So yesterday I went to the AUC to hear Seymor Hersh speak. I must say I had only heard of the man in passing, and knew that he was the guy who broke out the Abu Gharib story, but beyond that I had no prejudices going in. And then I read who was presenting him, and those Prejudices went right out of the window. You see, the man was brought to us by the Heikal foundation for Journalism, as in Mohamed Hassanein Heikal. For those unfamiliar with the man, he wrote the book on crony journalism and regime propaganda. This is the man who crafted the image of Nasser for the egyptian people for over almost 2 decades, creating and crafting his personality cult, and then spent the rest of his days as an advisor, a writer, and occasionally a weapon's dealer. But in essence, he is an apologist for an authoratarian regime and a proagandist per excellence. So to hear mr. Hersh talking about how he is glad and optimistic regarding the future of egyptian journalism thanks to institutes such as the Heikal Foundation for Journalism, well, you can understand why I felt like crying at that moment.
However, I was immedietly distracted by the group masturbation session that followed those words as mr. Hersh started his speech. I was wowed by this man's ability to verbally give every single member of the audience a handjob. It was exactly everything they wanted to hear and nothing more. Simply amazing. This is a man who knows his audience and how exactly to bullshit them. For example, he mentioned- with the disclaimer that he has no proof of this- that the UN owed Iraq approx. 9 billion dollars for Oil sales in escrow, which was later on claimed by the US government when it took over Iraq and then simply dissappeared and vanished. He of course has no proof or sources to confirm this, but his audience is not one that needs proof in such matters. After all, we live for this shit.
What was slightly surprising was how pro-Shia the man was (the man apparently could see no harm coming from Iran, syria or hezbollah), which was later on explained to me in the context that this man is a member of the new Left, and the new left believes that any enemy of the USA is a good person and needs to be supported, because the USA is a very bad and naughty country. But the dude was stretching thing a little bit. I mean when he decribed the March 14th movement as "The US backed Sunni dominated Seniora government" I started heaving, but when he described Hezbollah as "a member of an opposition coalition with Christian catholics" I knew I was in the presence of greatness. This is a man who could distort shit so well that he could disprove gravity. And just so you know, the US is backing a "Fitnah" amongst muslims that is trying to get sunnis to fight the Shias, who apparently before the US moved into Iraq never fought before. Oh yeah, and it's all the saudis fault. If you removed the Saudis and the americans, the region would be peacefull with rainbows, butterflies and choclate springs sprouting all over. It's not like the Iranians are equiping shia militias in Iraq, financing Hezbollah in Lebanon, trying to detsabalize the government of Bahrain and occupies part of the UAE. Not gonna mention that, no way. The Iranians are cool after all, because they hate the US.
You know, I am willing to listen and accept his version of how the americans are to blame for everything in the middle-east if he would just mention the other asshole players and assign them blame as well. I mean, yeah, the sunnis are asshole extremist fanatics and Saudi is filled with crazy wahabi and mutawaeen, but so are the Shia, and Iran has the religious police and almost executed a girl for killing someone who wanted to rape her. Yet somehow, in Hersh's world view, what Iran does is not a problem, the Saudis are. After all, they are cozy with the US. Dude, this is the middle east. The devil's asshole. Everybody here is guilty. We all have blood on our hands. Sunnis and Shia. Christians and Jews. Arabs and Persians. It's just how things are around here, and it's not gonna change if the Saudis ran out of Oil or the US lost its power and status. Sorry. Any undergrad Junior International Affairs or middle-eastern studies student will tell you that it's a tad more complicated than that. But not as far as mr. Hersh is concerned.
All in all, it was lovely. People had the same blank happy look on their faces that they had after watching Fehrenheit 9/11. They didn't come up with anything new, just everything they have believed and heard a thousand times before just rehashed and repackaged and told to them by an anti-Israeli jew. And, after all, in a country like Egypt, the moral authority of anti-israeli jew is absolute.
So yeah, it was a fun hour. I love me a good bullshit artist. Maybe that's why I always had a soft spot for Bill Clinton. He was, after all, the master of Bullshit artistry! However, if you are not a critical thinker, you left this place with the satisfied face and shit-eating grin of someone who just got exactly what he wanted and expected, faith rewarded. Good for you. Keep it up. Your world will always be a simple one.