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Well Mr. Hersh, What Have You Left Me With?

July 2, 2008

You’ve probably heard about the article by Seymour Hersh in this week’s New Yorker. It’s on Iran, and is written in a surprisingly straightforward journalistic style not usually found in the magazine.

Hersh presents us with evidence that the Administration is operating “covert activities” in Iran. Even more than before in fact.

This article brought up more questions for me than it gave me answers. I am a long time New Yorker subscriber, and I have to admit that Hersh has never been my favorite writer. I find his style confusing, more wrapped up in his anonymous sources and insider access than in clear writing. Nevertheless, this is a huge revelation if it is accurate, which I’m inclined to think that it is. But again, it brought up many questions, among them:

Is Hersh being alarmist?

Skewed to the left? Right on?

Can we trust Hersch’s sources?

Is it stuff we knew all along?

Does it surprise us?

What should we do?

Let me repeat this last one: What should we do? I’m not entirely sure. The most frightening thing about Hersh’s attitude in this piece, which is echoed in this interview with Terry Gross, is that there’s nothing we can do. This administration is hell bent on war, and they’ve got the tools to make it happen. Perhaps that’s what bothers me about Seymour Hersh – he leaves me with a feeling of despair. All his inside information doesn’t leave us with solutions.

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