Hitchens on Kerrey

Dennis dperrin13 at mediaone.net
Fri May 4 12:21:44 PDT 2001

> > COLMES: What's your view on Bob Kerrey?
> >
> > HITCHENS: But look, none of the people he killed were raped. None of
> > them were dismembered. None of them were tortured. None of
> > them were mutilated, had their ears cut off. He never
> > referred to them as gooks or slopes or afterwards. So it --
> > con -- for one day's work in a free-fire zone in the Mekong....
> Can anyone parse this? Is this some sort of irony?
> Doug

That was my take. Hitch was on "Politically Incorrect" May 2 and made no such cracks. Here's some of the exchanges from the broadcast.

Gene [Simmons, of Kiss] Let's be pragmatic about this. I mean --and real. America didn't just enter the war because we were the good guys. There were other issues. There was oil and all that stuff. But I do agree with the right -- although I don't perceive myself as that -- with, "You've got to stamp your foot down."

Bill [Maher]: Yeah.

Christopher: It's always on whom.

[ Applause ]

Well, on whom will you -- on who is this foot to be stamped down? You say lives have to be lost to prove your point -- our point. Well, just take the case of Senator Kerrey. That's 13 old ladies and women and children. Did their lives have to be lost to make this point that the United States --

Bill: Well, I mean, the Russian --

Christopher: No, I don't think so. By 1968, Robert McNamara and Lyndon Johnson and all the people running the war had all said to their friends of the Senate, their friends of the CIA and the FBI, "This war is over. It's lost. We should never have gotten into it. But we can't break that news to the American people yet."

Bill: Right.

Christopher: Now, how is that gonna sound to people whose sons were lost in Vietnam after the war had been given up on by the political class? How is that gonna sound?

. . . In 1968, there was a peace agreement being made in Paris by Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. government -- the elective government -- to begin an orderly withdrawal from what was obviously a fiasco, if not a crime, in Vietnam. The Nixon campaign went to the South Vietnamese military leadership and said, "If you sabotage those talks and pull out of them and wreck the 1968 elections -- sabotage, undermine them, which would actually happen -- then we'll give you a better deal. We'll continue the war on your terms for four more years." Look at the Kerrey stuff. Look at the time. Look at the place. The time is '69, the war is being extended illegally and secretly as a result of a secret deal involving Nixon and Kissinger.

Christopher: What should not be done against communism? Nelson Mandela was arrested on information given to the police by American Central Intelligence Agency because they were fighting Communism. Are you for that? Is anything done against Communism okay with you, would be my question? [ Talking over one another ]

The war in Vietnam was a war fought by the Vietnamese for independence against the Japanese, against the French and the United States government. They made a hideous mistake by lying repeatedly to certain people of inheriting that terrible war. And they threw away the lives of many, many Americans. They killed probably 3 million Vietnamese for nothing at all. And Bob Kerrey was ordered to throw away people.

Bill: But it wasn't for nothing at all. That's where you're wrong.

Whoopi [Goldberg]: What was it for?

Bill: It was so that Reagan could stand there and say, "Tear down this wall." And at that point, the Russians could go, "You know what? The Americans have proved to us that they are willing to stand up to the bully." If we had not fought Vietnam, Reagan couldn't have had his photo op, and this Cold War would never have ended.

Christopher: Who's the bully in the village when Bob Kerrey and his friends shoot 13 civilians? Who's the bully there? Under order. It was a free fire zone.

[ Talking over one another ]

Gene: What about the women in Dresden, were killed by Allied bombers?

Christopher: Do not profane the struggle against Nazism. Do not profane it, I repeat, by comparing it to the action of someone who acts like a Nazi and rounds up civilians and kills them.

Of course, Hitch had to take a back seat to Whoopi, who defended communism in the abstract, and spoke of her days of living in East Germany. Who knew?


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