Friday, February 26, 2010

Le Mort de Haig

Hitchens/Slate"........the bulk of Haig's awful political career was an example of banana-republic principles and the related phenomenon of an overambitious man in uniform who mastered the essential art of licking the derrières of those above him while simultaneously (see above) bullying and menacing those below. This was the method he perfected between 1969 and '74, serving Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon and helping to superimpose an impression of "order" on a White House that was full of dysfunction, crookery, and coverup. Without any further battlefield experience, except for propaganda trips to Vietnam to support a war that his bosses had artificially prolonged, he moved up the ladder from colonel to four-star general—not bad even for a man who had gotten started by marrying his commanding general's daughter.

Haig had few illusions about the sort of people for whom he was working, and liked to gratify both sides of a riven White House. According to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in The Final Days, to Kissinger and others he liked to joke after hours that "Nixon and Bebe Rebozo had a homosexual relationship, imitating what he called the President's limp-wrist manner." When it came time to fold the whole dirty game, he was the first to go to Vice President Gerald Ford and suggest the low stratagem of a pardon that would put the lawbreaker in chief (and by extension some of his underlings) above the law itself."""""

Hitchens may have made some tactical blunders--as the Sally Fields-left reminds us, ad nauseum--but he has enough spine to take on the GOP old guard, unlike most of the Kossack sorts of fraudocrats. The recording of Haig barking --The Helm is right Here!--a few minutes after Reagan was shot (by that insane punk Hinckley) indicates the General's maniacal mindset fairly clearly; or, as HS Thompson might have said, Res Ipsa Loquitur.

That said, and putting aside the bourgeois morality for a few nanoseconds, Gen. Haig served his country. We might hate the politician, but salute the soldier.
(Fritz Nietzsche allows for that, unlike anglo liberals and assorted cows). As a Colonel in 'Nam, he was In country as the grunts say.

Most evangelical midgets don't understand Death, of course, whether of grunts, or a general. And Death's a problem for the Hitchenistas non-believers as well (not to bless the papacy either). Alas HST isn't around to scribble some whisskey and meth-fueled obit-curse for Haig (and perhaps offer at least a few off-handed macho high-fives), and we have to be content-- or not-- with the hot toddy gonzo of Hitch.

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