Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Amazing

Never judge a piece of half formed illogic by it's title. I know I have to stop reading Hitchens, but I can't. Every week I read Slate looking for signs of the combination of wit and rationality that made The Nation worth reading as anything other than agitprop only to discover there ain't no there there anymore. In fact, I'm now reduced to playing a special game I invented just for Hitch's Slate columns. Before I start reading I try to guess in what sentence of what paragraph he will either blame those against the war for some failure of the Bush administration or make snide remarks about people who actually stand something or someone to lose in this war. This week's winner, and it's a double hackpot, is paragraph 4 sentence 1. After reflecting on the tragedy of American soldiers accidently shooting civilians due to increased security measures, he begins p4 with:

But the truly sobering reflection is that crimes and blunders of this kind are committed, in effect, by popular demand. It is emphasized every day that Americans do not want to read about dead soldiers. So it is arranged that, as far as possible, they will read (or perhaps not bother to read) about dead civilians instead.

Right. It's not the fault of the general's who have designed the policy, it's not the fault of the people who put the soldiers there in the first place, it's not the fault of an incompetent civilian administration that didn't know what the eff they were doing when they went in. No. It's the American people with their weak stomaches and the New York Times that are to blame. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? No, he clearly isn't, especially when he goes on to say (and I promise I won't make the obvious joke that of all people Hitch needs some sobering reflection...oh crap....):

Incidentally, when is the New York Times going to start running a "Names of the Dead" regular feature from Afghanistan?

So wait. In an obvious conspiracy - or to use Hitchen's term, arrangment - to prevent Americans from reading about dead soldiers in Iraq, the New York Times is printing the names of soldiers that died in Iraq. Phew! I'm glad we imported this Brit to smoke out this subtle opinion shaping newspeak. Judith Miller sure wasn't going to do it for us.
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