Oh, why don’t you just ignore Hitchens? Why are you paying him so much attention? Don’t you know that if you just ignore him he’ll go away? That’s what YOU said. And I ignored him. And I ignored him and I ignored him and I ignored him some more. And then, after all that ignoring, Christopher Hitchens – Our Modern Cal Thomas – wrote this. And then I tried ignoring that for a whole week, but it starting attracting flies and giving off an odor and now I’m going to have to have the whole internets fumigated. Last time I listen to you.
Fortunately, Hitchens does not now, nor has he ever, guided policy. He guides remarkably little, in fact, except the stalwart dinghy U.S.S. Payattentiontome in its noble voyages on a sea of Chivas. And much of the punditocracy sails with him. As for people who matter – and who are more easily, though less justifiably, ignored – many seem to have ended up in the same place:
Obama’s foreign-policy advisers come from diverse backgrounds. They are former aides to Democratic mandarins like Tom Daschle and Lee Hamilton (Denis McDonough and Ben Rhodes, respectively); veterans of the Clinton administration’s left flank (Tony Lake and Susan Rice); a human-rights advocate who helped write the Army’s and Marine Corps’ much-lauded counterinsurgency field manual (Sarah Sewall); a retired general who helped run the air war during the invasion of Iraq (Scott Gration); and a former journalist who revolutionized the study of U.S. foreign policy (Samantha Power). Yet they form a committed, intellectually coherent, and surprisingly united foreign-affairs team. (Shortly before this piece went to press, Power resigned from the campaign after making an intemperate remark to a reporter.)
They also share a formative experience with each other and with Obama. Each opposed the Iraq War at a time when doing so was derided by their colleagues, by journalists, and by the foreign-policy establishment. Each did so because they understood that the invasion and occupation ran counter to the goal of destroying al-Qaeda. And each bore the frustration of endless lectures on their lack of so-called seriousness from those who suffered from strategic myopia.
You can ignore or revile the Hitchenses in the media, but it won’t do any good, as they all went to the same $5500/hr sheep-fucking orgy and they all took pictures. (Best current theory.) It’s annoying, but that’s show business. OTOH, you actually get to vote to get these people jobs which matter a great deal more.