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Allowing a fallacious critique of Rex Tillerson shows bias

Reader comment on item: What Rex Tillerson Thinks

Submitted by Rich Mc (United States), Jan 7, 2017 at 23:37

Dr. Pipes,

I found your implicit critique of potential SOS Rex Tillerson through the eyes of "obscure source" Herb Jackson (relating a meeting between Tillerson and noted Democrat partisan, Sen. Bob Menendez) lacking both in objectivity and analytical mettle.

In effect you allowed a biased and potentially false view of Tillerson to be presented, by not attempting to point out the logical fallacies of his questioner:

One example:

"Menendez: "...Does this mean we are willing to accept authoritarian figures and dictators as part of our foreign policy?" I'm surprised you would provide this vacuous quote, as it sets up a classic straw-man argument. When has the U.S. under any modern President, not encountered "authoritarian figures" as heads of foreign states, and not had to deal with them diplomatically? Since when has it ever been an option whether to "accept them?" This says nothing about HOW Trump intends to deal with such figures, which, while situation-specific, is the relevant question.

As far as Cuba is concerned, this country doesn't pose an existential threat to the U.S. and doesn't rank within the top five of U.S. International concerns, thus Tillerson requesting more time to fully understand its issues is completely acceptable. (In fact, his honesty is refreshing – can anyone recall SOS Kerry exhibiting similar humility?)

Dr Pipes, by not 'having your head in the game' sufficient to objectively critique obvious fallacies uttered by Trump's detractors, you allow yourself to be rightfully accused of similar bias. You're on record as being willing to give his Presidency a chance and to be objective in evaluating it. Is departure from this something you really want?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Objectivity? Analytical mettle? All I did here was find an early source of thinking by the likely next secretary of state.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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