Christopher Hitchens, Once Vidal’s Dauphin, Now Cosmic Stardust! by Sean Fenley

by Sean Fenley
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
The Anything and Everything
December 17, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

Image via Wikipedia

Good ole Hitch is gone, once one of the most prescient and incisive critics of American imperialism — he cheerled for it — during the abominable administration of George W. Bush. Still a record as impressive as his should not be eviscerated, by one conspicuously and egregiously recognizable mistake. Estimates as high as a million dead, have been recorded, though, and he put himself in league with some very dark-hearted and malignant folks.

And, indeed, one wonders about this so-called war against Islamofascism, and how much of it is legitimate — and how much of it, is just for kindling for the MIC! And also, of course, how much of it, is just for scaring the shit out of folks! Enemies don’t just appear from the firmament,  they (typically) have to be prefabricated, trumped up and/or invented out of whole cloth! But, then again, you’d probably consider this the kind of thinking that earned — your former examplar — the “dignified” and “distinguished” title of crackpot!

But, nevertheless, be sure and rest in peace Hitch, though if God exists — he or she will surely — be pissed as hell at ‘cha! Writing nasty screeds, and tomes against the one and the creator, will certainly not put one in the divinity’s best grace(s)! Agnosticism, I think, personally, is better fitting, for us meager souls down here on Earth — but you, certainly, said your peace! The only thing that we know, for sure, is that you’re either rotting, or in some form of acute metaphysical reeducation/concentration camp.

As I said one mistake (even if a million dead), and one egregious insult to a very respected, eminent, and learned man of letters, should be enough for you to make it to at least purgatory; but who am I to be a seer (or knower) of such meaningful and purposeful thoughts! Though, IMO neither science nor religion explains — this nutty multiverse — in which we all reside in! The golden rule seems to be just about the only thing, that suffices as a preeminent guideline. A guideline that you just didn’t follow IMO Hitch.

Though, you may have been gifted and talented, on so many levels Hitch, it’s just a shame that you didn’t put some investment into the perennial philosophy. This would have included the aforementioned golden lesson, of course — which would have precluded wars of choice, preemptive war, and wars of aggression btw. Maybe then some of those estimated liquidated, eviscerated and dead (in Iraq), would be left alive and well — and six feet above the Earth — instead of under it today!

Sean Fenley is an independent progressive who would like to see some sanity brought to the creation and implementation of current, and future U.S. military, economic, foreign and domestic policies. He has been published by a number of websites, and publications throughout the alternative media.

from the archives:

Hedges on Hitchens + Christopher Hitchens and Chris Hedges Debate (2007)

Is God great? Christopher Hitchens vs John Lennox Debate (2009)

Christopher Hitchens and David Berlinski Debate on Atheism, God and Religion (2010)

Daniel Buxhoeveden: Science and Religion

14 thoughts on “Christopher Hitchens, Once Vidal’s Dauphin, Now Cosmic Stardust! by Sean Fenley

  1. Pingback: Orwell, Hitchens, and the Hollow Self-Righteousness of Trotskyism by Rainer Shea – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Hedges on Hitchens + Christopher Hitchens and Chris Hedges Debate (2007) « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti Debate: Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005) « Dandelion Salad

  4. The Vulcans link is apropos, yet Hitch had more brain-cells than any three of the rest.

    Christopher Hitchens should have deferred to far wiser & worldlier elder-thinker Noam Chomsky about militarism in foreign policy Instead of pointlessly arguing with Gore Vidal.

    Hitch added misguided muscle to the idiotic neocon premise fed us as cover for their prior scheme to invade Iraq, and all per his vendetta against radical Islam over the Rushdie Fatwa.

    Hitch’s Vietnam Generation knew full well that ‘Regime change’ at the hands of the US Military machine has been a farce since VE day.

    But we must also remember that Hitchens was a hardened alcoholic, & part of the brain affected by alcohol is that which governs our reaction to danger, maybe helpful for a writer on more benign topics like fiction, history, philosophy or theory, but not war policy.

    Perhaps Hitch was drunk-dialing on the topic of Iraq, & too stubborn to sober up his relentless harangue & ‘Hitch-slap’ of anyone who justifiably disagreed.

    • AH — Hitch said that what he looked for in his fellow Trotskyites he found in the U.S. military . Basically , Hitchens has always been an imperialist interventionist. he just replaced one ideology for another. but the same interventionist mindset remained. Hedges deals with this Hitchens mindset in his book ”I don’t believe in Atheists” .

  5. Anyone writing opinion will probably be wrong quite a bit. I think being wrong is worth making note of, though (pointing out where some “pundit” was way off). One of the most consistently wrong people IMO is Thomas Friedman, but the establishment still seems to still hold him up as some kind of bright light.

    • I dont know if it is about so much as being right and wrong , as it is about being in open and intelligent dissent . Hitch wrote a short but potent book on this called ”letters to a young contrarian ”.

      j.s.mill states in ”on liberty ” that if even one person is in dissent , it is for the good of all that they are heard above all , for if they are wrong then a measuring stick will be there , if they are right , then a corrective one will be there. the enemy is in this whole matter in UNIFORMITY . there has to be dissent . that is why Nader ran for prez in 2004 . to head off at the pass Orwellian uniformity .

  6. The line that >>a record as impressive as his should not be eviscerated<< is immediately followed by the implication that Hitchens is partly culpable for up to a million dead in an unjust war. I will not argue whether the war was just or not, only that Fenley's assignment of blame is unfair. Journalists are not politicians, nor are they responsible for a war waged by a nation. When we disagree with Hitchens' opinion about how to deal with terrorism I think we ought to seek to refute the merits of his arguments rather than to speciously suggest that his words caused fatalities. As for being Vidal's 'dauphin, I think the honor of acquaintance will be in favor of Vidal as his protege eclipses him in the annals of history.

    • Tom , As much of a fan ( big time ) that i am of the body of Hitch’s work , he is and never will be on the level of Vidal .

      read ”America first” by Bill Kauffman , and juxtapose that with Hitchens former Trotsky cum Jeffersonian Imperialism .

      Hitch has always been an interventionist . that is where him and Vidal split ways . and this is no mild issue. in his later essays he Hitch wrote ”Vidal loco”, a very unfair take on Vidal’s Peleocon anti interventionism .

      as far as words causing fatalitys , i have mixed feeling about that because i am ( like Hitch ) a first amendment absolutist , and so is Vidal . so as to the letter of the law ..words are words and should be freely spoken .. and Mill , Milton , Paine , and Jefferson are right on for that matter. However , there is a caveat …words do have consequences . Hitch went into dissent on the left for the war along with Martin Amos , and Rushdie …and it took a lot of guts to do that. for that alone i commend him . but words .. they have influence . doubt . and there must be a level of responsibility taken for that . Had Hitch lived much longer to see what is gonna happen to Iraq , i think he would have denounced his former view on the matter.

    • I think we disagree as to whether it was a difficult decision to support the Iraq War or not. It is imaginable (I suppose) that the cake walk stuff, and the greeting of the US soldiers with candy and roses was possible. We didn’t see it, of course…

      I marched against that war. The largest antiwar march in the history of the world (if you compile all of the marches) occurred prior to that war. A lot people that didn’t go to Oxford — and aren’t in the professional opinion business — got it right about that war.

      By all means read his pre-Iraq War stuff. Read God is Not Great, read Hitch-22, enjoy them! My point is the man has two serious dark marks on his record. Strong support for the Iraq War, and abhorrent disrespect for an exceptional individual.

      p.s. I don’t think the issue of journalists, being responsible or not, for war is particularly important. It about being accountable for our actions (and opinions). Did Hitchens recant or apologize for being led astray, on the Iraq War? I don’t think that he did.

      p.p.s. You think Hitchens will be more remembered in history (than Gore Vidal)? I don’t see that as something, that is even at all plausible.

      • when i wrote my article on this blog ”the importance of christopher hitchens “it hit the nail on the head. as a christian pacifist i am equally against his stand for the war and his stand for atheism . BUT I AM GLAD THAT HE WROTE BOTH BOOKS AND TOOK STRONG STANDS ON THEM, why? because you need a devil’s advocate to keep you on your toes.

        i am for the canonization of mother teresa. if it was not for hitches book against her he would not have been flown to rome to be the devil’s advocate for her . you have to have one for canonization . i am grateful that he took that stand . and so were the Jesuits.

      • Journalists are absolutely culpable for their failures of journalistic responsibility.

        There was a reason over 70% of the populace thought Saddam knocked down the towers. The press lied, promoted obvious presidential lies, and failed to question authority. They also failed to cover antiwar protests from the outset, marginalizing the miniscule but devoted antiwar effort as ‘America-Hating Americans’.

        A responsible opinion-writer in the post-Tonkin era would have risked his job & reputation to be on the right side of history when yet another american war of aggression is concerned. Those who weren’t should be pilloried for their gullible, damaging stupidity.

  7. Pingback: Hitchens vs. Hitchens – Christopher and Peter Hitchens Debate (2008) « Dandelion Salad

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