Wednesday, December 29, 2004

You Should Know You're a Dumbassy, When...

(but they never do)...You play with statistics to argue Iraq is another Vietnam:

Battlefield deaths in Iraq are considerably lower than they were in Vietnam, but that's partly because recent medical improvements allow more soldiers with severe wounds to survive, and partly because there are fewer total soldiers in Iraq than in Vietnam. When you control for both these variables, how does Iraq compare?

There are fewer total soldiers in Iraq precisely because it is not another Vietnam. To "control for [that] variable" is either (if the person is smart enough, and technically qualified) an exercise in sophistry, or (and much more likely) a betrayal of your total ignorance of valid logical processes.

To wit, you're worthy of the award only given for remarks so dumb, so embarrassingly foolish, that a normal person--when it dawned on him what he had said--would apply for acceptance at the closest Trappist monastery.

The Academy nominates, for a Dumbassy--aka; a Drummie--in the category:

"Yes, if you ignore that there's no jungle to hide in, no superpower with nuclear weapons supplying the guerillas with arms, no safe haven in adjoining countries, no North Iraqi Regulars to invade and conquer, that American soldiers are not being killed in the hundreds per week, every week, no anti-aircraft missiles shooting down American fliers, no POW camps visited by silicone-brained Hollywood actresses, no John Kerry collaborating with Al Qaeda leaders in Paris to undermine American resolve, no draftees serving in the American military, no college students planning to meet their military obligations when their student deferments run out, no anti-war movement on the homefront (beyond a handful of dimwitted bloggers and movie stars), and that there is going to be an election for the first time ever in about a month, then yes, you could say Iraq is just like Vietnam":

The Sage of the Washington Monthly, the Political Animal himself, Kevin Drum.

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