HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » Chris Hedges: The Treason...

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 05:39 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/



47 replies, 6987 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chris Hedges: The Treason of the Intellectuals (Original post)
marmar Apr 2013 OP
xchrom Apr 2013 #1
Dryvinwhileblind Apr 2013 #2
SHRED Apr 2013 #3
ReRe Apr 2013 #4
formercia Apr 2013 #5
Solly Mack Apr 2013 #6
steve2470 Apr 2013 #7
Frustratedlady Apr 2013 #8
tiredtoo Apr 2013 #9
Joe Bacon Apr 2013 #10
Doctor_J Apr 2013 #11
bvar22 Apr 2013 #20
Doctor_J Apr 2013 #23
Plucketeer Apr 2013 #35
Marr Apr 2013 #42
raouldukelives Apr 2013 #12
HiPointDem Apr 2013 #13
Hotler Apr 2013 #14
Fuddnik Apr 2013 #15
FairWinds Apr 2013 #16
KG Apr 2013 #17
midnight Apr 2013 #18
Doctor_J Apr 2013 #19
cbrer Apr 2013 #45
DeSwiss Apr 2013 #21
limpyhobbler Apr 2013 #39
Uncle Joe Apr 2013 #22
woo me with science Apr 2013 #24
Stargleamer Apr 2013 #25
marmar Apr 2013 #26
Stargleamer Apr 2013 #27
MisterP Apr 2013 #31
grahamhgreen Apr 2013 #28
bbgrunt Apr 2013 #29
WHEN CRABS ROAR Apr 2013 #30
librechik Apr 2013 #32
tout_le_monde Apr 2013 #33
Mr.Bill Apr 2013 #37
just1voice Apr 2013 #34
Eleanors38 Apr 2013 #36
Initech Apr 2013 #38
limpyhobbler Apr 2013 #40
defacto7 Apr 2013 #41
cbrer Apr 2013 #46
defacto7 Apr 2013 #47
idwiyo Apr 2013 #43
cbrer Apr 2013 #44

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 06:10 AM

1. Du rec. Nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 06:12 AM

2. This is NOT Our fathers' classic Oldsmobile

One party, two divisions, and We ain't invited, ladies and gentlemen. Freedom?, yeah right. Eeeewessay! Eeeewessay!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:03 AM

3. it's how the Corporate State rolls

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:06 AM

4. Chris Hedges does it again

K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:24 AM

5. There are three kinds of lies:

Lies one tells to people on the Outside.
Lies one tells to people on the Inside.
Then, there are the lies we tell Ourselves.

Saying at CIA

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:30 AM

6. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:47 AM

7. k&r nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:47 AM

8. Every once in a while, I'm getting vibes that changes are in the wind.

Perhaps the establishment media will knock it down, but I get the feeling that several of the younger class are beginning to kick back at the diehard sucker-uppers and saying, "You did it wrong! It's time to change!"

How refreshing would that be?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 07:59 AM

9. And

We are all seeing the same type of brainwashed rhetoric in the current gun control debate. It is a shame !

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:07 AM

10. Absolute truth!

One just is amazed to see Tweety lying through his teeth for the past week!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:08 AM

11. Sadly, it's happening again now

 

with drone warfare and oil pipelines and domestic spying and some other issues. The PTB have improved their technique - they have a "liberal" president enact all of these initiatives and thus get a lot of otherwise decent people on board, and thus squelch troublesome protests before they begin.

Big K/R for Hedges

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doctor_J (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:42 AM

20. Don't forget the destruction of Social Security,

...the Privatization of our Public Schools,
and opening the Treasury Door to the For Profit Health Insurance Corporations.

And STILL, The Left (mainstream FDR Democrats) is viciously condemned for even questioning these activities.




You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
[font size=5 color=green]Solidarity99![/font][font size=2 color=green]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/center]

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bvar22 (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 11:38 AM

23. Yeah, by Jan 20, 2017 the destruction will be irreversible

 

And the strange part is the president enacts policies that serve a bunch of people who hate him with every fiber of their being. The more Republican he becomes, the more Fox "News" and Hate Radio vilify. It seems he hates us (the left) as much as the right hates him. What a wasted opportunity.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doctor_J (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 05:01 PM

35. It's a crazy scenario, but

 

just what WOULD the Right do if Obama decided he wanted an (R) next to his name? Could the GOP refuse to accept him??? From where I sit, he could make the switch and seem more honest than he is now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bvar22 (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:53 PM

42. Yep, and just like the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, simple, undeniable, undisputed *facts*

 

that don't service the agenda are uniformly excluded from all debate. Like the simple fact that Social Security contributes nothing to the deficit.

That one, simple fact would, in an honest dialogue, end the argument for Social Security cuts immediately. And so it's ignored-- particularly by the people on "our side".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:08 AM

12. K&R We are lousy with "liberals" who side with the highest bidder.

"Environmentalists " who hold more stock in Jamie Dimon than Henry Thoreau.
They are at the core of dishonesty that has crippled our party. Publicly expressing sentiments that tug at the hearts of those who still care while privately dismantling the small victories of the past.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to raouldukelives (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:11 AM

13. +1

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:29 AM

14. K&R n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:29 AM

15. Hedges. In my opinion, the best writer in America.

He's spent years on the front lines, and behind the scenes. He knows what he's talking about, and doesn't take any bullshit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:36 AM

16. Chris is right about much of academia . .

 

The unhappy conclusion I reached during the run-up to the war in Iraq is that most political scientists (I am one) are boot-licking careerists who would cheerfully stuff people into red hot ovens if they could get a grant or a consulting gig out of it.
Most of them are abject cowards.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:40 AM

17. AutoChrisHedgesDURec

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:35 AM

18. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:10 AM

19. Here is Hedges from Nov 8

 

Liberals have assured us that after the election they will build a movement to hold the president accountable—although how or when or what this movement will look like they cannot say. They didn’t hold him accountable during his first term. They won’t during his second. They have played their appointed roles in the bankrupt political theater that passes for electoral politics. They have wrung their hands, sung like a Greek chorus about the evils of the perfidious opponent, assured us that there is no other viable option, and now they will exit the stage. They will carp and whine in the wings until they are trotted out again to assume their role in the next political propaganda campaign of disempowerment and fear. They will, in the meantime, become the butt of ridicule and derision by the very politicians they supported.


Freakin' crystal ball.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doctor_J (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 04:15 PM

45. Crystal Clear Prescience. nt

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:48 AM

21. And Chris......

 

...let's not forget to mention the material/applied scientists in academia. The ones who've sold their labs and their souls and their Bunsen burners. Why yes we must not forget to mention them for all they've done for us. As well as BIG PHARMA, BIG AGRI, from the Skunk Works to Oak Ridge, from Hanson to the Deep Horizon. And for all they are still doing for those who are driven to PROFIT no matter the COST to anyone else. Like all those engineers who developed FRACKING. Why they've also given us great gifts of security like Predator drones and TASERS, RFID chips and constant surveillance, as well as nuclear bombs and lasers. And topping it all off with food and water that's not fit for consumption. Nutritionally empty and destined to cause more disease than the world has ever know. Along with the cure(s) -- for a price.

- K&R


"We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces."
~Carl Sagan

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DeSwiss (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:41 PM

39. yes.

Scientists should start mixing a little ethics in with their science.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 11:27 AM

22. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, marmar.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 11:55 AM

24. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:06 PM

25. Al Franken - a liberal hawk?

how does Hedges figure that? Because Franken did a USO tour? He wasn't a Senator when the war started, despite the wording Hedges uses (including Franken's name with the names of other U.S. Senators)

From Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell them":

"As of this writing no weapons of mass destruction have been found. What has been discovered is that the Bush administration made its case to the American public on the basis of selectively chosen evidence that they knew was shaky. Or worse. . . . Nevertheless as I write this, 34 percent of Americans believe that we have already found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I wish I were among this 34 percent. . ."

I don't think is consistent with being a "liberal hawk". Maybe Franken thought it wise to invade Afghanistan after 9/11 (I don't know), but I don't think that even if he did that that translates into being gung-ho about the Iraq War.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Stargleamer (Reply #25)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:09 PM

26. ........


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Reply #26)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:10 PM

27. I stand corrected . . . n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Stargleamer (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 01:02 PM

31. that's the whole *thing* with liberal hawks: they're Blairites, so 1) you don't ever really know

where they stand, and 2) they always have some good facet (though almost never proactive or activist) that can be used to still pretend they're "secretly liberal, but blocked by Congress/the Constitution"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:12 PM

28. Use ur brains for goodness, not evil.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:48 PM

29. always a huge k and r for Hedges!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:51 PM

30. And they still put their careers ahead of truth.

Nothing changes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 02:04 PM

32. yep. This is why we can't have nice things like a national health service

too expensive--and necessary! to keep the war wagon rolling.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 02:38 PM

33. Fair Weather Politicians

 

Politics sure makes strange bedfellows. Certainly Senator Kerry should have known better...especially after the faked "Gulf of Tonkin" incident that enabled the U.S. to pre-emptively start a war with North Vietnam. Wonder if any of them EVER marched against the Iraq War at any time after they were for it and then were against it. Anybody got any photos of these fair weather politicians marching against the Iraq War?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tout_le_monde (Reply #33)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:43 PM

37. Anyone who had to enlist in the Army

and actually go to Viet Nam to figure out the war was wrong is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I knew it was wrong in 1965.

I was twelve.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 02:56 PM

34. "And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again."

 

Truth!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 05:35 PM

36. Both parties have the "Left" right where they want us...

 

No where.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:10 PM

38. Wrong it's the anti intellectuals that are the treasonous ones.

They're the ones who are trained to actively vote against their best interests. Thanks to them we have tacos that taste like Doritos and indicators telling us how cold beer is. Thanks to them the Fox Opinion Channel is a credible news network. Thanks to them we have farting iPhone apps and live action movies made after children's toys. You get the idea.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 09:43 PM

40. ! This has 109 recs. There's hope, hopefully.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 10:33 PM

41. Although I agree with most of the sentiment of this article

there is so much hyperbole in it that I don't think it honestly portrays a reasonable sense of truth. There is so much conjecture as to why many of these people sided with the pro war position that it teeters on mind reading. It's not a position of reasonable trust to tell truths and state facts just turn around after grabbing the audience and make a bunch of personal commentary as if it also is factual. That is disingenuous and I don't fall for that kind of manipulative "Fox News'ish" commentary.

Manipulation of the audience does nothing for dealing with reality and propagating truth. Yes, as far as I know the people mentioned in the article did support a war which was a major mistake for them to make. To set up the reason they made those choices and to state that they are basically lying is in itself a fabrication of magical proportion.

If it is just Mr. Hedges opinion, his error is in mind reading but his sin is in manipulating opinion with it.

Stick to the facts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to defacto7 (Reply #41)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 04:27 PM

46. Sticking to facts...

 

Is how the idiots on the right are debating the Global Climate Change "theories".

We must be able to make logical progressions and build hypotheses without perfect or complete knowledge.

The only leap I noticed was the connection Hedges made towards "motive" of these Liberal Hawks.

And postulating that they decided to support the war in order to preserve or enhance their political reputations is, IMHO, spot on.

May not be provable, but we are not children...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbrer (Reply #46)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 07:05 PM

47. point taken

But I still have a problem when someone compiles a long list of names then postulates that they "all" belong in one big box because of a single common choice. Although I actually agree with you, it still is important that people know the difference between the objective and the subjective. Strong points can be made without fudging a point for the effect. The item you mentioned of "motive" is enough for this person to question the writers motive as realistic or hyperbole and it muddies my opinion of the writer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 12:17 PM

43. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Apr 2, 2013, 04:12 PM

44. Proud to Recommend

 

These words will serve us, to remind us to redouble our efforts at truth, transparency, and working through the lies and agendas of our leaders.

ESPECIALLY those who purport to share our political philosophy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread