Thursday, July 19, 2007

Katie wants you to meet Peter

This morning, boys and girls, Katie wants you to meet Peter Hegseth, a nice young man that she met a few years ago at a Fourth of July parade in Forest Lake. Peter was walking the parade route and giving little U.S.--made in the U.S., of course--flags to the children so they could wave them when the veterans walked by. Katie was moved by the gesture and introduced herself to Peter. They have been friends ever since! Peter and Katie have so much in common. They're both from small towns and like to use the word "warrior" to describe soldiers, as though they lived in Sparta in ancient Greece! It's so cool!

Out of the blue, she found out that Peter recently had an excellent adventure in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. You see, Peter went there to speak out in favor the Iraq war:

On Tuesday, Hegseth addressed a packed news conference, surrounded by vets and prominent senators. It was the young warrior's latest foray in a communications offensive that has included appearances on CNN, Fox News and CSPAN, and op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Star Tribune.

It is so nice of Katie to tell us about these fine young (Hegseth is 27, according to Katie) people from Minnesota who feel called to sacrifice so much to spread the word about our important work in Iraq.


In truth, Peter Hegseth is a callow young Republican functionary. You could have guessed that just from the fact that Katie features him in a column, boys and girls, but here's a little more information about Hegseth from

Hegseth is a Policy Specialist at the Center for the American University at the conservative Manhattan Institute think tank. According to his July 2007 speaker's profile for the New York Young Republican Club, Inc., Hegseth "plans to pursue a Masters in Public Policy" at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in fall 2007. [citations omitted, but they're at the Sourcewatch link]

What is the Manhattan Institute, Spotty?

Let's hear what Rudy Giuliani has to say about it, grasshopper:

“For twenty-five years, the Manhattan Institute has confronted old problems with fresh thinking. Many of the Institute’s emblematic ideas—from the notion that low taxes encourage businesses to the concept that police should be treated with respect—were originally greeted with skepticism but have since been embraced by well-run cities everywhere. Congratulations on a quarter century of making a difference.”

—Rudolph W. Giuliani

Perhaps we can ask police and other first responders in New York how well they feel respected by the former mayor:

But Spot digresses. Obviously, the Manhattan Institute is a garden-variety conservative think tank.

Hegseth is such a wunderkind that he no only has the prescription for U.S. policy in Iraq, he also worries about the heartbreak of "judicial activism," the over-emphasis on college diversity, and the liberal bias on college campuses. A genuine one-stop shop for all you conservative hysteria needs. Kersten featured him once before denying that any abuse occurred at Guantanamo Bay. He has been quoted by Johnny Rocketseed and published by the Family Resource Council and the WSJ opinion page.

The question that Spot has is what does a snot-nosed twenty-seven year-old kid has to say about geopolitics? Well, okay, that's not entirely fair. Hegseth's principal contributions to the Iraq war debate, however, seem to be confined to repeating sound bites like "pure evil" and "freedom." Here's what Hegseth says about his qualifications:

"Who better to lead the fight for finishing the mission than the guys who fought on the front-lines and understand the stakes of the battle?" Hegseth said.

Sorry, Peter. You're barely old enough to drink beer. Spot will get his foreign policy advice from people who have some experience with foreigners other than shooting at them.

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