Little Green Footballs

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Hitchens Smear Machine

A fantastic look here at the hypocritical and rather ugly attacks on Cindy Sheehan by any writer. Christopher Hitchens your time is up.

On August 19, Christopher Hitchens published one of his most hypocritical pieces of work ever, smearing bereaved military mother Cindy Sheehan (his first article is here).

Hitchens charged that an email allegedly sent by Sheehan to a Nightline producer evidenced her "real opinions on politics (a weird confection of pacifism and paranoid anti-Zionism)." He characterized Sheehan's alleged statement as "anti-Israel" and an insinuation of President George W. Bush's manipulation by "a Jewish cabal." Finally, speculating on the results of a hypothetical referendum of the American public on the occupation of Iraq -- something which has never been proposed by Sheehan or any other prominent opponent of the occupation -- Hitchens wrote, "The ultra-right anti-Zionist forces of David Duke and Patrick J. Buchanan, both of whom approvingly speak of Ms. Sheehan's popular groundswell, would still lose the vote." (What a relief!)

Reading Hitchens' screed, it occurred to me that he was using Sheehan to exorcise his own demons, attacking her as a projection of his former Trotskyist self. He posed as the calculating sadist, so frustrated with what he perceives as the left's pacific sentimentalism he almost seemed to pleasure in reducing a politically inexperienced military mom to a bloody pulp. Yet Hitchens assailed Sheehan for taking positions he had evinced for decades -- positions he had staked his career on. Reading Hitchens' attempted take-down of Sheehan was to watch him wander into his own, personal intellectual leather dungeon, lie on his back, and surrender his soft belly to the sharpened stilleto heel of a peacenik dominatrix he fabricated in the liquidized recesses of his mind. It was little more than a naked exercise in masochism.

Read it all. It's well worth it.

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