Wednesday, December 10, 2003

9/11 Got Me Hard

Christopher Hitchens is the latest right winger to admit that 9/11 gave him a big stiffy. There's been quite a lot of this. I don't really begrudge it, too much, I sort of know where they're coming from. "Interesting times" are always exhilirating in their own weird way, especially when you believe that they suddenly given your otherwise mostly wasted life some purpose. Not that it made me feel that way.

But, of course, if I had written (and I wouldn't) something like "I am only slightly embarrassed to tell you that this was a feeling of exhilaration. Here we are then, I was thinking that finally an event had happened which cause America to rethink its foreign policy and fight on the side of good," I would have been condemned as an evil American-hating Lefty. But, of course, what I just wrote in quotes (mostly stolen from Hitchens) isn't saying something which is a sort of Lefty parody of what Hitchens said, it essentially is exactly what Hitchens is saying. I didn't specify which of our foreign policies was at fault, nor why, nor what it would mean to fight on the side of good. What our imagined American-hating Lefty and Hitchens are both saying is, "good, now we can get down to business and do what I think we should have been doing." The confirms their world-view (right or wrong), and all is well. For some reason, saying "Our foreign policy has been wrong and has led to this horrible event!" is okay as long as it's followed by "We must start kicking the shit out of more people!" but isn't if it's followed by "We should stop kicking the shit out of so many people!" Aside from the merits of either statement, both are blaming America's foreign policy for what happened. Why does Hitchens hate America?

The sad thing is, of course, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq anything else will provide the necessary climax. 9/11 just didn't give them a stiffy, it gave them priapism.