Boozy Hitchens embarrasses Slate

News & Politics

In a passionate and spectacular rebuttal to an unethical smear from Slate/Vanity Fair trainwreck Christopher Hitchens, Juan Cole takes the gloves off and wipes the floor with him and his warmonger ilk.

The post begins by chastising Hitchens for a recent column he penned for Slate (who may want to, yet likely won't, think about losing the Pickled Pundit) cherry-picking from private, confidential emails and seeking no quotes for clarification. Both are journalistic no-nos that surprised few in light of Hitchens' downward spiral into pro-war doggerel over the past 3-4 years since his dramatic departure from the Nation.

Hitchens somehow got a hold of Cole's private emails in an attempt to paint a picture of Cole as dismissive of Iranian enmity toward Israel based on a translation issue. The greater point is that Hitchens is helping build a case for attacking Iran, using smear tactics to discredit those with rational and compelling arguments against it.

But Cole neither makes a point by point rebuttal of Hitchens' characterization of his positions, nor does he engage in ad hominem attack, though he does speculate on widely-circulated stories that, "he was deep in his cups when he wrote, or had some far Rightwing think tank write, his current piece of yellow journalism," and that, "I am sorry to witness the ruin of a once-fine journalistic mind."

Rather, Cole takes the opportunity to rationally dissect both the popular rhetoric on Iran's president Ahmadinejad, whom he calls a "little shit," and the blueprint for rallying Americans for war "against toothless third rate powers."

One, two, three, four. We don't want your stinking war! he writes.

Another cartoon villain -- the impotent Ahmadinejad (who has NO POWER TO DECLARE WAR) -- is being used to frighten America into another war but Cole believes it can be stopped. Americans won't do it, he writes to warmongers, "So sit down and shut up."

When a prodigious and level-headed intellect like Cole whips out the chants and calls to arms, it's a powerful sight. He writes, in a sort of anti-war Whitman meets Ginsberg (the following is accompanied by some gruesome photos in the original HERE)...

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