Friday, January 06, 2006

He Who Hesitates Is Lost

After I read Hurtleg's post from Cap'n Crunch about Kos being too stupid to know that Patrick Henry was himself a pants-wetting chickenhawk, I went to Wikipedia, that authoritative compendium of knowledge assembled by a bunch of anonymous strangers whose scholarly credentials I know nothing about, and looked up Patrick Henry's service record. There I read that early on in the Revolutionary War Henry had led a militia that attacked some disputed gunpowder depot (or something) that was controlled by the Red Coats. I considered firing back at Hurtleg with this fact, until I realized that that the language was kind of cagey, and that there was no necessary temporal or causal linkage implied by a sentence like "Henry had led a militia that attacked some disputed gunpowder depot." (I think this is called "The Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle" in logic, but I'm not sure about that). In fact, it could be as meaningless and deceptive as saying that "During the Vietnam War, George Bush was a pilot in the National Guard, many of whose brave and intelligent members sarificed their lives in the conflict." You see what I mean? So Patrick Henry commanded that militia; does that automatically mean that he was there during that raid, or that he was a commander in anything but name only? It's hard to know, since I know nothing about the structure of that militia.

But today over at, Roger rogers Cap'n Crunch with that selfsame Wikipedia article, as well as a few other links that suggest that Henry did indeed lead the raid, but that actual combat proved unnecessary due to the superlative negotiating skills Henry displayed upon reaching the depot.

I'm not sure whether the justifiers and defenders of chickenhawkery will now concede they were wrong about Henry, but I'm pretty sure that, if Henry were on the other side of the fight today, they'd be holding his ass in Guantanamo as an enemy combatant for coming within five miles of a powder depot on horseback with his sabre raised to the heavens.


Blogger sexyretard said...

He would NOT be at Guantanamo.

He'd be at Abu Ghraib. I mean, duh!

The larger point remains that just because someone is hypocritical does not mean that they are wrong. The war in Iraq's justification (or lack thereof) simply does not rest with whether Chaney got five deferments, and paying attention to them diverts attention from the more important questions or whether we should or should not be there, which is quite unrelated to five deferments.

The left is making a habit of focusing on matters that don't particularly help them.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"The left is making a habit of focusing on matters that don't particularly help them."

That may be true, but I think there's plenty of time and opportunity to attack the chickenhawks on multiple fronts. No Democrat anywhere is going to run on the chickenhawk issue.

11:28 AM  

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