I just saw the former liberal, former intellectual Christopher Hitchens being interviewed on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. In the course of his typical, rambling, inaudible bloviating, he managed to slip in the Right’s next attack against Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, accusing her of making an anti-semitic statement about the reasons President Bush took us to war in Iraq.
The purportedly anti-Jewish statement of Sheehan’s that he sources comes from this paragraph in a letter she wrote to ABC’s Nightline on March 15:
Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a [Project for a New American Century (PNAC)] Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full well that my son, my family, this nation and this world were betrayed by George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agendas after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy … not for the real reason, because the Arab Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy.
PNAC was founded by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in 1997, with ultra-rightwing funding from the Scaife and Bradley fortunes. None of these folks are Jews, so far as I know.
The board of directors for PNAC does include some of the leading lights in the neo-conservative movement who happen to be Jewish, including Fox pundit William Kristol, Paul “Wrong-Way” Wolfowitz and the eminence of darkness, Richard Perle. The board is also populated with non-Jews such as Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida; Colin Powell’s pal Richard Armitage; CIA Leaker Scooter Libbey and the wife of Robert Bork, who may or may not be Jewish.
As neo- rightwinger, Hitchens may not have gotten the memo that the Right deplores kneejerk political correctness. One can certainly criticize PNAC without being anti-semitic – such criticism could just as easily be described as being anti-WASP.
And it is far game to criticize the nation of Israel, just as it’s fair to critcize France.
The true reasons President Bush took us to war are still being debated – and we probably won’t know what really motivated him until there’s an impeachment trial or he has Karen Hughes write another autobiography of him.
But we disagree with Mrs. Sheehan’s assessment that the central motivation was to protect Israel. Israel was a factor, but we seriously doubt that if Iraq had been over-flowing in rice (or salt) rather than oil, the folks at PNAC would have lifted a finger to rid the world of Saddam.
We believe their motivation was more about controlling the spigot on China’s oil than anything else, including enriching multinational oil companies.
It’s sad to see an old leftie like Hitchens joining so merrily in the smearing of a Bush critic – just as it was sad to watch him on his knees to the Right with his incessant smears of the Clintons a few years back.
Maybe the saddest part is, I doubt very much that the Right even wants him.