Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald responded to Jeffrey Goldberg’s ridiculous “think about the Kurds” post hoc justification for the war in Iraq (which itself was Goldberg changing the topic from the accuracy of his pre-war reporting, which then led to the ridiculous spectacle of Eli Lake guest-posting for him to continue to attempt to make the Al Qaeda/Hussein link case- I can only assume Goldberg couldn’t get a Weekly Standard intern to fill in), and noted that throughout history, whenever any country is invaded, there is always some group within the invading country who was pleased:
It’s difficult to find an invasion in history that wasn’t supported by at least some faction of the invaded population and where that same self-justifying script wasn’t used. That’s true even of the most heinous aggressors. Many Czech and Austrian citizens of Germanic descent, viewing themselves as a repressed minority, welcomed Hitler’s invasion of their countries, while leaders of the independence-seeking Sudeten parties in those countries actively conspired to bring it about. Did that make those German invasions justifiable?
This has sent Time’s Joe Klein into one of his usual frothing rages (which seem reserved for Greenwald or anyone who dares attack the village):
Greenwald also disagreed with Goldberg, but used the opportunity to launch another of his litigious, ambulance-chasing forays–in Greenwald’s case, it is “hits” he’s trying to collect, not fees–in which he posited Jeff as an arch-villain, practicing a form of dishonest journalism that Greenwald believes is corrupting the Republic. To be sure, lazy, corrupt journalism happens; always has, always will. But Goldberg’s work is quite the opposite: rigorously reported, beautifully written and fiercely honest. Indeed, Jeff’s willingness to be candid about lessons he learned along the way created a book that Greenwald rarely, if ever, mentions: Prisoners, a memoir of Jeff’s time as a member of the Israel Defense Forces when he served as a prison guard and developed a close, difficult and unresolved friendship with one of his Palestinian prisoners. This is the sort of work that Greenwald, locked in the sterile prison of his ideology, is completely incompetent to understand.
And now, Greenwald–who, so far as I can tell, only regards the United States as a force for evil in the world–has laid out the incredible notion that the liberation of the Kurds, which Jeff celebrates (and so do I, and so do civilized people everywhere) as a happy byproduct of George W. Bush’s dreadful war in Iraq, can be compared to the Nazi seizure of the Sudetenland:
Actually Joe, you’ve completely missed the point.
Let’s put this in words Joe can understand- If Israel were to be attacked, occupied, and have millions of her citizens murdered or killed in an invasion by Egypt, six years from now, it would not be ok to point to that immoral invasion and say “But look how happy the Palestinians are!” Which is precisely what Goldberg was doing, and exactly what Greenwald was pointing out. Even worse, Klein needed a reader to point out the very fact that Greenwald himself insisted the invasion of Iraq and the Nazi invasions are not the same. Now that’s some close reading of something that really upset you!
Joe noted that he was interrupting his vacation for this outburst- for his sake, I hope it was written from the hotel bar, because he completely missed the point. And for the record- I really like reading Joe Klein- most of the time.
*** Update ***
We’ve now got the spectacle of two prominent journalists, one for Time, one for the Atlantic, willfully misinterpreting someone’s remarks and screaming that person is a Nazi lover and hates America. Godwin wept.