Re: Try "What Happened?"

1

Mailer is an idiot--he's thinking of "kto kogo," "Who does [or gets to do] what to whom?" Which apparently actually was Lenin, but isn't what he means.

Boring discussion of how to spell that here.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 4:38 PM
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2

But a good use of the Ainge/Rollins incident.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:08 PM
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Mailer's prejudice getting in the way of clear thinking is something that we all--left, right or centeródo (even though we should not). But Mailer seems to be both prejudiced and irrational. America's enemies simply will count this against us twice. They will continue to believe that we desecrated the Koran, but also will take this as proof that even the reputedly liberal U.S. press can be manipulated to hide the truth of U.S. perfidy against Islam. True or not, the story of U.S. soldiers flushing the Koran down the toilet will live forever. This much is obvious, and a reasonable person could not think that the story is to the administration's advantage, even if they are getting a chance to slap the press around now (which they no doubt enjoy).


Posted by: The Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:11 PM
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True or not, the story of U.S. soldiers flushing the Koran down the toilet will live forever.

Of course, the story had been previously reported many times. Newsweek's sourcing was new, but the story, as reported by detainees, is old. So a new version that can be 'debunked' might be to the administration's advantage.

BTW, everyone, Ideal is a RL buddy of mine, previously referenced here as a rational Republican of my acquaintance. Lawyer, ex-Army, generally a good guy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:19 PM
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5

The Idealist is banned!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:21 PM
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Yeah, yeah. Join the club.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:22 PM
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Idealist, you're right about Mailer being irrational--the conspiracy theory makes no sense--but with They will continue to believe that we desecrated the Koran, but also will take this as proof that even the reputedly liberal U.S. press can be manipulated to hide the truth of U.S. perfidy against Islam

I, who am not America's enemy (really), agree on both counts. There's plenty of evidence that U.S. forces did stuff to prisoners designed specifically to get at their Muslim beliefs--see here--and the press has not done much to call them on it.

If Kevin's prediction comes true, I will be proved wrong on the second count. Or maybe convincing evidence will emerge that it's all a pack of lies. That would be the best outcome, but I'm not holding out hope.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:24 PM
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8

I did not mean to say (don't think I said) that it was impossible that the Newsweek story was true. Even though LizardBreath correctly identifies me as a Republican who is a retired soldier, I believe that the story could be true (although I hope that it is not) and I have not seen anything showing that Newsweek did anything other than report something that turned out not to have as much support as it thought it did when it was published. Saying something that you believe to be true is not telling a lie, even when what you say ends up being wrong (yes, I mean you, all you "Bush lied" folks).

The point is that it does not matter whether the story they published is true; it will henceforth be treated as true, no matter how many retractions are published, and added to the list of proof of America's hatred of Islam. Thus, the retraction does us no good. And thus it would be a pretty stupid plot to lead someone to publish something false like this just so you could later show that they should retract it.


Posted by: The Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 5:39 PM
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Saying something that you believe to be true is not telling a lie, even when what you say ends up being wrong (yes, I mean you, all you "Bush lied" folks)

At the risk of starting a separate debate, I'm going to briefly reply to this. I suppose I might be in the "Bush Bullshitted" camp, because, while I *may* be charitable enough to agree that Bush thought it was true, I don't think he cared much at all about whether or not it was true. I think the evidence is enough to show that no one in the Administration was ever serious about researching the validity of the WMD claim, even though they had plenty of time to do so. Because of the length of time, the expectations placed on them, and their responsibility, this is certainly worse than most bullshit. So I can't really take umbrage with people who think of it as lying.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 6:03 PM
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Yeah, I was mystified when I saw this translated as "Who whom?" when I was about 11, and then years later it bobbed to the surface of my magic-eightball-like brain and I realized they left out "fucks over"...


Posted by: martha | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 11:36 PM
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I conducted an informal poll at my rather conservative workplace today. Everyone I asked (seven people, one group of three, two groups of two (if two is a group)) believed that the Newsweek story was accurate, that the retraction was the result of pressure from the White House, and that this sort of thing goes on all the time at Guantanamo. Gitmo. One remarked that he found it offensive that the media calls our concentration camp by a little nickname. If a bunch of middle-americans think this, it's pretty clear that the retraction will do nothing to restore the U.S. good name, it will only damage Newsweek's credibility.


Posted by: martha | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 12:02 AM
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Idealist--I agree with you absolutely on the substance of 8--that's another reason not to take Mailer's theory seriously (I assume, I haven't even bothered to read it).

I also agree with Michael's 9. And I think we could probably find some cases where Bush uttered deliberate falsehoods, even if "Saddam has WMD" wasn't one of them (I'm thinking along the lines of denying that his mind was made up to go to war).


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 1:43 PM
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