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November 12, 2005

There's Always Room to Become More Petty

There is nothing nothing nothing more boring and petty than the personal sniping that makes up 98% of writing about politics. Who's more morally beautiful than whom? Who's issued the correct thunderous denunciations of others for having or not having signed the correct meaningless petition at the correct meaningless time? This is particularly prevalent among groups without power, making it so pointless and grimly silly you despair for all humanity.

However, just because it's boring and petty doesn't mean I won't participate in it. So, let's get started!

Back in October, 2002 Christopher Hitchens was given space in the Washington Post to explain that the International Action Center is a "sinister sect" and "quasi-Stalinist." This was deeply significant to Hitchens because the IAC played a role in organizing anti-Iraq war protests.

Now, for all I know the IAC is sinister and quasi-Stalinist. But if it is, I will never find out, because if I'm ever on the verge of learning that much about fringe political groups I will commit suicide.

The reason I bring it up is because I was just watching The Trials of Henry Kissinger—largely based on an excellent book by Hitchens—and was amused to see this sequence:

Here's Hitchens, being interviewed outside of a hotel where Henry Kissinger is making an appearance.

Hitchens is joined on the sidewalk by a group protesting Kissinger. Here we see him enthusiastically taking some of the group's literature. Everyone in the group has the same yellow signs.

I wonder who this group is that cares so much about the things Hitchens cares about? Let's take a closer look at these signs...


So, there you have it: FINAL PROOF that, because the International Action Center criticizes Henry Kissinger, all criticism of Henry Kissinger is illegitimate. Also, Christopher Hitchens luvs the people who luv Saddam which means Christopher Hitchens luvs Saddam!!!!!

I am so smart and my enemies are so so stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...hey, where'd everybody go?

Posted at November 12, 2005 08:28 AM | TrackBack

Personally, I went to find a Spanish judge or two who might issue an international arrest warrant.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at November 12, 2005 08:50 AM

Like Hitchens doesn't deserve it.

You can look at his immediate reaction to 9/11 and see he wasn't just blown into his current bomb heaving form.

He doesn't believe any of his nonsense. I really believe all this stuff came out of the abuse he took all the way across the board from pukey liberals to the Cockburn left over the Lewinsky deal. He was pissed for years and wanted a reason to pull out the poison pen on his former comrades and now he churns out garbage he doesn't even believe as a vehicle to trash talk.

Posted by: Ed Marshall at November 12, 2005 09:19 AM

This made me laugh, much appreciated.

Posted by: Matt Bradley at November 12, 2005 10:23 AM

IAC/ANSWER/WWP are Stalinist sects see,
esp. the pieces by Kevin Coogan

Posted by: Michael Pugliese at November 12, 2005 12:03 PM
Kevin Coogan's Further Documents on the WWP (ANSWER's Stalinist parent group.)

Posted by: Michael Pugliese at November 12, 2005 12:05 PM

Oh, man.

Would somebody give Satire a poke?

...he ain't movin'.

Posted by: Sully at November 12, 2005 12:54 PM

I was thinking of that Tom Lehrer quote: "Satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize."

It's possible I was also thinking of quotes from an obscure political philosopher by the name of Jon Schwarz. You might read up on him here:

But only after you've finished reading about that Stalinist Murder Club we know as the ANSWER Coalition.

And as long as I'm name-dropping, Kurt Vonnegut likes to point out that Stalin and his antecedents were Communists more or less to the degree that Hitler was a Christian. "Stalinist" is just a cheap shot.

Posted by: Sully at November 12, 2005 04:40 PM

Without wishing to defend Answer (there's much to say in favor of our host's principled position of apathy on such matters, if I could work up the energy to care), I wish the term "Stalinist" would be confined to those who, you know, admire and defend Stalin. Seems kind of logical to me. If you start expanding the definition to include anyone who argues politics in a dishonest way and smears opponents, then darn near anyone with any hope of making it to the White House is a Stalinist, yet somehow the term is only applied to fringe lefties, whether they like Stalin or not.
Funny, that.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at November 13, 2005 10:02 PM

I dunno about lunatic fringe groups, but ANSWER is certainly lunatic, and they're probably the #1 anti-war organizing group in the U.S. right now. Pretty sad, that. Then again, Phylis Schlafly also had tons of clout, so I suppose it's only the flip side of the coin.

Posted by: saurabh at November 13, 2005 11:48 PM

Pretty sad, that. Then again, Phylis Schlafly also had tons of clout, so I suppose it's only the flip side of the coin.

They don't have "clout", they know the city machinery and get all the permits first for every available piece of protest real estate.

The sad fact is, it's only them that give a shit enough to do it.

Posted by: Ed Marshall at November 15, 2005 07:00 PM

fucking laugh.

"probably the #1 anti-war organizing group"

So that explains why we're in Iraq. :P

Posted by: buermann at November 15, 2005 10:49 PM

Wow, that's great.

Posted by: Ryan at November 17, 2005 10:27 PM
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