Ten Psychological Tactics for Avoiding Climate Science Accountability


Guest Post by: Duncan Smith

Doing research into a completely unrelated matter to address conflict resolution I stumbled across CHSAlliance, an organization whose mission is “To promote respect for the rights and dignity of people and communities vulnerable to risk and affected by disaster, conflict or poverty and enhance the effectiveness and impact of assistance by building a culture of quality and accountability”[emphasis mine].

CHS does support the Climate Change narrative in a news article where they go onto state:

“Against the background of climate change and rapid urbanisation, slow disasters – also frequently referred to as slow-onset crises – are expected to increase.”

This comes as no surprise especially coming from a Humanitarian organization, I could have left it at that.

Interestingly the article I concentrated on initially was “Ten psychological tactics for avoiding accountability and how to address them” by Kelly O’Donnell (PhyD). According to the article, here are the “tactical tricks”:

  1. Delegate the matter to someone else internally – diffuse it, distance yourself from it – and do everything to avoid an internal and especially an independent review.
  2. Avoid, reword, or repackage, the issues – obfuscate the facts, or at least talk tentatively or vaguely about some mistakes in the past and that you or someone could probably have done a better job on … but go no further; rationalise and/or disguise any culpability.
  3. Focus on minor or “other” things so as to look like you are focusing on the central things, punctuating it all with the language of transparency and accountability.
  4. Appeal to your integrity and to acting with the highest standards, without demonstrating either.
  5. Point out your past track record. Highlight anything positive that you are doing or contributing to now.
  6. Ask and assume that people should trust you without verification. Offer some general assurances that you have or will be looking into the matter and all is okay.
  7. State that you are under attack or at least that you are not being treated fairly or that people just don’t understand.
  8. Mention other peoples’ (alleged) problems, question their motives and credibility; dress someone else in your own dirty clothes, especially if they are noisome question-askers or whistleblowers.
  9. Prop up the old boys’ leadership club, reshuffle the leadership deck if necessary yet without changing leaders or their power or how they can cover for each other in the name of “loyalty” and on behalf of the “greater good”. Try to hold out until the dust settles and the “uncomfortable” stuff hopefully goes away.
  10. So in short, don’t really do anything with real transparency and accountability; rather, maintain your self-interests, lifestyle, affiliations, and allusions of moral congruity, even if it means recalibrating your conscience – essentially, acting corruptly via complicity, cover-ups, and cowardice.

Becoming side tracked from my original mission, I could relate each and every one of these attributes to the current state of Climate Science.

I wished to share it as nowhere have I seen a comprehensive list like this. Without being opinionated or giving examples, the article stands on its own merits. I would like to get readers thoughts where these tactical “tricks” have been used before.

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October 21, 2017 12:09 pm

#5 is the only one that doesn’t work…

5. Point out your past track record. Highlight anything positive that you are doing or contributing to now.

The alarmists’ past track record is abysmal… Otherwise… spot-on.

Reply to  David Middleton
October 21, 2017 12:23 pm

The green blob’s “record” is due to equivocation on “pollution”. As sulfur and nitrogen oxides have been reduced, and those are “pollution”, using the same term for CO2 enables them to state that they are still into reducing “pollution”.

Curious George
Reply to  David Middleton
October 21, 2017 12:50 pm

A past track record can be adjusted, just like a past temperature record.

Reply to  David Middleton
October 21, 2017 1:36 pm

No David, you think their record is abysmal. That is not what point #5 is saying.

Montreal was a “great success” and should be copied ( even if most of the ozone destruction was volcanic Kofi Annan’s self congratulated himself as this being a the greatest of successes). Paris was a huge and unrepresented success ( even when it ended up being an “agreement” not a treaty as they all wanted and engaging no one to do anything and let the futures major polluters pollute as much as they’d like to “pollute”) .

This is exactly what #5 is saying and they are doing it in spades.

Reply to  Greg
October 21, 2017 1:37 pm

Full marks to Duncan Smith for highlighting this. It so to the point and like see says is objective observation without a political motive of agenda attached.

Reply to  Greg
October 22, 2017 6:25 am

I was referring to their climate science (eg climate models) track record, not their Goebels-esque track record.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Greg
October 23, 2017 12:29 pm

I would also add a line that ‘comparisons to Goebbels or other related historical examples are just too darn offensive and should not be tolerated’… unless the comparison is ascribed to opponents – THEN, you can go right on ahead for thirty-years or more unimpeded, and even hijack terms like ‘denier’.

Gunga Din
Reply to  David Middleton
October 21, 2017 3:45 pm

I keep thinking of Mann still promoting his Hockey Stick while nobody else is yet they still trot him out when need be.

Perhaps there should be be a #11?

#11 Be sure that those who are using your lever to promote their agenda have lots of bucks.

Duncan Smith
Reply to  David Middleton
October 21, 2017 4:08 pm

#5 does work, they look to past hind-casting, fudging the numbers to fit, adjusting the error bars so the models are shown within. Further explain prediction methods are getting better, more studies to reinforce previous studies. Hey look, we may have not been perfect before but we are perfecting it now, you know, trust us.
Duncan Smith.

George Daddis
Reply to  Duncan Smith
October 22, 2017 7:10 am

A great example of how #5 works is hurricanes;
Gore predicted more severe and frequent storms after Katrina.
– 12 years of NO cat 3 hurricanes. CRICKETS
– 3 storms during the 2017 hurricane season – “See, what did we tell you!”

Of course there’s always the photo ops of Miami Beach flooding during King Tide. (The roads were laid out below King tide in 1917.)

Jon Jewett
Reply to  David Middleton
October 21, 2017 10:57 pm

Lie about your Nobel Prize and your extensive field work with the Bushmen of the Kalahri Desert and the Inuit people in Teller. You have been toGermqany or Denmark or somplace near enough so you san sound good. After all, you CAN find those places on a map,can’t you? Brag on your fluency in computer languages.

Reply to  David Middleton
October 22, 2017 5:07 am

All ten reflect exactly what Trump et al do daily!!

Reply to  Larry
October 22, 2017 8:17 am

I find it fascinating how Trump’s success has driven the leftists bonkers.

Reply to  Larry
October 22, 2017 3:49 pm

“I find it fascinating how Trump’s success has driven the leftists bonkers.”

Yep, ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ is claiming a LOT of victims, in some cases fatally, take the NFL for example.

Reply to  Larry
October 23, 2017 10:07 am

Larry, I think you need psychological help. This wasn’t about Trump.

Maxc Dupilka
October 21, 2017 12:27 pm

Exactly the tactics the limousine Liberal Party in Canada uses throughout it history.

October 21, 2017 12:29 pm

“8. Mention other peoples’ (alleged) problems, question their motives and credibility…”

That one could be worded a little stronger. They don’t just “mention” or “question” their detractor’s motives and credibility, they go on full attack. Anyone who dares question their conclusions becomes an enemy of the state and is blacklisted from government grants or employment. In some cases, they are publicly derided and judged as deserving jail time or even death.

October 21, 2017 12:31 pm

Not really sure what CHSAlliance does. Yes, I know what they say they do but it sounds like it should be part of the UN. Went to their website and apparently they are funded in part by the US Department of State. The ten Tactical Tricks for avoiding accountability sound like they come right out of the mind of someone like Saul Alinsky. Most of them have been well learned and or regularly practiced by the majority of bureaucrats and academics here in the USA and abroad. What the heck is a “slow-onsets crisis”? Bizarre terminology that sounds like a defense of any false catastrophe a group of pseudo-intellectual elites announce is going to happen, like in the 1970s when we were going to run out of petroleum. Ah, the good old days. The use of “good olde boy’s leadership club” tells me where they are coming from.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Edwin
October 21, 2017 2:25 pm

A “slow onset crisis” is one that can be regurgitated year after year, for millions more in “emergency” grants. And when it doesn’t pan out more emergency grants become necessary to keep the urgency alive

I hope this is helpful.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Edwin
October 21, 2017 8:25 pm

“What the heck is a “slow-onsets crisis”?”

Long term plans to disrupt an enemy create such crises. Examples are to infiltrate news organisations in particular, government and academia where ideas can be spiked (never given column-inches) and self-sufficiency undermined.

One example is the use by the then president of Sierra Leone of imported rice which was subsidised in the local market. There was no local source of rice in sufficient quantity. Selling it below the cost of local food created a dependency on imports and farmers leaving the land.

After a time, because the president controlled all the incoming rice, it became the main source of patronage and graft. It also used all the forex to buy, so the president took basically all of it to maintain his control over the food supply.

The slow, inevitable result was the loss of food and national savings. The end came when criminal gangs took over the diamond mines by force, then counties and provinces. War lords took over most industry with child soldiers and massacres on a scale not seen before in the region, ever.

The social and economic catastrophe was predictable once the president decided to use the food supply as a way to buy favours.

The renewable energy policy in Spain that led to huge economic trouble as it bankrupted the economy is another. The current crisis over Catalan independence will one day be traced to the consequences flowing from the slow speed train crash caused by the pursuit of the ‘green jobs economy’ which undid so much of the industrial base.

In a sense it is the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ philosophy. The cuts can be self-inflicted.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
October 22, 2017 5:14 am

Very good, clear example of how a slow onset crisis works.

Reply to  Edwin
October 22, 2017 1:06 am

A slow onset crisis sounds like the boiling frog story: http://allaboutfrogs.org/stories/boiled.html

October 21, 2017 12:36 pm

Wasn’t it Obama who hired and entire behavior modification department?…..to teach him how to trick people……why yes, it was

October 21, 2017 12:53 pm

Could be used as a training piece for a bureaucrat.

Reply to  sean2829
October 22, 2017 5:15 am

They don’t need training. Being a bureaucrat is innate. You have to be trained out of it.

G. Karst
October 21, 2017 1:08 pm

Accountability is all I demand from anyone or organization. Without it, we have no society, nation, or character. Without it, we are dust in the wind. GK

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  G. Karst
October 22, 2017 1:27 am

If accountability is used to find out who to blame or scapegoat then we also have no society, nation or character.

High Treason
October 21, 2017 1:37 pm

Liars and sociopaths use these tactics too.

Reply to  High Treason
October 21, 2017 2:38 pm

1. Hillary √
2. Hillary √
3. Hillary √
4-10. Hillary √

Roger Knights
October 21, 2017 1:49 pm

Sounds like something from Yes Minister.

Reply to  Roger Knights
October 21, 2017 2:13 pm

Everything in politics was on Yes, Minister first. (Well, maybe not *first*, politics has been the same for a long time…)

October 21, 2017 2:45 pm

Reflections are so interesting to deal with.

Reply to  reallyskeptical
October 21, 2017 6:59 pm

How would you know?

Reply to  MarkW
October 21, 2017 7:31 pm

I doubt he even has one….:)

Reply to  reallyskeptical
October 22, 2017 5:16 am

Reflecting on what?

Rob Dawg
October 21, 2017 3:17 pm

0th rule:

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.” ~ Carl Sandburg

October 21, 2017 3:24 pm

Watch any sporting event and witness every one of those tactics deployed in a 30 second interview with the losing teams manager.

October 21, 2017 4:03 pm

7. State that you are under attack or at least that you are not being treated fairly or that people just don’t understand.

Paranoid Schizophrenia. … A type of schizophrenia characterized by delusions of grandeur, paranoia, hallucinations, jealousy, hostility, aggressiveness, unfocused anxiety, argumentativeness, and, in severe cases, detachment from reality to the point of autism.

Man, that sort of describes some public climate scientists that really should brush their teeth more.

Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 5:22 am

Before the lay public decided they could diagnose mental illness based on a line in a dictionary and drug companies sold anti-psychotics to non-psychotic people, there was a REAL definition of schizophrenia that involved a detactment from reality. While it sounds cool and PC to describe people as “paranoid schizophrenics”, a true paranoid schizophrenic is not amusing, not someone to be mocked and made fun of. Such people can and do kill those who mock them. It’s not all that amusing if you have any understanding at all of psychology, but I suppose for a “cute” insult that is suppose to make you look “clever”, it seems right. I hope you never have the misfortune of actually mocking a true unmedicated paranoid schizophrenic.

(It seems climate science is not the only place people play around loose with words and definitions.)

Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 5:31 am

While it’s popular and cute to play on psychiatric diagnoses, true paranoid schizophrenics are nothing to joke about. You mock them, they will literally assault or kill you. It may be PC to label people crazy, but it’s really no different than any other changing or misuse of the language. True paranoid schizophrenics have no contact with reality except in fleeting moments. Joking about who should be labelled one is not useful. People complain that climate science plays fast and loose with definitions and words, then run right in and joke about psychosis, which not amusing at all. If you’re going to misuse psychology, then stop complaining about climate science misusing science. It’s the same thing and makes you a hypocrite.

Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 9:10 am

While it’s popular and cute to play on psychiatric diagnoses, true paranoid schizophrenics are nothing to joke about. You mock them, they will literally assault or kill you. It may be PC to label people crazy, but it’s really no different than any other changing or misuse of the language. True paranoid schizophrenics have no contact with reality except in fleeting moments. Joking about who should be labelled one is not useful. People complain that climate science plays fast and loose with definitions and words, then run right in and joke about psychosis, which not amusing at all. If you’re going to misuse psychology, then stop complaining about climate science misusing science. It’s the same thing and makes you a hypocrite.

Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 9:11 am

My comment is not posting. I have no idea why.

I’ll shorten it: Playing psychologist is just as bad as playing climate scientist.

[Found and rescued your comment. …and mad props on persistence! You really did try hard to get that posted. -mod]

October 21, 2017 4:06 pm

[snip – off topic -mod]

Reply to  JohnKnight
October 21, 2017 11:23 pm

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Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 10:26 am

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Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 1:01 pm

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Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 1:51 pm

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Reply to  Earthling2
October 22, 2017 2:55 pm

[snip – off topic -mod]

john karajas
Reply to  JohnKnight
October 22, 2017 1:28 am

[snip – off topic -mod]

Reply to  john karajas
October 22, 2017 10:36 am

[snip – off topic -mod]

October 21, 2017 4:09 pm
Reply to  Thx1138
October 21, 2017 4:49 pm


Reply to  Annie
October 22, 2017 6:58 am

October 21, 2017 4:57 pm

Looks like that lot are out of the same stable as ‘Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals’ to me…

old construction worker
October 21, 2017 7:00 pm

We need teeth in the Data Quality Act.

October 22, 2017 1:26 am

These 10 tactics are partial iterations of the Left’s gospel “Rules for Radicals” devised by the brilliant Leftist Saul Alinsky:

The Rules

1) “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.”

2) “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.”

3j “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.”

4) “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.”

5) “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.”

6) “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.”

7) “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.”

8) “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.”

9) “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.”

10) “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”

11) “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.”

12) “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.”

13) “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

The Left will continue to use these tactics because they’ve been so successful… That’s what happens when crital thinking is replaced by Leftists’ Critical Theory and empirical & moral relativism…

Phil R
Reply to  SAMURAI
October 23, 2017 8:15 am


Good comment and I agree. Just wondering if your last sentence should be “ethical & moral relativism…,” not “empirical.

October 22, 2017 3:10 am

The Australian BOM in response to questions posed on AWS performance after it was revealed they store one-second noise, but quality-control cold but valid temperatures away fits to the OP list perfectly. Try to avoid accountability. Not good for a governmental organisation with budget of hundreds of millions.

Michael S. Kelly
October 22, 2017 3:23 am

Sounds like the entire Obama presidency.

October 22, 2017 4:28 am

Be honest now. They hacked this from the European Union playbook, didn’t they?

October 22, 2017 6:27 am

# 2– Repackage global warming as climate change. Pretty easy to show that climate change can have negative consequences. Global warming, not so much. It is hard to prove that current warming is even significant. There could even be some doubt that it is actually happening.

William Astley
October 22, 2017 7:44 am

The assumption is that fighting for more Government spending for your special interesting group X is good.

There is absolutely no acknowledgement that to spend more on X we must spend less on Y.

For well run companies everyone is on the same side. There is rarely any need for compromise as the analysis constrains the choices and in most cases points to the best choice.

Reply to  William Astley
October 22, 2017 9:13 am

“There is absolutely no acknowledgement that to spend more on X we must spend less on Y.”

Only in the real world. It does not apply to government, where they just raise debt ceiling.

Andy Pattullo
October 22, 2017 9:23 am

I work in a Canadian public health system, which, in spite of everything, does provide overall great care, however the techniques described are rampant in our current administration and, in fact, were selected for among senior administrators over several sequential governments. This is why we are a good health system and not a great one. Our senior leaders demonstrate this behaviour daily. I see the same in much of our academic administration and I agree this behavior is rampant in the academic sphere of climate science. As with many other key issues in societal development, the media don’t help one iota as they seem incapable of recognizing and/or highlighting this totally ineffective behaviour.

October 22, 2017 2:43 pm

never heard of this lot, but noticed this quote –

“Cognitive dissonance provides a useful conceptual grid to understand what we are up against when we try to bring ourselves and our organisations to account, for example, when assessing how we are putting into practice the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). Greater self-awareness is no guarantee of better practice, but it certainly can help! The quote below from Tavris and Aronson sheds more light for us and our sector.

“Most people, when directly confronted by evidence that they are wrong, do not change their point of view or course of action but justify it even more tenaciously. Yet mindless self-justification, like quicksand, can draw us deeper into disaster. It blocks our ability to even see our errors, let alone correct them. It keeps many professionals from changing outdated attitudes and procedures that can be harmful to the public.” (pp. 4-10)”

they love the “Cognitive dissonance” trope as a cover for everything.

October 22, 2017 3:29 pm

I may be wrong but this post seems to be misleading – from the link

“Here are ten tactics used to avoid accountability for mistakes, poor practice, dysfunction, and outright deviance that I have seen firsthand over the past eight years as part of a network confronting a major international fraud (see PETRA People, Tricks for Feigning Good Practice, February-March 2016). These tactics illustrate what not to do when we and our organisations are asked to give an account of our work – be it via routine self-assessments or requests to explain our actions. They can serve to minimise cognitive dissonance, to protect ourselves, or to intentionally misrepresent the facts. Understanding how we can get it wrong can be a helpful way to avoid some of these proven “tactical tricks” for avoiding accountability.”

seems this is PETRA that this should be aimed at.

[seems you should read the 2nd to last last paragraph -mod]

Joel Snider
October 23, 2017 12:25 pm

We get a lot of ‘professionals’ trying shoot-from-the-hip psychoanalysis on the skeptic crowd, but really, the more interesting psychological/sociological study are the warmists themselves.

It makes me think of Clarice Starling: “What if you pointed that high-powered perception at yourself – or maybe you’re afraid to.”

Brian Stendel
October 23, 2017 9:49 pm

Some great parallels in these comments, here’s more, titled “The Liberal Rules of Argument” although I suspect these will work regardless of side or world view, sorry for the length.

#1: Attack Your Opponent

If you feel that your opponent is trying to use facts to your disadvantage, attack him or her personally. Call your opponent names, insult his ancestry, imply that he performs improbable sex acts with animals or his own mother — or both. If you can arouse his anger, you will have him on familiar ground where he can be beat. Your aim is to make your opponent stop using those pesky facts and figures to win the argument — everyone knows arguments are supposed to be emotional, not cold and rational, so he’s doing it wrong to start with. Names guaranteed to upset an opponent with a conservative bent are Nazi, Dittohead (meaning he’s a fan of Rush Limbaugh), and Sheep. Spell “Republican” and “America” with a K in them, to suggest that your opponent is a member of the KKK — but if they mention that Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was a Klansman, accuse your opponent of making an ad hominem attack! Make sure to claim that your opponent is either a dupe, is brainwashed, or is perhaps working for the government. If at all possible, make personal attacks on President Bush at the same time; that usually forces people to try and defend him.

#2: Switch Your Arguments

If you feel that your are beginning to lose an argument, change it. Switch sides altogether if you have to. For instance, if you are arguing that there are no biological or chemical weapons in Iraq, and your opponent quotes one of the many UN reports that state there definitely were banned weapons there, suddenly change your argument to “of course, there were, the US gave them to Saddam”. Never mind the fact that you were just saying they didn’t exist — the purpose is to confuse your opponent and keep him from winning the argument. And in the above instance, if your opponent shows records from the CDC proving that Iraq requested medical samples through the World Health Organisation to combat anthrax and botulism, switch your argument BACK AGAIN and claim that Saddam destroyed the WMD he made form the samples after kicking out the inspectors in 1998, ignoring your earlier arguments that there never was any, and then that the US provided it. Logic is for losers! Consistency is for conservatives! If your opponent gives up the argument, loudly proclaim a victory!

#3: Raise The Bar

When your opponent presents you with proof of anything — UN records of WMD stockpiles, Amnesty International records of humanitarian crimes, eyewitness accounts of rape, torture, murder, etc — state that it’s not enough to convince you. Tell your opponent that his so- called “proof” doesn’t mean anything at all. Insist that anything from only one source doesn’t count. Force him or her to go back and search for more proof… and more, and still more. Eventually, your opponent will grow tired of trying to convince you with mere facts and figures, and either give up or get angry — and then you know you’ve got him! You can tell everyone that your opponent lost because his or her proof was “laughable”.

#4: Attack The Source

When your opponent presents you with those pesky facts, there’s only one way to beat him — attack the source. Refuse to give credence to anything reported by the Weekly Standard, or NewsMax, even if your opponent’s facts come from another source as well. Any news outlet even slightly to the right of the New York Times, the LA Times, CBS, ABC, NPR and Time is immediately suspect. Put down FOX news channel and anyone that refers to it — ignore the fact that they have reported the same stories as every other network. The fact that your opponent uses any of those obviously biased sources automatically proves him wrong, a brainwashed tool, a sheep, etc (see rule #1). If he gives you information from a web site, attack that site as being biased, or right-wing. If he attacks your sources as being left-wing, scoff at that argument — you know that “left wing” and “correct” are the same thing. Quotes from any liberal source (even a non-journalist’s web page or blog) are automatically correct, while any conservative source is OBVIOUSLY distorting the facts to make an ideological point.

#5: Blame America First/Moral Equivalency

It’s very important, at all times, to remember that America is the REAL bad guy here, everywhere, and for all time. If your opponent shows facts about Saddam’s humanitarian offenses, match them with claims of America’s own “atrocities”. Although your opponent will claim there is no comparison between the two, continue to claim, for instance, that Saddam’s 30- year record of using rape, murder, torture and mutilation on prisoners merely accused of crimes is the EXACT SAME THING as Texas administering the death penalty after due process of law. Argue that because America has not always been absolutely perfect, Americans have no right to judge any other country, no matter what it does, even though the Geneva Convention did not exist until after WWII. Stay focussed on your vision of an evil America ruled by corporate greed, evil America slobbering to kill the innocents in other countries, evil America ruthlessly building an empire, and evil America only pretending to be benevolent and generous to other countries. Never give credence to your opponent’s arguments that America rebuilt countries like France, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Grenada, etc… it was obviously a ruse of some kind! Always seek to put the worst possible interpretation on everything America does or ever has done, or any statement by any member of the Administration. Remember that America exists only to dominate the entire world, like a James Bond supervillain. For reference, watch as many Oliver Stone movies as possible. Remember that American soldiers always act exactly like the soldiers in Platoon.

#6: Reductio ad Absurdum

Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “a process of reasoning which involves the denial of the first of a series of dependent propositions as a consequence of the denial of the last”, but YOU define it as “an invaluable arguing technique”. Every child can understand “If that’s true, then I’m a monkey’s uncle” means “it’s NOT true”, because while you may be a monkey’s great- grandnephew, you can’t be its uncle. If your opponent says something like, “Iraq refused to obey 17 UN resolutions that it agreed to”, immediately take that argument past its furthest “logical” conclusion and reply, “Then by your logic, we must invade every country that disobeys a UN resolution!” If your opponent doesn’t catch the end run you made around the “logical” end-point of his argument, you can involve him in a long, drawn-out argument over exactly how many UN resolutions HE feels must be disobeyed before automatically triggering an invasion! With luck, he will forget that he was going to say there were many other reasons to remove Saddam from power, and you can win by “proving” that he wants to invade other countries!

#7: Wear Hawk’s Clothing

Facts don’t matter; consensus does. People need constant reassurance that they’re not alone in their views. Conservatives needs constant validation from others that think like they do, whether they want to admit it or not. A lack of validation leads to self-doubt. You agree with me, right? Good. All people (except Liberals, of course, who don’t need validation… right?) are sheep at heart; they just follow each other’s arguments. You can use this against them by beginning statements with “I used to be a Conservative/Republican, but…” or “I used to support George W. Bush, but…” (remember, don’t use a diminishing/patronising nickname for Bush to feel like you have power over him; it makes you more believable). If you can make your opponent believe that you USED to be on his side, but have changed sides, he will be more likely to change sides to follow you like the sheep you know he is underneath his pretense of speaking his own mind. If it doesn’t work, attack him (as per Rule #1: Attack Your Opponent) for being a sheep following the Conservative/Republicans. Completely ignore any reply he makes that claims you were trying to make him follow YOU. You still agree with me on this, don’t you? Good, I must be right, then.

#8: Hijack the Argument

Take any portion of your opponent’s argument, drop the useless context (well, it’s useless to YOU), and use it to change the subject entirely. For instance, if you are being attacked by someone for saying that Bush lied (or about WMD, terrorists, tax-cuts-for-the-rich, or whatever you are supposed to attack him for on that particular day) and your opponent demands that you show him proof to back up your statements (as if YOU need proof, when you know you’re right!), take his demand for evidence of your “allegations” and demand that HE show YOU evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or ties to Al-Qaeda! When he responds with some boring cut-and-paste from the 1997 UNSCOM report saying Iraq hadn’t turned over its known WMD, or the article about the court case that decided Iraq trained the 9/11 hijackers at Salman Pak, you’ll know you’ve succeeded in hijacking the argument HE was making about “proof” to put HIM on the defensive!

#9: Play the Hate

How do you know your opponent hates you? Why, by his attacks on you, of course! Yes, even when he pretends to frame his attacks as questions, like “do you know a better way to stop terrorism other than by going after countries that support them?” what he’s REALLY saying is ” You’re stupid! I hate you!” When he says “Don’t you think Saddam was a bad person?” or “What’s your plan for fighting terrorism, then?” it’s easy to see that what he’s really saying is “YOU’RE a bad person! I hope you die!” Let him know you’re on to him — ask him why he hates you and is attacking you. Tell him how his obvious hate makes you feel. This will put him on the defensive. Be careful; your opponent is likely to try to use this one against you. Even your most innocent, gentle and justified questions, like “Bush is personally murdering people on purpose to steal oil!”, “Republicans hate Muslims!” or “You’re a moronic dittohead sheep!” are likely to be met by your opponent pretending that you’re attacking him or Bush (the nerve!). Ask your opponent why you’re not being allowed to question the government. Let everyone know that your First Amendment rights are being violated! Better yet, ask your opponent why he hates America and freedom of speech. This will almost always cause him to splutter and gasp as he tries to respond to your revealing his true intentions. Best of all, you will have diverted his questioning your unquestionable objectivity.

#10: Return to Start

After leading your opponent in a wild goose chase by attacking him personally, switching your arguments, raising the bar for and attack the sources of the proof he offers, finding ways to Blame America First, and all the other argument techniques listed here, your opponent will be exhausted, his nerves ragged. Now is the time to return to your very first, original argument, as if the entire exchange never even occurred! Ignore any proof that your opponent has offered (it’s all made up anyway), and the fact that you’ve switched your argument (from “there were no WMD” to “the US supplied them”, for instance). Just go right back to the very start and force your opponent to begin all over again. If he claims that you have already argued over this before, inform him that he couldn’t convince you! The best thing about this tactic is that you have already attacked his sources and raised the bar on them, so that he will have to START with his best sources and go even further to find “proof” that you will accept! He will likely give up entirely at this point, allowing you to claim a complete victory, which you deserve. After all, your opponent obviously has no regard for your feelings, or he wouldn’t upset you by arguing!

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