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Christopher Hitchens: Reactionary Dickweed Honky?
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Z-0



Joined: 28 Sep 2004
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icarus502 wrote:
crash wrote:
i did a while ago. it's a quick read and fun in an iconoclastic sort of way. it's also great to leave out on the coffee table.


This. Totally fun read.


wonderful, i just bought it from the book depository.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 10:58 am
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name



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for those who have long followed chomsky's writing, i think this sums it up. just because he's made lucid points in the past doesn't mean he gets a pass for the bullshit he often spouts today (see: ralph nader)


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Post Tue May 10, 2011 12:45 pm
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Alan Hague



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I don't really have much time to comment on this in too much depth, so just 2 quick points about that Wall St. Journal article:

1. Heidegger is the most significant philosopher of the 20th century? He had a huge influence, sure, but that's a very debatable suggestion, especially to be made so matter-of-factly.

2. Crazy association fallacies! "Osama quoted Chomsky at length, therefore Chomsky must be completely incorrect and criminally insane." Nonsense.

Nothing about his other books, what topics they focus on, what Chomsky's arguments are - no, better to just totally trash his work and talk about how he wore a Hezbollah cap. Crazy lefties!

And what's so hard to understand about Chomsky being so influential? Pick up one of his books and go straight to the bibliography. Look through how many sources he cites and who they are. Not some "stopthefuckingwar.com" loony websites - he regularly cites the most reputable academic journals and government data/reports available. The depth of his scholarship and the meticulousness of his research is astounding.

That's why he's well known - because he DOESN'T engage in any kind of empty-headed sloganeering.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 1:02 pm
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Sage Francis
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I think Chomsky and Hitchens are both fantastic.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 1:05 pm
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icarus502
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Sage Francis wrote:
I think Chomsky and Hitchens are both fantastic.


Right? I think they're both wrong about a lot of things but they're both more right than most people, even when they completely disagree.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 1:20 pm
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icarus502
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Also, we're talking about an 80-something year-old man when we say "Chomsky."
Post Tue May 10, 2011 1:21 pm
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icarus502 wrote:
Also, we're talking about an 80-something year-old man when we say "Chomsky."


that's for sure. and i think it is becoming a factor, unfortunately.

i also agree that the WSJ article was pretty weak. but i do think chomsky has engaged in some "empty-headed sloganeering" recently, under the guise of scholarship.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 2:54 pm
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MCGF



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what Chomsky book should I read first?
Post Tue May 10, 2011 3:05 pm
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icarus502
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MCGF wrote:
what Chomsky book should I read first?


Manufacturing Consent, of course.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 3:21 pm
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MCGF wrote:
what Chomsky book should I read first?


my vote would be for deterring democracy.
but you'll still need a pen handy to call out the occasional bullshit assertions and shoddy conclusions.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 6:36 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



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Re: Christopher Hitchens: Reactionary Dickweed Honky?  Reply with quote  


Quote:

So is one to assume that he has pored through the completed findings of the 9/11 Commission? Viewed any of the videos in which the 9/11 hijackers are seen in the company of Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri? Read the transcripts of the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker"? Followed the journalistic investigations of Lawrence Wright, Peter Bergen, or John Burns, to name only some of the more salient? Acquainted himself with the proceedings of associated and ancillary investigations into the bombing of the USS Cole or indeed the first attempt to bring down the Twin Towers in the 1990s?


So what did this stuff conclude? Do we know? Would it stand up in the fake world where we actually strictly abide by constitutional or international law?
I personally feel sure that Osama had a large role in 9/11, but I don't know of much direct evidence. Is that a role similar to Bush's role in the Iraq war, that of American energy companies, or just like a Project for a New American Century type role of elbow rubbing and encouragement?

It only doesn't matter if you haven't completely given up on the hope for transparency in government. I kinda gave up, so it hadn't mattered to me.

Anyone here know a good condensed source of info on this?
Post Tue May 10, 2011 7:36 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



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And also,

Bush's crimes don't vastly exceed those of Bin Laden's? If we even knew for sure he was a primary driver of 9/11?
Last I checked we were up 150,000 or so Iraqi civilians for our 3,000. Does that not count somehow? Did they deserve it for resisting? How does that shit work?

Aren't these the two, sure, mostly counterproductive and repetitive assertions chomsky is making?
That-
1.Bin Laden is likely guilty and awful, but should probably be officially tried If we expect to be taken seriously?
2.Our sense of perspective on the relative impact of events is fukakta?


Last edited by Raoul DeGroot on Tue May 10, 2011 7:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Tue May 10, 2011 7:42 pm
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mancabbage



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Re: Christopher Hitchens: Reactionary Dickweed Honky?  Reply with quote  

mlanifesto wrote:
Most of them died of heart failure when they heard the black guy on Radio 4 a few years back.


brilliant. I have saved this to my brain for future use.

I don't disagree with his god hating, but the pompous way the guy delivers his message puts people off and thats a shame. Its like a michilin star chef serving his food on a plate made out hundreds of superglued scabs

Staring death in the face with a middle finger raised gets props tho
Post Tue May 10, 2011 7:43 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



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MCGF wrote:
what Chomsky book should I read first?


I would actually start with Understanding Power: The Indispensible Chomsky.
It's a collection of interviews and stuff. I like it because it's comprehensive yet easily absorbed in bite size reads. You can always dig into his more heavily footnoted and heady material later if you need more details.
Post Tue May 10, 2011 7:47 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



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TurnpikeGates wrote:
Hitchens is a sputtering, gleefully point-missing troll. Chomsky is probably the most consistently insightful analyst of U.S. foreign policy

Still, turgidity aside, if you cut the Hitchens critique down to its main thrust, I think he's sort of right on the points he raises.

When I read that Chomsky article, I sort of had to shake my head. Is the evidence of Bin Laden's involvement with the WTC attacks really the fulcrum on which one's opinion of the Abottabad strike should pivot? I think Chomsky should have stuck with pointing out that the U.S. Gov't has been clearly disinterested in using legal means (U.S. law, international law, whatever) to apprehend Bin Laden, without resorting to questioning his guilt in the matter. It's just not germane, and leaves openings for fuckheads like Hitchens.

On the other hand, if Chomsky was concerned with these kinds of trolls (or most believers of received wisdom) he wouldn't call Bush's crimes worse than Bin Laden's. So if he has Hitchens foaming at the mouth, it's no biggie; too bad Hitchens didn't bother to take on the issues of international law, the Taliban extradition offer, Pakistani sovereignty, the comparison to the war in Iraq, Bosch, etc.

Chomsky has probably had the single most profound influence on my thinking on U.S. foreign policy, international relations in general, and the politics of media, but every once in a while I question why the hell he feels the need to make some rhetorical point that doesn't much help his case while giving rhetorical ammunition to his critics.


Yeah, Chomsky's single biggest failing is his indifference to strategy. It annoys me, but on the other hand, he's selling more books than ever, so I'm not sure if it isn't actually working out for him.

He hasn't had many novel insights in the past decade or so either, but I suppose the game hasn't changed significantly since the 80's (or even the 60's) either .
Post Tue May 10, 2011 7:58 pm
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