

Also, if you read the description, it is not about citing an authority who is incompetent, it only notes that the opinion of an authority on a claim is not in and of itself enough to make that claim true. So you erred on this one, McQ.

For instance, your argument against the consensus on global warming is, in essence to invoke the fact that argument from authority is a logical fallacy. Most scientists may believe X, but X could be false, even though the scientists themselves are well trained and competent.

JWG: I never claimed that McQ stated his experience proved anyone was lying, but I did cite a quote by McQ which said "Bill doesn’t get 60 votes" the process doesn’t proceed. That made it sound like he thought the bill had to have 60 votes, not just the motion. I can certainly accept that he was careless in his wording, nobody is perfect. In his initial post he made it sound like Senate rules required all legislation to be filibuster proof. That’s not true; all that is required is for the minority to decide not to filibuster, and that historically has been very common. Usually those who choose filibuster are called obstructivists, which is what Reid was accusing the GOP of. I noted only that this was appropriate of Reid, but then you showed me that Reid did the same thing, at which time I admitted I had been wrong about Reid and withdrew my criticism of McQ calling him disengenuous. Do we disagree about Senate rules?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Bruce this line of argument that someone who hasn’t served a day in the military can’t even remotely discuss the armed forces is kind of ridiculous. As I stated in the comment you pointed out, the guy’s stories at least sound dramatically embellished to me (but I guess I can’t say that cause I didn’t serve). That said, as you guys discussed it in the podcast, it was like nobody in the military could have ever in history deviated from his or her mission and done bad things. You and I both know this is not true, but you seem to think using your service and military language as cover excludes us slackers from the discussion.

I like you guys more than a lot of the conservative Bushbot blogs out there, and it drives me up the wall at this sort of consistent line that not going to West Point disqualifies me from even opining on strategy. My entire service record consists of Quake and Doom, but somehow I could see it was a bad idea to invade Iraq, especially on the cheap as we did it. A few guys with a lot of heavy metal on their lapels thought otherwise. Sometimes people like me are right, sometimes people like them are wrong, but to dismiss either one for that reason alone is kind of ridiculous.

Like I said, the military reflects society - to automatically say that someone who points out military deficiencies is part and parcel with someone who slimes the military as baby killers is just not right.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
How was Beauchamp pointing out military deficiencies?

Serious question. How was he pointing out military deficiencies? He was obviously pointing out that he is a world-class immoral jerk. How did that point out military deficiencies?

Now I *agree* that he was pointing out military deficiencies, and that what he was writing was *not* that he was personally a vile individual. He was writing about the military as a whole and soldiers in general.

So this is more of a technical, analytical, question. How was he pointing out military deficiencies and *not* writing about how he was a personally vile individual?

He did it through creating literary distance. Separation. And by dehumanizing the people in his story. The distance means that reading his accounts isn’t an intimate description of his own behavior or reactions. Certainly nothing to worry about his girlfriend reading.

He wasn’t pointing out deficiencies. He wasn’t illustrating that some people in the military (himself) might do vile things.

He was sliming the military in general. Dehumanizing soldiers.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Bruce this line of argument that someone who hasn’t served a day in the military can’t even remotely discuss the armed forces is kind of ridiculous.
Where’d I make that argument Oliver? You’re welcome to express any opinion you wish and I have an equal right to call it stupid if that’s the conclusion I reach after hearing it or reading it.

BTW, saying someone who hasn’t served a day in the military can’t discuss the armed forces would be akin the the chickenhawk argument which you’ve made previously, wouldn’t it?

Yeah, see I don’t do that.
That said, as you guys discussed it in the podcast, it was like nobody in the military could have ever in history deviated from his or her mission and done bad things. You and I both know this is not true, but you seem to think using your service and military language as cover excludes us slackers from the discussion.
That is simply a flat out lie, Oliver and I defy you to find anything remotely like that in the podcast.

Did you get that Oliver ... because I don’t want you to miss the fact that I’m calling you a liar. And I don’t use that word lightly.

To the other point, what I said about you is you have no context or experience with which to filter what he said and determine whether it is technically or culturally plausible or believable.

Is that incorrect?

Am I wrong?

If so tell me all about it, okay?
I like you guys more than a lot of the conservative Bushbot blogs out there, and it drives me up the wall at this sort of consistent line that not going to West Point disqualifies me from even opining on strategy.
Again I have to ask why you felt it was such a good form of argument when you were using the chickenhawk meme over at your blog?

You can have all the opinions you want about whatever you want and I’ll consider them based on what you say. But if you expect me to consider ill-informed nonsense and lies as ’valid opinion’ well, you need to look up those two words.
My entire service record consists of Quake and Doom, but somehow I could see it was a bad idea to invade Iraq, especially on the cheap as we did it. A few guys with a lot of heavy metal on their lapels thought otherwise. Sometimes people like me are right, sometimes people like them are wrong, but to dismiss either one for that reason alone is kind of ridiculous.
For goodness sake quit whining and quit trying to change the subject. The subject is Beauchamp’s stories. The reason I’m pissed at you right now is you’ve flat out lied about what was said the podcast. Simply told a whopper. You need to rectify that asap.

As for your ’experience’, you have none. Fine. I don’t care. I’ve never played Quake. And I certainly wouldn’t beam in on discussion of the game among those who’ve played it for years and make claims about what is or isn’t plausible without knowing it’s culture or the technical aspects of what is or isn’t possible. Tell me Oliver, how would you treat such opinion?

Well get a clue ... when you do that you are going to be challenged to put up or shut up. I’ll be glad to entertain informed opinion, but I’m not going to do anything but deride uninformed opinion or lies and to this point, that’s all you’ve offered.
Like I said, the military reflects society - to automatically say that someone who points out military deficiencies is part and parcel with someone who slimes the military as baby killers is just not right.
Again you demonstrate your ignorance and your inability to discern a discrete point. I don’t "automatically" say that. I say that when there is reason to say it. And in the case of Beauchamp there are lots of reasons to say that and we’ve articulated them at length. You, as with most who are arguing the other side, have avoided those reasons.

Why is that Oliver?

Tell me why the technical and cultural reasons we’ve pointed to aren’t valid, OK? Quit screwing around and tell me how it is possible that what I experienced for 28 years wasn’t reality and what Beauchamp wrote about is. Address the points made in rebuttal to his stories in detail ... just once.

The other aspect of this is, for lack of a better term, the ’babykiller" meme. That wasn’t the result of one story or one myth, it was the result of the telling of many such myths, it was a collection of myths and they started out just like Beauchamp’s trash.

So the common sense approach would be to knock them down as they pop up and discredit them before they can be spread. Make sense to you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
JWG: I never claimed that McQ stated his experience proved anyone was lying
Hmmm...

Erb statement 1 after quoting McQ:
Argument from authority is a fallacy
Erb statement 2 after getting a verbal beatdown from McQ:
McQ, there is nothing wrong with citing from authority, but it cannot prove a case
So.....
In statement 1 you accuse McQ of using a specific logic fallacy by arguing from his own expertise.
Then in statement 2 you say that the specific logical fallacy you accuse McQ of using "cannot prove a case."

So....
What you have stated is that McQ’s arguments based on his experience (statement 1) can’t prove STB was lying (statement 2).

If you weren’t trying to claim that "McQ stat[ing] his experience proved anyone was lying," then what is the point of arguing that McQ’s arguments based on his experience can’t prove STB was lying?

Were you just practicing your typing skills by writing statement unrelated to anything?

You just got caught using Erb Logic AGAIN. You can’t run away from your own words. Keep the distortions and lies coming, Erb. It’s what you do best.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Trust me, I’ve been called worse. As you indicate above, on the podcast Dale says that the activities Beauchamp talks about, or ones like it, just don’t happen in the military he knows. But they do! They aren’t indicative of the armed forces in general in the least, but to say as you guys have that things like this can’t happen is patently untrue. It’s like saying, no soldier would taunt an Iraqi kid with water and have him run around like an idiot - but I’ve seen the footage of it.

Many of the things you say in the video make sense in an objective p.o.v., and they’re informed by your experience - ie. the likelihood of the running down dogs story, fine, great, more of that please.

I use the chickenhawk argument because I think that if someone is of ready age to serve and support a war they ought to feel tough enough to sign up, especially if we need people like we do now. The military incursions that I have supported and been of age to serve in (Afghanistan), I would. I think that the right needs to do a little better than the College Republicans who scream about finishing the mission but find themselves too good for service. I don’t however, believe that someone needs to serve in order to talk about military strategy, nor do I think someone has to be a videogame expert to opine on them.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
The military incursions that I have supported and been of age to serve in (Afghanistan), I would.
I’m completely missing why this doesn’t make Oliver a chickenhawk. He verbally supports the US fight in Afghanistan, but he doesn’t make any effort to serve. I know that he wouldn’t be accepted into the military, but somehow he has the ability to criticize others for not serving?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Trust me, I’ve been called worse. As you indicate above, on the podcast Dale says that the activities Beauchamp talks about, or ones like it, just don’t happen in the military he knows.
No, he talks specifically about Beauchamp’s stories. Not "ones like it". Not other stories. Beauchamp’s stories ... exclusively.

My goodness man I provided an exact quote from the podcast:

"I read these stories, and that’s not the military I served in ..."

Do you know what a specific reference is? Do you understand that he specifically referenced "these stories" (that limits to those stories anything which follows in the sentence) when talking about the military he served in?

Now you tell me how that becomes "there’s just no way in the military for any kind of atrocity to happen."

Those two statements aren’t even remotely related. To continue to claim they are is simply a lie and would even be an insult to someone with the IQ of a paving stone. To have to repeatedly point this out to you is, well, pretty telling.
It’s like saying, no soldier would taunt an Iraqi kid with water and have him run around like an idiot - but I’ve seen the footage of it.
No, it’s not like saying that. It’s like saying Beauchamp’s stories sound implausible for the reasons stated. Why can’t you get that through your head?
Many of the things you say in the video make sense in an objective p.o.v., and they’re informed by your experience - ie. the likelihood of the running down dogs story, fine, great, more of that please.
I assume you mean the podcast. There’s plenty more all over this blog in a number of posts. Did you bother to look?
I use the chickenhawk argument because I think that if someone is of ready age to serve and support a war they ought to feel tough enough to sign up, especially if we need people like we do now.
Really? And who anointed you king of who can’t speak about what unless they’ve done something? Got you all hot and bothered when you thought that was what I was doing it to you didn’t it? Wonder if you’ll actually learn anything out of that?

Nah.
I don’t however, believe that someone needs to serve in order to talk about military strategy, nor do I think someone has to be a videogame expert to opine on them.

Well that’s just not true Oliver as you admit with your use of the chickenhawk argument. You don’t believe that at all. After all, your argument is that if you’re for the war but haven’t served you ought to just STFU until you have, isn’t it?

Anyway, to address your point, they do need to know what they’re talking about if they want their opinion to be taken seriously. Otherwise they can expect to get challenged and, most likely, rhetorically hammered.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oh yeah, and I forgot about this:
The military incursions that I have supported and been of age to serve in (Afghanistan), I would.
Well Afghanistan is still popping and unless you’re over 42, they’re ready when you are. And if you are over 42, I’m sure I know some people who could get you a waiver. So we eagerly await word of your enlistment. Tell them you’re enlisting only to fight in Afghanistan. Make ’em put it in the contract. I’m sure they’ll be just tickled to death to have you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
JWG: Saying that people should accept that the incidents are implausible because people who served say so falls under the argument from authority fallacy. My view — the experiences of those in the military cause me to be skeptical of the story while awaiting more investigation seems more to what one should accept from those claiming authority.

I notice you drop the rest of what I posted. Smart move on your part.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I notice you drop the rest of what I posted. Smart move on your part.
I believe I hear a pot b!tching at a kettle.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
Saying that people should accept that the incidents are implausible because people who served say so falls under the argument from authority fallacy.
NO ONE says you should accept they are implausible because other military people "say so." You should accept the stories are implausible based on the explanations.

QUIT ALTERING PEOPLE’S ARGUMENTS!!!!!
I notice you drop the rest of what I posted.
Because you keep commenting on the same strawman arguments over and over.

You just keep doing it again and again and again.

You lie about everyone else’s words. Then you twist your own words. Then you lie some more.

It never ends.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Professor Erb is making a mistake by passing judgement before the investigation is complete.
 
Written By: Scott Erb Clone
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
JWG: So now you’re down to false accusations and petty insults? You’re not countering anything I wrote, except to dance and weave to try to create something from nothing. Cute, but meaningless. Hurl the last insult if it makes you feel good. You seem to need to do that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Professor Erb refuses to admit his error in claiming that Private Beauchamp’s reports are false. This is because he can’t accept reality. He knows he shouldn’t pass judgement prematurely.
 
Written By: Scott Erb Clone
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Q,
As usual, glasnost, you get it wrong. I said he and I came to the same conclusions for different reasons
I think it was reasonable to interpret "he and I came to the same conclusions" as "he and I both decided he’s probably an MFA student" - for different reasons. If you say that ain’t what you meant, fine.


I’ve read everything you’ve written about why you think these stories are true. I don’t have a problem with you offering an opinion, a hunch, a gut feeling that these stories aren’t true. I don’t think your evidence is very convincing. Testimonials about culture just aren’t reliable for disproving these kinds of stories. I think you’re more certain about the truth or falsity of these stories than you have justification for being.

Nevertheless, you could be right.

Sure you’re biased. And so am I. I guess we’ll have to leave it at that.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
glasnost slinks off the field, hoping to leave the impression that he has fought to a draw. Snicker.

You’ve got to read this by Baldilocks:

**************************
”A NEW KIND OF CHICKENHAWK"
When I said yesterday that most of Beauchamp’s defenders had sense enough to steer clear of the milbloggers, I had no idea that Columbia Journalism Review’s Paul McLeary had run out into the open, bare-a** naked.
”This childish game of name-calling, mostly led by the know-nothing Michelle Malkin’s of the world ...has been going on for the better part of a week. Now the Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb dug up some particularly damning evidence against the young soldier:

... we know that he enlisted in the military "just to write a book" about his experience—not the noblest of reasons, but neither does it discredit his work.”

How dare a college grad and engaged citizen volunteer to join the Army to fight for his country! (Which is something that most of the brave souls who inhabit the milblog community prefers to leave to others.)
(Emphasis mine.)
Is McLeary saying that most of the milbloggers haven’t been to college or that they haven’t joined the military? :-)
Apparently McLeary’s Ivy-honed intellect didn’t help him to deduce that milbloggers=military bloggers. Nor did that "superior intellect" lead him to discover that all military officers have an undergraduate degree, at minimum, and that half of enlisted men/women have obtained the same.
He denigrates the military bloggers then has the nerve to quote Andrew Sullivan approvingly in the next sentence. “

*********************
Is it just me or is Mr. McLeary the same kind of liberal zip-head with regard to military matters as most commenters of the liberal persuasion on this issue? Or is he just another liberal stringing together standard LN jibes against the right and, hey, every once in a while they don’t line up. No big deal.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
I think it was reasonable to interpret "he and I came to the same conclusions" as "he and I both decided he’s probably an MFA student" - for different reasons. If you say that ain’t what you meant, fine.
I’ll concede it’s reasonable, but it is still incorrect.
Testimonials about culture just aren’t reliable for disproving these kinds of stories. I think you’re more certain about the truth or falsity of these stories than you have justification for being.
One more time so even you might understand - the discussion is not about the "truth or falsity" of the stories, it is about whether they are plausible or implausible. And it is the cultural and technical problems which help those who understand them make those sorts of judgments. The fact that you have no basis in either the culture or technical aspects with which to make such judgments doesn’t mean others who do can’t.
Sure you’re biased. And so am I. I guess we’ll have to leave it at that.
We’re all biased and it shows in our writing. I’ve never made any bones about it and always get a laugh out of those who try to make something out of it all the while showing their biases even more strongly than I do.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Clearly "implausible" does not equal impossible. And, of course, there can and is debate about whether or not such stories can be deemed implausible by those whose context is different, even if they have been in the military. So rather than quibble over when something crosses from plausible to possible but implausible, I’ll just retain a healthy skepticism and wait for more detailed information. If he embellished or faked it, I strongly suspect he will admit it — the pressure will be great on him to come clean. If it turns out that these stories are likely true, the military will admit that — the pressure to be straight with the public will be too great. So for me it’s "wait and see."
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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