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Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:52 AM

Chris Hedges: The Treason of the Intellectuals


from truthdig:


The Treason of the Intellectuals

Posted on Mar 31, 2013
By Chris Hedges


The rewriting of history by the power elite was painfully evident as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Some claimed they had opposed the war when they had not. Others among “Bush’s useful idiots” argued that they had merely acted in good faith on the information available; if they had known then what they know now, they assured us, they would have acted differently. This, of course, is false. The war boosters, especially the “liberal hawks”—who included Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Al Franken and John Kerry, along with academics, writers and journalists such as Bill Keller, Michael Ignatieff, Nicholas Kristof, David Remnick, Fareed Zakaria, Michael Walzer, Paul Berman, Thomas Friedman, George Packer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Kanan Makiya and the late Christopher Hitchens—did what they always have done: engage in acts of self-preservation. To oppose the war would have been a career killer. And they knew it.

These apologists, however, acted not only as cheerleaders for war; in most cases they ridiculed and attempted to discredit anyone who questioned the call to invade Iraq. Kristof, in The New York Times, attacked the filmmaker Michael Moore as a conspiracy theorist and wrote that anti-war voices were only polarizing what he termed “the political cesspool.” Hitchens said that those who opposed the attack on Iraq “do not think that Saddam Hussein is a bad guy at all.” He called the typical anti-war protester a “blithering ex-flower child or ranting neo-Stalinist.” The halfhearted mea culpas by many of these courtiers a decade later always fail to mention the most pernicious and fundamental role they played in the buildup to the war—shutting down public debate. Those of us who spoke out against the war, faced with the onslaught of right-wing “patriots” and their liberal apologists, became pariahs. In my case it did not matter that I was an Arabic speaker. It did not matter that I had spent seven years in the Middle East, including months in Iraq, as a foreign correspondent. It did not matter that I knew the instrument of war. The critique that I and other opponents of war delivered, no matter how well grounded in fact and experience, turned us into objects of scorn by a liberal elite that cravenly wanted to demonstrate its own “patriotism” and “realism” about national security. The liberal class fueled a rabid, irrational hatred of all war critics. Many of us received death threats and lost our jobs, for me one at The New York Times. These liberal warmongers, 10 years later, remain both clueless about their moral bankruptcy and cloyingly sanctimonious. They have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents on their hands.

The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status. They know what they need to say. They know which ideology they have to serve. They know what lies must be told—the biggest being that they take moral stances on issues that aren’t safe and anodyne. They have been at this game a long time. And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again.

Leslie Gelb, in the magazine Foreign Affairs, spelled it out after the invasion of Iraq.

“My initial support for the war was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility,” he wrote. “We ‘experts’ have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we ‘perfect’ the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common—often wrong—wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less.” ..............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_treason_of_the_intellectuals_20130331/



16 replies, 2523 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chris Hedges: The Treason of the Intellectuals (Original post)
marmar Apr 2013 OP
el_bryanto Apr 2013 #1
Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2013 #5
el_bryanto Apr 2013 #6
yurbud Apr 2013 #14
Octafish Apr 2013 #16
xtraxritical Apr 2013 #15
DeSwiss Apr 2013 #8
el_bryanto Apr 2013 #10
DeSwiss Apr 2013 #11
el_bryanto Apr 2013 #12
DeSwiss Apr 2013 #13
xchrom Apr 2013 #2
malaise Apr 2013 #3
Newest Reality Apr 2013 #4
kairos12 Apr 2013 #7
DeSwiss Apr 2013 #9

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:55 AM

1. How do we keep them from selling us out again ?

I also wonder if it's a conscious decision ("I need to support this war to maintain my lifestyle even though it's clearly wrong." or if it's just going along with the flow.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:49 AM

5. It may be something as trivial as "All the cool kids are supporting the war, and

if I don't, they won't invite me to their parties anymore, and they'll talk about me behind my back."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:55 AM

6. I agree that's likely it

Although the consequence of exclusion are somewhat greater than they would be on the playground - i.e. a reporter who can't get access doesn't have stuff to write about and a politician who can't get others to work with him doesn't accomplish much.

Bryant

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 11:06 AM

14. More like "all the cool kids get paid by the same handful of people, and..."

"if I don't go along, I'll be back to waiting tables to support my writing."

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Response to yurbud (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 11:50 AM

16. +1

"Next thing you know, I'll have to return the BMW."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 11:21 AM

15. The Bush gang blocked access to reporters that did not tow the line.

 

Go along to get along, as the saying goes.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:58 AM

8. We HAVE the power, but we're afraid of it.

 

Willful Noncompliance Until Disclosure.

Willful Noncompliance.

Disclosure Now.


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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:00 AM

10. What do you mean by "We" n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:04 AM

11. To Whom It May Concern.

 

[center][/center]

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:06 AM

12. What are you looking to see disclosed? nt

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:11 AM

13. The TRUTH, of course..... ;-)

 



[center][/center]


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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:58 AM

2. du rec. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:00 AM

3. MUST READ

Rec

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:01 AM

4. The iciing

on the fetid, bulshit cake they left on the table, buzzing with flies and emitting a stomach-turning, pervasive scent is that we will be paying for this for decades.

The assistance to the many veterans and the required support will continue to accrue over time -- a long time.

Meanwhile, the profiteers, not really, (ever) satiated by the orgy of contracts and vampire-like draining of our national blood in a host of ways, dance madly away from the mess knowing that their coffers full of trillions are safe from the victims of their parasitic entitlement.

Bless the wealthy and their cronies! They are the future. Get over the "our children are the future" romantic claptrap. No. Our compliance and internalization of the corporate control system assures a future of neo-Serfdom for them and some Gigeresque culture of technical chains that may eventually make us pine for the Middle Ages.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:55 AM

7. Don't forget Andrew Sullivan-another useful idiot

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:00 AM

9. K&R

 

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