They’ll be dead, in other words: Christopher Hitchens

I was going to write a long, detailed post about Christopher Hitchens, a person of some intelligence who used his skills for the most detestable of purposes and who is now being hailed as a great man by entirely too many supposed progressives. Conveniently forgotten or dismissed as “just a mistake” are his glorification of war and slaughter (he loved those cluster bombs), his hatred of Muslims, his political support for the fanatical Christians he was supposed to detest, and his misogyny.

Reason and Enlightenment had very little to do with any of that: he gladly spread lies about WMDs in Iraq, ranted about the “apocalytic weapons” of Iran, and perpetuated the myth of a global terror network. Christopher Hitchens was an enthusiastic supporter of some of the worst criminals of our time, a man who wrote with joy about the violent deaths of hundreds of thousands; that he could disguise his hatred and racism with terms like “Islamofascism” and various pseudo-intellectual discourses does not justify or excuse that.

Anyway, I was going to write that post, but Glenn Greenwald, without a question America’s best and most serious journalist, has already written a much better one: Christopher Hitchens and the protocol for public figure deaths. Go read it.

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  1. I thought NPR’s obituary was well done, giving space to criticism of the misogynistic and neoconservative arguments he’s engaged in along with the rest of his writing.

    My relationship to Hitchens’ writing has always been ambivalent, as an atheist who was raised intensely Christian, his books (like Richard Dawkins’ and Carl Sagan’s) were a revelation to me and I can’t deny the effect he had on me – even the anger I felt reading his op-ed pieces about Libya later on in my life couldn’t erase it.