Somewhere down the line, Christopher Hitchens lost the plot. The former liberal commentator was a powerful ally for the poor and downtrodden — he lent his voice to their cause and fought their corner in the battle of ideas between the powerful. But Hitchens was seduced by a power he never had as a left wing commentator and seamlessly jumped ship to become a voice for Western imperialism and the interests of the elite.
The transformation was dramatic, and certainly alienated his core followers. He played to the Right when war was popular, and was invited on all their shows and to comment in all their publications. He raked it in as a spokesperson for U.S oil interests in the Middle East, but his popularity waned along with the wars. Hitchens then picked up militant atheism in an attempt to remain relevant in leftist circles, and was largely forgiven for his sins as he lapped the MSM circuit insulting Christians and Muslims.
But Hitchens is now so lost in a haze of narcissistic media bloviating, his instincts are shot, and he’s backing a war with Iran at a time when a Sarah Palin presidency would be more popular. Here he is talking to Michael Totten on why the U.S should take out the Iranian leadership (via Andrew Sullivan):
Hitchens: How many Iranian dissidents are really going to be nationalistically
upset by an intervention that comes in and removes the Revolutionary
Totten: I don’t think very many, but I could be wrong.
Hitchens: Would we have the nerve to say that was the
objective, or would we simply say we’re only talking about sites and
don’t care about Iranian freedom? We’d need to have a generous view of
the situation, and we’d need to coordinate it with NATO. The people who most want this to happen are the Sunni Arab governments.
The consequences for such action are so awful, it is barely worth commenting on. As Sullivan points out:
Even though he believes the US is not directly threatened and Israel is
not directly threatened, he wants to commit the US (leaving aside the
total unfeasibility of this, given what’s going on in Iraq and
Afghanistan) not to a namby-pamby bombing campaign but a full-scale
armed invasion in defense of … Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen,
Hitchen’s reasoning is devoid of logic or anything resembling a realist view of geopolitics, and goes something like this: America has all the guns, so we make all the decisions. He told Totten:
What’s the point of being a superpower if we say to our allies there’s nothing we can do about this, that they’re on their own?
Um, what about international law for starters? Then the obvious fact that US projections of power haven’t exactly gone well in recent history and the painful truth that there simply isn’t the money to do it.
Stick to drinking Christopher. You’re far better at it than the politics game.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.