28 December 2006
I missed this gem from my European friend, Q, in response to this posting:

Yep, how different from when the USA took territory (New Mexico) or how different when Israel took more territory.

You are really full of it aren't you ?
Are you truly that insecure, that short sighted, that filled with blind hate and so sanctimoneous that you have become totally emphatically challenged ?One word springs to mind to describe your narcistic ramblings : sad.

Q, you are an ignorant and irrational man, despite your claims to be better educated and more intelligent than I. I keep waiting for an actual argument from you, an argument, to be precise, on the merits of any case you wish to make. I keep waiting for you to present facts and apply logic to them. Sadly, all I ever really get from you is ad hominem garbage like this.

Well, you do come close to an argument here, when you mention the takings by the U. S. and Israel. But all I can really say is, Nice try.

You see, I didn’t defend either of the takings you mention. So I’m not committed. I can consistently complain of the Muslim takings in the once-Christian middle east without having to say a single word about the takings you mention.

In fact, I don’t think that the U. S. should have purchased New Mexico, but that happened before I was born so I don’t know that anything can be done about it now. And since I’m not an Israeli, and since the Israelis haven’t sought my opinion on the matter, I don’t offer one. Go find an Israeli to argue with about that one. (Assuming that you can actually bring yourself to offer an argument to anyone.)

But even so, did you miss the part where I mentioned “the hand-wringing on the part of many Americans for the land we ‘stole’ from the American Indian or from Mexico”? You surely must have. Why would you mention it if you caught on that I mentioned it?

And yes, Q, it is different. First, the U. S. didn’t take the land from Mexico. The land was, as I mentioned above, purchased. As I explained in a posting just this past spring:

“[W]e purchased that land for a total of 25$ million dollars in two land deals (i.e., [1] The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which concluded a war that [Mexico] lost, so that we could just have taken the land instead of shelling out $15 million; and [2] The Gadsden Purchase which cost us $10 million). In todays dollars that amount would be about $554,457,077.76—almost twice Mexico’s 2005 public debt (which I have calculated to be about somewhere in the neighborhood of $420 million dollars; but I’m willing to stand corrected). By the way, no one is certain exactly what [Mexico’s] politicians did with the money we paid them.”

Obviously, the issue remains contentious, Q, but it doesn’t involve the sort of taking that the article mentions Muslims being involved in. (Besides, have you ever asked yourself how Mexico got that land in the first place? I suspect not.)

Secondly, there is still that hand-wringing I mentioned—some of which I’ve done myself. I have ancestors, Q, who lived in what was once Mexico and is now South Texas (specifically, the Harlingen area). This is not an impersonal matter for me. But I have never heard my father or grandfather complain about being Americans. I have never, ever, heard any of my relatives complain about being Americans rather than Mexicans. In fact—irony of ironies—the only ‘Solís’ I ever heard express any desire to have been a Mexican rather than an American is the Solís who writes this blog. That’s right: me. So let me respectfully say “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” (Not that I’m surprised.)

But getting back to the hand-wringing. Whatever you think about the results of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and The Gadsden Purchase, we have at least had our moments of national hand-wringing over the matter. The Muslims who took the Christian middle east from the Christians have not.

It remains the case that, as the article argues, what the Muslims take is legitimately theirs, but what is taken from them is ‘stolen’. You offer no argument against the position. But then again, you never really offer any arguments at all. Why start now I guess.

And so to answer your questions in turn:

No. I’m not full of it. I have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about. Unlike you, I suppose. And no, I’m not ‘insecure’, ‘short sighted’, or ‘filled with blind hate’. I reject your tacit assertion that one must be one or all of those things in order to be involved in an argument—on any matter. Given that you are ‘arguing’ with me, then (applying your own ‘logic’) you must be ‘insecure’, ‘short sighted’, or ‘filled with blind hate’ yourself. (Of course, it is consistent with your typical, ad hominem arguments.)

As for my being ‘sanctimoneous’ [sic]. Assuming that by ‘sanctimonious’ you mean ‘having a false piety characterized by hypocrisy’ then, given the foregoing distinction between the U. S. ‘takings’ and the Muslim takings, together with the fact that I do not assert that there was absolutely no wrong-doing on the part of the U. S., I’m saying, “No. Not sanctimonious.” You know very well that my posting involved nothing like an assertion, whether implicit or explicit, that U.S. takings are inarguably right, while Muslim takings are inarguably wrong.

I can see how I might have been open to being called sanctimonious if I had claimed that any and all U.S. territory seizures were right and, at the same time, that and all Muslims seizures were not. But I didn’t. In fact, you arrogant snob, it is precisely the Muslims who are sanctimonious. That was the argument of the article to which I linked: It is Muslims, not this humble American blogger, who assert the legitimacy of their land seizures while denying the legitmacy of any retaking of territory they seized!

Five words come to mind to describe your comments: amusing, typical, ad hominem, irrational (in the sense of presenting no arguments, no logical rejoinder).

Thanks again for visiting. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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