There’s a Whole Class of Treasonous ‘Intellectuals’ in America, Always Ready to Shill on Behalf of the Powerful


Chris Hedges
Alternet

April 1, 2013  |  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

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  • et Setera

    This is the same as the UK. Before and during the war we were bombarded with pro war propaganda from the MSM, and writers for the so-called ‘liberal’ newspapers like ‘The Guardian’. Polly Toynbee made the case for war – someone who should have known better, and who subsequently exhorted people to ‘put a clothespeg on their nose’ and vote Labour despite Tony Blair’s role in getting us involved. David Abramovitch was another Guardian writer who supported the war, perhaps less surprisingly. Having bought this paper for 30 years, their stance on Syria was the last straw. The Guardian is controlled opposition. Thank God we get to hear what is really going on from David Icke, 21st Century Wire, and others which seek out the truth.

    • Peter Fleming

      David Icke inadvertently discredits the anti-plutocracy movement by delving too often into the ethereal, that which is without proof. If he was to omit the material on inter-dimensional reptilian creatures from his lectures, it would not be so easy for the mainstream to ridicule him.

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