Oh boy, how did I miss this? One of my favorite writers, Christopher Hitchens, has recently announced that it's time to "have a real debate about the Iraq war." SWEET. I was thinking maybe we should wait, like, another three hundred years, but sure--I guess it couldn't hurt to start debating now! After all, we've kind of been over there for awhile and we've spent over FIVE BILLION dollars, right?... So, count me in for the debate! Maybe we could even do it on the internet!
I am inspired to join this new debate because of something else Hitchens writes in his essay: "As I never tire of saying, heat is not the antithesis of light but rather the source of it."
Whoa... he never tires of saying that. Couldn't you just see that phrase written on a Judas Priest poster? Or what if it had been written on the steps leading up to the temple on the "Powerslave" album cover (IRON MAIDEN)? Then you could imagine yourself slowly ascending the steps, and with each step, reading another of the words: "Heat... is... not... the... antithesis... of... light... but... rather..." Dude I would totally just fall to my knees and be like, "Eddie (IRON MAIDEN MONSTER MASCOT), rise up out of your sarcophogus and come down here and read the immortal words of Christopher Hitchens!" But actually, then Eddie would be walking DOWN the steps, so he would read it as: "It... of... source... the... rather..." Maybe it would be best if Eddie just stayed at the top of the temple.
Right! Another great suggestion made by Christopher "Johnnie Walker Bile" Hitchens is that we stop taunting each other.
(Hmm. OK, I should have remembered that was his suggestion before I made that "funny" little nickname joke, sorry! But when I started typing that sentence, I couldn't actually remember what his other suggestion was, so I had to find the article and read it again, and by that point, well... the damage was done! MY BAD.)
Anyway, I think it's great that Hitchens is now officially "anti-taunt" (or, "taint"), because maybe now he will stop screeching long enough for me to whisper something in his ear: "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret--the fairly reasonable, kinda principled, somewhat intelligent opponent of the Iraq war. Just want to say that, contrary to EVERY ARTICLE YOU'VE WRITTEN IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, I am not a pro-Slobodan, bootlicking, A.N.S.W.E.R.-brainwashed Kurd-basher. OK, thanks! See you at the GREAT DEBATE."
Speaking of which, here's a joke making the rounds at Bertrand Russell's ghost party:
Q: What is the logical classification for most of Christopher Hitchens' articles about the Iraq war?
(A TAUNTOLOGY is like a TAUTOLOGY--that is, technically meaningless and revealing nothing about the world--but it is better, because it is based entirely on taunts!)
MICHAEL MOORE, YOU'RE A FASCIST JERK! LOOK AT ME, I KNOW SOME KURDS! --Christopher Hitchens
OK, OK, seriously, there is one point I would like to make in regards to Hitchens' essay. He goes through a long, exhilarating list of what each side of the Iraq war debate should admit to the other: One side should admit the UN was screwed up, while the other side should admit the UN should be reformed, not destroyed, etc. etc. (Imagine Hegel controlling the McLaughlin Group.) Then this:
"Those who said it was impossible, by definition, to have an alliance between Saddamists and fundamentalists might care to notice what they had utterly failed to foresee." (i.e. there is now an alliance of said groups in Iraq.)
Now, I feel strongly about what I am about to type, so as you read it, please imagine a thirty-something, slightly overweight political cartoonist with bad posture screaming it at the top of his lungs:
The question wasn't whether Saddamists and fundamentalists were BY DEFINITION incapable of forming an alliance; the question was whether Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship with al-Qaeda. The latter question was dishonestly answered in the affirmative by Dick Cheney and others in the run-up to the Iraq war. The former question is stupid ("by definition?") and nobody gave a damn about it. But now, thank God, because the Iraq war has been such a BLOODY, MISMANAGED DISASTER, we indeed know for sure that Saddamists and fundamentalists are capable of forming alliances! HOORAY! We possess a new factoid! The peaceniks "UTTERLY FAILED TO FORESEE" this alliance! It's almost like they had no idea what tragic consequences would spiral out of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Thank Christ it was President Bush planning the war, and not those menopausal ninnies at Code Pink.
There's nothing more wrenching than polemicists' cries for intelligent debate once their pies in the sky are demolished by facts on the ground.
Q: Hold on, now. How did the fact on the ground demolish the pie in the sky?
A: It stole a surface-to-air missile launcher from an unsecured metaphor stockpile.
OK, so let's start the serious debate!