Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On "911十周年系列访谈之对话方舟子"

In this Q &A 方舟子made a few assertions.  Most are mundane.  In many situations people see the same thing but arrive at different conclusions; that is normal, and analogous to whether you want the Lakers or Celtics to win, it says little to nothing about one’s character.  But, if you make the wrong choice about war and peace, no matter how much you love your daughter, you deserve no respect as a human being.

So the major issue is how 方舟子 views 阿富汗争和伊拉克. 


方舟子:发动伊拉克争和阿富汗争就是推翻独裁治,美国的初衷和争初期是受到阿富汗人和伊拉克人迎的。从电视上就可以看到他呼的,美国 打伊拉克的候,大家都放下武器。但是,争拖久之后可能就变质,那是另外一回事。   我得推翻达姆和塔利班,于当地人民来,是一件好事。我们应该站在他本国人民的角度来看问题是不是有好,不管美国打伊拉克到底 出于什么动机,了石油也好,了国的政治也好,或者了本国的利益。   

There are many fundamental, verifiable fallacies with his answers. 

1.  发动伊拉克争和阿富汗争就是推翻独裁.”  These words are deliberately misleading, more likely complete nonsense.  There are indisputable, documented records of history here.  Justification of 阿富汗 was that Taliban refused to turn over Al-Qaeda.  The primary justification of 伊拉克 was WMD.  The secondary was that Iraq was collaborating with Al-Qaeda.  The third, purely an afterthought, was democracy.   Without the first and second, most important justifications which are utterly bogus, the third had no legs.  

If he meant 发动伊拉克争和阿富汗争就是推翻独裁” regardless of the justifications, then the consequences of the wars are much than 推翻独裁治.

2.  美国的初衷和争初期是受到阿富汗人和伊拉克人迎的。从电视上就可以看到他呼的,美国 打伊拉克的候,大家都放下武器。”As the old saying goes, don’t believe everything you see on TV.  It has been abundantly documented that many celebrations were staged or shown from an overtly optimistic angle, like the infamous toppling of Saddam’s statue. I don’t even know how方舟子could claim “美国的初衷和争初期是受到阿富汗人和伊拉克人迎的”.  Were  there any real polls that said most 阿富汗人和伊拉克人 welcoming the impending wars?  In 阿富汗 there was a weak Northern alliance against Taliban, and伊拉克 was even worse.

How does one, with a common sense, view the reactions of 阿富汗人和伊拉克人 to the wars?  At least most shouldn’t like being bombed and invaded beforehand.  But as all hell broke loose, and they had no chance in the battlefield, it was simply natural to feel relief once the fighting stopped.  Hence, you will find some“阿富汗人和伊拉克人”the winning forces.  But that was mostly about resigning to the fact on the ground than rejoicing about the wars.  Sure, you will always find some 阿富汗人和伊拉克人 truly happy about the wars, and the media would duly show their faces, as in any other wars in the human history, but the majority? 

3. “争拖久之后可能就变质,那是另外一回事。” They are still the same wars!  Nothing 变质!  And akin to asking:  Mrs Lincoln, how do you like the night at the theater, except the part the President was shot?

4. “得推翻达姆和塔利班,于当地人民来,是一件好事。我们应该站在他本国人民的角度来看问题是不是有好.”  Well, if one says that overthrowing the American government/empire is good for the Americans and the whole world, is it OK to do it?  达姆和塔利班 were bad, but one always has to consider the costs and benefits of every action.  Are the wars worthy?  Hard question but also irrelevant.  Tell that to > one million of dead or injured people, and millions more living under constant fear of bombs and raids till today.   

These same views have been reported in other places and earlier, so it is something 方舟子believes in for a long time.  This is even worse, as we know a lot more about the wars now than 8-9 years ago.  This just shows that how hard it is to change an adult’s mind.  We all use our own frames to view and rationalize the world.  刘三百 believed in 300 years’ colonization in 1980s and still do.

There is no secret why 方舟子 feels this way.  Although in the same Q&A he denied he亲美, he actually has a long-standing, romanticized view of US: 美国人插手其他国家的事情,并不纯粹出于国家利益,而是出于人道主义,很天真地去管。But the excuse of naiveness rings hollow: exactly the same could have been said about the masses in Nazi Germany or Japanese empire in the 1930s.

Moreover, the fatal problem with this view: it is not “美国人插手其他国家的事情, it is always “美国政府插手其他国家的事情.  Did Bush invade Iraq because enough of the average Joes wrote him letters urging him to do so?  No, it never works that way. 

“Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” -- Hermann Goering.

Like John McCain, 方舟子 may never have an American war that he doesn’t like.  

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