Sunday, September 18, 2005


Bush loses another city?

One of Juan Cole's correspondents tells him: "The situation has deteriorated in Baghdad dramatically today. Five neighborhoods (hay) in Baghdad are controlled by insurgents, and they are Amiraya, Ghazilya, Shurta, Yarmouk and Doura.... More and more of even the most patriotic intelligentsia are departing. The situation is dire, and those with escape valves are using them. Well, at least it's not an American city this time. Don't miss right below there where he shows how completely absurd Hitchens's attack on him was. He also links the following smackdown... (continued in comments)
This is from As'ad AbuKhalid . After smacking Galloway as a bombastic demagogue (I'm not sure that's an insult with a politician and have asked for clarification), AbuKhalid said:

In fact, the best moment of the evening was provided by neither men, but by the moderator, the able Amy Goodman who simply asked Hitchens whether his recent political positions have made the US press "friendlier" to him. He could not speak; a man who never suffers a loss for words, could not utter a word. And when he did, it was not even coherent or decipherable, and did what every person who realizes that he appears clearly embarrassed by the question: he attacked the question.


Hitchens has a trick he uses with great regularity and effect in the US: he always (rightly) assumes that his interlocutor knows less about the Middle East than he does, so he throws specific names of people, places, and political parties. That leaves the other person either unable to reply, or subject to more specific facts that may overwhelm her/him....he did it today with some effect. He would for example on several occasions cite the wisdom and the authority of "the leader of the democracy movement in Egypt", the "Nelson Mandela" of Cairo. Guess who he was talking about? He was talking about Sa`d Id-Din Ibrahim. Now you don't need to travel to Cairo for this, but there is nobody who knows anything about Egypt who would ever refer to Ibrahim as "the leader of the democracy movement" in Egypt. Hell....This honor was bestowed on Ibrahim for propaganda and polemical gain by Hitchens this evening, and I suspect that he knew that he was lying.

On another point, and for extra effect, Hitchens just made up something: just simply lied. He said that the father of the leader of the Lebanese Communist Party was "murdered by Syria."


I was quite displeased when Hitchens insulted Juan Cole and questioned his knowledge of languages when this Hitchens has never even bothered to study any Middle East language although he poses--and there are no limits on his posing--as a Middle East expert.

I always though Hitchens was making it up and am not surprised to see it confirmed.
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