Sunday, April 17, 2005

Mom, Seymour wants his marbles back!

Tonight, through sheer colonic fortitude, I was able to abide a lengthy mumbling session by Mr. Hirsh that I had promised a while back to poke around. It was given at the Salt Lake Public Library, a lovely facility ,which Brig points to as "the coolest homeless shelter ever devised", on February 5. His appearance was part of the Dewey lecture series. I got the tape yesterday and couldn't dig in until tonight.

Hersh has a storied history of shit-journalism and a flappy mouth to go along with his trophies Mi Lai and to a lesser degree, Abu Ghraib. On this night, he seemed at times to be nearly incoherent. Perhaps he was confused by the election in Iraq the week preceding. Whatever the reason, there weren't many complete sentences to use, so as a matter of disclosure I should say that unless marked otherwise, I am tying together loosely conjoined ideas and words into sentences for him. I have made a concerted effort to convey his meaning rather than my interpretation.

Because of the subject matter and tone, sitting through this speech is a lot like sitting through dinner with Jenean Gerafalo. At the end I wanted my time refunded to me, so I'm just gong to skim through.

Wasting little time, Hersh used his Woody Allen-like clairvoyance to foresee a bleak future:

The fact that people voted is wonderful, but let's not confuse any of this with Democracy. Because it's not. And what's happened now is probably, in a funny way, really going to put him (Bush) in more trouble and, that is, all of us eventually.
He then lists a host of reasons why the Iraqis voted, from Sistani's fatwa to the Shiite's lust for power. Once the votes in Iraq were tallied, Allawi, of course, would be elected prime minister (see Talabani) and we would see "probably civil war"--

There were thirty seven cities, my friends on the inside tell me, thirty seven cities where there was no vote.
Later there comes an admission;

If I was very powerful in the Sunni Government, whether I liked Saddam or not, and these people started busting down doors, I would probably view those people (the U.S.-ed) as my enemy.

I thank Mr. Hirsh for being so frank. We now no longer need to pretend that he supports the young people risking their lives for us over there. This point gets pounded home again:

I think that Guantanamo, when we're done with it, is going to equal Andersonville as a hell, just a horrible place.
At Andersonville, 45,00 Union soldiers were held as POWs. It was open for fourteen months and thirteen thousand men died there. Comparing Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo to such a place shows no respect for the importance of the place and no respect for history. He continues with his "the real boogie-man is the Shia" narrative:

They weren't voting because they believed in democracy, they were voting, if they were Shiites, because they see by voting they would get control.
For Hersh, there are no wild stabs in the dark. All he needs to do is crawl into someone's head and tell you what they are really feeling. This guy's better than the Amazing Kreskin.

To start off the Q&A, some angry clown asked Hersh a question about the American Empire falling:

I hope it happens soon. I hate to say that.

He has some encouraging words for the mullahs too:

Iran is willing to make concessions, they are willing to deal. The Iranians have collected extraordinary wealth. What they are doing is buying stuff. They are getting ready. If America is going to attack, they are not going to back off. So there's a great story there.
And those Baathists? Soft as fuzzy dice:

Traditionally, the Baath party has been very hostile to radicalism.
Right, if you don't consider feeding humans into wood-chippers radical.

Bashar Assad told me with great bitterness about a year ago that when the war began--you have to understand that Syria and his father spent his life fighting radicals and fundamentalism.

No mention of that secular bastion of non-radicalism Hizbollah and the fact that Syria has become a satellite state of the Mullocracy. As a bonus, Hersh treats us to some more of his "inside information" in the form of another prediction:

They'd (the US-ed.) probably mobilized some sort of independent group inside the country (Iran-ed.) that, after Americans hit some targets this summer perhaps, that it will trigger a revolution.
Thankfully, the speech was pretty much over, but not before making something clear:

No matter how you justify it, I don't think getting rid of Saddam justifies what has happened.
To be honest, I was a little let down. I thought that perhaps he'd bring a stronger game, with better execution. As it was, he came across as a run-of-the-mill nostalgic, constantly referencing Mi Lai, Abu Ghraib and Viet Nam, as if these events were inseparable, possibly even the same thing.

He may actually get a few things right, but his insticts are obviously flickering out if he believes things like the Assads 'fighting radicalism and fundamentalism'. If he is relying on people who have been in the national intel game for thirty years, then he is listening to the people who are responsible for 9/11. The old reality simply does not apply any more.

He seems to be going around cashing fat checks for saying the exact same crap that I have heard from the mouths of twenty year old peace-hotties, except that Hersh has "friends on the inside".

Tom adds: here's a good link with good links that stack more shit on top of the Seymour "Abu Ghraib" Hersh "storied history of shit journalism" pile. Read all about "I can certainly fudge what I say." Wtf? Though I've always chosen the New Yorker as toilet teepee anyway, I feel I now have more of a philosophical reason for doing so, and I now understand just why it must be. Zen now abides in my bathroom.

Noah chips in: Guantanamo is going to be equal to Andersonville? The left has lost its mind, and with it, all perspective.

And as for the Baathists being opponents of “radicalism” and “fundamentalism,” you have to understand that for lefties like Hirsh those are tags that are only applied to religious people. Secular leaders like Saddam (or Stalin, Pol Pot, Lenin, etc) can never be extremists because they are not motivated by religion.

This is also why is makes sense to these people when they casually categorize Bush with Al Quaeda or brand conservatives as “the Taliban wing of the Republican party.” It is not what you do, it is why you do it that matters. If you are motivated by religion you are evil, if you are motivated by a naked lust for power . . . you’re not as bad. The left doesn’t understand religion at all, so they fear it. The lust for power on the other hand, that they understand.

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