Tuesday, March 20

Another Double (Down)

Christopher Hitchens, "So, Mr. Hitchens, Weren't You Wrong About Iraq?" Slate March 19

I started off with every intention of writing about this thing, subtitled "Hard Questions, Four Years Later", though in fact "Hitchens Acts As His Own Straight Man" would have been more like it. Before the first Hard Question he's already morphed the thing into a re-examination of his and his neocon buddies' justifications for war. Guess whether he still finds them justified. (Has the tiresome refrain about "Even the French and Germans Believed There Were WMDs" now, in March of Oh Seven, suddenly grown a point? Are spy agencies always truthful? Always correct? In the habit of understating threats?) By question four "Inspected" turns up in scare quotes. Hard Questions? You're taking the same damn exam you took four years ago.

Still, I intended to rebut a couple of points. That was before I came to this:
The Bush administration never claimed that Iraq had any hand in the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

So either Hitchens is the hair shirt Slate has assigned itself to wear for its pro-war coverage or he's become for them what Germany and France are to WMDs, the "See, Even He Thought So!" guy. Either way, I couldn't care less. It's flotsam. The convenient re-writing of the unpleasant Past is a much bigger problem now; Hitch's memoirs can be safely assigned to the Nostalgia section.


Anonymous said...

What about Poland?

spaghetti happens said...

I haven't read the article, but how does Hitchens explain all those GIs who signed up so they could "fight the terrorists who attacked us on Nine-Eleven" and the seventy or some percent of whom believe they are avenging that horrible act? How does Hitchens suppose that message was developed and promulgated among its present and future military forces--to say nothing of all the rest of us--if not by the Bush administration?

The call to war--for protection, for vengeance, for national honor, for Jesus--was rung from almost every church steeple in America; where does Hitchens think that call originated? In the news media? But where do the news media get their talking points if not from their precious--and always unnamed--"administration sources"?

Hitchens should remember that not all his colleagues are as bright or as well connected as he is. They don't have the great sources that he has, or the rapier wit, through which he discerns that the Bush administration never claimed that Iraq had any hand in the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

And Hitchens is an expert on George Orwell? When I see things like this, I wonder if I'm the one who's missing something.