And Yet More
Meanwhile, reading this post I get the sense that James Kirchick has been making copies of copies of copies of old Roger Cohen columns or something:
To this, the leftist blog "Lawyers, Guns and Money" asks "Is there anything that Bill Kristol says that won't eventually find its way into Christopher Hitchens Mouth?" (which the always lovely Eric Alterman cites, Matthew Yglesias snarks, "Oh, good. Word on the street is that back in the CPA days they said 'real men go to Teheran.' Obviously, though, the really real hawks of the world are the China hawks."[...]
We've really come to the point now where, for the most widely read of liberal bloggers, the mere mention of human rights abuses in foreign countries is met with cries of "Warmonger!" or, even worse, "Neo-con!" Well, if talking about Iran's murdering of American troops in Iraq or China's support for the Burmese junta qualifies me as either of these epithets, I'd rather be a "neo-con warmonger" than adhere to the nihilism expressed by the likes of Matthew Yglesias and Eric Alterman.
Here, again, with the random deployment of the term "leftist." And, of course Kirchick would rather be a neoconservative warmonger than a liberal like me or Eric Alterman, that's because he's a neoconservative warmonger. Most annoyingly of all, we have the classic internet argumentative tactic "if I ignore the parts of my critics' writing where they made their substantive arguments, I can make it sound as if they don't have any substantive arguments!" But go back and read the Robert Farley post we were all linking to. Or read this longer Farley follow up.
Several of the things Hitchens said about China were false; others badly overblown. In general, the thrust of his argument seemed to be agreement with people like Bill Kristol that United States policy should be aimed at gearing up for conflict with China (presumably more a Cold War-style conflict than a hot one) which would, in my view, be a disaster for the interests of Americans and most of the people around the world. It's true, of course, that the PRC government is fairly harsh dictatorship, but I don't see the sort of demonization of China that Hitchens was engaged in as likely to lead to anything that's actually helpful to actual Chinese people. It is true, however, that Hitchens and Kirchick may just be engaged in vacuous posturing and senseless smearing of liberals that's completely divorced from any policy ideas or real thought about anything.