Battle lines being drawn

When New York Times reporter Chris Hedges gave his anti-American diatribe as a commencement speech at Rockford College, he was met with a chorus of boos and other expressions of disapproval. The sickening, high-minded smugness of Hedges’ speech was of course striking, but most striking to me was its sheer rudeness to the Rockford College graduates and their families. The reaction of his audience hasn’t exactly caused any introspection on Hedges’ part. Reader Jack Stephens has kindly alerted us to Hedges’ May 21 interview with the far-left host of the syndicated program “Democracy Now,” Amy Goodman. Here are a couple of choice paragraphs:
“You know, as I looked out on the crowd, that is exactly what my book [War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning] is about. It is about the suspension of individual conscience, and probably consciousness, for the contagion of the crowd for that euphoria that comes with patriotism. The tragedy is that – and I’ve seen it in conflict after conflict or society after society that plunges into war – with that kind of rabid nationalism comes racism and intolerance and a dehumanization of the other. And it’s an emotional response. People find a kind of ecstasy, a kind of belonging, a kind of obliteration of their alienation in that patriotic fervor that always does come in war time.
“As I gave my talk and I looked out on the crowd, I was essentially witnessing things that I had witnessed in the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina or in squares in Belgrade or anywhere else. Crowds, especially crowds that become hunting packs are very frightening. People chanted the kind of clich


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