Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hitch v. Gorgeous George

Although I don't agree with everything Hitchens has to say, this was just not a debate. It was an evisceration. Hitch summed up the proceedings very neatly: "We won't compete to see who can be ruder. I've conceded that point to him. And we won't compete to see who can be more cerebral. He's conceded that point to me."

The crowd was around 80/20 for Galloway (a shocker at an event sponsored by the International Socialist Review), but it seemed to me that the pro-Galloway crowd was willfully ignorant of the man's actual positions. At two points---when Galloway told a downtown Manhattan audience that Americans should blame themselves for the 9/11 attacks, and again when Galloway announced that Hezbollah were the rightful rulers of Lebanon---I detected some audible gasps, and the hearty applause and cheering that Galloway received for all the rest of his cheap one-liners were conspicuously missing. It was as if, in these moments of clarity, the fools finally realized what they'd been cheering for.

There is, of course, an intelligent case to be made against the war. Galloway is not the man to make it. He simply doesn't grasp the distinction between demagogy and substantive argument, and he is fighting a losing battle with the principle of non-contradiction. What's more, as Hitchens rightfully pointed out, nobody who has thrown his arms lovingly around Bashar al-Assad has any business showing his face in New York, let alone claiming to be an opponent of tyranny.


At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Ashish George said...

Galloway wasn't up to the task, eh? Too bad. Jon Stewart was.

I can't understand your (occasional) fondness for Hitchens, Daniel. Whether he is at the side of a Holocaust revisionist like David Irving ("a great historian") or trying to convince us all he is the reincarnation of George Orwell, Hitchens' trick, as Wonkette astutely notes, "is that no matter how wrong or drunk he is, he always sounds like he's making sense." But underneath the pretty words there is nothing of note to be found.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger the actual rod said...

Big ups to my man hashish.

Also, didn't you say you were going on hiatus?

Well. . .


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