19 January 2009
Hitchens Still Loves Bush
For most people, the headline above would describe a healthy appetite, but Christopher Hitchens is telling the world one last time how great he thinks the departing president is. He tells us that he voted (having become an American citizen) for Barack Obama, and has no regrets yet for that, but also that he remains glad that Bush has been president for the past eight years instead of Al Gore or Senator Kerry. How one can endorse Bush yet vote for Obama is a mystery to me, unless Hitchens has something very specific to hate Senator McCain over. In any event, Hitchens stands by his man because Bush did what Democrats might not have dared. He toppled the terrible tyrant of Iraq, and Hitchens believes that history will vindicate him for that. History will have to forget the thousands who have died since the invasion who almost certainly would not have, not being the sort who stick their necks out, had Saddam survived, before it can confirm Hitchens's verdict. He also argues for some strategic necessity, based on a hysterical overestimate of Saddam's potential for mischief in the Persian Gulf. But Hitchens is hysterical when it comes to dictators. He's the sort who doesn't feel safe, apparently, as long as there are dictators anywhere. That suggests to me that Hitchens is as much a megalomaniac as any of the tyrants he denounces, since he cannot seem to stand the idea that there might be a part of the world where he wouldn't be welcome to do as he pleases. He's willing to pay any price in other people's lives to feel safe. He might even be willing to say that those who've died from acts of terror that Saddam would not have permitted are even better off dead, so long as they died free -- free according to a piece of paper or the will of President Bush. The Bush-Hitchens notion of freedom and how it's achieved is an obscene parody of the real freedom struggles carried out by people like Martin Luther King, so it's probably appropriate to have this garbage available today for comparison.