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Hedges Against Sanity

4:02 PM, Nov 22, 2007 • By JOHN NOONAN
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Chris Hedges of the Nation seems to fancy himself a reincarnation of Henry David Thoreau. Only Thoreau was protesting a war that actually existed. From his latest, "Hands Off Iran":

I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran--which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election--will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d'état that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.

That one paragraph gives us much to chew on. Each sentence boasts its own exquisite paranoia. But I couldn't help but to focus on Hedges' casual suggestion that military action against Iran would cost us "what is left of our civil liberties."

If I had the resources, I'd sponsor an essay contest challenging "What Civil Liberties Have You Lost Since 9/11?" For all of the Left's assurances that a vote for a Republican is a vote for the death of democracy, I can't think of a single right or freedom that I have lost since President Bush took office. And to be honest? I can't see someone turning "I can't call my al Qaeda cousin in Pakistan without the NSA listening in" into a convincing argument that the Republic is ready to draw its last breath.

Still, I'd love to be enlightened.

P.S.: The Corner notes of Hedges, "Not only was he a New York Times reporter for 15 years, he was its Middle East bureau chief in the 1990's. Yikes."