Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mark Kleiman On Intellectual Honesty

General Ricardo Sanchez is making a few waves, having decided to let loose on the Bush Administration. Mark Kleiman seems happy to have General Sanchez on the "right" side. Returning to his prior theme of the "hack gap," Kleiman has advice for how Iraq war opponents ought to treat Sanchez:

I'm not one who regrets the "hack gap." I'd rather be on the side with the edge in intellectual honesty rather than the side with the edge in the tactical capacity to misrepresent the truth. But in politics, words are weapons, and if for the moment Gen. Sanchez has chosen, at some personal risk, to take our side, we ought to do what we can to reward that behavior rather than punishing it.

Whatever honestly can be said in Gen. Sanchez's praise ought to be said now, and criticism of him ought to be suspended, if only as a matter of incentives management.


Right. Kleiman is arguing (again) that folks on "the side" he's on (however defined) have the edge in intellectual honesty. And he is simultaneously urging members of that side to avoid criticizing General Sanchez, not because such criticisms would be false, but rather because they wouldn't further his political objectives.

Can you say self-refuting argument?

1 comment:

society girl said...

The ironic and sad thing is that Kleiman appears to be totally unaware of his own intellectual dishonesty revealed in the quote.