The sane man in favor of the Iraq war, even in hindsight.
Maybe gmol was talking about Kevin Griffin.
I have trouble seeing Hitchen's justification on the Iraq war as anything beyond mere speculation (really, how do we know what would've happened without coalition intervention?). Perhaps that is all that science of foreign policy is in the end.
Still, he writes thoughtfully and acknowledges the serious crimes that took place at the time. He doesn't seem like someone who secretly enjoyed the idea of violence.
I think gmol was talking about Suzanne Somers.
He was virulently in favor of the war. It wasn't just a subject he speculated about.
I'm saying that his justifications on why he was right:
"What would post-Saddam Iraq have looked like without a coalition presence?"
The only thing that I can be somewhat sure of is that the specific tens of thousands of lives that were lost may not have been. To say that the outcome would have been worse without the coalition presence, Hitchens might be right, but how can I say he isn't much more than lucky if he is.
He effectively projects himself as sincere, and has said many other very sane things. It is hard for me to just throw his opinion out, even though there is a mountain of horrifically killed dead bodies in front of me.
"He effectively projects himself as sincere, and has said many other very sane things. It is hard for me to just throw his opinion out, even though there is a mountain of horrifically killed dead bodies in front of me."
He excelled at presenting an argument, that's for sure. But he also had no problem using his skills to promote BS, and I find that difficult to respect.
With regard to the Iraq War specifically, the threats it was supposed to stifle were nonexistent to begin with, and its champions denied there would be any significant difficulties. It was at heart an enterprise guaranteed to gain nothing but cost us dearly, and I think Hitchens knew that. But deep down it was also a way to blow up some Muslims as well as satisfy his imperialist itch, so he went all-in.
When Hitchens allowed himself to be waterboarded years later -- under circumstances guaranteed to minimize the terror and leave him under control of the process -- he was not some eager seeker of truth, willing to put himself in harm's way to test and (if necessary) condemn the brutality of the Americans. It was theater to distance himself from a cause that was making him look foolish.
Anyone interested in actually helping the Iraqi people would have taken a good look at the program of sanctions, initially imposed by the UN to force weapons compliance, which in and of itself was plausible. Then the US came along and added the stipulation that sanctions were to be continued until such time as Saddam was out of power ... and that doctrine was in effect not only in the Bush presidencies, but also Clinton's. Ask yourself what you would do if you were in Saddam's position under those conditions; no ruler, no matter how benevolent or tyrannical, could view the US as anything but an enemy to be resisted. You might even want to keep the US guessing as to what sort of weaponry you possessed.
I buy Bort's narrative.
Hitchens is, I think, probably the only person to write a serious book (No One Left To Lie To) about how awful Clinton was a President that was not some dumb, right wing, hit-piece screed, but rather a very intelligent critique of the man and who he surrounded himself with.
|That guy |
Well, I don't agree with Hitchens on everything here, but there was a pretty sweet double-standard in favor of Clinton going on at that time.
I agree with Hitchens. Clinton is almost certainly a reptoid.
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