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Hitchens (slightly) for Bush

Christopher Hitchens has endorsed Bush, perhaps oddly, writing in The Nation. Typical Hitchens. Good read, and revealing. 

Discussions - 11 Comments

I don’t like and don’t trust Christopher Hitchens, he is an arrogant poseur bragging with his knowledge about international giants of thought like Enzensberger (uuhu!), vastly unapologetic about his socialistic past and above all a rabid anti-zionist.

President Bush needs his ’endorsement’ as much as he needs the flu or Pat Buchanans.

He might effectively criticize and deconstruct his former comrades, but he will never be a true friend.

It is not as it was such a great virtue per se to have been a leftist lunatic for the most part of ones live.

Christian: Good and true. Thanks.

And The Nation printed it?!?!

Nonsense. Hitchens has clearly had an epiphany over time.

His previous socialist principles have apparently met with reality, and rather than abandon reality, he has revised many of them in reality’s favor. Not unlike so many of the European socialists who had to re-think their premises in light of their experience.

As to trusting his viewpoint -- as Reagan observed: "trust, but verify."

Hitchens has to be taken with that proverbial grain of salt; but he is not what he once was -- he’s beginning to recognize reality; even if through a distorted lens.


Hitchens, December 11, 2003:

One of the advantages of a Marxist and internationalist training is that it exposes one to the early writings of those Jewish cosmopolitans who warned from the first day that Zionism would be a false Messiah for the Jews and an injustice to the Arabs. Nothing suggests to me that they were wrong on these crucial points. If I could re-wind the tape I would stop Herzl from telling the initial demagogic lie (actually two lies) that a land without a people needs a people without a land. And, if Palestine actually had been uninhabited, I would still have said that Jews have no business seeking Messianic or Biblical ghettoes. That’s the way I think, and I am simply disgusted by the lunatic propaganda which even now argues that to make Jews “safer” there should be settlements built on stolen land in the middle of the Gaza strip, for example.

I must have missed one or two epiphaniae (is this the right plural form?), to write such ’nonsense’ as above.


I didn’t say he has not changed at all, I just still dislike him and don’t see him as an ally or friend.

If others feel satisfied by his changes so far, I don’t. GWB is a far greater far more humble man than him.

It would be a mistake to accept every insulting comment with a grain of sanity in it as an endorsement.

Hitchens has been completely consistent and has my respect for this fact.

His break with the radical left over Iraq and Afghanistan -- and over their support for Islamacism in general -- is clearly tied to his leftist principles. Islamacism oppresses the poor and powerless and therefore he opposes it.

He is also willing to recognize and salute the revolutionary risks Bush is taking in response.

Hitchens isn’t trying to be a friend to the right. He is being a leftist with the courage of his convictions.

I should add that it is precisely his stature on the left that has editors of journals like the Nation, and left-wing journalists like Johann Hari in the Independent, asking for interviews and columns from Hitchens.

Israel is the barometer of our times. I welcome disagreement and like challenges, but when I meet people today who hate Bush with a pathological venom or launch into an anti-Israel fit, I just turn off and stop it right there. Israel’s problem is its success and confidence; to the Western cowardly mind that inhabits lounges and coffeehouses, it is chic to trash it at a safe distance. Call in Israel counter-terrorism experts when your nation needs security advice, but otherwise slur the Jews. So yes, in hating Israel we are back to the old “the Jews did it”—augmented by crass concern for oil, fear of terrorism, and Islamic demography. Europe is usually where it all starts, this class-bound, aristocratic society that we always must watch when the latest utopia—Napoleon, Marx, Hitler—is proposed.

VDH, Response to Readership, August 2004

I respect consistency over opportunism and Trotskism over postmodern moral relativism, I disrespect anti-zionism and arrogance and I hold no one in special ’above all earthly’ regard just because he belongs to the European aristocracy of thought.

I don’t know how much courage of conviction you need to be a Briton anti-Zionist and socialist, whereas I know from my own experience that it needs some courage to actually blame Islamofascism and not ’Amerika’ for 9/11 and global terrorism here. But this is more a shocking aspect of European moral decadence than a cue to the higher virtue of Christopher Hitchens.

If you like to read Hitchens and his sophisticated ilk, enjoy, I’m fed up with Europes higher beings and prefer ’crude’ American rationality.


I once read in a left wing German newspaper (Berlins Tagesspiegel?, I don’t remember), that Michael Moore was the ’leading American intelectual of our days’ , so to be held in high regard by left-wing journalists is from my viewpoint more of a slur than a compliment

’intellectual’ of course, apparently I’m not an intellectual, but just an ’angry young (Ger)man’, and I guess I should calm down again now, thx for your erstwhile compliment professor Schramm, I highly appreciate your site and above all your audio archive

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