19 April, 2004

Christopher Hitchens is an asshole

Honestly, how can someone do such a complete 180? I read this article of his, comparing Iraq to Vietnam. He still seems to have his head on straight about Vietnam, but his arguments about the Iraqi resistance are ridiculous.

First of all, he calls them cowards, saying they were 'notably inconspicuous for their bravery' during the Saddam regime. Excuse me, Hitchy, but how could you possibly know? There was resistance under Saddam, and it was brutally put down. The Kurds that he seems to be full of praise for rebelled in the same way - the peshmerga only took points and kept them once they had the benefit of no-fly zones protecting them, whereas those in the South were quite open to Saddam's retribution. Also, al-Sadr's father was quite openly opposed to Saddam within Iraq, and was gunned down by the regime along with his eldest sons. It's entirely possible that a good number of the current resistance fighters did fight against Saddam. Since we haven't done a survey, there's no way to know, but that does mean that it is entirely artful propaganda to suggest they are cowards.

Then he praises the US for its efforts at creating democracy. I assume he has some excellent example of precedent to cite here, since I can only think of examples of US disruption and destruction of democracy, installation of dictators and support for juntas and capitalist elites. If Hitchens can give sound reasons why he believes that THIS time, we should believe that the US is sincere and actually intends to create democracy, I would love to hear them. Blind faith in the US is not something I am capable of.

Hitchens glosses over American crimes in Iraq, doesn't even mention the violence done in Falluja, and dismisses Iraqi opposition as "theocratic barbarism". This is the same man who carefully catalogued Kissinger's crimes and has such lucid comments to make on imperialism in ages past? I hope I don't go batfuck crazy some day and start praising the Mighty Avenging Sword of Imperialist Justice.

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