Friday, April 18, 2008

Refutation by Association

According to this story on the Huffington Post, a McCain fundraising letter quotes a Hamas leader as hoping for an Obama victory. Even though Senator Obama has condemned Hamas (a point omitted from the fundraising letter), the implication is clear: If a terrorist organization is hoping for an Obama victory, then America-loving Americans should try to defeat him.

This view is not entirely misguided. If an organization whose goals and tactics I find deplorable supports a candidate, that is a reason to examine whether the candidate shares the goals and tactics I deplore. But in the particular case, if we examine Obama's record and statements, we find absolutely nothing in them to suggest common ground with Hamas.

Indeed, we need look no further than the latest rantings of al Qaeda's Ayman al Zawahri for confirmation of the proposition that one shouldn't necessarily assume the opposite of what terrible people believe. Zawahri says that the United States has no good options in Iraq: maintaining an occupying force will not pacify the country and will only continue to fuel the insurgency, while withdrawing troops will lead either to a bloodbath or a Shiite autocracy under Iranian influence. Is Zawahri wrong merely because he's a mass murderer? No, of course not.

Nor is it at all clear that U.S. policy should be guided by the goal of doing whatever al Qaeda dislikes. For example, Zawahri mocks Muqtada al Sadr as an Iranian pawn, and given the enmity between the Sunni al Qaeda movement and the Shiite Sadr, this is hardly surprising. But it hardly follows that because our number one enemy opposes Sadr, we should therefore support him.

One would hope that the strength of an argument would be judged by its merits, rather than who happens to be making it. And in that spirit, I'll retract the disappointment I expressed yesterday with Pope Benedict XVI's silence on the Iraq war. His speech at the UN both condemned unilateralism and embraced the notion of multilateral humanitarian intervention. Although the Pope did not mention specific conflicts, it was hard to miss the import of his remarks. And it would be absurd for anyone who disagrees with the Pope on other issues---as I disagree with his views about the relation between religious conceptions of sexual morality and the legitimate scope of state authority---therefore to dismiss his views about international relations.

I mean to be making an incredibly simple and seemingly obvious point, but one that is so often disregarded: Bad people (like Zawahri or the Hamas leadership) sometimes say things that are true, and good people (like Pope Benedict XVI) who hold some views with which one might strongly disagree, can also hold other views with which one agrees. The relevant questions concern the views, not who holds them.

Posted by Mike Dorf

8 comments:

Carl said...

The relevant questions concern the views, not who holds them.

The reasons a person holds some view are in many cases just as important as the view itself. But who the identity of the person is who holds that view is frequently a good proxy for why they hold it. The reason we shouldn't be skeptical about the Pope's views on unilateralism is that by and large his interests are aligned with our own.

When a group like Hamas comes out in support of some candidate, however, we can be fairly certain that it's not doing so because it believes that that candidate's election would be most likely to bring about a peaceful resolution to the turmoil in the Middle East, but because it believes that that candidate's election will interfere least with its goal of murdering Israelis.

This, granted, is not to say that Hamas's view on this matter is correct (or that they aren't using reverse psychology on us, or something similarly absurd). But to dismiss it on the grounds that odious people can sometimes be right is silly. If Hamas is right in this matter, this would be strong reason not to support Obama.

Sobek said...

If Hamas endorses Obama, the relevant inquiry is not whether we can fairly ascribe all of Hamas' views to Obama (obviously we cannot), but the reason for the endorsement.

If Hamas thinks Obama is most likely to step up foreign aid that will alleviate the suffering of Palestinians, the endorsement is not necessarily a bad thing. If Hamas endorses him because Obama is least likely to interfere with Hamas' Jew-killin', then (to the extent Hamas' judgment on that point is accepted) Jews certainly might take that as a strike against Obama.

In the first scenario, we might examine Obama's statements for evidence that he would, in fact, increase foreign aid to Palestinians. But in the second, of course we won't find Obama say anything like "I approve of Hamas' Jew-killin' stance." We look for other indicia that Hamas might be correct, such as refusals to assist Israel, committment to failed peace processes, or promises of multilateralism (which invariably favors Palestinians over Israelis).

Then again, Obama does have an unusually high number of contacts with terrorists, so ...

路傑 said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片http://ssff01.3b8mm.com/

kutyhgvd said...

It is the knight noah which makes me very happy these days, my brother says knight gold is his favorite games gold he likes, he usually knight online gold to start his game and most of the time he will win the knight online noah back and give me some cheap knight gold to play the game.

. said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,

wsty said...

www.eshooes.com .
www.pumafr.com.
www.myshoess.com.
[url=http://www.pumafr.com]puma shoes[/url]
[url=http://www.eshooes.com]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=http://www.myshoess.com]nike air max ltd[/url]

酒店經紀ㄚ君姐姐 said...

,,姐.,便服/,,

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,