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W-2s Are a Force That Gives Us Meaning

The Nation carries a sort-of cute envisioning of what the conversation would sound like between Norman Podhoretz and Daniel Pipes — both advisers to Rudy — the day after their man took the White House. (The soundbites are real, cobbled … Read More

By / November 21, 2007

The Nation carries a sort-of cute envisioning of what the conversation would sound like between Norman Podhoretz and Daniel Pipes — both advisers to Rudy — the day after their man took the White House. (The soundbites are real, cobbled together from a macedoine of sources.) But I think the real parody in the pages of the magazine comes courtesy of Chris Hedges. Taking a breather from his perpetual "Is it fascism yet?" all-points-bulletin, he's clapped out an hilarious editorial saying that… well, here, let him tell it:

I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture.

[...]

I will put the taxes I owe in an escrow account. I will go to court to challenge the legality of the war. Maybe a courageous judge will rule that the Constitution has been usurped and the government is guilty of what the postwar Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression. Maybe not. I do not know.

I'd sell my pinky toe to get an inside peek at Hedges' place the day the IRS comes to repo. ("Not the butter sculpture of Reinhold Niebuhr!")

The ellipsis above accounts for various doomsday scenarios Hedges projects in the event a few subterranean facilities in Natanz are collapsed. All the old silly lefty tropes are on display here, from the very title of the piece, "Hands Off Iran." Technically, the GBU-28 bunker-buster is capable of a precision and dexterity a shade higher than manual. Also, for a journalist who has made a career reporting about the nature and dynamics of warfare, Hedges is a mite vague on what the "imminent" U.S. confrontation with Iran will look like: will there be decapitation of government, a full-scale occupation, what? It's more fun and makes for brisker copy to be all about blowback. But I wonder, would Hedges be so kind as to advocate the same policy of non-intervention for Iran's Revolutionary Guard and its murderous proxies in Iraq? "Hands off Mosul" would be a nice complementary op-ed, while we're on the subject of "fallout" and "regional conflagrations."

I have a favorite line from this one, however:

Let us hope sanity prevails. But sanity is a rare commodity in a White House that has twisted Trotsky's concept of permanent revolution into a policy of permanent war with nefarious aims–to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to strip citizens of their constitutional rights.

The nice thing about dropping allusions to things you haven't read is that there's always the chance other people haven't read them, either. Sadly, Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution — twisted or pin-straight — has no resonance with regime change in Iraq, Iran, or elsewhere, and for reasons the Nation should have tasked Ronald Aronson to explain to Hedges.

According to our author, evangelical Christians are fascists, Bush is a retarded Lev Davidovitch, and all that can save our disintegrating Republic is a new round of Nuremberg trials.

I, too, hear America singing, Chris. The song's just not nearly as interesting as all that.

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