The Iraq War Was Wrong Blog

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I've seen a few people discussing this blog, wondering if it's satire of if the author is just really stupid. I want to go on record saying that it's almost certainly satire, sometimes very good satire and sometimes funny only if you buy into premises I won't accept about those who opposed to Iraq war. I have a few arguments for this thesis, so keep reading if you're interested in getting to the bottom of the latest mystery of the blogosphere.

1. Some of the common misspellings and grammatical problems are ones I see regularly among my students and in blog comments (e.g. 'truely' or 'would of' or 'sight' for a website or mixing up 'their' with 'they're' or 'there'), but some of them are not normal misspellings or grammatical errors. I mean, really, who spellls 'really' as 'relly'? Also, most instances of 'its' and 'it's' look fine, and that's usually the first to go. Typos often mix up letters, but one I've never seen before is 'sdie' for 'side'. This author uses 'etc.' right and doesn't misspell it as 'ect.', which is very common among people who make this many mistakes.

2. Some posts will flat-out undermine themselves, e.g. this one. Read the comments to see the author endorsing "thinking-double". Even stupid doublethinkers don't admit to doublethink.

3. Look carefully at the author's use of parentheses. They're sometimes used to make explicit the assumptions of the argument being parodied, and they sometimes do so in a disparaging way.

4. People who are as dumb as the fictional author of this site must be are not also nerdy enough to play Call of Cthulu and to be interested in the phenomenon of unresolvable rules discrepancies (with no spelling errors, by the way). People who know what overclocking a Celeron 300 is all about are not likely to misspell 'Celeron' as 'Celaron'. (See the same post.) For that matter, people who are this nerdy wouldn't spell 'bona fide' as 'bonaphide' and still use it fairly regularly.

5. The author calls this Matthew Yglesias post as describing "a brush with death". The only way I can see this post is as making fun of Yglesias, which seems to be one of the author's favorite pastimes. What I'm wondering is why Yglesias and not Atrios or Kos? They have far more readers and are much less intelligent. This blog even refers to Yglesias' intelligence as if it means he's always right, which makes me think the parodist is somewhat anti-intellectual. That does worry me. Still, not one can do this kind of satire without real intelligence, so any such anti-intellectualism is self-undermining. See this post, with this line: "Finally Matthew employs his stellar upbringing and topnotch education in making fun of Bush's daughters and questioning they're upbringing!."

6. Some of the arguments are exactly what conservatives want liberals to admit but ones liberals would never exactly say. For instance, this point about Jesse Jackson being rich but not counting as rich because of his views is exactly what black conservatives say is a double standard and what I have said many times is really racist (although that involved not claims about Jesse Jackson not being rich but Colin Powell not being black, but the same principle is at work in reverse). Another example is the parody of the timing objection that Democrats have used for about every instance of a revelation that hurts their cause. This time it's that the Republican convention just happens to be timed right around a time when the Swift Boat ads caused Kerry to lose ground. Suspicious, eh? Putting a convention right when the polls drop has got to be devious work on the part of the Rove machine.


Two small additional evidences:

1. The author uses i.e. and e.g. correctly, which would be somewhat surprising were all the errors unintentional.

2. If a good portion of the misspellings were typos, one would expect typos like 'hte' and 'teh' for 'the' quite a bit. But this doesn't happen much. There seem to be only one or two typos for 'the'.

Also, there seems to be a shift in quality of writing between the May posts and the September posts (as just one example, 'relly' almost completely replaces 'really'). And what I think to be the clincher: a number of the comments are almost certainly plants; one of the commenters ("educatedprofessor") actually is the Lefterator.

1. He skillfully and constantly highlights contradictions in anti-war or anti-Bush arguments. You linked one post where he makes two completely contradictory arguments (you can't win a "war on terror," and Bush should be criticized for saying as much). But there is also his recommendation for fighting "Manicheinism" ("seperate people into good and bad based on whether they think the Iraq war was wrong"), or his post simultaneously (a) complaining that Bush is going to "cut and run," while (b) praising Kerry's plan to bring the troops home, or the post where he says that the "swiftvet-boaters" are intolerable because they are speaking ill of a "VIETNAM VET."

2. He points out (as if it were a matter of praise) that other left-wing blogs are repetitive (see here, or here).

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