Hitchens: reactionary character etc...

jenyan1 jenyan1 at uic.edu
Fri Sep 21 12:50:31 MDT 2001

On Fri, 21 Sep 2001, John Cox wrote:

> from the current The Nation:
> October 8, 2001
> Against Rationalization
> by Christopher Hitchens
> This was my induction into the now-familiar symbiosis of tribal piety
> and high-tech; a symbiosis consummated on September 11 with the
> conversion of the southern tip of the capital of the modern world into
> a charred and suppurating mass grave. Not that it necessarily has to
> be a symbol of modernism and innovation that is targeted for
> immolation. As recently as this year, the same ideology employed heavy
> artillery to destroy the Buddha statues at Bamiyan, and the
> co-thinkers of bin Laden in Egypt have been heard to express the view
> that the Pyramids and the Sphinx should be turned into shards as
> punishment for their profanely un-Islamic character.
> Since my moment in Peshawar I have met this faction again. In one form
> or another, the people who leveled the World Trade Center are the same
> people who threw acid in the faces of unveiled women in Kabul and
> Karachi, who maimed and eviscerated two of the translators of The
> Satanic Verses and who machine-gunned architectural tourists at
> Luxor. Even as we worry what they may intend for our society, we can
> see very plainly what they have in mind for their own: a bleak and
> sterile theocracy enforced by advanced techniques. Just a few months
> ago Bosnia surrendered to the international court at The Hague the
> only accused war criminals detained on Muslim-Croat federation
> territory. The butchers had almost all been unwanted "volunteers" from
> the Chechen, Afghan and Kashmiri fronts; it is as an unapologetic
> defender of the Muslims of Bosnia (whose cause was generally unstained
> by the sort of atrocity committed by Catholic and Orthodox Christians)
> that one can and must say that bin Lade!  nism poisons everything that
> it touches.
Like a good Liberal, Hitchens rails against the "Islamist" while ignoring
the fact that the civilised have, for reasons best known to themselves,
for the last hundred years or more, set themselves resolutely and
violently against every democratic and popular force in the Arab and
Islamic worlds. Which western intelligence agency was it that collaborated
with the "theocratic" Iranian regime as it liquidated the Iranian
communist party, the Tudeh, in the 1980's. And most of those wailing today
about the rights of women under theocratic regimes, were strangely silent,
or even rallied around the banner of anti-communism, when it suited their
ends to destroy a secular Afghan state (and a whole nation in the process)
which advanced and protected the rights of those same women.

The drivel spouted by Hitchens is symptomatic of the "mendacity, baseness
and corruption that have sunk themselves deeply into the soul of the
Western bourgeoisie."

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