Monday, October 08, 2007

Inskeep and Bull

Hitchens continuing his role as John Bull, gets an admiring (envious?) interview from Steve Inskeep on Monday morning. (Not the first homage to Hitchens that NPR has done). The grain of this story is that a young American who was "inspired" by Hitchens' hawking of the Iraq War was recently killed in Iraq.

If you want evidence of the colonial math of the Iraq War this is an illustrative interview. The total focus of NPR's story is how Hitchens feels about possibly being a part of the death of this one young American. That's reasonable enough, but there was not one question asking how Hitchens feels about fronting for the Bush-Blair unprovoked invasion of a country that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, over 4 million internal and external refugees and tens of thousands of military casualties.

Not only is Hitchens not held to account, Inskeep uses the interview to put a little Pentagon propaganda out there. Quoting the Internet postings of the soldier who was killed, Inskeep relates how a Kurdish man told the soldier "the difference between insurgents and American soldiers is that they get paid to take life, to murder - and you, the American soldiers, get paid to save lives." Inskeep is quite moved by this nonsense (I guess all those US airstrikes are delivering food and medicine!) He notes, "Quite elegant letter, quite elegant description." And Hitchens chimes in " ...I was very stirred by that."

Not satisfied with this Centcom commercial, Inskeep adds, "Would you hope there might be another young American who might read your words and listen to them here on NPR and be inspired to enlist and go to Iraq?"


Porter Melmoth said...

Nationalist Perverse Radio strikes again! American media of all kinds just loves Chris Hitch. That voice, that erudition, that sophistication! And he's American! Yup, just tied the knot with US citizenship, so he's got a right to say 'us' and 'our' instead of 'you Americans', etc. Well Chris, I lived in the UK for two years, and exotic you ain't. If fact, Chris is viewed as rather banal in his ex-country. Idea! Glom onto the US of A and do a road show. Out-do the Americans at their own game, but slather on the Brit refinement and wow 'em with your vocab. Hey, they loved Tony B's performances every time, it's a sure bet. So Chris plays the morose-but-infinitely-urbane pooh-bear role, and no one can touch him. He can even inspire gullible young boys to go fight his wars, and only a droll, pudgy response is called for. What a deal!

There used to be a dignified tradition of Brits becoming Americanized (e.g. Alistair Cooke), but now we only get their left-overs.

Give me your burn-outs, your washed-ups and your third-string rejects...

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

That is just too @#*%-in' ghastly for words. Thank God I missed this one or I would have surely broken my radio. Makes me want to try and reclaim the contributions I made in years past... when I was gullible to think that public radio was where it's at.

See you in HELL, Christopher Hitchens.

Greywolf said...

Apologies for letting this journalistic mad dog escape across the Atlantic. We British are just too sentimental when it comes to animals, even when the most humane thing to do might be to put them down.

MTWORDS, thanks so much for a very instructive post. I've linked to it and also taken the liberty of reproducing the bulk of your article and the illustration at Hitchens Watch. I do hope this is OK with you as we watchers have to support each other for the sake of generating a bit of synergy.