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While no one was looking I apparently missed Christopher Hitchen's latest smackdown on the Plamegate affair.  Probably because it was on Slate, and since I'll read Drudge before that crap, it took awhile to filter down.  Never one to miss drunk spectacle, I had to catch up on Hitch's triumphant never-too-late unrebutted rationalization.  

I have now presented thousands of words of evidence and argument to the effect that, yes, the Saddam Hussein regime did send an important Iraqi nuclear diplomat to Niger in early 1999. And I have not so far received any rebuttal from any source on this crucial point of contention.

I'm no Plameologist nor do I drink enough to know where the two sides, science and booze, meet, but I'll go with Science sight unseen.  The question Hitch poses is:

Given the fact that Niger is synonymous with uranium (and was Iraq's source of "yellowcake" in 1981), and given that Zahawie had been Iraq's main man in nuclear diplomacy, what innocent explanation can be found for his trip?

Aw, that's easy! <--- best Sir Robin voice. Clean water, Nigerian hats, rural electrification? What does this "Zahawie" have to say about it?

Wilson was asked about my article and about Zahawie. He replied that Zahawie:

is a man that I know from my time as acting ambassador in Baghdad during the first Gulf War. ... He was ambassador to the Vatican, and he made a trip in 1999 to several West and Central African countries for the express purpose of inviting chiefs of state to violate the ban on travel to Iraq. He has said repeatedly to the press, he's now in retirement, and also to the International Atomic Energy Agency, to their satisfaction, that uranium was not on his agenda...

Hitch really sticks in the knife here:

In the same press interviews to which Wilson alludes (and which I cited last week), Zahawie went a bit further than saying that uranium was "not on his agenda." He claimed not to know that Niger produced uranium at all!

Fantastic! The absinthe I mean.

And it's true that the two men [Wilson and Zahawie] knew each other during the Gulf crisis of 1990-1991. Indeed, in his book The Politics of Truth, Wilson records Zahawie as having been in the room, as under-secretary for foreign affairs, during his last meeting with Saddam Hussein. (Quite a senior guy for a humble mission like violating flight-bans from distant Niger and Burkina Faso.) I cite this because it is the only mention of Zahawie that Wilson makes in his entire narrative.

[Italics breathlessly in original].  Well apparently to a drunkard, this makes positively good sense, but as a non-drinker myself, I'm afraid I'm incompetent to address the conclusions to be drawn from there.  Whatever the logic, and its awful, it has Hitch feeling good about War and supporting War, now that he has shown its righteousness, when discussing the latest Plame news:

As most of us have long suspected, the man who told Novak about Valerie Plame was Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's deputy at the State Department and, with his boss, an assiduous underminer of the president's war policy.

What a fucking War Pig. Now I remember why I hate Slate. Now I'm going to start hating Vanity Fair until they pull his tired ass off (and I thought I was outraged out).  WOLCOTT'S ON THE INTERNETS NOW BITCHES!!!

Originally posted to Lush on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 05:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The thing that bothers me most about Hitch (4+ / 0-)

    Reading him, I feel like I'm reading the works of the man who has gleefully founded the Algonquin round table's chapter of Little Green Footballs or FreeRepublic.

    War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. ~General Smedley Butler

    by LeftHandedMan on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 05:31:33 PM PDT

  •  Hitch is An ASS (8+ / 0-)

    His "performance" on Maher made him one of the most vile right wing apologists ever to appear on Maher's panels.  Flipping the bird and making snide comments to the audience did not encourage anyone to treat him with respect.  Given his juvenile behavior, I thought the audience was better behaved than him in any event.  But then . . . maybe he is just a mean drunk?

    When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

    by foolrex on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 05:34:58 PM PDT

  •  hitch (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lush, amRadioHed, Land of Enchantment

    it's really sad.  this chap used to be great - dunno what happens to people when they go to pieces as eg ezra pound did, tho of course it's heresy to mention pound in the same breath as hitch; they go all right-wing and anti-semitic. pound did recover....but i remember hitch's glory years, when, for example, he was on one of the sunday talks shows with charlton heston, talking about the middle east.  heston rabbited on, toeing the party line until hitch turned to the host and asked 'Why do you dig up these tired old reaganite hacks? This idiot couldn't find the middle east on a map'. heston bridled and assured viewers that he knew the middle east very well.  'Okay' said hitch, enjoying himself, 'where's Bahrain?'  'Bahrain' intoned heston, 'is between iraq and....'  'It's an island in the persian gulf,' drawled hitch, dripping contempt....
    i could forgive him a lot after that....

  •  Pat Fitzgerald was the biggest con of them all (0+ / 0-)

    I know that I am not the first to say that Fitz fooled me, but he is a punk.  

    I can only imagine the expression on Fitz's face when he read the papers this weekend to find out who leaked Valerie Plame's name. Fitz spent 3 years and couldn't figure it out, and someone writes a book and lo and behold, it was Richard Armitage. I can see the Republicans howling now about the waste of taxpayers' money when all we had to do was wait for the book deal.

    Then someone would talk. Forget the 50 million dollars spent on a failed investigation and a prosecution that is going nowhere fast except can you say....pardon. Forget due process and good governance or the law. All we had to do was wait for the book.  

    This diary is entirely unrelated to the disclosures about Fitz and Ali Muhamed--I'm sure you've heard by now about the guy who is, or maybe was, an al Qaeda operative who also served in the Green Berets before working with the FBI and probably the CIA.  Link is here at The Huffington Post.  

    What an effin' joke even if the whole Plame affair was nothing more than the swift-boating of Joe Wilson by the White House and, more particularly, WHIG, which Armitage, Cheney, Libby, Matalin, Rove and others in the Administration who then spoke to Novak and Russert and Judith Miller and that Time guy so who doesn't know that the White House did it despite Scotty's denials.  

  •  rebutted here on dkos (0+ / 0-)

    "I had to catch up on Hitch's triumphant never-too-late unrebutted rationalization"

    — Lush


    The Hitchens articles had escaped my attention until you posted this diary.  Today I did a search for Zahawie and found a diary by hekebolos which provides an in depth point by point rebuttal to Hitchens.


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