Hitchens: "left" apologist for imperialism

John Cox hazel_motes52 at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 6 08:51:08 MST 2001

This is to complement the post by Louis, I believe, which pointed to
the history of Christopher Hitchens in justifying various
imperialist/colonialist crimes of the last 500 years. Of all the
offensive and blatantly reactionary commentaries he has written since
Sept. 11--which apparently drove him deep into alcohol-fueled
hysteria--this article, written for the Guardian, is the worst (that
Ive read, anyway). I won't bother commenting, as every line screams
for a rebuttal.

In the most recent Nation, he applauds the U.S. for "bombing
Afghanistan forward into the Stone Age," while explicitly stating that
the civilian casaulties are minimal and of no concern.

John Cox

Ha ha ha to the pacifists
Christopher Hitchens

Wednesday November 14, 2001

There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the
tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express
travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of
the slightly drivelling style employed by the journalists of tourism.
"Land of Contrasts" was our shorthand for it. ("Jerusalem: an
enthralling blend of old and new." "South Africa: a harmony in black
and white." "Belfast, where ancient meets modern.") It was as you can
see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my
enemies in the "peace" movement had decided to borrow from this
tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this
newspaper, was: "Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains
bombs on the world's poorest country."

Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What
about, "Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the
world's most closed one"? "Where American women pilots kill the men
who enslave women." "Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are
bombed by the world's most accurate ones." "Where the largest number
of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime." I could go
on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some
suggested contrasts for the "doves" to paste into their
scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will
be able to re-read themselves saying things like, "The bombing of
Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic."

If the silly policy of a Ramadan pause had been adopted, the citizens
of Kabul would have still been under a regime of medieval cruelty, and
their oppresssors would have been busily regrouping, not praying.
Anyhow, what a damn-fool proposal to start with. I don't stop
insulting the Christian coalition at Eastertime. Come Yom Kippur I
tend to step up my scornful remarks about Zionism. Whatever happened
to the robust secularism that used to help characterise the left? And
why is it suddenly only the injured feelings of Muslims that count? A
couple of years ago, the same people were striking pompous attitudes
about the need to avoid offending Serbian and therefore Russian
Orthodox sensitivities. Except that those sensitive people, or their
leaders, were engaged in putting the Muslims of Europe to the sword...

There's no pleasing some people, but as a charter supporter of CND I
can remember a time when the peace movement was not an auxiliary to
dictators and aggressors in trouble. Looking at some of the mind-
rotting tripe that comes my way from much of today's left, I get the
impression that they go to bed saying: what have I done for Saddam
Hussein or good old Slobodan or the Taliban today?

Well, ha ha ha, and yah, boo. It was obvious from the very start that
the United States had no alternative but to do what it has done. It
was also obvious that defeat was impossible. The Taliban will soon be
history. Al-Qaida will take longer. There will be other mutants to
fight. But if, as the peaceniks like to moan, more Bin Ladens will
spring up to take his place, I can offer this assurance: should that
be the case, there are many many more who will also spring up to kill
him all over again. And there are more of us and we are both smarter
and nicer, as well as surprisingly insistent that our culture demands
respect, too.

· Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair.

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