Christopher Hitchens is a cheap-shot prick.
 Like Maureen Dowd, he hates everybody, so there's no chance
 for him to get tripped up with his never-ending name-calling.

 Take the vulgar Pigboy - please.

 He's so easy to take apart because he'll tell you how Clinton doesn't care,
 but then he'll try to explain how Smirk does care, and looks triple-stupid doing it.
 But when you hate everybody, you're on pretty safe ground, right?

 The only person worse than Bush is Clinton,
 and the only person worse than Clinton is Bush.
 He has no point of view, no answers, no heroes and he has no soul.
 He just wants to whine and complain and bitch

 I'm also going to admit up-front that I don't have the research time or facilities
 that Hitchens has, so I can only respond with what I know.

   Powell's Secret Coup

   The coronation of Colin Powell will probably not be interrupted by any
   of the specific questions about his mediocre and sometimes sinister past
   that were so well phrased by David Corn ["Questions for Powell,"
   January 8/15]. The political correctness of the nomination, in both its
   "rainbow" and "bipartisan" aspects, will see to that. Powell has often
   defined himself as "a fiscal conservative and a social liberal," which also
   happens to be the core identity of the Washington press corps. Set
   against this, what is the odd war crime, or cover-up of same, or
   deception of a gullible Congress? Time to move on.

   To move on, to be exact, to the militarization of the State Department and the triumph of the
   military over civilian control. The most important moment in Powell's career as a Republican
   came in the first months of the first Clinton Administration, when he organized and led a
   political mutiny against the Commander in Chief and saw the mutiny succeed. It's "legacy"
   time, so everybody feels entitled to be stupidly lenient, but no consideration of Clinton as a
   President is complete until we take the full measure of his surrender on this critical point.

   He was elected, you may remember, having promised
   to lift the ban on homosexuals serving in the military
   and having promised to lift the embargo on the supply
   of arms to Bosnia. Nor were these mere "fine print"
   promises: The first had been front and center in his
   fundraising and campaigning, and the second had
   involved comparisons with the Final Solution, of the
   sort that can't easily be taken back. Within a few
   months of his swearing the oath that he was to break
   in so many ways, Clinton receded from both these
   pledges. In both instances, he caved in to a political
   revolt orchestrated by the Chairman of the Joint
   Chiefs of Staff. Could I put you to the trouble of
   rereading that brief last sentence? The first cold war
   presidency began with Harry Truman putting the
   military in its constitutional place on matters foreign
   and domestic, firing Gen. Douglas MacArthur for trying to run a private war in Korea and
   telling the armed forces to desegregate and to do it right away. The first post-cold war
   presidency began with an abject surrender to the brass, on the treatment of an unpopular
   minority and on an important foreign policy question. The comparison is even more appalling
   when you remember that Truman did not base his two best decisions on election pledges.

   Colin Powell would not have been able to enjoy his long career as a butt-kisser and
   timeserver had Truman not told the Joint Chiefs to obey orders and desegregate. However,
   weeks after Clinton was elected and eight days before he was inaugurated, Powell appeared
   before the Naval Academy and enjoined his audience to consider resigning if they opposed
   an end to the ban on gays in the military. Not long before that, he had written and signed an
   Op-Ed in the New York Times flatly opposing military intervention in the Balkans (at least on
   the Bosnian side; the existing arms embargo already favored Milosevic and Tudjman).

   Clinton, of course, could not buckle fast enough. He allowed himself--and his pathetic
   Defense Secretary, Les Aspin--to be humiliated in public on visits to United States warships
   [see "Minority Report," April 12, 1993]. He left the Bosnians at the mercy of Milosevic for
   two crucial years. He allowed the USS Harlan County to be scared away from Haiti by a
   handful of CIA-financed goons. And he came up with the contemptible policy of "don't ask,
   don't tell," where the police questioning and invigilation and intimidation still went on--even
   increased--and where volunteer servicemen and -women were told their only hope lay in

   Not even this was enough to satisfy Powell. On the day of his retirement as Chairman of the
   Joint Chiefs, he was humbly asked by Clinton what he thought of Aspin, and Powell replied
   that the poor sap had forfeited the confidence of the armed forces. The President, Powell
   calmly said, might want to consider replacing him. No sooner suggested than done. This
   would qualify as gross insubordination in any self-respecting democracy (Powell should not
   have been asked; neither should he have told), but remember who the President was. It was
   a little afterward that Clinton decided to ignore all reports of what was impending in Rwanda
   and to employ the US veto at the UN to forestall any pre-emptive action. This, too, was done
   to gratify the reactionary and military noninterventionists. (The disgrace was compounded by
   Clinton's diplomatic support for the later French intervention, on the side of their client
   Rwandan murderers.)

   Now we enter upon a moment when a gigantic decision has to be made about the
   building of a suicidally dangerous and stupid "National Missile Defense" system. And
   the State Department, which has the job of overseeing the numerous arms-control
   treaties to which the United States is a signatory, has been annexed by a former professional
   military man with a long record of shady politicization of the armed forces and their role. The
   selling of Star Wars will be a great deal easier with such a man at Foggy Bottom and with
   the press and Congress already predisposed to eat out of his "inclusive" palm and lick his
   highly polished "inclusive" boots. This is actually the continuation of Clintonism by other
   means, a banana republic garnished with identity politics. (If Toni Morrison and Arthur Miller
   could be induced to fawn and coo about "our first black President," what can they say about
   our first black Caesar?)

   This is the last column of mine that will appear in the Clinton era. Eight years ago, I
   concluded that the man was a pathological liar, filthy about women, corrupt about money,
   desperate to please authority, a serf alike to powerful interests and to opinion polls. His
   legacy is "managed competition," "don't ask, don't tell" and "faith-based" care for the losers.
   He didn't mean it about the era of big government being "over," as Powell and others are
   about to demonstrate, using his same selective principles. It's been a nasty interlude between
   the Bushes. The incurables among you can now set to work, to make Bush seem a dismal
   interlude between two wonderful Clintons.

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