A Conversation with Seymour Hersh

Link found on Angry Arab.
It Will All Fall Down: A Conversation with Seymour Hersh
From Adbusters #73, Aug-Sep 2007

DC: With your story on Lebanon about the US and Saudi Arabia supporting Sunni jihadists, including Fatah al-Islam, we then see the Lebanese army start to fight Fatah al-Islam in a refugee camp in Lebanon. What happened there?

SH: Look, I’m not being querulous but it doesn’t matter what I think. What obviously happened is that, assuming I was right, there’s a pattern here. If you go back two decades, when the war against Russia was being fought in Afghanistan, the Saudis convinced us that they could control the Salafis – Osama Bin Laden, etc. – and we overtly and knowingly aided them and it ended up biting our ass. So it’s not illogical to conclude that one of the things that happened is that people we thought we could control, we could not control. So, right now we are helping the Lebanese army fight people that we indirectly helped support. As usual, it’s complete madness.

DC: You met Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon some time ago. Is fear of him and his popularity their reason for supporting Sunni jihadists at this point?

SH: Sure. Of course.

DC: He’s been branded as a terrorist by the West and the media. What was your impression of him?

SH: I think in Europe he is seen much differently. The Germans certainly negotiated with him; the French do. In fact, Hezbollah was invited by the French government to a conference that may or may not take place on the whole Lebanese crisis. I hear it was delayed because of American protests. So basically this is an American point of view. I think the Brits even have a difference of opinion. And I don’t think there’s any question that, whatever he may have done two decades ago, today he’s certainly playing it responsibly, and his response to the crisis most recently has been pretty interesting, supporting the Lebanese army, etc. So his record speaks for itself. He’s also probably the most influential man in the Middle East right now.

DC: More so than [Iranian president] Ahmadinejad?

SH: Oh my God yes. I don’t think there’s any question. All the popularity polls show, particularly after the war against the Israelis, he was number one in the hit parade. I don’t know if this is true, but I think Ahmadinejad even wanted Hezbollah to come visit him publicly in Tehran at one point in the last six months. He wouldn’t do it, maybe for reasons as simple as his own security. But, he’s quite an imposing figure. And he’s somebody that, were we in the real world, we’d be dealing with. But we’re not in the real world here in Washington DC.

...DC: How do you see the media environment changing since that point (since the My Lai massacre story ) ?

SH: That’s a big question. Basically, it’s a little shocking to me that the mainstream press has so completely missed the story of this war in Iraq and this presidency. I think when we look back on this era we’re going to be very critical of the press. They really missed one of the great moral issues of our time, just as they missed Vietnam for many years. So it’s really pretty sad.

DC: Where do you see some good journalism happening right now?

SH: Dana Priest in the Washington Post did some good stuff. There’s a kid named Nir Rosen who does some good stuff and has spent a lot of time out there. There are a lot of good journalists out there doing stuff, not all of them necessarily where we can see it. My old newspaper, the New York Times, is basically a huge disappointment to me, not only because of Judith Miller but because they continue to flack for the war. And that’s sort of depressing. After all those years I spent there I am a little astonished that they haven’t figured out a way to be more critical of Bush.

No comments:

Since March 29th 2006