March 09, 2003
Richard Perle: 'Sy Hersh is...
Richard Perle: 'Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly': What pathetic, idiotic bullshit.
Here's Hersh's recent New Yorker article about Perle's shadowy dealings with various Saudis, including the notorious Adnan Khashoggi.
Remember back in the fall of 2001, when many of us shared outrage at hyperbolic nonsense and the warping qualities of enclave-think? Every day -- and today in particular -- I see signs that the pendulum has swung back. Here's something I wrote that December:
Intellectual conformity within like-minded groups is a distinctly non-partisan phenomenon. The same people who have skewered the anti-war Left while seeing their own battlefield predictions come more or less true could just as easily get it dead wrong next time, if they choose to gloat and preen instead of rigorously challenging their own assumptions.
Rigor truly does beat smearing your political opponent in the long run, even if it isn't always funny as, say, making jokes about paving France
. (Via Atrios
Posted by at March 9, 2003 11:43 PM
I suppose you can overdo it. During the Afghanistan war, as a reluctant hawk, I was so cognizant of the lies and distortions that had played in the mass media before and during the 1991 Gulf War that I went out of my way to give credence to reports of US and Northern Alliance atrocities that appeared in the foreign press. It turned out on further inspection that much of this was *enemy* propaganda.
We're going to get a great deal of that from all sides in the near future. We're getting a great deal of it now, no doubt, and it's not going to be terribly clear what's going on for a long time, so anyone regardless of position would be well-advised to avoid crowing over anything too soon.
more on perle/hersh at my blog.cheers
more on perle/hersh at my blog.cheers
Was Perle over the top? Yes.
Gee, does that mean Ari Fleischer was right, to suggest that we should watch what we say?
OTOH, what does it mean, when a bunch of the protestors here in America wave signs decrying Bush as Hitler and note that "Saddam was elected, Bush was selected"?
Or when Representatives suggest that the GOP is in the service of the Jews?
I'm not trying to excuse bad behavior---if anything, though, I think that this incessant, constant waiting, this not-knowing has not only driven down the markets, but also driven a lot of folks to the edge of their seats, both literally and metaphorically.
Dean -- As I wrote 17 months ago, Fleischer was right, but he was absolutely the wrong person to say it, and deserved most of the criticism he received (some, such as Gore Vidal's, was factually incorrect). I've probably written more articles ridiculing the hyperbole of the anti-war Left than most. I just hope, against experience, that the same people who piled on those efforts will show similar enthusiasm for criticizing noxious, morally equivalent bullshit emanating from those whose politics more closely mirrors their own.
As for this "waiting period" ... I don't know, maybe it's because I'm busy moving into a new house, and haven't been reading the newspaper very closely, and haven't been watching tellie ... but I don't find it so maddening. I suppose if I was gung-ho about military invention my attitude might be different, but even then I'd want the troops to be fully deployed first.
Look, I think Perle was W-R-O-N-G to compare Hersh to a terrorist. I DON'T think it would've been bad for him to mention some of Hersh's past mistakes (iirc, Hersh also claimed that Barry McCaffrey ordered a war crime on Iraqi soldiers surrendering, a coupla years ago). Hersh's track record, from what I've read, is uneven; at times really ground-breaking, at times looking like someone desperate to break the new My Lai or equivalent.
That being said, I agree that what's good for the goose should be good for the gander, i.e., hyperbole should be condemned, whatever the source.
As for the war and waiting, well, congrats on the house, but for some in DC, I'd venture that we'd really like to see it resolved, one way or the other. Which DOESN'T necessarily mean going to war---but ending the "tomorrow, perhaps next week, well, maybe month after".
Hersh is close to a jouralistic terrorist "...[b]ecause he's widely irresponsible..."?!
If "wide irresponsibility" is the standard for being terroristic, then--based on all of his crazy talk in the past year--Perle is the closest thing we have to a terroristic American self-aggrandizing blowhard.
Pretty snippy response for a simple observation...makes me think there must be something more to it.