But bitter surmise isn't proof. And according to a long and detailed analysis on Salon.com -- no hotbed of Republican thought -- the evidence Kennedy cites isn't new, and his argument is filled with distortions and the deliberate omission of key data.
Why would Kennedy damage his credibility this way? This may not be breaking news, but if an assertion reflects a widely shared emotion, it can make great headway in this culture without any need to prove its truth. We have been through this many times. The 2000 election was allegedly stolen, though no credible investigation backed up the claim, not even the one by the Civil Rights Commission, which was then firmly in Democratic hands.
The Katrina theory that blacks died because of racism wasn't true, but it fit both the emotions and the beliefs of the political and media establishments. The Duke rape case also unfolded along the lines of conventional liberal beliefs about privileged whites and allegedly dumb jocks. The leadership at Duke should be ashamed. As the facts emerge, ever so slowly, it is becoming apparent that the prosecutor should be disciplined for his shocking behavior.
Assertion doesn't always beat facts, but it happens a lot.
Indeed it happens far too much. Let us take such an assertion promoted by the left that is currently making the rounds, and observe how it is quickly becoming an undisputed fact --without the necessity of demonstrating any evidence, rational argument, or even the slightest suspension of judgement until those facts are in.
The allegations of a massacre of innocents by Marines in Haditha are now being discussed on the left as if no reasonable person could believe the accusations false.
Juan Cole, for example, in parading some newly surfaced accusations against the US-- specifically that Zarqawi was beaten by Americans before his ignomonious death-- makes this statement:
This story is implausible, but may gain purchase in the Arab world after the Haditha massacre and the news that Guantanamo prisoners were found hanged. (emphasis mine)
There you have it. Just automatically inserted into a sentence as a matter of "fact". And even worse, the "massacre" (not even alleged) is cited to explain why people might naturally think of Zarqawi as just another "victim" of the US; and because of Haditha, all and any outrageous accusations made against Americans would be automatically believed.
Well, he should know.
Do you begin to understand why we keep hearing the same assertions over and over again by the left--long after they have been conclusively disproved or the distortions and errors "regretted"? They have fully and completely swallowed and metabolized the lies they have propagated, and no amount of evidence--even their own contrary assertions, previous statements, and counter-rhetorical ploys--is capable of making them see what is true anymore.
Truth is only a matter of what is felt; language does not connect to reality; and cognition is irrelevant. In the artificial world the left is busy creating, only their feelings are real.
It is important to realize that this rhetorical strategy that Leo excellently exposes in his editorial is being used to drive the left's politics, which are characterized by an incredible disregard for truth or even consistency in argument.
For example, it has in abeen repeatedly asserted in the most sneering and sarcastic manner, that since the US has been unable to capture or kill either OBL or Zarqawi, it somehow "proves" that Iraq is a quagmire and the US cannot possibly win. Now, listen to left. With one voice practically, they now claim that killing Zarqawi means nothing; that his role was overinflated by the US to begin with etc. etc.
Like the frankly paranoid individual, the death of Zarqawi is interpreted only in a manner that can best foward and give them reason to continue to believe their own delusions. Here are a few of the most common ones:
-Zarqawi never really existed to begin with, the US just made him up as a foil to delude Americans
-the timing of the death is obviously intended to redirect attention away from the Haditha "massacre"
-Killing Zarqawi will only make things worse in Iraq
-America is evil for killing Zarqawi in the manner they did (either it was "illegal", proof of American terrorism, or further evidence of how sick our society is
I could go on, but I find these attitudes disturbingly perverted. And I deal every day with people who are fast and loose with the truth and have little association with the real world.
Most reasonable people can appreciate the fact that the war on terror is not over because one important terrorist is dead; and yet still be able to see the killing of that particular thug as a major victory in that war.
What we see in the current Haditha meme that they have taken in as absollute truth is yet another of their delusions being carefully nurtured. Haditha merely confirms their belief that anyone in the US military is a savage oppressor.
If the Marines are cleared of wrongdoing in Haditha, it will not matter to them. They can feed their delusions a thousand different ways (e.g., "cover-up", "the military is lying" etc. etc.). Truth is irrelevant. The rhetoric will stay the same since it is not anchored to reality to begin with.
And, assertions that turn out to be false can merely be recycled later on when things die down to obtain additional political mileage from them.