What part of "NOT" doesn't Tim Blair understand?
My posts on the Spanish election outcome have generated plenty of discussion and trackbacks, both here and in the crossposting at Crooked Timber, but nothing as bizarrely obtuse as this piece from Tim Blair. He quotes (without the emphasis I’ve added) the final para
“The key element of the case against Blair, Aznar and Howard is not that they’ve stepped to the forefront of the war against terrorism when prudence would have dictated leaving the Americans to fight it by themselves,” writes Australian economist John Quiggin. “Rather it’s that they’ve aided and abetted the Bush administration in its decision to use the war against terrorism as a pretext for settling old and unrelated scores.”
then, after a long digression on the Spanish Caliphate, comes back to my post, reading as if the word not had been omitted, saying “leaving America to fight this war by itself would be “prudent” to the point of shame.”
With sufficient ill-will, it would be possible, as one of Tim’s commenters suggests, to read this as not only. But no-one who read the entire post could possibly sustain this.
Update In a long and tedious comments thread to his post, Tim Blair stands on his right to misrepresent anyone whose words he finds ambiguous, and is backed up by his inane cheer squad. I used to wonder how Blair could believe in the WMD story, not only before the war, but as recently as October last year. Now that I’ve seen the reality filter in action, I don’t wonder any more.
fn1. The emphasis was included in an email I sent Tim, protesting about a previous similarly bizarre episode in which he put up my Monday Message Board notice (posted, as it happens, before I’d heard the outcome of the Spanish election) as my “reaction” to the election outcome. He changed this (before reading my email – reader “warbo” had already protested) but then proceeded to compound the offence in this way.