69 million page views

Mr. Brown, you need to read "

Reader comment on item: CAIR and the Council on Foreign Relations Endorse Mearsheimer/Walt

Submitted by S Silverstein (United States), Aug 27, 2006 at 20:37

Carl Brown is an intelligent man with some original and important work to his credit; in a 1996 review of one of his books, I praised him as "the Middle East's historian with the widest vision." What impaired his judgment, what brought him down so low?

The esteemed professor Brown writes of the Walt-Mearsheimer paper: "Attacked for everything from being "sloppy scholarship" to anti-Semitic, this article is clearly neither. It is an argument advanced by two scholars..."

What has impaired judgment? It may have to do with a recent trend by those with an agenda to simply declare issues "obvious" and ignore other arguments entirely, say, for example, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor:

Powerline's Scott Johnson: "On the issue of the legality of warrantless interception of enemy communications, for example, it is entirely conclusory. It does not address precedent. It assumes its conclusion, essentially framing the issue as whether the president can break the law. It simply asserts that the NSA eavesdropping program is "obviously in violation of the Fourth Amendment" -- apparently because it is warrantless. (Wrong.) She sagely observes that the "President of the United States is himself created by that same Constitution" -- you know, the one with the Fourth Amendment that she apparently thinks requires warrants in all cases."

Brown also ignores any and all arguments to the contrary with his blanket statement that "Attacked for everything from being "sloppy scholarship" to anti-Semitic, this article is clearly neither."

Two can play the same game. It's pretty "obvious" Brown is a technology illiterate, unaware of informational computing that can rapidly allow fact confirmation and checking to anyone who bothers to try. I would put money on his not having done this regarding the Walt-Mearsheimer paper. It's also obvious that while Brown has some works to his credit, those days are likely over.

His statement that the Walt-Mearsheimer paper is "obviously not sloppy scholarship" shows that while he once may have understood what that meant, he no longer does differentiate good scholarship from garbage. His unqualified praise of this paper on the apparent basis of its being advanced "by two scholars" is a permanent fatal flaw towards his credibility, as is a surgeon's killing a patient by forgetting the tenets of the sterile technique.

I, for one, will find it hard to trust any work emanating from "scholars" who have praised this paper, in the same way that I do not respect those who praised ""Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," another paper of good pedigree but of rather lousy scholarship - by design in that case, but a different design that Walt and Mearsheimer seemed to have in mind.

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Mr. Brown, you need to read " by S Silverstein

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)