Friday, September 15, 2006

Hitch: Saddam and Al-Qaeda

Chris Hitchens schools an ABC (that's Australian Broadcasting Corporation) questioner on the link (yes! there really was one!) between Saddam and terrorism.

Tony Jones downright fetishizes Richard Clarke, to the point where he all he has left is well, Richard Clarke says your wrong, even as Hitch lists fact after fact demonstrating the fact that Saddam was very much interested in aiding terrorists.

TONY JONES: Isn't it more important, though, to create or to make a link between September 11 and Saddam Hussein, if you are going to invade the country virtually as a direct result of that?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes, well I mean, I think the links were pretty adequately demonstrated.

TONY JONES: Not according to Richard Clarke, for example, who makes the claim that the President himself, only 24 hours after the attacks, came to him urging him to find the evidence that Iraq was involved with the September 11 attacks and he couldn't find that evidence?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I've read that too. I wouldn't myself have tasked Mr Clarke with that, nor would I have trusted the CIA to get that right, even a tiny thing like that, because they've always got everything else wrong. The CIA continues to say there can't have been a connection, because if one was ever proved - and there's a great deal of evidence for it - they would look stupid. Because they always said, not just that it wasn't there. Do observe this distinction. They said it couldn't be there. They said, by definition, Saddam Hussein could not help Islamic terrorists because his regime was supposedly secular. Now that to anyone who knows anything about Iraq is sheer fatuity. There is an overarching analysis as well that, to some extent, puts these matters of linkage in perspective. When one examined the situation, and realised that al-Qaeda and its co-thinkers have been incubated by what was, in effect, a political slum in the Middle East, which we've been letting rot and decay for far too long and, therefore, it would be a good thing to begin some slum clearance in the region. This meant turning the Pakistani Government from a sympathiser of the Taliban to at least, neutrality. It meant taking away their Afghan colony from them. That's what they've been treating Afghanistan as being. It meant warning the Saudi Arabians we knew what they were doing; it meant undercutting their oil monopoly, by trying to liberate the oil fields of Iraq. And it meant removing the most outstanding supporter of terrorism and jihadism in the region, who was a man with whom we in any case had a political rendezvous. A man who should have been removed from power in 1991. So if you could get over your obsession with this idea that there were invented linkages, you would see there is a broader intersection of argument that favours regime change in the Middle East.

TONY JONES: I understand Christopher Hitchens...

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Excuse me, they would have made maintenance of the status quo much more dangerous.

TONY JONES: I understand what you're saying but the claim of Richard Clarke and others.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Which you really obviously won't let go of, will you?

Heh.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Hitchens has for some time been my favorite liberal.

And perhaps the only one with any remaining unspoilt powers of observation.

4:50 AM  

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