Hitchens shows his cards

John Cox hazel_motes52 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 29 08:58:36 MDT 2001

I forwarded Hitchens´ previous column to the listserv a few days ago;
it included some forceful denunciations of the politics of the Taliban
and of Bin Laden and his ilk, but also gave some indication that he
(Hitchens) was preparing to justify and/or openly support the
intervention of the "democratic West," as he has in the past. Well, he
didn't wait long to move much further in that direction. Included here
are some of the more appalling passages from his latest column; you
can read the entire article, dated Sept. 24, at thenation.com. In
addition to his sentimentalism for U.S. democracy, his trademark
arrogance is also on display here:


Special Report

Of Sin, the Left & Islamic Fascism

by Christopher Hitchens

Not all readers liked my attack on the liberal/left tendency to
"rationalize" the aggression of September 11, or my use of the term
"fascism with an Islamic face," and I'll select a representative
example of the sort of "thinking" that I continue to receive on my
screen, even now. This jewel comes from Sam Husseini, who runs the
Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC:

The fascists like bin Laden could not get volunteers to stuff
envelopes if Israel had withdrawn from Jerusalem like it was supposed
to--and the US stopped the sanctions and the bombing on Iraq.

You've heard this "thought" expressed in one way or another, dear
reader, have you not? I don't think I took enough time in my last
column to point out just what is so utterly rotten at the very core of
it. So, just to clean up a corner or two:

(1) If Husseini knows what was in the minds of the murderers, it is
his solemn responsibility to inform us of the source of his
information, and also to share it with the authorities....

The ancillary plan was to hit the Department of Defense and (on the
best evidence we have available) either the Capitol Dome or the White
House. The Pentagon, for all its symbolism, is actually more the
civil-service bit of the American "war-machine," and is set in a
crowded Virginia neighborhood. You could certainly call it a military
target if you were that way inclined, though the bin Ladenists did not
attempt anything against a guarded airbase or a nuclear power-station
in Pennsylvania (and even if they had, we would now doubtless be
reading that the glow from Three Mile Island was a revenge for
globalization). The Capitol is where the voters send their elected
representatives--poor things, to be sure, but our own. The White House
is where the elected President and his family and staff are to be
found. It survived the attempt of British imperialism to burn it down,
and the attempt of the Confederacy to take Washington, DC, and this
has hallowed even its most mediocre occup!

ants. I might, from where I am sitting, be a short walk from a gutted
Capitol or a shattered White House. I am quite certain that Husseini
and his rabble of sympathizers would still be telling me that my
chickens were coming home to roost. (The image of bin Laden's men
"stuffing envelopes" is the perfected essence of such brainless
rhetoric.) Only the stoicism of men like Jeremy Glick and Thomas
Burnett prevented some such outcome; only those who chose who die
fighting rather than allow such a profanity, and such a further toll
in lives, stood between us and the fourth death squad. One iota of
such innate fortitude is worth all the writings of Noam Chomsky, who
coldly compared the plan of September 11 to a stupid and cruel and
cynical raid by Bill Clinton on Khartoum in August 1998.

To mention this banana-republic degradation of the United States in
the same breath as a plan, deliberated for months, to inflict maximum
horror upon the innocent is to abandon every standard that makes
intellectual and moral discrimination possible. To put it at its very
lowest, and most elementary, at least the missiles launched by Clinton
were not full of passengers. (How are you doing, Sam? Noam, wazzup?)

(Well, this is probably enough for everyone. See thenation.com for
more, including his rousing conclusion, in which he thanks NATO for
standing up to Milosevic. Note that for Hitchens the bombing of Sudan
represented the "degradation of the United States," not, as Chomsky
has pointed out, the deaths of many thousands of people, as Clinton
destroyed Sudan's primary pharmaceutical manufacturer.-JC)

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