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Hitchens Gloats

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I have felt such kinship and respect for Christopher Hitchens since 9/11 that I may decide to hate Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger as much as he does – I may start smoking, and take up heavy drinking again also. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy him gloating a bit:

    So it turns out that all the slogans of the anti-war movement were right after all. And their demands were just. “No War on Iraq,” they said – and there wasn’t a war on Iraq. Indeed, there was barely a “war” at all. “No Blood for Oil,” they cried, and the oil wealth of Iraq has been duly rescued from attempted sabotage with scarcely a drop spilled. Of the nine oil wells set ablaze by the few desperadoes who obeyed the order, only one is still burning and the rest have been capped and doused without casualties. “Stop the War” was the call. And the “war” is indeed stopping. That’s not such a bad record. An earlier anti-war demand – “Give the Inspectors More Time” – was also very prescient and is also about to be fulfilled in exquisite detail.

    ….What else? Oh yes, the Arab street did finally detonate, just as the peace movement said it would. You can see the Baghdad and Basra and Karbala streets filling up like anything, just by snapping on your television. And the confrontation with Saddam Hussein did lead to a surge in terrorism, with suicide bombers and a black-shirted youth movement answering his call. As could also have been predicted, those determined to die are now dead. We were told that Baghdad would become another Stalingrad – which it has. Just as in Stalingrad in 1953, all the statues and portraits of the heroic leader have been torn down.

    ….We should celebrate our common ground as well as the gorgeous mosaic of our diversity. The next mass mobilization called by International ANSWER and the stop-the-war coalition is only a few days away. I already have my calendar ringed for the date. This time, I am really going to be there. It is not a time to keep silent. Let our voices be heard. All of this has been done in my name, and I feel like bearing witness. [Slate]

Somebody say “Amen.” Hee hee.

UPDATE

Our own David Hogberg works in a similar vein:
    TO: International Committee for Peace and Justice, International Committee for Justice and Peace, and the rest of you

    FROM: The Committee

    Unfortunately since the last memo, the war has gone much worse than we had hoped. The allies war-mongering imperialists have captured Baghdad, Iraqis are cheering in the street, and the United Nations has been discredited. The heat will be on from the press, but also possibly from the pro-war crowd Bush brown-shirts. Yet there are still many skillful ways to answer the inevitable questions. Below are suggested responses.

    Question: Do you feel foolish about predicting a quagmire?

    Response: Well, there is still the occupation of Iraq, which will be difficult, not to mention the anger the rest of the world feels toward us. It will inspire countless acts of terrorism against the U.S…..

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Wow, and to think I thought pro-warriors would be doing this.

    Hitchens says:

    “No Blood for Oil,” they cried, and the oil wealth of Iraq has been duly rescued from attempted sabotage with scarcely a drop spilled.

    Um, anyone notice how this doesn’t make any sense? Hitchens acts as if the slogan was, “The Oil Wells Might Be Sabotaged.”

    No, Christopher. It was, “No Blood for Oil.” Blood, as in that stuff that comes out of people’s arms when they get blown off.

    It’s offensive enough for Hitchens to gloat. But to pretend somehow (even in this transparently illogical way) that this was a bloodless war is just plain shocking.

    So it turns out that all the slogans of the anti-war movement were right after all. And their demands were just. “No War on Iraq,” they said – and there wasn’t a war on Iraq.

    Yeah, there was no war.

    Because Hichens says so, there was no war.

    You really take pleasure in this, Eric?

    “Hee-hee.”

  • Eric Olsen

    Well Brian, there a few different ways to look at this: this is obviously meant to be funny so of course he is exaggerating and/or minimizing. On the other hand, compared to the predictions of many who opposed the war, the casualties have been tiny – 130 or so allied deaths, 1,000-2,000 Iraqi civilians.

    In all seriousness, every life is precious and this is not a small number of people by any means, but for what was accomplished, and as compared to the projected cost of accomplishing this, the cost is bearable and well within the range of making the action worth doing.

    Do I enjoy this? I am not gloating myself out of respect for the lost and out of concern for the future, but it is nice to be right once in a while.

  • http://carthaginianpeace.blogspot.com NC

    [I]t is nice to be right once in a while.

    Yeah, particularly when being right in this case means God knows how many Iraqis aren’t going to be fed into Saddam’s wood chipper in the future. Gloat away.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Eric Olsen: “Do I enjoy this? I am not gloating myself out of respect for the lost and out of concern for the future…”

    Eric Olsen: “Somebody say ‘Amen.’ Hee hee.”

    Will the real Eric Olsen please stand up?

    “Hee hee.”

  • Dawn

    Brian, I am with you on this one. How distasteful it is to be so giddy at one’s rightness so as to overshadow the loss and tragedy of war.

    Tsk tsk Eric, shame on you.

    We should at least wait a couple of weeks before being a bunch of sore winners. Damn people, have you no goodwill?

  • Eric Olsen

    “Hee hee” is a small chuckle at someone else’s fairly clever gloating – I will allow myself that.

    In the big picture, as wars go this was a very small one in terms of casualties. And I have nothing but satisfaction at the death of every hardcore regime-defender, and ESPECIALLY every foreign “defender of the faith” who showed up to cause our people harm. Good riddance.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    I don’t quite understand what the anti-war camp was so wrong about.

    What position before the war happened did the anti-war groups have that has been proved wrong by the war’s success?

    Some signs at the protests:

    “No Blood For Oil”–protesters weren’t wrong about the blood, and I hardly think it’s done spilling.

    “Bush–Endangering America, Enraging the World”–we’re safer from a pathetic army that could barely defend Baghdad for a day? The world is happy with us now? The Arab street (that Hitchens overlooks in his gloating) is not enraged?

    “Bush Lies”–Because Baghdad fell, the Niger connections scandal is not a scandal? Now Powell didn’t lie to the U.N.? Now Bush’s transparently insincere attempts at diplomacy are suddenly sincere?

    “Bush’s Beloved Troops Become Tomorrow’s Forgotten Vets”–Because Baghdad fell, the Republicans in the House did not vote on a party-line vote to slash $25B from veteran’s health benefits? Now it’s not true that Republicans are trying to cram through tax cuts (including offshore tax shelters that cost the nation $70B in revenue each year) for the wealthy?

    “CNN Lies While People Die”–because Baghdad fell, it is not true that the major U.S. media acted like cheerleaders and led an ill-informed country into war? A country in which 50% of the population believed in a totally fictitious relationship between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein?

    “Iraq Burns While Freedom Fries”–Because Baghdad fell, we are no longer witnessing the erosion of civil liberties in America? We’re no longer living in a country where the only issue on which the Republicans score higher than the Democrats is national security, and therefore the only hope the Republicans have is to keep everybody scared all the time?

    I understand that pro-warriors were right that the U.S. military is superior to the Iraq military. The anti-war camp was also correct on this. I also talked to a chimp at the zoo–he also agreed that a $400B military budget is larger than a $1B military budget. We were all in agreement about this.

    Hitchens’ article is exactly what I wrote about on Monday. What exactly is it that the anti-war camp was wrong about?

  • Rob

    THey were wrong with promoting the idea that doing nothing and leaving Hussein in power to do as he liked to the Iraqis was preferrable to war.

    You post a picture of an injured Iraqi child, and you can do that because now there is a free press photographer without a minder there to censor him when he takes this picture. We did not see what Saddam did to his people published in newspapers, there was no free press.

    It is wrong to think that the Iraqis were living calm, peaceful safe lives until the bad old U.S. stomped in and removed their beloved Saddam.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    It is wrong to think that the Iraqis were living calm, peaceful safe lives until the bad old U.S. stomped in and removed their beloved Saddam.

    I agree. Please provide evidence that any anti-war group maintained this position at any time.

  • Rob

    The anti-war crowd failed to admit, or failed to see that this war would remove Saddam from power, and anything short of war would not.

  • Rob

    The anti-war crowd failed to admit, or failed to see that this war would remove Saddam from power, and anything short of war would not. Notice my first sentence: “They were wrong with promoting the idea that doing nothing and leaving Hussein in power to do as he liked to the Iraqis was preferrable to war”

    In short, failing to act against Saddam would allow him to continue his depredations on the Iraqis. The anti-war crowd was against taking real action against Saddam, they would not even criticize Saddam for what he was known to have done.

  • JR

    And now Hitchens is voting for Kerry. Hmmm…