Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

I think I’m beginning to make a hobby out of countering Michelle Malkin’s lapses in logic contentions. Today, she linked to a story about released French hostages. Consider the basic facts of the story:

A French journalist who was held hostage in Iraq for five months says she was beaten by her captors.

Speaking at a new conference in Paris, Florence Aubenas said she was kept blindfolded in a basement cell that measured 4m by 2m (13ft by 6ft).

She said she was beaten after being accused of speaking to a cell mate.

Ms Aubenas was forced out of her car in Baghdad on 5 January, along with her guide, Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi. They were both freed on 11 June.

Mr Saadi was reunited with his family in Baghdad. Ms Aubenas, who is a senior correspondent for Liberation, was flown home to France.

What’s the lesson in this story? Terrorists are despicable. They’ll beat hostages for allegedly speaking to a cell mate. They’ll hold hostages captive in a basement. They’ll subject them to mock trials. Most importantly, this is the lesson reported by the BBC, which any right-thinking conservative will tell you is one of the biggest pushers of the Liberal Agenda&#153. Yet, the BBC reported this with objective facts that are easy to interpret. Again, terrorists do Bad Things.

So what does Ms. Malkin focus on? Consider:


Terrorist farewell gifts for a recently released French kidnapping victim:

Two rings and a bottle of perfume.

The French hostage reported that one of her captors offered her gifts at the same time he returned her belongings. Rather than discounting the significance of this as either a crush or a goodwill gesture or a hideously presumptuous guard, Ms. Malkin decided that this was the lesson: We hate terrorists, terrorists like the French, we hate the French. All with the specter of hating the Liberal Agenda&#153, I presume.

How ridiculous. From reading her blog, I understand that she wants us to realize that terrorists are bad, we’re fighting terrorists, and we can’t waiver in our commitment to the task. Ok, got it. I even agree with it, despite not casting my vote for George W. Bush last November. Yet, she doesn’t use this as an example to further illustrate who the real bad guys are in this war. She takes another hysterical jab at Those Who Are Against Us because they don’t agree with and condone every action we take. That’s stupid logic.

Until we stop throwing around this nonsense and presenting the “with us or against us” mentality, we’re going to be mired in the problem rather than striving closer to the goal. America is founded on belief in the moral correctness of our ideals and the ability to dissent in an effort to stretch the moral correctness of our actions closer to perfection.

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