Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, October 30, 2006

Seymour Hersh: We Are The Insurgents

Seymour Hersh, who won a Pulitzer for helping lead the media charge against the war in Vietnam and is credited with breaking the Abu Ghraib story, thinks he's a step or two above we plebian Americans.

Unlike those of us who shuffle about looking at our shoes, muttering "God bless America" and other senseless phrases while we drool a bit, he has a different view of America's role in Iraq, and he shared it with our Canadian friends:
If I lived in a country and a bunch of people came in and started raiding my house, and capturing people and killing willy-nilly, I think I would take up arms against those people. Am I an insurgent then? Are the insurgents insurgents or are the Americans insurgents? I think the whole nomenclature is bizarre. We’re the insurgents. It’s their country.
Hmmm. And I thought we didn't raid houses unless we had a pretty good hunch there was a bad guy living there ... and even then, that we did so under rules of engagement that put our soldiers at greater risk, in order to be better global citizens.

But what do I know? I can't even figure out whether I'm wilfully or generally ignorant:
Montreal Mirror: Why does so much of the American public often seem wilfully ignorant? Much of the populace seems intent on not knowing what is going on in terms of political and foreign affairs. ...

SH: The ignorance may not be wilful. The problem with this is, in order to answer your questions, I have to buy into what it is you’re saying. I have no f***ing way of knowing whether they’re ignorant. I mean, Americans are pretty f***ing ignorant. What we don’t know is pretty huge.

You could never accuse Americans of learning from history or learning from past mistakes. You’re talking about a country that went to war in Vietnam with the theory that we had to bomb North Vietnam in order to keep the hordes of Red China from coming, right? Not knowing that Vietnam and China had fought wars for 2,000 years and would fight one four years after the war was over, in ’79. What we don’t know is just breathtaking in my country.

To call this ignorance wilful as opposed to general ignorance, I don’t know. On any issue, Americans can display an incredible lack of information. I doubt if there’s a society which has paid less attention to the facts than any else.
I'm just a rube, but as I recall, after we stopped trying to stop China (which had about as much to do with the war as WMDs had in Iraq), not just Vietnam but also Cambodia and Burma fell like dominoes, and Communist insurgencies fired up in several other southeast Asian countries.

I may be either generally or wilfully ignorant, but I do know that there were a lot of reasons for us to fight in Vietnam, some having to do with China, for sure, but others having to do with the North Vietnamese and the Russians. But I guess I'm not smart enough to oversimplify.

Does Seymour think the French are smarter? Apparently they weren't any smarter between 1946 and 1954 when Ho Chi Minh was wuppin' their derriers right up to Dien Bien Phu. And today, as they apply all their much greater savvy to oppose the War on Terror, they are losing their own nation to Muslim terrorists ... or insurgents.

If the French fight back, Sy, who are the insurgents? Just wondering.

As for why we're not getting attacked while the French are, it's probably because we're just too ignorent for them to bother with.

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