Friday, September 16, 2005
Galloway vs. Hitchens "debate" (or reasonable faximile thereof)
Galloway / Hitchens Debate
Galloway vs. Hitchens - part 1 .mp3 (46 min., 15.7 MB)
Galloway vs. Hitchens - part 2 .mp3 (1 hr. 9 min., 23.6 MB)
Quote of the day:
"I have to laugh at this term, 'Foreign Fighters.' Which part of Iraq is General Meyers from? Which part of Iraq are the British and American generals from? The most foreign fighters in Iraq are wearing British and American uniforms in Iraq.
"But the idea that the Iraqi resistance are foreigners or Islamist fundamentalists is denied now even by the testimony of the United States generals themselves. Hitchens is clinging to an argument which has even been abandoned by the United States generals themselves. Only six percent, according to the United States government, of prisoners taken from amongst the Iraqi resistance have been foreigners -- if Arabs from neighboring Arab countries can be called foreigners by a government in the United States Of America. That means that 94% of them are Iraqis.
"Now you should know better. You see we were told in Vietnmam that if only the Red Chinese and the Soviet Union would stop meddling in Vietnam there would be no Vietnamese resistance. They couldn't bear to concede that the Vietnamese people were prepared to fight them -- with their teeth if necessary -- to rid their country of foreign domination. They've told us in every single anti-colonial struggle that it was foreign interference. It was the Reds. Or it's the Islamists from outside. If only we could extirpate them, Ker Pow the man in a turban with a beard in Tora Bora or his Leiutenant Zarqawi -- who, it turns out, actually fell out with Bin Laden a very long time ago . . .
"This slander of the Iraqi resistance is self-deluding. You're fooling yourselves if you believe it. Because if you believe it, you must believe that if only you could seal the borders a bit more, if only you could get rid of the foreign fighters, then everything would be rosy, everything would be hunky-dory. This is a level of self-delusion which borders frankly on the racist. The vast majority of the people of Iraq are against the American and British occupation of their country. . . . The vast majority of Iraqis want this occupation to end. And the vast majority of those fighting to bring it to an end are Iraqis. Get used to it. Get over it. Understand it. Or your fooling yourselves."
One of the most heated (and unapologetically ad-hominem, often times) debates I've heard in a very long time. This debate perhaps epitomizes what Jon Stewart despises about the talking head pundits in the media ("Crossfire," etc.). Nevertheless, I think it's the sort of debate that should have taken place before, during, and immediately after the Iraq invasion -- rather than the timidity, even cowardice, displayed by the media.
Quote of the day #2:
"People like Mr. Hitchens are ready to fight to the last drop of other people's blood. And it's utterly contemptible. Utterly and completely contemptible."
I have to say, I still maintain enormous respect for Hitchens. "The Trials Of Henry Kissinger" (the documentary -- I have to confess I haven't read the book) is one of the best documentaries I've seen. He's enormously brilliant, erudite, and articulate, and his arguments are well-reasoned.
In fact if there's one person who might be able to convince me to support this war, it would be Hitchens.
The fact that he doesn't quite succeed is a testament to how sick and wrong I feel this war is.
More on this debate later . . .