There Can Be Only One…Wanker

by Belle Waring on March 19, 2006

Normally we hoity-toity academic types around here don’t stoop so low as to name a wanker of the day. And this isn’t even from today. Nevertheless, this cries out for wankegnition (that’s when you recongnize someone as a wanker, obvs). Vote for your favorite in comments

Contestant Number One: Christopher Hitchens

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

Yes: I was an advocate before the fact, not a supporter.

2. Have you changed your position?

Not in the least: I wish only that Saddam had not been able to rely upon Russian and French protection and the influence of oil-for-food racketeers and other political scum.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

The United States and its allies should continue to stand for federal democracy, while making Iraq a killing-field for jihadists and fascists and a training ground for an army that will need to intervene again in other failed state/rogue state contexts.

God, what an incredible wanker he is.

Contestant Number Two: Glenn Reynolds

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

Yes.

2. Have you changed your position?

No. Sanctions were failing and Saddam was a threat, making any other action in the region impossible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

Win.

You know what would have made this even better? If he had said “heh.”

Finally, Contestant Number Three: Louis Rossetto

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

Yes, both the one that didn’t happen in 1991 and the one that did in 2003. But Iraq is not the war, it is a battle. The war is The Long War against Islamic fascism.

2. Have you changed your position?

If anything, I believe even more strongly in actively combating Islamic fascism throughout the Global Village. Everyday is Groundhog Day for the anti-war movement, which is stuck re-protesting Vietnam — while we are confronted by a uniquely 21st century challenge: a networked fascist movement of super-empowered individuals trying to undo 50K years of social evolution. Waiting to get hit by an NBC weapon is not an option. Dhimmitude for me or my children is not peace. Righteous forward defense is a necessity.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

The US should persevere militarily until we defeat the fascists in Iraq, as we did in Afghanistan, as we must everywhere. The US’s biggest failure has not been on the battlefield — where we are relentlessly reducing our enemies — but in waging media war against the Islamists and their fellow travelers on the Left, and in rallying the American people, who are confused, and perhaps angered, that once again we are being called upon to save the world.

Wow. That’s just—wow. Total hero stuff.

So, go and vote! Show your work. I think I’ll have to go with Rossetto, because the networked fascist movement of super-empowered individuals put him over the top. It’s a tough decision, though.

{ 182 comments }

1

Ted Friedman 03.19.06 at 6:22 pm

Wow. So that’s what happened to the guy who gave us Wired. He was always a fluffer for capitalism, but I hadn’t realized that after selling out to Conde Nast, he’d slid from his roots in the Whole Earth Review all the way into Hitchens territory.

2

PersonFromPorlock 03.19.06 at 6:22 pm

Er… all three are saying the same thing, “press on.” Apparently you feel there’s something risible about this, so could you share the joke with us humble nonacademics? What’s your suggestion?

3

Walt 03.19.06 at 6:25 pm

I nominate “personfromporlock” as a write-in vote.

4

joel turnipseed 03.19.06 at 6:30 pm

Rossetto, by a mile. Honestly, I really don’t understand how people can be so ignorant–of what this war really means. There are the big points, sure, about showing the rest of the world the limits of U.S. power, of the horror of war (combine this week’s Time report on Haditha and today’s NYT report on Task Force 6-26 and you’ve got a pretty damning portrait)…and there’s a long trailing list of disasters.

But I was reminded last week of more insidious aspect of this war: namely, the damage it’s doing to the social fabric of the U.S. and the military. I was sitting at a bar in National Airport last week and a young Marine was getting tended beers by several business men as he spun his tales of war. If I had still been in uniform, I’d have grabbed this kid by his collars and yanked him pretty good. As it was, I just sat and listened as he spewed the ugliest racist comments I’d heard in a long time. And the businessmen just ate it up.

Now, having spent several weeks at Quantico (USMC headquarters) this spring, I know this kid is hardly typical (though more typical than even I would like to admit), but also that a lot of commanders are worried about what continued war is going to do to the Marine Corps. I joined up in ’86, which was just past the “Stripes” era of post-Vietnam wreckage, and a Lieutenant Colonel and I had a long cup of coffee wondering whether we weren’t headed back for just such a disaster.

5

dsquared 03.19.06 at 6:31 pm

I have been waiting for a while for an opportunity to write about Pajamas Media and use the joke “never had the Internet seen such a collection of bores, halfwits and second raters, or at least not since Glenn Reynolds blogged alone” and I suspect this is as near as I’m going to get, so I vote Instapundit.

6

Belle Waring 03.19.06 at 6:34 pm

re 3, walt, seconded. personfromporlock: I can’t help but think this is a pointless discussion, but here’s the thing: someone who doesn’t have any doubts whatsoever about whether it might have been a good idea to invade Iraq is a fundamentally unserious person who is also, in this case, bloviating in a tedious, sub-sub-sub-Orwell manqué way. likewise, offering as a solution to our current problems in Iraq, that we should “win”, full stop is excruiciatingly unhelpful. staggeringly, stupendously unhelpful. and Rossetto is just nuts. for the record, I think we should stage a withdrawal in as orderly a fashion as we can, insisting all the while that we won and we totally meant for all this to happen. I realize this is a bad idea, but all the competing alternatives are worse. you can only polish a turd so much. and this is coming from someone who actualyl supported the invasion! which I was wrong to do, because it was just a really bad idea. boy, was I ever wrong. with wrongness and mistaken sprinkles on top, and a cherry of total idiocy.

7

Jim Henley 03.19.06 at 6:54 pm

Some inside information that might sway the voting: respondents were requested to keep each answer “brief, a line or two.”

That plus the way his answer skitters from Iraq to his *real* enemies in “the antiwar movement” like a lazy eye convinces me to cast my own vote for Louis Rossetto.

8

Nagual Haven 03.19.06 at 6:58 pm

I have to write-in Charles Murray’s name. He supported the war, hasn’t changed his position, and his response to what the US should do now was “Damned if I know.”

9

Brendan 03.19.06 at 6:59 pm

I vote for Oliver Kamm. No I know he’s not on the list. But he is, unquestionably, a wanker.

Incidentally, has Christopher Hitchens actually ever killed anyone? I mean, honestly? If you didn’t know who he was, and were told that some of his more bloodthirsty rhetoric was written by Charles Manson or Pol Pot or someone similar I think you would believe it. The entire political class of Russia and France are ‘scum’. He boasts that we have turned Iraq into a ‘killing field’ (and promises that other countries will be so transformed). Then there was that other interview in which he explained that he loved to inflict pain and suffering (or whatever it was) on his political opponents. Then there was his praise of cluster bombs (i.e. mines), his complaint that ‘the death toll is not high enough’, and his statement that it is a ‘pleasure’ to fight (and, presumably, kill) ‘jihadists’. The man appears to be some kind of unhinged psychopath.

Finally: ‘Yes: I was an advocate (of the war) before the fact, not a supporter.’.

Has anyone ever called him on this (very easy to disprove) lie?

10

P O'Neill 03.19.06 at 7:03 pm

or at least not since Glenn Reynolds blogged alone”

While that’s a good joke, it could be modified to include Mrs Perfesser and her War on Gay as well. But anyway, as to the matter at hand, it has to be Hitch. His apparently unironic use of “killing field” puts him over the edge.

11

Bruce Baugh 03.19.06 at 7:08 pm

I’ve got to give it to Rossetto for sounding like something that Jack Kirby ought to be illustrating.

12

Belle Waring 03.19.06 at 7:10 pm

you should all click on the link to read Jim Henley saying actual, smart things, btw. he’s the thinking woman’s libertarian!

13

eugene koontz 03.19.06 at 7:11 pm

I found Hitchens’ call for a “killing field” rather chilling. In my mind the phrase “killing field” is associated with mass slaughter. It’s especially disturbing that it comes from someone who predicted on January 28, 2003 that the Iraq invasion “will be no war — there will be a fairly brief and ruthless military intervention”. Will he at least admit that he was wrong that the war would be brief, and that it now apparently requires mass slaughter to achieve success?

14

Ginger Yellow 03.19.06 at 7:22 pm

Shouldn’t a law professor be able to articulate arguments consisting of more than one word, or at best a sentence? Reynold’s internet oeuvre, or for that matter his contribution to the Washington Post Deborah Howell online debate, is hardly a good advert for his course.

15

Uncle Kvetch 03.19.06 at 7:28 pm

As highly qualified as each of the official candidates may be, I feel compelled to submit a write-in: Ronald Bailey, Reason’s science correspondent.

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?
Yes.

2. Have you changed your position?
Not yet—but the history of the last three years in Iraq has greatly deepened my appreciation of the Federal government’s abilty to screw up anything.

What a breathtaking example of schmibertarianism at its finest: It wasn’t Bush who lost Iraq, or Rumsfeld or Rice or Bremer or Powell or any of the others. No, it was “the Federal Government.”
Delicious.

16

dca 03.19.06 at 7:33 pm

Not fair to not give a link, since with it one can see the occasional intelligent reponse to question 3 (“Don’t know”).
Rossette’s “fellow travelers” puts him close to the top, I think, but I’d go with Reynolds, for a response that is both stupid and wrong (what does “win” mean?). In 4 years of reading blogs, I’ve never looked at his–vindication!

17

josh 03.19.06 at 7:46 pm

I’d have to go with Rosetto, too — at least Hitchens has the honesty to talk about killing people. What is this ‘reducing our enemies’ crap? If you’re going to swagger about like Rambo, you should at least be honest about it (unself-aware, perhaps, but at least let’s call things by their real names — he makes it sound as if he’s proposing to make a sauce or something.) Macho militaristic bluster is generally obnoxious, but macho militaristic bluster trying to hide behind weird technocratic jargon is even more annoying.

18

Rasselas 03.19.06 at 7:58 pm

Who the hell names himself “personfromporlock”?

19

Rasselas 03.19.06 at 8:04 pm

Macho militaristic bluster is not any more acceptable if couched in bluntly, militaristically macho language like “Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!” than if rendered as “inflict damage upon our adversaries’ human resources.”

20

roger 03.19.06 at 8:38 pm

Hitchens is not a wanker — he’s a Clouseau. As he rubs elbows with Rumsfeld and his minions, he is on the case, tracking down who helped Saddam the H.! So far he’s figured out it is the French and the Ruskies. The man’s superhot detection powers are pretty much made of steel. Wow, I wonder if many a D.C. head lies awake, just wondering when the dreaded Hitchens will put two and two together. He really needs a trusty sidekick.

I do wonder if he gives his Pentagon talks with a fake Belgian accent.

21

Kieran Healy 03.19.06 at 8:48 pm

I’ve got another “write-in vote”:http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/winatrip/ for a dark-horse candidate.

22

Seth Edenbaum 03.19.06 at 9:44 pm

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

Yes.

2. Have you changed your position?

No. I’m as critical a Monday-morning quarterback as anyone else, but I think the administration’s rationale for invading Iraq was correct, and an American president who had not invaded, given the information he had for making the decision, would have been irresponsible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

Damned if I know.

Charles Murray

23

Adam Kotsko 03.19.06 at 9:51 pm

Rosetto wins by a mile.

He reminds me of this guy I went to college with.

24

Sean Carroll 03.19.06 at 10:35 pm

Interesting that only one of the respondents (W. James Antle III) would simply admit to having been wrong.

25

kc 03.19.06 at 10:37 pm

and this is coming from someone who actualyl supported the invasion! which I was wrong to do, because it was just a really bad idea. boy, was I ever wrong. with wrongness and mistaken sprinkles on top, and a cherry of total idiocy.
Posted by Belle Waring

I applaud your honesty and nominate you for un-wanker of the day.

Hitchens for wanker.

26

jake 03.19.06 at 10:50 pm

Hitchens rules, if occasionally a bit infelicitous with his phrasing. and his Slate stuff attacking fundies of all types is as close the US and Europe have to a Bertrand Russell sort of intelligent secular skepticism. Holbo and his Belle are the wankers.

27

Boronx 03.19.06 at 10:56 pm

Charles Murray’s response is not wanking at all, just ignorant, and honestly so.

Hitchens is a little bit wankish, but it’s really just arrogance. He’s made a very flawed analysis of the situation, and has not an inkling that’s so.

Glenn is being dishonest and condescending.

For pure wankery, it’s the Wired guy by a mile.

28

EWI 03.19.06 at 10:57 pm

P. O’Neill, I’m surprised at you not mentioning a “write-in candidate” from these shores in the form of Bill Sjostrom.

Now, purists may quibble, but we *did* indeed later downgrade him to wanker in a show of our occasional humility.

29

anon 03.19.06 at 10:57 pm

Louis Rosetto. Not least because this a networked fascist movement of super-empowered individuals trying to undo 50K years of social evolution made me think that he thinks we invaded Pandagon and Feministe and not Iraq.

30

Doctor Slack 03.19.06 at 11:01 pm

Rossetto has some great Team America-esque purple prose going on — and the sheer stupidity of his bringing up the battle against “Islamic fascism” in talking about Iraq is pretty breathtaking — but Hitchens takes it for sheer odiousness. At first I thought Belle was mounting a parody with the “killing fields” quote, but no, he actually said that. Amazing.

31

Simstim 03.19.06 at 11:03 pm

Hitchens as Russell?!? Well, I suppose Russell did have his stuff on logic to fall back on, but his stuff on politics seemed more the sort of thing that a reasonably clever A-Level student could come up with.

32

jake 03.19.06 at 11:05 pm

Master Hitchens understands the “ontology,” if you will, of muslim zealots. He makes mistakes–perhaps not giving sufficient attention to the loss of Iraqi civilians–yet his analysis is far from flawed; it’s realpolitik: you don’t bargain with people who fly planes into buildings or who behead men and women on videotape. Capiche?

33

Tad Brennan 03.19.06 at 11:06 pm

Why are we offering our ill-informed, fallible opinions? Why don’t we just ask The Editors at the Poor Man Institute? Surely he is the gold-standard now in all areas of wankegnition, wanquantification, and multi-variate wankregression.

So the reading world wants to know: What do the Editors say?

34

Kip Manley 03.19.06 at 11:09 pm

“[A] networked fascist movement of super-empowered individuals trying to undo 50K years of social evolution.”

Christ on a crutch, Rossetto isn’t just a wanker. He’s angling for membership in F.O.I.L.

(Fifty thousand years? Am I missing something?)

35

jurassicpork 03.19.06 at 11:09 pm

I would’ve put in David Brooks, who has since seen the error of his ways, O Lawdy, and has seen the Light and is admitting that Iraq was a big mistake (without, of course, naming any big names).

Hallelujah!

Btw,for those of you just tuning in: Happy Third Anniversary, courtesy of Assclowns of the Week #31.

36

Doctor Slack 03.19.06 at 11:10 pm

Jake: After comparing Hitch to Bertrand fricking Russell, you’re calling Holbo and Waring wankers? Kind of hard to take that seriously.

37

Doctor Slack 03.19.06 at 11:15 pm

30: He makes mistakes—perhaps not giving sufficient attention to the loss of Iraqi civilians—yet his analysis is far from flawed

“Perhaps not giving sufficient attention.” Nice.

Yeah, he’s “far from flawed” except for being almost completely wrong most of the time, refusing to admit error and piling outright dishonesty on his mistakes. Which is why he’s obviously still a hit with the sort who think soundbites like “you don’t bargain with people who fly planes into buildings” are “realpolitik” showstoppers.

38

dave 03.19.06 at 11:15 pm

Someone forget to ask Question 4: Given your continued support for the Iraqi war, have you made an attempt to enlist in the Armed Forces, or encouraged your children to do so?

39

jake 03.19.06 at 11:16 pm

A Bertrand Russell Hitchens is not; he’s a journalist, not a philosopher or professor. But both were concerned with the dangers of theocracy and organized religion, and had issues with communists as well as with the right. Hitchens is probably a more polished literary stylist (not a wanker in the English loser sense) but that is not always an advantage; tho’ Russell himself flashes a rather Voltairean wit here and there. Not to do some “whatiffery” but I doubt Russell would have, apres-9-11, remained alongside the PC multiculturalists and leftists.

40

jake 03.19.06 at 11:19 pm

he’s obviously still a hit with the sort who think soundbites like “you don’t bargain with people who fly planes into buildings” are “realpolitik” showstoppers.

Yeah that’s right, college boy, I support Hitchens as well as the US Military, and what’s more I am not republican, nor a Xtian: and if it takes war to take the jihadists down, so be it. Multiple meanings, right dewd, and like everything’s relative, as they teach in your Maoism for Lesbians 101 course.

41

David Yaseen 03.19.06 at 11:20 pm

Rossetto is, qua wanker, the biggest, but…

When referring to wanking in public discourse, it is necessary to evaluate factors other than the bug-eyed furiousness of the activity. One must also take into account the number of people watching, and how seriously they take the proceedings to be something other than wanking. Although Reynolds commands a large, er, readership, even the most dedicated are aware he’s pretty much a dilettante.

A large number of influential people actually take Hitch seriously. Historians will actually bother sniffing through his intellectual ‘output’. So I must vote for him, with bonus points for baroque patterns of rhythm and inflection.

42

Doctor Slack 03.19.06 at 11:21 pm

36: Not to do some “whatiffery” but I doubt Russell would have, apres-9-11, remained alongside the PC multiculturalists and leftists.

I’ll do some “whatiffery;” I doubt Russell would have, apres 9-11, been obsessed with flailing away at a mirage labelled “PC multiculturalists and leftists” and gulled into supporting any old policy simply to spite that imaginary enemy. I also doubt he would have become an intellectual stepinfetchit for such a crowd.

43

Dr. Uncle Cap'n Mr. Goto-san 03.19.06 at 11:24 pm

and if it takes war to take the jihadists down, so be it.

DING DING DING!!!!

With every credible piece of evidence pointing in the opposite direction of this particular “if”, “jake” pretty much says, “I got nuthin’. I just like to disagree with liberals, because they make me feel stupid.”

44

Interrobang 03.19.06 at 11:28 pm

All right, smart guy. If you really think war is the answer, enlist. Members of the 101st Fighting Keyboards and people who throw around terms like “Islamic fascists” are a waste of oxygen.

Rossetto by a mile, incidentally, strictly on rhetorical grounds. I’m a rhetorician, and he makes me embarrassed to share a language with him.

45

ortsed 03.19.06 at 11:29 pm

Reynolds is a least smart enough not to actually describe his retarded logic.

Rossetto is swimming in incoherent bullshit and “Global Village” catchphrases. Isn’t the pro-war movement stuck in a Groundhog day Vietnam flashback too?

but it’s Hitchens’ Killing Fields actually takes it for out and out heartless, cold-blooded disrespect for human life.

46

jake 03.19.06 at 11:32 pm

Spare me the etiquette tips, Doc. Russell was aware of the brutalities of Islam, and he was not fond of the marxists either. Perhaps he would have been in Chomsky’s camp, but I doubt it.

47

Simstim 03.19.06 at 11:33 pm

Yeah of course Russell, who during WWI went to prison for six months for his pacifism, would no doubt have swung entirely behind the pro-war faction post-Sept 11th.

48

Doctor Slack 03.19.06 at 11:35 pm

37: Yeah that’s right, college boy, I support Hitchens as well as the US Military

Yeah? That include the 72% of the soldiers who disagree with Hitchens and want out of Iraq*?

…and like everything’s relative, as they teach in your Maoism for Lesbians 101 course.

Zinger, dude! You hear that one on Hannity, or Limbaugh?

(* Yes, yes, it’s all just normal military griping and the poll was made up by an evil Transnational Progressivist Islamofascist conspiracy and is totally bogus anyway. We know.)

49

grh 03.19.06 at 11:38 pm

jake: if it takes war to take the jihadists down, so be it.

I vote that this be named the “Hammer of Idiocy” strategy.

Usage: “If Bertrand Russell were alive today, he would be writing for Frontpage Magazine! Also, we must hit our enemies again with our Hammer of Idiocy!”

50

Kelly 03.19.06 at 11:39 pm

Rossetto, definitely; the over-the-top pompous rhetoric would be perfect in a Bond movie.

51

jake 03.19.06 at 11:43 pm

more of the typical college-squid guilt by association: one shows some support for the war, thus one supports Limbaugh and is another cad. Bogus. Russell was not a pacifist during WWII, btw. But that’s beside the point.

Like most of the cafe-liberal sentimentalists, you are assuming (or have been indocrinated by some pathetic marxist professors) that war at any cost is wrong (unless perhaps waged by marxists, right). That’s not always justifiable. There were grounds for going into Afghan. and Iraq. BushCo might have botched Iraq to some extent. But you’re not there; you don’t know what the intelligence people know; and you have no sense of respect or indeed honor or valor–even Ezra Pound would have called you a bitch.

Give War a chance.

And the real “mirage” is that anyone opposed to the muslim barbarians is like taking side with Hermann Goering. Hitchens however arrogant is not a fascist: the fascists are in Iran calling for an end to Israel and all sorts of other things

52

Steve J. 03.19.06 at 11:44 pm

Tough call but I have to go with Rosetto,just for using the word “Dhimmitude.” For just a second, that made me think I was reading a post on Little Green Footballs.

53

howard 03.19.06 at 11:46 pm

well, i had it for rosetto, with prof instanitwit a close second, but commenter jake certainly has come on strong. still, he doesn’t quite surpass rosetto, but he beats out reynolds (whom he may actually be – that’s a joke, son).

54

George Johnston 03.19.06 at 11:46 pm

Wankers all because they got their wargasm but I vote for Dork #2 – Glenn Reynolds.

55

howard 03.19.06 at 11:47 pm

ok, i take it back: now that i’ve read jake’s 11:43, he wins! good work, jake!

56

jake 03.19.06 at 11:48 pm

And I’d lay money that all the little soi-disant belle-lettrists up in arms about someone siding with that Evil Warlord Hitchens have their Zizek or perhaps some pathetic garbage such as Foucault tucked under their NAMBLA today. Goes with the territory. Call me a jackbooted bourgeois, man! I dig that, puta, Hate to break the news to ya: Marx is 90% fraud.

57

Scott Lemieux 03.19.06 at 11:50 pm

it’s realpolitik: you don’t bargain with people who fly planes into buildings or who behead men and women on videotape. Capiche?

And to the extent that it’s relevant to terrorism, installing an Islamic theocracy with limited coercive capicty in Iraq is clearly counterproductive, so your “realpolitik” is a risible non-sequitur. Capiche?

58

Simstim 03.19.06 at 11:53 pm

Despite my disparaging of Russell for the quality of his political writing earlier, I’d follow him in his level of pacifism: WWII: yes, war was justified; WWI: no. I presume that you think Iraq is closer to WWII than it is to WWI, I don’t. Trying to co-opt Russell for Bush’s (and Blair’s) folly strikes me a as a folly in its own right.

59

Simstim 03.19.06 at 11:55 pm

Note to future self: do not feed the troll.

60

Walt 03.19.06 at 11:56 pm

The problem with awarding it to jake is that he is clearly a collective hallucination that we have created because we are dismayed by the excessive comity of this thread. I mean, no one had posted anything to CT that had made me feel superior for literally hours.

61

Maurice Meilleur 03.19.06 at 11:58 pm

Jake for wanker. Oh, and troll of the day. Quit feeding him.

62

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 12:00 am

43: Yeah, that sounds about right.

44: more of the typical college-squid guilt by association

It’s truly classic that you follow this little Moment of Self-Pity up with a long string of unfounded assumptions and games of guilt by association. Not to mention some more of those handy labels the GOP love to use in scaring up those votes (and dollars) from The Base; “cafe-liberal sentimentalist” is particularly fetching. If you want to give people reasons to think you’re a dittohead, Jake, just keep tilting against imaginary strawman “liberals” and whatever it is you think you know about their educations and inclinations. You’re textbook.

(The “Ezra Pound would have called you a bitch” is pretty funny, but I admit a little puzzling. Pound was a fascist; why would I have cared what a fascist called me?)

But you’re not there; you don’t know what the intelligence people know;

Funny. Three years ago I was hearing a lot of this and similar phrases from people who nevertheless assured me that they knew Saddam practically had nukes, because the government said so. How’d that work out, Jake? Learned anything from that experience?

Hitchens however arrogant is not a fascist

Funny how you feel the need to defend him from a charge I didn’t make. Why is that?

63

Barry Freed 03.20.06 at 12:01 am

jake, who are you really? Is that you dsquared? Good one.

64

Dr. Uncle Cap'n Mr. Goto-san 03.20.06 at 12:01 am

you are assuming (or have been indocrinated by some pathetic marxist professors)

Oh, blow it out your sorry, intelligence insulting, stupid moronic ass. (Have I lowered the level of discourse enough for one night?). For one thing, your passive-agressive assertion about “if it takes war” still hasn’t got shit to back it up, and a lot to blow it out of the water, so this has nothing to do with being “pro-” or “anti-” war in general.

For another, the next “marxist” professor I get will be the first one, and I’ve let higher education get three cracks at me. (An engineering education is like that.)

Try learning some actual facts before you have the unmitigated gall to pretend to know anything, m’kay??

OK…I promise. No more feeding the troll.

65

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 12:01 am

53: You’re quite right.

66

avocadia 03.20.06 at 12:02 am

44. He was a pacifist during World War Two. However, he was also able to hold two conflicting ideas at once and not explode. One can reluctantly conclude that war is the lesser of two evils and still be a pacifist.

67

lemuel pitkin 03.20.06 at 12:08 am

more of the typical college-squid guilt by association

“college-squid”: how dare you! you, you, you chambered nautilus,, you.

I know they say don’t feed the troll, but I think in this case we need to make an exception, to keep the dada insults flowing.

68

Dan Lewis 03.20.06 at 12:08 am

Rosetto for “waging media war”. I haven’t gotten the latest casualties from the media war, but I hear there is a lot of genital bruising all around.

69

jake 03.20.06 at 12:09 am

OOoooooo–time for some deep philosophical semantics: “troll” accusations.

It’s amazing how hepcat leftists turn into sunday school moralists and J-Edgar-like censors as soon as someone challenges one of their sockhopper assumptions about violence and warfare

70

Sean 03.20.06 at 12:11 am

David Yaseen is absolutely correct — Rosetto is far and away the biggest wanker, but Rosetto is wanking discreetly. Hitchens, on the other hand, is wanking for posterity, and thus Hitch’s self-indulgence has to be given disproportionate weight.

No will care what Rosetto says (thank God), but some stupid son-of-a-bitch may actually pay attention to what Hitchens spews out on the page. Wankers all.

71

jake 03.20.06 at 12:14 am

Besides, let’s say Hitchens’ views are not completely accurate in regards to the justification of the war. And people still support him, knowing this. So? It’s not like someone say supporting the vichy (ie. Derrida, by proxy at least). Tant Pis.

72

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 12:16 am

On the other hand, lemuel pitkin might be right. “Hepcat leftists” with “sockhopper assumptions” — that round’s not quite Dada, but you have to admit there’s a kind of Mamet-esque poetry to it. I’m a little curious to see what else he’ll come up with.

I’m keeping my vote with Hitchens, though.

73

roger 03.20.06 at 12:18 am

Actually, Russell was a logician, not a bungalow sahib like Hitchens. This is why he knew all about outcomes. If you are fighting Islamicists by increasing Islamicist power, you are transgressing against the law and the prophets, also known as the truth tables. As for Russell and communism, his well known opposition to the war in Vietnam, which resulted in him creating a tribunal in Sweden to stage mock trials of U.S. war crimes, tells us, I think, how to project his opinion of the fool’s war in Iraq. I would love to read Russell’s opinion of Abu Ghraib and the torture camps dotted, now, through Iraq and elsewhere.

His heirs, by the way — literally, the foundation he set up — publishes a very nice lefty magazine: the spokesman. And those nice people seem to find the war a hoax and a horror, and publish quite a lot of anti-war stuff.

http://www.spokesmanbooks.com/Spokesman/The_Spokesman.htm

74

JR 03.20.06 at 12:20 am

Jakey Jakey Jo-Jakey Banana-bana bo-bakey, fee fi fo fakey, Jakey!!!

75

jake 03.20.06 at 12:23 am

Yea, poet I am not, donkeyshane. But sockhop–that describes the shall we say superficial territoriality of the anti-war at any cost crowd. The recent psychotic reaction to the Danish cartoons is further evidence of the sort of homicidal enthusiasm of Islamicists, yet the typical mall liberal overlooks the riots of iconoclasts: he wants to make sure that no one supports blasphemy or egads negative portrayals of the Prophet: 20 years ago, leftists argued the complete opposite. Their pimps (ie. union bossses, herr doktor professors, etc.) gave them different orders

76

Belle Waring 03.20.06 at 12:23 am

seriously, dsquared, we’re onto you now.

77

fourmorewars 03.20.06 at 12:24 am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but, since all the prospective killing Hitchens is hoping for will take place in urban settings among the Iraqi citizenry, is he not openly wishing that these people, whose ‘liberation’ he fervently called for, will be subjected to a living hell for years to come?

78

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 12:30 am

63: But sockhop—that describes…

… the superficial freepery of those who tag imaginary composite marxist-Nazi-liberals with largely fictional “anti-war at any cost” sentiments.

Understand I’m not really expecting any sense out of you, Jake. I’m just hoping you’ll keep wildly careening from topic to topic while you raid your thesaurus for more florid insults to throw at “the Left.” It’s genuinely entertaining.

79

Davis X. Machina 03.20.06 at 12:35 am

I reached my abiding opposition to the war using nothing more recent that St. Thomas Aquinas.

How does jake’s line of analysis explain me?

Do I have a copy of the Summa tucked in amongst all my NAMBLA?

80

jake 03.20.06 at 12:35 am

what’s more entertaining are your predictable Rex Reed like attempts at wit. Hussein and the baathists killed 100s of thousands, maybe more if the Iran-Iraq war is counted. THe USA may have made mistakes or supported them at some point, but there’ no soubt it was a tyrannical regime and that they provided shelter to members of Al Qaida . Fallujah was covered with munitions factories, chemical weapon manufacturing plants. Mass graves are scattered over the country.

Take yr bitch-ass talent nite compassion somewheres else

81

Down and Out in Saigon 03.20.06 at 12:36 am

Yeah that’s right, college boy, I support Hitchens as well as the US Military, and what’s more I am not republican, nor a Xtian: and if it takes war to take the jihadists down, so be it.

Well, Jake: barring the possibility that you are actually serving in the armed forces (or have some disability preventing you), I’m nominating you for ur-wanker of this thread. Why? Because I think all of your talk about “supporting the troops” is just one wank from start to finish.

If it takes war to to take the jihadists down, as you say, do something real about it… like enlist. Or donate cash for body armor and toothbrushes for troops. Or help out at a VA hospital. Not bloody bumper stickers nor harrassing comment threads.

Of course, if you have done any of those things, then I will withdraw my nomination. I’m waiting.

82

busdrivermike 03.20.06 at 12:39 am

If these guys are so committed to the cause they propose…all out war against Islamic Fascism, why are they not screaming for the troops(draft) and weapons(budget) necessary?

The reason: because they need compliant supporters who do not want to pay that particular butchers bill(their own sons through conscription).

Therefore, their whole thesis is tawdry and dishonest, for they know it cannot be implemented to the level necessary.

83

keef 03.20.06 at 12:39 am

I vote Instapundit.

Prescribing victory as the next step in the war is a deliciously insta-hackish.

And the next step in oncology research is: eliminate cancer!

Of course, leftists aren’t really anti-cancer. They’re on the other side.

keef

84

Shingles 03.20.06 at 12:44 am

Maybe Rossetto was just being funny.
No one can be that much of a dipshit and really mean it.

Can they?

85

joel turnipseed 03.20.06 at 12:44 am

Jake–

Have you ever served in the military? Fought in a war? Read, say, the Marine Corps’ Small Wars Manual? There’s a reason cigar-chomping, poker-playing hard-asses like Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni were against the war in Iraq–and they have nothing to do with sockhopping commie leftists. It mostly had to do with a sense of history and a dash of common sense–two things emminently lacking in the Bush Administration’s doings.

As for Hitchens, I’ll grant him a bit more credit than many here. Yes, he can be slapdash (and less-than-sober)–but I think I can find some coherent sense in his rants, vis. Iraq. He’s wrong about the value of armed force in combatting Islamic terrorism/fundamentalism, but really: we do have something of a problem on our hands here, no?

86

Meddling Kids 03.20.06 at 12:45 am

but there’ no soubt it was a tyrannical regime and that they provided shelter to members of Al Qaida . Fallujah was covered with munitions factories, chemical weapon manufacturing plants.

Jinkies, Jake! Provide a link to your lies.

87

dsquared 03.20.06 at 12:55 am

I can confirm I am not Jake, though I have noted the ploy of occasionally claiming not to be a right-winger for future use; it’s brilliant.

88

Hitchens 03.20.06 at 12:58 am

I wank highly as any in Wome! My Dad was in the Imperial Roman Navy so i know a thing or two about war!

89

Hitchens 03.20.06 at 1:01 am

Almost as Bwilliant as my claim to be a marxist-trotskyite for twenty years. It fooled eveyone at the Nation and Socialist Workers Daily. That along with my per Diem from MI6 bought my pad in washington DC.

90

Yousef al-Baradei 03.20.06 at 1:21 am

There is a strong case to be made that Western ideas of free speech and church/state separation cannot be integrated with a hyperreligious polity that is willing to prosecute changing one’s religion as a capital crime.

Jake is echoing VS Naipaul, who says from experience that when Muslims top 20%, society become civil war. We see it now in Iraq, but it’s not the only one…which is what the Danish cartoon kerfuffle illustrates.

91

Luc 03.20.06 at 1:21 am

I liked the short intro lines.

“Stand, kill, and train” – Christopher Hitchens

Don’t keep score, just exercise your killing skills.

“Win” – Glenn Reynolds

As in the lottery, just keep buying tickets until you get the big prize.

“Fascists and fascism” – Louis Rossetto

Those were the days.

92

Sunday Comedy Relief 03.20.06 at 1:43 am

“the typical mall liberal overlooks the riots of iconoclasts”

They say you just can’t make this stuff up, but jake, my boy, you’re proving them wrong.

93

Dave in NYC 03.20.06 at 1:47 am

Everyone who has talked about Marx on this thread raise your hand. OK, jake, now please explain what he has to do with any of this.

94

Walt 03.20.06 at 2:13 am

I think we have the Troll of Sorrow on our hands.

95

dale 03.20.06 at 2:32 am

Hitchens, obviously. For the sheer drunken viciousness of this: “The United States and its allies should continue to stand for federal democracy, while making Iraq a killing-field for jihadists and fascists and a training ground for an army that will need to intervene again in other failed state/rogue state contexts.”

Fuck what Iraqi’s want – we’ll make their country a killing-field. Useful to know that Hitchens hasn’t moved much on from Pol Pot, despite his veering, lurching stumble rightwards.

And of course, what REAL Iraqis want is for their country to be a training ground for an American army. How can we tell? The ones who don’t are terrorists. Easy.

96

Z 03.20.06 at 2:34 am

Dsquared you are too modest. You know, I am starting to like Americans a lot: I had always thought partisan rant was boring. How wrong I was. It is an art form.

By the way, among the official contestants, Louis Rossetto.
a networked fascist movement of super-empowered individuals trying to undo 50K years of social evolution.

Can’t you just picture an X3 trailer starting just like that? The entire US wept, as they say where I live.

97

dale 03.20.06 at 2:40 am

(ref 18, rasselas) – someone who doesn’t know the story of Coleridge and the person from porlock, obviously. in the standard telling the PFP interrupts genius at work, imposes drivel, and causes greatness to be lost. :)_

98

Charles 03.20.06 at 3:26 am

As long as the competition excludes the Dubyans, it’s hardly fair. One can write off Hitchens’s dementia to alcohol. The Perfesser, so tenuously connected to reality, has always preferred magical thinking. Rossetto was presumably on acid.

I mean, seriously. Does *anyone* understand what it means to say that “every day is Groundhog Day for the anti-war movement”? I think there is an antiwar movement outside of Pennsylvania and that they don’t go into their burrows if it’s sunny.

Just compare that to Cheney’s latest, that the insurgency is panicking–this as most Iraqis are reaching the conclusion that the US probably blew up Askariyah, meaning that the long-promised “civil war” may be about to turn into a war of national liberation. Hitchens, Chief Justice Glenn, and Rossetto are mere tenants in alternate realities. As we learned from Ron Suskind, the White House is the manufacturer.

99

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 3:51 am

Okay, technical question: it seems like the comments thread has expanded in a very weird way, interpolating a bunch of new comments throughout the thread and messing up most of the numerical post attributions. Is this normal? Am I taking crazy-pills?

100

Comte de Rochambeau 03.20.06 at 3:53 am

Snitchens. Bush for the endless preemptive speech.

101

joel turnipseed 03.20.06 at 3:56 am

dr. slack —

welcome to the world of moderated comments…

102

Dan Simon 03.20.06 at 4:00 am

someone who doesn’t have any doubts whatsoever about whether it might have been a good idea to invade Iraq is a fundamentally unserious person who is also, in this case, bloviating in a tedious, sub-sub-sub-Orwell manqué way.

To be called a “fundamentally unserious person” by someone, the entire extent of whose argument for her position is to label those with whom she disagrees contestants for “wanker of the day”, is, in its own way, a kind of compliment.

103

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 4:01 am

welcome to the world of moderated comments…

*slaps forehead*

104

The Liberal Avenger 03.20.06 at 4:04 am

Big Lou wins big.

105

abb1 03.20.06 at 4:14 am

But Iraq is not the war, it is a battle. The war is The Long War against Islamic fascism.

So, Iraq invasion was, quite counterintuitively, a battle against Islamic fascism? Where’s the next battle against Islamic fascism – Venezuela? Or Canada maybe?

106

dale 03.20.06 at 4:15 am

am i too late for jake? hellooooo jake…jake-jake-jakey-jake… are you coming? being a left-leaning citizen, i must go thank allah for his bounty immediately. five things first though.

jake the first: i must second Joel in asking whether you’ve ever served in an active army. i have and (I think) he has. unless you start to demonstrate some context for your statements, you’re nothing more than a cheerleader for having some people kill other people, for your own benefit. while this is a true description of your stance, you should hide it better, since it’s (a) not flattering, and (b) undermines many of your arguments.

jake the second: “Maoism for Lesbians 101”?. “Mall Liberals”?. “College Boy”? ROFL. this works in the circles you hang out in, doesn’t it? they think you’re heavy, don’t they? aren’t you a little old to be hanging around a high-school, though?

jake the third: ‘Capiche’? ‘CAPICHE’? NO WAY! who are you hoping we’ll think you are? CAPICHE? ROFLMAO. do you snarl a little when you say it? Do you say it partly in to your upturned collar? or do you spit it out, forcefully, like a challenge! It IS a challenge! it’s like a punch really. it is. it’s as good as a punch.

do you poke people with your finger when you say it, jake? a short, stabbing motion, but powerful. stabbing motion. twist. stabbing motion. twist. do you clench your jaw while you’re spitting it out, punctuating it with stabbing (twist) finger prodding?

jake the fourth: this… “yet the typical mall liberal overlooks the riots of iconoclasts: he wants to make sure that no one supports blasphemy or egads negative portrayals of the Prophet:”…is incomprehensible garbage, ended (in the original) by some kind of code-word malignancy. verdict: jake works hard, but needs to pay more attention to detail, fact and comprehension if he wants to see an improvement in standards this year. jake also needs to take greater part in school sports. he spends too much time alone in his room and is getting unhealthy.

jake the fifth and last: Russell wasn’t imprisoned for pacifism, as you point out – he was convicted of libelling the American Army in a newspaper article in exactly the same way that Hitchens … uh … doesn’t.

i still vote hitchens. all the more so now that i know it bothers jake. bonus! off to thank allah.

107

joel turnipseed 03.20.06 at 4:28 am

Dan Simon–

As someone who had no doubt about the war in Iraq being a bad idea, I empathize with Belle’s sentiment (and, for same reasons, am willing to cut Hitchens a certain amount of slack)–fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is a problem. Saddam Hussein is a bad guy.

There have been significant Islamic terrorist attacks on NY, London, Madrid, Saudi Arabia (Khobar), Kenya, Tanzania, Bali… this suggests we have a serious problem on our hands.

Now, the Coulter solution is obviously ridiculous–as was the invasion of Iraq–but it doesn’t take a lot of empathy to see how many proper-thinking folks could have seen Iraq as an opportunity. Mistakenly so–but not entirely wrong-headed w/r/t the end result: namely, the elimination of one bad guy and the possibility of stabilization in an area deeply in need of such.

108

dale 03.20.06 at 4:31 am

back from allah. to those offended, sorry about the profanity and the flood of sheer amazement – just never come across anything like jake here before. do better next time.

109

MSheppard 03.20.06 at 5:01 am

This is so difficult! Kind of like having to choose between three beautiful and smart women, but less satisfying. Rossetto is clearly insane and Reynolds an obvious moron.

However, since there’s no wanker like a drunk wanker, I have to go with Hitchens. Especially since he thinks he’s a “liberal.” Hah.

110

Alex 03.20.06 at 5:43 am

Is anyone else amazed by the use of “egad” as a verb?

111

Down and Out in Saigon 03.20.06 at 6:30 am

Dale,

I wouldn’t worry about “jake” any more. He decided to visit the local recruiter’s office, and is now on the bus to Parris Island as I write. Honest.

112

James Wimberley 03.20.06 at 7:13 am

Jake in 27 names Belle as a wanker. Is this, er, technically possible? I recall a newspaper photo of one of the first gay weddings, with the happy female couple facing placards advertising God’s alleged dislike of sodomy.

113

yabonn 03.20.06 at 7:19 am

Rossetto, for litterary reasons. Could have been Hitchens, but i like my wankers incoherent, and there’s a purpose in that oil-for-food mania.

the influence of oil-for-food racketeers and other political scum.

It sounds like that cute old line, sooo 2003, etc. Hitch’s being a cutie, you may say.

But there’s a method in there : as long as it we’re talking about the oilforfoodscandal, we’re not talking about the embargo.

It is important to them, because the warnuts fallback position is “it was for the iraqi people”. But they don’t give a damn about them, because they didn’t give a damn about the embargo, who martyred the iraqi people.

So the oilforfoodscandal (corruption! in! oil! tradings! with! a! distatorship! under! embargo!!!) is useful, necessary even. Hitch, masquerading as a mere wanker, had a point : unfit for wankery.

114

Seth Finkelstein 03.20.06 at 7:25 am

Charles/#96, to answer “Does anyone understand what it means to say that “every day is Groundhog Day for the anti-war movement”?”, he’s refering to the movie of that name, about a guy stuck in a time loop – meaning stuck in the past repeating old actions.

So Rossetto gets my vote if only for verbal acrobatics which resemble Wired‘s typographic design.

115

dale 03.20.06 at 7:32 am

saigon (106): as eddie izzard is wont to say “in his MIIIIINNNNNNDDDDD”, perhaps.

116

kelley b. 03.20.06 at 8:13 am

I’m for halting fascism!

So where do we start?

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, or the big kahuna known as the Carlyle Group?

117

Edward Deevy 03.20.06 at 8:18 am

Are we talking about Hitchins when he is sober or when he is drunk…or is there a difference?

118

W.B. Reeves 03.20.06 at 8:22 am

Jake is just a Hitchens wannabe. He’s so intoxicated by invective that he sees no need to connect it to tangible reality. Rather like the grade schooler/high schooler who thinks it a triumph to irritate others by insult. If his sophmoric rhetoric makes you lose your cool, he considers it a vindication of his own superiority. A self conception at least as snicker inducing as his childish rhetoric.

119

Demosthenes 03.20.06 at 8:35 am

“Sockhopper”?

No, really: “Sockhopper”? Sure, post 59 contains some truely bizarre punctuation, but that’s the single lamest insult I’ve heard in ages.

120

scarshapedstar 03.20.06 at 8:40 am

What the hell does fascism have to do with any of this? I don’t see any fascists.

121

chris y 03.20.06 at 8:53 am

“What the hell does fascism have to do with any of this? I don’t see any fascists.”

Well it’s not a big stretch to say that Saddam is a Fascist, in the colloquial sense. An Islamist, however, he is not – as many of his Islamist victims (or at least their surviving friends) would attest.

Can I register a late vote for Reynolds as Wanker-in-Chief on the basis of this:

“Saddam was a threat (no he wasn’t), making any other action in the region impossible (not that anybody in the US or British governments tried to find out).”

122

dusty59 03.20.06 at 9:20 am

*Hic*tchins and InstaPuke already have their very own Permanent Splatters on Wanker Blvd. It hardly seems far to have them in the running for a Wanker O’ the Day!

123

eRobin 03.20.06 at 9:35 am

I’m going with Hitchens, who seems happy to throw around the term “killing field” without acknowledging where that term came from. He may as well have suggested that winning in Iraq will be our Final Solution.

He also wins for so openly disregarding what will happen to the millions of people who live in his brand new Killing Field.

124

Stuart Thiel 03.20.06 at 9:36 am

Sticking to your guns, however foolish, is not wankery. It’s Hitchens, by default.

125

Hitchens 03.20.06 at 10:09 am

yes it’s me. Instead of mentioning the sanctions I mentioned the inevitable oil smuggling that resulted from a policy of starvation. Very clever observation. I’m inhuman.

126

Doctor Slack 03.20.06 at 10:12 am

yousef: Jake is echoing VS Naipaul, who says from experience that when Muslims top 20%, society become civil war.

Leaving Jake aside, I’ll just note that Naipaul’s fame was won as a novelist, not an historian or cultural analyst, and his proudly anti-scholarly approach to writing nonfiction makes this unsurprising. Michael Gilsanen’s review of Beyond Belief btings out much of what I’d be tempted to say about Naipaul rather well.

127

R.Porrofatto 03.20.06 at 10:12 am

The other two have more wanker bona fides and a bigger podium, but Rosetto displays echt wankitude with not-so-subtle accents from LGF land here. A couple of questions:

super-empowered individuals

He’s worried about terrorists who’ve read all of Dr. Phil?

Waiting to get hit by an NBC weapon is not an option.

What’s an NBC weapon? The wrath of Matt Lauer upon discovering his “Q” rating has tanked?

128

Seaknight 03.20.06 at 10:15 am

Rossetto in a landslide. “Fascists” and “their fellow travelers on the left”. Amazing.

129

W.B. Reeves 03.20.06 at 10:36 am

yes it’s me. Instead of mentioning the sanctions I mentioned the inevitable oil smuggling that resulted from a policy of starvation. Very clever observation. I’m inhuman.

Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. However, I think the “could’ve been Hitchens” was a reference to the honor of being wanker for the day rather than your advent on this thread. Put aside the bottle of Boodles, it’s easier to read with unblurred vision.

130

Ed Drone 03.20.06 at 10:37 am

Vote: Rossetto, since Jake is not officially on the ballot. But I wouldn’t vote for Jake anyway — If he can call folks “sockhoppers,” then all I can say in response is:

JAKE HAS COOTIES!

There, I’ve said it! The ultimate in insults, when “stupid,” “poopiehead,” or “your mother wears combat boots” just isn’t enough.

Ed

131

Drindl 03.20.06 at 10:59 am

Oooh… it’s so hard to choose between the wankers in the original post and the wankers on the thread. Damn! I’d have to go with Rosetto tho for the ‘fellow travelers on the left’ altho Hitchen’s ‘what the US should do now … win’ comment is sidesplitting. But it’s kind of academic really since even though the fellow travelers on the right have different names they’re all connected to the same Borg brain.

132

RT 03.20.06 at 11:24 am

Gotta go with Rossetto. Anyone who talks about “the Islamists and their fellow travelers on the Left” is so pathetically delusional that it’s amazing they can find their way to the bathroom.

After all, not only does the Left have a strong aversion to theocrats (Christian, Islamic, or whatever), but the Left was also keeping track of what thugs Saddam and other Middle Eastern strongmen were, back in the day when the realpolitik Republicans loved them because they were anti-Communist.

We don’t do Kissingerian realpolitik, of course, but we had enough of a clue to figure out that Saddam wasn’t a threat to the U.S., and invading Iraq might well make things even worse for the Iraqis.

If the Cold War was still in progress, Rossetti would presumably take the position that anyone opposed to invading and militarily liberating Russia was a Stalinist fellow-traveler.

What a maroon.

133

"Q" the Enchanter 03.20.06 at 11:26 am

Who the hell names himself “personfromporlock”?

I agree, that is a ridiculous name–so self-consciously clever and très unusual.

Anyway, Hitchens wins, but only because he is a wanton wanker; whereas for the other two being a wanker is in their nature.

134

Another Damned Medievalist 03.20.06 at 11:30 am

Rosetto — Because Godwin’s Law can only be invoked so many times.

But Jake is a close second.

135

djw 03.20.06 at 11:42 am

No offense to the many smart and clever commenters here, but I can’t be the only one who just started skimming for Jake comments around 75 or so.

136

Jello 03.20.06 at 11:57 am

Makes me wonder if the ‘islamofacist’ spouting crowd have ever actually bothered to learn what facism is, and how close Bush is to running exactly that sort of regime.

137

Jaybird 03.20.06 at 12:09 pm

I’m sorry that I didn’t see “Bitchens” in the thread yet. “Instapuke” was a good one, though.

I’d like to submit “Instafurher” and “Hit(ler)chins” for use in the future.

I think if we use these, people won’t be able to disagree with any point we make about them. Who wants to take the side of a Nazi?

We’ll have them right where we want them.

138

Uncle Kvetch 03.20.06 at 12:26 pm

It looks like “Jake” may have been effectively cowed into silence by accusations of chickenhawkishness. This further bolsters my hunch that he is, in fact, a parody troll (and a damn entertaining one at that).

True chickenhawks don’t back down in the face of being called chickenhawks; they just dig in deeper. You know, “I don’t need to enlist to fight IslamoFrancoCommunoFascism–I’m doing important work right here at home, by taking the fight to you stupid libruls” and so on and so forth.

I hope Jake’s creator steps forward to receive her or his due at some point. Really fine work.

139

Avedon 03.20.06 at 12:40 pm

Louis Rosetto is tempting, but it has to be Hitchens. Everything else he’s ever done condemning Kissenger and even Mother Teresa for their callousness toward human life and suffering should have led him elsewhere, and that “killing field” thing is what we get instead.

The wankiest part is how he got there. This all started with his personal resentment of some guy he went to Oxford with who got to become President of the United States. That kind of pettiness would be tragic if we could only bring ourselves to care about Hitchens in the first place.

140

Gus 03.20.06 at 1:26 pm

Actually, personfromporlock is a perfect name for a troll. They destroy the train of thought of a perfectly good thread. We should, unlike Coleridge, ignore him.

141

s9 03.20.06 at 1:29 pm

They’re all wankers, but Rosetto has to take the prize cup on the strength of his legendary wanking for accuracy, precision, velocity and distance. The others are just phoning it in.

142

karatebreakfast 03.20.06 at 3:54 pm

I miss Jake. He uses his tongue prettier’n a twenty-dollar whore.

143

Harald Korneliussen 03.21.06 at 3:06 am

“Glenn is being dishonest and condescending.”

So what’s new?

144

goatchowder 03.21.06 at 6:01 am

It’s duckspeak. All three wankers are duckspeaking: spouting mindless cliched content-free rhetoric. You can almost hear the sounds of their brains slamming shut after each question is asked of them.

145

Iain 03.21.06 at 7:49 am

What exactly did Christopher Hitchens say above that was wrong? And what is so wrong with making a killing field for jihadists? Do we not want them to be killed? if not what do we want?

Are Oil-For-Food racketeers and people who otherwise profit from Saddam’s regime not political scum? If not, what are they?

I really would like to know what…people want, because all i’m hearing here is pointless aprobium and sneering at a man who feels very passionately about democracy, freedom and cosmopolitan modernity….not just as talking points but as actual ideas.

146

dale 03.21.06 at 8:12 am

dude, it’s ‘opprobium’. and to answer your questions you could just google him. spend a little time.

147

zdenek 03.21.06 at 8:59 am

If support for the war qualifies you for being called a wanker should we call Kant and Rawls wankers ? ( I know you should also be unrepentant ). I ask because a very strong case can be made that Kant would support the invasion ; especially in his ‘Metaphysics of Morals’ ( note I am not talking about his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals which is a different work and much earlier ) where he discusses nature of republican government and provides strong argument for dealing with rogue states such preinvasion Iraq was .
Similarly Rawls in his ‘Law of the People’ develops an argument which provides a rationale for dealing with roque states.
So we must I am affraid ask : if the leftie outlook entails that some of the greatest western minds come out as wankers do we not have here a reductio of the leftie values ? ( recall that if P implies a contradiction then P must be false by modus tolens ).

148

Iain 03.21.06 at 9:26 am

Dale – How will googling Christopher Hitchens answer any of my questions? I already know about Mr Hitchens. I want to know exactly what the people here hate so much about the idea of killing mysoginistic fascists…why they recoil so much at the idea that some French and Russian people might have profited from Saddam’s regime.
No one here is grappling with these ideas, they are merely shoving them aside and engaging in stupid, reductionist, talking-point blather that I’m more used to seeing in the right-wing FOXbubble.

Its really sad to see my peers on the liberal-left being so closed-minded.

149

Seth Finkelstein 03.21.06 at 9:35 am

Iain/#148 – I want to know exactly what the people here hate so much about the idea of killing mysoginistic fascists.

Quoted ironically:
http://fugs-lyrics.wonderlyrics.com/Kill-For-Peace.html

“Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Near or middle or very far east
Far or near or very middle east
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
If you don’t like the people
or the way that they talk
If you don’t like their manners
or they way that they walk,
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace”

150

zdenek 03.21.06 at 9:41 am

re Hitchens – his sin is simple he is providing intellectual support to the great satan ( Bush , capital, super rich, the rich jews or whatever ); the merits of his case ( the argument itself and whwther it is sound ) are neither here nor there , because we are in the ideological war with the hegemon and anyone who is not on our side ( loonie left/loonie right ) is the enemy . This is the script so stop being a pest.

151

John Emerson 03.21.06 at 10:11 am

I’m with Walt. Troll of Sorrow. On his meds, but they’re wearing of a little.

152

zdenek 03.21.06 at 10:21 am

iain #145 – of course Hitch feels stronly about freedom , democracy and cosmopolitanism ( no different from Geras , Ignetieff, or John Rawls all of whom are on the left ) but that is the problem since for the bulk of the CT comment these values are hollow eurocentric poses disguising power moves; so he cannot be taken seriously ; to take him seriously involves distinguishing at least between good and bad argument but that is precisely what is rejected . Why do you think the level here is that of scoffing , name calling ( wanker ) and other stuff that happens in the kindergarden ?

153

W.B. Reeves 03.21.06 at 10:44 am

Re Hitchens – his sin is simple he is providing intellectual support to the great satan ( Bush , capital, super rich, the rich jews or whatever ); the merits of his case ( the argument itself and whwther it is sound ) are neither here nor there , because we are in the ideological war with the hegemon and anyone who is not on our side ( loonie left/loonie right ) is the enemy . This is the script so stop being a pest.

I shouldn’t bring up anti-Semitism in the context of Christopher Hitchens if I were you. He is, after all, an outspoken apologist for the professional holocaust denier David Irving. All in the name democracy, free speech, etc. Understandible, in a man whose bread and butter is slanging on people more notable than himself. His obsession with the Clintons and the late Princess Diana being good examples, not to mention his tagging Mother Teresa as the “Ghoul of Calcutta”.

The Right’s embrace of Hitchens is remarkable. Not because of his lapsed Trotskyism but considering that his criticisms of “Islamofascism” are spawn of his visceral hatred for all religion.

Reliance on such “intellectual” support is partial explanation for why the current regime has morphed into such a mammoth cock up. Stupid is as stupid does.

154

Iain 03.21.06 at 11:18 am

w.b. reeves #153 –
Aint nothing wrong with being an iconoclast, Mother Theresa WAS a bloody ghoul, Mahatma Ghandi was a condescending racist and Henry Kissinger was…all sorts of stuff.
As for the left attacking Hitchens in the manner of this post (and Atrios and various other blogs) it really is a shame. Because Christopher Hitchens, in championing the causes of the Kurds and the Palestinians, in offering moral support to those progressives in Iraq who are being attacked by fascists at home and being met with a callous indifference by ‘liberals’ abroad, is a much better liberal social democrat than any guttersnipe blogger.

The left in America really seems to be losing the intellectual high ground in imitating the kind of vapid, broken-record echo chamber of Hannity and folks.

155

Doctor Slack 03.21.06 at 11:21 am

Oh no! Oh my! Caught joking by the “decent left” at the expense of many-times-refuted arguments! The jig is up!

Iain: Seriously, though, I’m going to assume your question is sincere and tell you straight why I find the Hitchens quote repulsive. In one of his rare moments of lucidity in recent years, Hitch criticized American “force protection” practices and the associated civilian casualties — but here, he blithely talks about “killing fields for jihadists and fascists” without a hint of moral compunction, as if the complicating factor of civilian death were simply not worth mentioning. (Never mind the fact that he’s never really come to terms with the apparent reality of such “killing fields” as a recruitment tool for such “jihadists and fascists.”)

Zdenek: When you can identify the potential fallacy in implying that Kant’s just war doctrine would make it likely for him to support the Iraq War in particular, and explain why you don’t feel your argument falls afoul of that fallacy, your talk about “good” and “bad” arguments and “leftie values” will be worth a little more.

156

abb1 03.21.06 at 11:25 am

“Offering moral support” is fine, it’s the “killing fields” stuff that people object to.

You know – Pol Pot, ever heard about the guy? Killing fields – for the sake of equality, freedom and many other noble ideals? Ring a bell?

157

djw 03.21.06 at 11:46 am

As far as I’m aware, nothing in Kant or Rawls political and moral theories requires they pursue policies almost certainly destined to fail, even if we concede they might have supported the idea of the Iraq war. And I agree: the greatest folly isn’t the lack of liberalism, but the lack of common sense, awareness of limitations, and good old-fashioned Burkean caution.

158

abb1 03.21.06 at 11:59 am

Nah, it’s not the lack of common sense; it’s the extreme self-righteousness in these folks. It always is.

159

W.B. Reeves 03.21.06 at 12:20 pm

w.b. reeves #153 – Aint nothing wrong with being an iconoclast, Mother Theresa WAS a bloody ghoul, Mahatma Ghandi was a condescending racist and Henry Kissinger was…all sorts of stuff.

So CH affirms your own bias. Message received. I note that you don’t mention his dancing on Princess Diana’s grave or his defenses of David Irving. You prefer to introduce Ghandi and Kissinger, whom I did not mention, by way of diversion. A trifle transparent don’t you think?

As for the left attacking Hitchens in the manner of this post (and Atrios and various other blogs) it really is a shame. Because Christopher Hitchens, in championing the causes of the Kurds and the Palestinians, in offering moral support to those progressives in Iraq who are being attacked by fascists at home and being met with a callous indifference by ‘liberals’ abroad, is a much better liberal social democrat than any guttersnipe blogger.

My, quite the fan aren’t you? Isn’t it a bit weird to be touting CH’s “liberal social democrat” bona fides since he himself has disowned them? Being neither a liberal or Social Democrat myself, his standing as such, or lack thereof, is a matter of complete indifference to me. I would have thought that obvious since I dispensed with the political question in favor of addressing CH’s ingrained hostility to religion in all its forms.

“Guttersnipe blogger”, eh? So tell me, how is the view from Belgravia these days?

160

dale 03.21.06 at 12:29 pm

“guttersnipe blogger”, iain? or is that a pseudonym?

the reason i said google him was i’m simply too tired to rework the many, many arguments that have been made, here. if you want to stay up to speed, stay up to speed on your own time.

the general objection to mr hitchens is that he’s knowingly lending a degree of (diminishing) intellectual credibilty to the unthinking, racist ‘us or them’ rhetoric. by doing so, he helps obscure the real and important complexities in the current state of US-driven world tension. by helping simplify the debate, albeit in polysyllabic terms (something his american models have yet to master) he makes it possible for that simplification to be enacted on the ground. and when overwhelming and brutal military force is deployed on the basis of simplistic analysis, average folk die horribly, generally in groups, either very quickly or reasonably slowly. but no matter – to arms, to arms, for the stench of righteous might, wielded, almost obscures the smell of bodies.

this is the general objection, there are specific objections based on his various claims, lies and the like.

there are a variety of theories claiming to explain why hitchens has chosen this road. google them. i don’t have the time, not can i reasonably claim to be sure which is better. largely, i don’t care. perhaps he just fell for some sweet lad or lass and all of this is to impress him or heror it. in the words of a guttersnipe blogger, ‘damning, if true…”

161

roger 03.21.06 at 12:36 pm

Ian, the repulsiveness is on several fronts.

a. The term killing field, first. To oppose the Al Qaeda paramilitaries is one thing. To speak of a killing field is something entirely different. It evokes, for one thing, non-discrimination among killings. It also makes killing itself seem like an activity to relish. The rhetorical enjoyment of butchering the wicked has led, time and time again, to mere butchering. Insofar as a political writer has a responsibility to the language and to history, Hitchens tone is simply disgusting, a form of provocation that evokes the fascist polemicists of the 20s and 30s.

Second is the idea of where such a ‘killing field’ exists. The jihadists of his imagination came into Iraq from elsewhere — in no small part because the Americans carelessly and stupidly disbanded the Iraqi army, without even processing it. Since they did not have the manpowr to process that properly, they had a responsibility to Iraq itself to achieve that manpower. But they didn’t. Hence, the influx of Saudis into the Iraq, and the use of Iraqi cities as killing fields. I know, it sounds like fun, but if, say, Bush invited jihadists to come into L.A. so that we could stage fire fights against them in various L.A. neighborhoods, we might find it a tad irresponsible. Even, who knows, immoral.
And finally, there is the context of Hitchens rhetoric, the way it echoes the rhetoric of the far scarier War mongers who make up the Pentagon and the far right war cliques, who actually hold up, as one of the reasons for being in Iraq, its ‘learning potential.” Real life war helps the U.S. army to learn to fight other wars. Human experimentation of this kind isn’t a liberal value, but a clearly fascist one.

162

ogmb 03.21.06 at 3:23 pm

Hitchens proves that the late converts are always the most radical converts.

163

abb1 03.21.06 at 3:35 pm

Known as the “zealous convert syndrome”.

164

tom bach 03.21.06 at 7:53 pm

Ought there not be some rule against enlisting the dead and thus necessarly silent in support of a specific instance of a general principle? If Z wishes to enlist K in support of the president’s current policy, I inist that Jefferson, Madison, and Washington would oppose it more vehemently on the grounds of some principle, entangling alliances say, and, whatismore, they were Americans.

165

Z 03.21.06 at 8:52 pm

Please, please Tom Bach, I am Z. Don’t confuse Zdenek with me. That said, I have met Kant yesterday and asked him about the Iraq war. He’s against it.

166

John Emerson 03.21.06 at 11:03 pm

Iain: “The left in America really seems to be losing the intellectual high ground in imitating the kind of vapid, broken-record echo chamber of Hannity and folks.”

I don’t entirely accept Iain’s premise, but thank God something is happening! Anne Frank had the moral high ground too, and we don’t blame her for that — but it didn’t do her much good.

For the last three years, whenever anyone to the left of Sen Lieberman started showing any signs of spunk or backbone, an Iain would pop up to crank out some version of that cliche. It was stupid then and it’s stupider now. I suppose the point will arrive when that’s a reasonable thing to say — I hope so! — but that time is not now, and Iain shouldn’t try to claim vindication if his statement turns out to be right, ten or twenty years down the road.

167

snuh 03.22.06 at 12:20 am

the fact that the hitchens = bertrand russell dude actually thought to include the word “infelicitous” in his post indicates either:

(1) an absolutely rabid hitchens fan, or
(2) satire.

if (2), he should’ve thrown in a “lugubrious” or two, for the sake of clarity.

hitchens is my vote. also, sometimes i marvel at his gift for using words for which the top google results are invariably the said word’s definition. an unusual talent, but impressive nonetheless.

168

zdenek 03.22.06 at 3:29 am

doctor slack– here is an argument for Iraq war from Kantian ( Kant the wanker as you say ) perspective ( The Metaphysics of Morals 1797 + Perpetual Peace : a philosophical sketch 1795 ):
(1) we are commanded by reason to treat each rational being as an end and not as means only.
(2) states in which this command is not obeyed by rulers are states that violate the moral law.
(3) moreover states that fail to instantiate social contract derived from the ML are illegitimate .
(4)such morally faulty states are not republics and if they regard themselves as being in a state of nature vis-a-vis other states it may be necessary to confront them with force in order to prevent them from imposing their will on other law abiding states.
(5) such force must be proportional to to the threat posed.
(6) such force must be used for the sake of peace
Therefore ( the main conclusion ) (7) war in these circumstances is morally justified.

Two questions : was former Iraq illegitimate in Kant’s sense ? yes because it was manifestly despotic , not a law abiding member of UN , people denied basic rights , crime regularly commited by rulers , manifest threat to peace , has invaded neighbor , commited genocide , bend on imposing its will on others , state claims voice in UN to promote itself and its policies and amplify its power.
Second : is the US the right state for the job ? yes because it is a larger power that is also a republic , is anxious to spread republican values and is motivated by some version of the “Ideal of Reason ” Kant spells out in ‘Perpetual Peace’ and US is confident that it can destroy the despotic state with minimum harm to its people — less harm than harm suffered were the illegitimate state allowed to operate.

Would it be right for such a republic to go to war against such a despotic state ? Kant would say yes.

169

Chris Bertram 03.22.06 at 3:34 am

Would it be right for such a republic to go to war against such a despotic state ? Kant would say yes.

Trouble is, I doubt that even you could seriously maintain that your conditions (2) and (3) are met by any actually existing states. So your argument is somewhat moot.

170

Chris Bertram 03.22.06 at 3:38 am

Or rather, since I expressed myself infelicitiously in the last comment, there are no states that treat each rational being (note not just “each of their own citizens”, though even that …) as ends and not as means only. And there are no states that have instantiated a social contract derived from the moral law.

171

zdenek 03.22.06 at 4:02 am

are (2)& (3) met today ? — condition 2 is met by most liberal democracies where basic rights are taken seriously surely ( I am thinking of Rawls here ), while the condition 3 is met by all modern democracies where political obligation is understood contractually surely ?

172

zdenek 03.22.06 at 4:16 am

Re Kant — its clear from his discussion of the nature of republican government that ( Metaphysics of Morals 1797 ) Kant is talking about ideals ( verisimilitude functions like this when you are dealing with scientific theories ) and that it is possible to say that a specific republic is closer than others in this regard. So it is not a very good objection to say that there are no perfect examples of Kantian republics ( there are also no perfectly true theories ).

173

Z 03.22.06 at 4:21 am

It is also doubtful that (5) and (6) were ever satisfied in any conflict.

174

zdenek 03.22.06 at 4:33 am

conditions 5 /6– clearlly both were met . The neocon longterm objective is Kantian peace ( provision of political underpinning for globalization ). And secon US did not use nuclear weapons or deliberately target civilians etc.

175

Chris Bertram 03.22.06 at 4:41 am

No further questions, Your Honour! No further questions.

176

lurker, not a w-er 03.22.06 at 4:43 am

@zdenek
“it may be necessary to confront them with force in order to prevent them from imposing their will on other law abiding states.”
Your chain of pseudo-Kantian logic breaks down in this exact point. Iraq was not trying to impose it’s will on other, law-abiding states.
Doubtless only because it was too weak to do so.
Major powers do seem to get off on bullying smaller, preferably defenceless powers.

177

Z 03.22.06 at 4:51 am

So it is not a very good objection to say that there are no perfect examples of Kantian republics (there are also no perfectly true theories ).

It is a perfectly valid objection because Zdenek you presented your case as if it was self-evident that each and every condition was satisfied. That there are not perfect examples (which is obvious) indicates that you Zdenek-not Chris, not anyone else-have to prove that the US is sufficiently close an approximation so that your conclusion is warranted.

178

abb1 03.22.06 at 5:47 am

(1) we are commanded by reason to treat each rational being as an end and not as means only.

That’s the one the neocons are violating. The collection of beings that comprise population of Iraq under Saddam – them, of course, being rational (not to mention – heavily armed) should’ve been able to take care of their own affairs; instead they are currently being treated by the neocons and others as mere objects that need to be ‘liberated’, ‘democratized’, etc. God, I love the word ‘being’.

179

dale 03.22.06 at 5:53 am

is anyone else inspired into thought-experiment by zdenek’s comment (168)? (yes, i know he’s a troll, but at least he’ a real one.)

so, here’s the experiment – i took zdenek’s criteria for kantian illegitimacy (which he appears to have sucked out his ass), and on which bases what he laughably calls his argument for the war, and reapplied them to another modern day example:

was (america) illegitimate in Kant’s sense ?

was it:

a) “manifestly despotic” – 50/50. well-managed, distributed despotism. more oligarchy than tyranny.

b) “not a law abiding member of UN” – yes. see the ongoing violations of resolutions

c)”people denied basic rights” – yes. ref. guantanamo etc. also the class of folk represented by cory maye, et al, who are policed in their inner city ghettos by paramilitary swat teams. etc etc etc, fill in your own violation here

d) “crime regularly commited (sic) by rulers” – yes. that’s almost becoming the definition of an american ruler.

e) “manifest threat to peace” – more so than ever, having committed the most egregious acts of aggression in recent memory, ostensibly in response to saudi terrorism, without ever actually invading the fortress of the house of saud. (what are they doing, throwing darts at a map of the middle east?)

f) “has invaded neighbor” – grenada, i suppose. otherwise, no. tends to invade on other continents. (not sure why zdenek makes next door invasion a criterion, unless he’s just playing too much age of empires.)

g) “commited (sic) genocide” – yes, and supported it. and not merely native americans. filipinos, too. latterly attempts to have others do it on its behalf. in service of such ideals paid indonesia militarily and financially for 25 years to destroy east timor. trained indonesian special forces (kopassus) on us soil, despite clear evidence of massive wrong-doing. bragged in the un about preventing humanitarian aid to timor (for which moyihan will roast and roast and roast). bombed laos and cambodia into complete chaos, from which they might never recover (for which kissinger will be basting alongside moynihan).

h) “bend (sic) on imposing its will on others” – this is too easy. (start with iran, to be topical.) give me another one.

i)”state claims voice in UN to promote itself and its policies and amplify its power” – beyond satire, now.

___________

it follows that under the terms of zdenek’s argument, you could have reversed the roles (iraq invades america) and kant (poor kant) would have had to support it. possibly under threat of zdenek representing him to posterity.

or perhaps zdenek’s argument is crap. who want to take a go at his preceding ‘philosophical sketch’? his proposition number 6 promises to be fun.

in his justification he also says ” because it is a larger power that is also a republic , is anxious to spread republican values and is motivated by some version of the Ideal of Reason Kant spells out in ‘Perpetual Peace’ and US is confident that it can destroy the despotic state with minimum harm to its people”, the us can invade iraq.

someone might want to tease apart the claim that the all that would be required would be the confidence of the us (the landmass? the airspace?) rather than the justifiable likelihood, as attested to by impartial bodies. i suspect kant would have demanded more than ‘i know i can, i know i can’ as grounds for war.

of course, this is all within the context of zdenek’s imaginary universe where such considerations were actually meaningfully addressed by policy planners, rather than brushed aside by ideologues, and subsequently delegated to dispirited teenagers with guns for implementation. his arguments collapse when measured against anything in reality. but that’s not the point here. just have fun.

180

dale 03.22.06 at 6:13 am

also, schopenhauer is ambivalent on the war, but said he probably would have favoured some other course of action. how do i know? i checked with my ass.

he said he liked the idea of a process of change whereby the western-led international community stopped acting like hopeless drunks in free bar and decided, in concert, to create a better, safer middle-east. this necessarily included an agreement to stop rigging elections, or even just to let them happen, the refusal to supply further arms to favoured protagonists in the region, the deployment of un troops to conflict areas with the actual and unconditional backing of the security council, the initiation of programmes of constructive engagement with middle-eastern countries, notably in the economic sphere (rather than the rapacious plundering in consort with various despots that constitutes the current state of affairs – constructive meaning, at the very least, ‘including the possibilty of benefit for citizens of the countries affected’) and various other lines of activty. he wasn’t sure, though.

epicurus said he didn’t give a damn, and that since austerity was good for one, neither iraqis nor americans should complain abouit the coming world austerity programme.

hobbes said tough titty.

g.e. moore (who resembles george bush, in the same way that chritopher hitchens resembles bertrand russell) said all it took was common sense.

what’s next? messages from dead movies stars?

181

Evan Morris 03.22.06 at 6:22 am

I vote for the one who said “fellow travelers” while at the same time accusing others of being stuck in the past. Oh my freaking gourd. That is hilarious.

182

Doctor Slack 03.22.06 at 12:48 pm

Dammit, beat by others to dissecting Zdenek’s “Kantian case for war.” I always miss out on the really good stuff.

also, schopenhauer is ambivalent on the war, but said he probably would have favoured some other course of action. how do i know? i checked with my ass.

I laughed, I thought I’d die…

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