Monday, October 15, 2007

More on Hitch

Since Robot's recent Hitchens post has disappeared beneath this month's interesting output, I will link here to something that caught my eye at Lenin's Tomb. This is a first-hand account of the annual Freedom from Religion Convention, with guest speaker (you guessed it) Christopher Hitchens. The account is unhelpfully in indirect discourse so I don't know if these words are precisely what Hitch said, but here's a smattering:

"Along the way he told us who his choice for president was right now — Rudy Giuliani — and that Obama was a fool, Clinton was a pandering closet fundamentalist, and that he was less than thrilled about all the support among the FFRF for the Democratic party."

"The way to win the war is to kill so many Moslems that they begin to question whether they can bear the mounting casualties."

"[He] said that it was obvious that every Moslem you kill means there is one less Moslem to fight you..."

"Basically, what Hitchens was proposing is genocide. Or, at least, wholesale execution of the population of the Moslem world until they are sufficiently cowed and frightened and depleted that they are unable to resist us in any way, ever again."

As for Hitchens' supposed internal agony over the young man who went to war and died due in part to Hitchens' influence (which article I found retch-inducing):

"He accused the audience of being soft on Islam, of being the kind of vague atheists who refuse to see the threat for what it was, a clash of civilizations, and of being too weak to do what was necessary, which was to spill blood to defeat the enemy."

Can there be any doubt that Hitchens is more than willing to marshal as many young people as is "necessary" to "spill blood to defeat the enemy"? Not that he is actually issuing any orders from any position of authority (thank the stars), but honestly, what an unhinged ghoul.


Blogger Scantron said...

Addendum: An eye-opening interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali from Reason Magazine (hat tip: the ever excellent Crooked Timber). This is the woman Hitchens would consider it an "honor" to have as a permanent U.S. citizen.

There's a lot here to digest, but I especially liked the crypto- (or not-so-crypto-) authoritarian moment where Ali says that if we don't forcefully shut down all Muslim schools *now* (with what power? through what process?), then, yeah, sure, we can "talk" about the importance of closing Muslim schools and discuss it democratically, but in the meantime "other people's lives will be taken." I remember Mike McConnell making a similar argument to the effect that if we "talk" about the NSA spying program and don't blindly support it, "people will die." See also the much-touted recent speech by retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (who presided over Abu Ghraib) in which Sanchez basically blames the free press and political debate for the lack of an American "unified national strategy."

12:53 AM  
Blogger Austin 5-000 said...

Hitchens is a weird bird: a man who is willing to sacrifice everything good about liberal, secular society in order to save it. He's like a rock musician whose whole act is to be "tortured" and who is given an incentive not to deal with his issues because they are the source of his record sales.
I'm happy to leave him to his own corner of the blogosphere. We, as agnostics and atheists, cannot fall victim to the same issues of identity that believers do. The whole point of our religion is that we don't allow ourselves to be caught up in the bullshit that comes out of religions. Hitchens is forgetting that.
What's with the Moslem/Muslim thing? Can there be anything more annoying?

9:15 AM  
Blogger Robot said...

You'll note the speech in question was in Madison. The student newspapers didn't report the genocidal comments, but did say that he began to rather self-consciously raise hell. I'm afraid the man is losing his marbles.

9:52 AM  

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