Although I greatly admire Hitchen's writings on atheism, let's not forget what a horrendous ass-hat he really was when it came to the Iraq war, neoconism, and the deaths of civilians. Hitchens would never let anyone else slide (see Mother Theresa, Princess Diana) on their moral misgivings and hypocrisies just because they're dead. How do you reconcile celebrating him with these unforgivable lapses in moral judgement?
If the US invasion of Iraq had resulted in not one innocent death of Iraqi civilians would you have supported the effort? The Kurds of northern Iraq were thankful to see us.
War sucks, innocent people die. And BTW, I do have mixed feelings about the Bush administration's premise for going into Iraq the second time. Don't forget about Kuwait.
Was Hussein the worst dictator at that time? I don't think he was. While I feel a moral obligation to global affairs, it must come with international action. Unilaterally taking a democratic nation to war requires much more justification than "he was a brutal dictator".
Well Hitchens own view on Saddam Hussein has evolved a bit over time. As did earlier neocons. The really strange part of that in connection with this particular argument is that this early support/ encouragement coincides with the Ba'athist regime's most murderous period. Then it must also be noted that many of the critics of the Iraq war(s) were vocal opponents of the Hussein regime back then and remained so, who then got to be called - besides receiving damnation in much stronger terms - hypocrites by these former supporters.
Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a democratic nation? Huh?
What ignorant drivel. Hitchens was a big supporter of the Iraqi people and the Kurdish people against the totalitarianism of Saddam Hussein. In contrary to your extreme left and anti-west bias, the fact that Hitchens' broke ranks with his ideologically left old comrades in standing up for the Iraqi people and against Islamic terrorism is a virtue; not something to be apologetic about.
And as an Iranian, I call the fact that Christopher Hitchens was a friend of the Iranian people and for freedom, human rights, and democracy. Your kind is comfortable in allowing tyrants to continue the propagation of terror against their own people. It is exactly with people with your type of biased ideologies that led to the eventual rise up Hitler and the systematic termination of millions of innocent people under Hitler's horror. Christopher Hitchens was a hero for all of us who stand against Islamic fascism and for human rights, democracy, women's rights, and the rights of all individuals regardless of religion, sexual orientation, etc. Your side has long been morally bankrupt.
Yes, well you can maintain that if you ignore his own words.
On the "visionary statesman" Saddam Hussein:
The Baghdad regime is the first oil-producing government to opt for 100-per-cent nationalisation, a process completed with the acquisition of foreign assets in Basrah last December. It was the first to call for the use of oil as a political weapon against Israel and her backers. It gives strong economic and political support to the ‘Rejection Front’ Palestinians who oppose Arafat’s conciliation and are currently trying to outface the Syrians in Beirut. And it has a leader — Saddam Hussain — who has sprung from being an underground revolutionary gunman to perhaps the first visionary Arab statesman since Nasser.
On the US betrayal of the Kurds vs the relatively pro-Kurdish stance of the Hussein regime:
..[Somewhere in the collision between Baghdad and Teheran on this point, the Kurdish nationalists met a very painful end. We now know, from the US committee of investigation, chaired by Congressman Otis Pike, that there was a Nixon- Kissinger strategy of arming and encouraging a Kurdish revolt, not for the purpose of creating a Kurdish state (which would have horrified the Shah) but for the purpose of de-stabilising Iraq. It was specifically argued, by those who planned the operation, that the Kurds should not be allowed to win. ] ...
...[The Kurds now have a very attenuated version of autonomy, and former members of the Barzani armed forces are being moved to the South. At least, however, Iraq constitutionally recognises that she is a partly Kurdish state, which is more than Iran or Turkey do.]...
You can argue that Hitchens has changed his mind rather drastically over the years, or perhaps pinpoint the exact temporal coordinates of a sudden transition, but you can't make it go away with a photograph and calling me a Nazi.
This was when Hitchens was young. IT has nothing to do with the progression of time as both the situation in Iraq changed along with Hitchens' maturing with age and understanding the true horrors of this madman. He was a Marxist when he was young and ideologically naive (as he himself has stated).
He was a Marxist and remained a Marxist. Marxism by the way is also an inextricable part of the intellectual good of neoconservatism, economically to a certain degree but even more coming to expression in it's Trotskyite internationalist revolutionary thinking and the cynical use of manipulating public opinion to achieve ends.
I don't know whether he was more politically naive when he was young or when he grew older, I should think the latter. But I don't think it helps your position better to carry on denying facts that interfere with the erection of a monument of flawless heroic imagery in your mind. Because it doesn't exist outside of it.
Your fundamental concept is flawed. Someone is great based on their accomplishments. We don't then subtract their faults and end up with a sum based on the subtraction. Lebron James is a great basketball player despite being an ass. Ezra Pound and Charles Lindbergh were quasi-fascists. Countless great artists have led despicable personal and sex lives.
It's unseemly to bring up a person's flaws upon their death, taking advantage of their unability to reply should they wish to do so.
So Hitchens was unseemly to bring up Mother Theresa's flaws upon her death? Princess Diana? I'm just counteracting the deification of Hitchens. Does someone's level of accomplishment excuse the consequences? Do I have to take his war mongering along with his brilliant atheistic writing as one lump of "greatness" or one lump of "ass-hattery"? A free thinker should be able to separate them and take each for what it is. Hitchens is a complex human being. He did some really great pieces of writing. He also helped promote the most atrocious war crime of my lifetime. My feelings are mixed. I wrote him off all through the Bush administration and rightfully so in my mind. A man who calls the Dixie Chicks "fat sluts" because they said they were ashamed that Bush came from the same state as they is a major ass-hat. Hell, I'm ashamed that Bush is considered the same species as me. He really sunk to some horribly drunken blather during that period. I came to appreciate his atheistic writings later but I haven't forgotten what I dislike about him just because he's dead.
What you suggest is so un-Hitchens like.
And so you're saying that by your doing what you deplore in him you're doing us all a solid?
I never said it was unseemly. You did. I think it's perfectly fine when he criticized public figures upon their death and it's fine when I do it. It's deification that I'm against, which would be suppressing criticism because it's unseemly.