"Sticking with the facts" requires actually reporting them
...But unfortunately, some people don't seem to understand that.
Yesterday, the irredeemably intellectually lazy ideologue who calls himself Mentarch took some time out of his busy schedule to pout about being referred to as a historical revisionist naysayer.
And insisted that he "stick[s] with the facts - as I have labored to time and time and time and time and time and time and time again."
Except that he really hasn't. Upon examining any number of Mentarch's Afghanistan posts, any number of factual errors can be identified -- some of them actually quite prevalent in the mainstream media coverage of Afghanistan (upon which he overwhelmingly relies when he isn't just vainly linking to his previous posts), others not so much.
A few examples?
Treating the Taliban as an umbrella term for all of the various insurgent groups active in Afghanistan right now -- currently, at least seven -- many of whom actually have differing and opposing goals, and are as likely to fight one another as they are to fight NATO troops.
Or insisting that the Kabul government is negotiating with the Taliban when they call upon American troops to not arrest Taliban insurgents -- despite the fact that this is actually part of a calculated government program to undercut the insurgency's manpower by pardoning their foot soldiers so long as they disarm themselves and agree to accept Afghanistan's constitution. (As it turns out, the Taliban leadership is actually ineligible for such a pardon.)
Or cherry picking examples of failures in Afghanistan -- it would be naive to pretend there haven't been any -- while willfully ignoring any successes, which really has become the modus operandi of Mentarch and some of his braying associates.
All of this will be elaborated on in a future post, research for which is currently being conducted, and not merely via computer keyboard, either.
But the matter really comes down to one of two things: either Mentarch has not done any research other than what can be turned up via a rudimentary Google search, and thus has not "labored" to "stick to the facts", or has done so and is simply ignoring any information that may serve to undercut the case he wants to make about Afghanistan.
Noam Chomsky developed a cogent term for this -- he referred to it as "historical engineering", and reminded his readers of one important fact: it's easier to revise history while it's still being written. And if Mentarch has shown us anything, it's that if you're a "Progressive Historian" for whom the actual "historian" part of that label takes a backseat to the ideology, revising history while it's still in progress really is just the ticket.
But one shouldn't be surprised if someone as abrasively arrogant as Mentarch -- an individual who actually believes he can politicize the very concept of incompetence -- either doesn't understand this, or simply won't admit it.
Sadly, it's all par for the course.