Friday, September 08, 2006

Steve U on Debate

Steve Urquhart has an interesting post on Debate, Free Speech, and Iraq.

It is an e-mail from his brother in law, who is in Iraq.

However, when taken to extremes, debate becomes unproductive. Polemics in debate leads to a kind of blindness, because it causes people to believe without question anything that supports their thesis (ask Dan Rather and his producers). We see this on both the left and right in our political landscape today; it is evident in the labels used to describe both. Words like evil are used by folks on both sides of the aisle. The far right uses the word evil when they talk about the “liberal agenda” and its support for a “godless society, gay marriage and abortion.” The left uses the word evil to describe the current administration’s war on terror. Thus the goodness that should come from these debates is stifled by a sort of mania, which in turn leads to exactly what I see here in Iraq every day. The Shia hate the Sunni, and the Sunni hate the Shia. No lie or fabrication with regards to some atrocity being committed by one group or the other is too fantastic to believe. Thus the blind hatred and killing continues (over 1800 killed last month in Baghdad alone). In the end, if Iraq fails it will be because of this hatred, rather than any mistakes / blunders the Bush Administration has made.

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