Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And it beats this drum for war

Chris Hedges, (Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times) was on DemNow (ostensibly to talk about dominionist fascists):
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about this latest headline that we read today. You have, what came out in the last few weeks, reporters in Baghdad getting this unusual briefing where there weren’t allowed to name names or even take in their video cameras, being told that Iran was supplying -- what was it? -- highest levels of the Iranian government sending sophisticated roadside bombs to Iraq that have killed 170 coalition troops since 2004. I wanted to ask about Michael Gordon, your former colleague at the New York Times, the person who was so-called breaking the story, who was deeply involved with the weapons of mass destruction myths also in his writings with Judith Miller, and now this latest today, the Iranian government accusing the US and Britain of being involved in an attack last week that killed eleven members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Start with Michael Gordon.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, that’s probably the best reason to watch Democracy Now!, rather than read the New York Times, about the war in Iraq. It’s almost -- one’s left sort of speechless. I guess it’s proof that some people never learn anything. I mean, I was on the investigative team and got briefly sort of tarnished with that dirt. I was based in Paris covering al-Qaeda but did get sucked into one of these sort of sham Chalabi stories.

AMY GOODMAN: Which one?

CHRIS HEDGES: It was the one where they supposedly had a defector in Lebanon. It wasn’t my story, but, I mean, it ended up -- you tend on investigative units to work as teams. It was Lowell Bergman’s story, which was broadcast on Frontline, but he could not fly to Beirut to interview the guy, so I did. But, I mean, it was my body. I was there. And --

AMY GOODMAN: Explain who he was, the person you interviewed?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, he was an impostor. Supposedly, he was a general, and he was talking about training camps that were being run in Iraq for al-Qaeda. I think it’s been pretty well discredited. So I find it -- I mean, I find the tactics -- and we see it, you know, ratcheting up with the rhetoric with Iran. I mean, we see that they're familiar tactics and familiar lies. And it’s just stunning that people as bright as Michael Gordon buy into it. I don’t get it.

AMY GOODMAN: Of course, it’s not just Michael Gordon. He writes the piece, and then the institution of the Times, well, they put it on the front page --


AMY GOODMAN: -- and they’re the ones that make it the big exclusive story based on unnamed sources. And it beats this drum for war.


AMY GOODMAN: What will you do if the US attacks Iran?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, I’m not going to pay my income taxes. I just am in such despair over the consequences of that war and the fact that there just really is no -- seems to be no organized opposition. And I think that I have a kind of moral responsibility as someone who comes out of the Middle East and has, I mean, directly, you know, friends throughout the years that I spent there who would suffer tremendously from that. And I sort of -- it may not change anything, and it may be sort of futile, but I think that at least when it’s over, I’ll have earned the right to ask for their forgiveness.

No comments: