Reporter-God Sy Hersh's Dixie Chick Moment
Before we get to his DCM, let's start a bit more gently, with two excerpts from Hersh just a couple paragraphs apart in his interview with Spiegel:
You have to ask yourself what interest we had 40 years ago for going to war in Vietnam. You'd think that in this country with so many smart people, that we can't possibly do the same dumb thing again. I have this theory in life that there is no learning. There is no learning curve. Everything is tabula rasa. Everybody has to discover things for themselves.Everything to the left is tabula rasa. Everybody on the left, including Sy Hersh, has no learning curve. He saw the expansion of totalitarianism through South Asia, destroying Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma, after we abandoned Vietnam. It didn't register. He knows millions died because of this totalitarian tsunami, but he has forgotten the lesson that is there to be learned.
There are two very clear options [for the U.S. in Iraq]: Option A) Get everybody out by midnight tonight. Option B) Get everybody out by midnight tomorrow. The fuel that keeps the war going is us.
In other words, he didn't see the looming threat of Communist Totalitarianism in Southeast Asia then, just as he doesn't see the looming threat of Islamist Totalitarianism globally now. No, he tells us, the fuel that keeps the war going is not the very real threat of global jihad; it's merely George W. Bush's evangelical jingoism.
We'll make one more stop before we get to the really outrageous statement. (You may be surprised I'll be able to trump this one.)
... the Surge was a con game of putting additional troops in there. We've basically Balkanized the place, building walls and walling off Sunnis from Shiites. And in Anbar Province, where there has been success, all of the Shiites are gone. They've simply split.Three sentences, three abysmally flawed and distorted statements.
I've heard the surge called a lot of things, but a con game? Con games by definition don't work, yet the surge is working. And who exactly is Hersh calling a con man? Bush, of course. But also Petraeus and his staff. This is MoveOn.org stuff.
Yes, we have built a wall or two in Iraq, but Hersh is caught in the classic leftist trap of ignoring of the obvious: Iraq was far more Balkanized under Saddam Hussein's reign, where Sunnis ruled all and all others suffered genocide or near-genocide.
And all the Shi'ites have fled Anbar? At this point, the reporters (Charles Hawley and David Gordon Smith) simply should have turned off the microphone and excused themselves. After all, why give an idiot the time of day?
The population of Anbar is, and has been for some time, 95 percent Sunni. I'd say the ethnic cleansing that went on there during the Saddam's reign of Sunni terror had already pretty efficiently purged that stretch of desert of Shi'a. Now, with cooperative efforts against Sunni terrorists in Anbar, things are more safe for Shi'a there, not less safe.
But Hersh has just been winding up for his pitch until this point. Here comes the DCM:
The Surge means basically that, in some way, the president has accepted ethnic cleansing, whether he's talking about it or not. When he first announced the Surge in January, he described it as a way to bring the parties together. He's not saying that any more. I think he now understands that ethnic cleansing is what is going to happen. You're going to have a Kurdistan. You're going to have a Sunni area that we're going to have to support forever. And you're going to have the Shiites in the South.While ethnic cleansing can include mere expulsion, the common understanding of the word is that it involves wholesale killing and vicious intimidation of an ethnic minority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity. The term came into existence in the Bosnian/Croatian war, where genocidal massacres occurred in the name of ethnic cleansing.
The Left can call Bush stupid all they want and it's fine with me because all it does is make them look prejudiced and foolish; but for Hersh to say that our president is no different than a Slobodan Milošević is a slam of a different and far more troubling nature.
All you have to do is look at the language of ethnic cleansing to see how rabidly over the line Hersh is. Here's how the UN resolution defining the practice puts it:
Deploring the grave situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the seriousAsk yourself: Is this what has been happening in Iraq since the surge? The "widespread violations of international humanitarian law" have downturned sharply because the perpetrators -- Islamofascists, not Bush -- are being killed off.
deterioration of the living conditions of the people there, especially the Muslim and Croat populations, arising from the aggression against the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
Alarmed by the prospect of further escalation of the fighting in the region,
Expressing grave alarm at continuing reports of widespread violations of international humanitarian law occurring within the territory of the former Yugoslavia and especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including reports of mass forcibile expulsion and deportation of civilians, imprisonment and abuse of civilians in detention centres and deliberate attacks on non-combatants, hospitals and ambulances, impeding the delivery of food and medical supplies to the civilian population, as well as wanton devastation and destruction of property,
"Mass forcible expulsions?" There have been none.
"Imprisonment and abuse of civilians?" Under Hussein, a lot. Perpetrated by al Qaeda, for sure, and awful. While the U.S. surge forces and their Iraqi allies imprison many who deserve to be imprisoned, they are not into the abuse and abusive imprisonment of civilians.
"Deliberate attacks on non-combatants?" This is too easy. Here's the answer, courtesy of A Second Hand Conjecture (h/t Gateway Pundit):
Hersh, as he did in reporting Mai Lai 40 years ago and Abu Ghraib earlier in this war, continues the liberal MSM tradition of not letting mere facts get in the way of Grand Prejudices. And because he does, media outlets like Spiegel treat him like a god, not a dangerous buffoon, when they interview him.