James Kirchick, Expert on Logic and the Mid East
TNR’s James Kirchick takes a few cheap shots at Josh Landis, naturally. What I don’t understand is how respectable publications, even if they are not well versed or deeply versed in the issue at hand, can let polemical pieces pass where the internal logic presented by the piece itself is so evidently contradictory…. Read this initial para:
“…To read Landis’ commentary about Syria over the past half year is to track the development of Baath propaganda. When protests broke out in March, he was quick to predict that they would never reach the scale of those in other Arab countries. “Western accounts of the protest movement in Syria have been exaggerated,” he wrotefor Foreign Policy magazine on April 5. As the demonstrations grew in size and intensity across the country, however, Landis shifted the focus of his analysis to a defense of the regime and an attack on its opponents…”
– Ok, so imagine the editor reading this….. Kirchick should have his best quote ready at hand which the editor should not even have to click through to (although he SHOULD of course, but likely wont). James says that Josh predicted, in no uncertain terms, that the protests would NEVER reach the scale of other arab countries…. i.e. making josh seem CRAZY, Baathist nutbar….BUT then his evidence SAYS NOTHING OF THE SORT FROM JOSH.
I highly doubt josh ever made such a silly prediction – NEVER rise to the level of other countries – BUT EVEN IF HE HAD…. Kirchick hits us with his best smoking gun at the beginning of the piece and it clearly does not match up with his claim! The quote, afterall has josh quite rightly saying that western accounts have been exaggerated!
How sloppy can one get at TNR when it comes to the Arab mid east?