I like that he frames it in the context of apologizing to them.
Seriously, though, he’s out of bounds. If the nutroots packed up and left for Iraq, who’d be left to plot the astral conjunction between Kos’s “plutonic gonads” and Mark Warner’s Uranus?
2) What happened to the human shields? I didn’t think it was wise or principled of certain activists to go to Baghdad in 2003 and swear to put themselves between Iraqi civilians and undue harm. (To most Iraqis and Kurds, they looked like sheepish guards who were standing between Saddam Hussein and what was rightly coming to him, and there were protests at their presence. And they did seem to leave when things became nasty.) But the idea of witnessing for peace in this manner has its attractions. That new hero, Rep. John Murtha, repeated a familiar slur the other day, attacking Karl Rove for supporting the war from an air-conditioned office—as if a person with a White House job has no right to an opinion on the war. But would not now be the ideal time for those who hate war to go to Iraq and stand outside the mosques, hospitals, schools, and women’s centers that are daily subjected to murderous assaults? This would write an imperishable page in the history of American dissent.
They are human shields, though. Every new criticism of Kos draws the half-wit, bad-faith rejoinder that it’s not him his critics object to, it’s “people-powered politics.” He’s gone so far as to deploy it in defense of the “screw them” comment, which you can see for yourself towards the end of his interview with Kurtz on CNN a few weeks ago. Remember that the next time you hear him insist his movement’s leaderless while in the same breath presuming to excommunicate someone from the left for knocking him.
As for Hitchens, isn’t he the anti-Sullivan? Not in the sense that his writing gives the impression of having been composed between sobs, but in the sense that each follows Orwell by criticizing his own side’s willingness to apologize for totalitarianism. To Orwell that meant Stalin, to Hitchens it means Zarqawi, and to Sullivan it means … James Dobson, mostly. All Orwell disciples are equal, perhaps — but some are more equal than others.