Even though I pegged the ‘Syria has North Korean nuclear weapons’ story as horsecrap from the get-go, it’s nice to get some confirmation. Nonetheless, the surfeit of stories that were seeded throughout the British and neo-con press shows that something is afoot. Perhaps Seymour Hersh put it best in a recent interview with Jewish Journal:
JJ: You turned 70 this year. Why keep working so hard?
SH: I don’t work that hard. I write four or five pieces a year. Secondly, what do you want me to do? Play professional golf? I can’t do that. You do what you can do. And I’m in a funny spot because I have an ability to communicate with people I have known for a number of years. They trust me, and I trust them, so I keep on doing these little marginal stories.
JJ: That’s all they are? Marginal?
SH: With these stories, if they slow down or make people take a deep breath before they bomb Iran, that is a plus. But they are not going to stop anybody. This is a government that is unreachable by us, and that is very depressing. In terms of adding to the public debate, the stories are important. But not in terms of changing policy. I have no delusions about that.
Hersh also has some good advice for Democrats.
JJ: Bush recently compared Iraq to Vietnam in a positive way. What do you think he learned from the Vietnam War?
SH: He seems to have learned from lessons that were not very valid. Nobody wants to be a loser. Bush is going to disengage to some degree, and he’s going to claim the country is more stable. He’s just going to say whatever he wants, and he’s going to get away with it because who knows what is going on in Basra. Nobody I know in their right mind would go down there. You’d get whacked.
And the Democrats have fallen into the trap of saying, “We shouldn’t get out.” As far as I am concerned, there are only two issues: Option A is to get out by midnight tonight, and Option B is to get out by midnight tomorrow.
With Israel attacking chemical weapons sites in Syria and Cheney seeding the press for war with Iran, I somehow think the debate over what to do in Iraq is about to be overtaken by other, ahem, events.