Article on comparing the Minsk and Munich agreements rated 0/10

In an article on, Hans Vogel argues that the Minsk agreement, and the circumstances surrounding it, is strikingly similar to the Munich agreement of 1938 (when the Britain and France accepted German occupation of the Sudetenland in exchange for peace). Most people would of course use such a comparison to argue against Russia, but, to the contrary, Vogel uses this comparison to defend Russia and attack United States:

Like Munich, it was a last-ditch effort to preserve peace in the face of ever increasing odds. Like Munich, it involves the systematic discrimination and persecution of an ethnic minority (Germans in Czechoslovakia, Russians in the Ukraine). Like Munich, it involves a weak state with no significant history as an independent national entity. Like Munich, it was a conference where the one nation that does NOT want peace and that actively pursues war (the US) was absent. At Minsk, one of the participants was doing the secret bidding of the US, namely Germany, whereas at Munich, it was Britain that played this unsavory role. 

The article is strikingly poor, and is so in an instructive way. The main problem is not the fallacies and factual errors, although there are plenty of those, but the extreme lack of evidence and arguments. The author makes the most controversial claims about, e.g the causes of World War II without caring to give so much as a shred of evidence.

My hunch is that this is fairly common: unless they are under extreme pressure to provide evidence and argument, dogmatic people such as this author simply won’t do that, but will instead just state things without argument. I also don’t think they would do that if it was entirely uneffective — if people always could see the lack of evidence and argument. My guess is thus that their foul play pays off.

This points to the importance of persistently requiring that people do provide evidence and arguments for their views. We need to make this kind of foul play transparent, and force those who use it to try to provide evidence and argument for their views. Since that would, in turn, be hard for them to do in a convincing view, that would — or so I hope — go a long way towards showing how dogmatic they really are. Hence the importance of creating a culture where we do give arguments and evidence for all of our claims.

Besides this, the article also includes several other great problems, such as a bizarre argument to the effect that we run a risk of war simply because we’re living in the first half of a century. Overall it is an extremely poorly argued article. I give it a grade of 0 /10. See this link for my annotations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s