Surely Seymour Hersh was joking — wasn’t he? This is such a ridiculous charge, it seems inconceivable that the “acclaimed journalist” wasn’t speaking with tongue firmly in cheek. Maybe he had a snootful and thought he’d poke a little mischievous indirect fun at Islamic conspiracy paranoia and Crusade fantasies by retailing a conspiracy fantasy of his own for his Qatari audience.
In any case, with the Christian population of Iraq reduced by over 50% since Saddam Hussein was toppled, it is laughable that any segment of the “special operations community” sees itself as “the protectors of the Christians…protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century.” The U.S. military in Iraq hasn’t lifted a finger to protect the Christians there, even as that population has faced ferocious jihadist persecution. And I expect that even a Leftist journalistic propagandist like Seymour Hersh knows that.
“McChrystal denies claims of secret military crusade against Islam,” by Jeff Schogol for Stars and Stripes, January 21:
WASHINGTON — Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he is not part of a religious order waging war on Islam despite recent assertions by acclaimed journalist [sic!] Seymour Hersh.
Speaking in Qatar earlier this week, Hersh claimed that McChrystal and current members of the special operations community are members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei, both Catholic organizations, according to the blog Foreign Policy.
“They do see what they’re doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally,” Foreign Policy quoted Hersh as saying. “They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”
Hersh won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the subsequent military coverup.
But McChrystal’s spokesman, David Bolger, said Hersh was way off base in this case.
“The allegations recently made by Seymour Hersh relating to General McChrystal’s involvement with an organization called The Knights of Malta are completely false and without basis in fact,” Bolger said in an e-mail. “General McChrystal is not and has never been a member of that organization.”…