Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Flat, Lukewarm Surge

William S. Lind prefers reality to mythology:

Senator John McCain’s position on the situation in Iraq is wrong on two counts, which means his criticism of Senator Obamais also wrong. The twin pillars of McCain’s assessment of the war are a) the surge worked and b) because the surge worked we are now winning. Neither of those views is based in fact.

The first represents the long-recognized logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e., because one event occurred after another, it was a consequence of the first event. Because the cock crows before sunrise, he thinks he makes the sun come up. Because violence in Iraq dropped after the surge, McCain claims the surge caused the reduction in violence. He is quick to add that he supported the surge at the time, which Obama did not. In the real world, neither rooster nor Senator has quite so much reason to strut upon his dunghill.

Here's the rest of Lind's column--well worth a look.

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