Friday, December 16, 2005

Shifting Goalposts

I'm thoroughly sick of them.

It's a form of sour grapes. Our coalition in Iraq has been making steady progress for the last couple of years. The problem is, every time some progress is made, the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism pipe up and say something along the lines of "well, you've achieved x, y and z, but it's still a mess and therefore a quagmire and a disaster and we might as well pull out now". They then go on to predict some kind of contrived gloom-and-doom situation where the Iraqis' new freedoms allow them to tear themselves apart.

Of course, next time something new is achieved, they'll pipe in with "sure, you've achieved that, but..."

This is reprehensible behaviour. Either tell us now what you expect to see before you'll stop bashing our efforts, or just shut up. This kind of tactic goes along with historical revisionism, subject-changing, and all sorts of low-intellect ways of pretending that you're winning a debate when you're really not. I don't mind being wrong, but so far before anyone has gotten to the point of showing me where my logical fallacies are, they're moving on to tarnishing my character or some other pet topic like Jewish conspiracy theories...

I think I've come up with a good term for this effect. Let's called it the "glass is always half full". Would anyone care to pipe up and let us know just what you expect to happen before you'll accept the situation is heading in the right direction? It would be awfully nice of you. Not that I expect knowing that it would change anyone's plans. But at least it would give us some kind of an idea whether you have a real problem with the situation or merely want to appear to be superior without doing any heavy thinking.

Personally I think the Iraqis are doing great. 95% of them are good people, and proud, as they should be. I think they will get what they deserve in a historically short time frame - that is, a moderately peaceful and stable society within a few years. Certainly, their neighbours will have something to envy.


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