Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti Debate: Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005)

with Michael Parenti
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Michael Parenti Blog
Dec. 23, 2011

Here is a debate held at Wesleyan University in 2005 between Christopher Hitchens and me. Hitchens went to his grave as a supporter of the Bush/Cheney venture. He supported Bush in 2004. His turn to the right (from weak leftish/center) won him the attention of all the mass media, especially Fox and the like, and lecture invitations at fat fees. Others of us were less enthralled about his anti-Islam warrior politics.

on Dec 21, 2011

A debate featuring Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti, held at Wesleyan University, April 18, 2005.

Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005)

Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Culture Struggle (2006), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2011), and The Face of Imperialism (2011). For further information about his work, visit his website:

from the archives:

Hitchens vs. Hitchens – Christopher and Peter Hitchens Debate (2008)

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

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

6 thoughts on “Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti Debate: Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005)

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  3. I can’t believe how rude a guest Hitchens was. First he became so offended by the young lady who so astutely pointed out how attacking Iraq made Iran that much more important…he is visually and audibly offended he proceeds to divest them of their power/question by pretending not to understand the question and proceeds to intimidate her. then he intimidates the moderator-at the end there- i was so hoping the moderator, Sasha would of said, Yes, Mr Hitchens I do mind you changing the preagreed format and you shall either answer/ask Dr Parenti’s question or you may leave the stage now or be seated. Thanks for asking-you rude SOB.” Dr Parenti…

    I was so hoping someone would have applied his four tests to the United States and his wonderful Bush administration (killing 250000 Iraqis is genocide is it not?) – “spreading” democracy to the poor underprivileged Iranians. I was hoping too some one would point out and question how an atheists could in anyway side with a manchean devotee like W? Or how you could fail to compare one liar from another (Bush vs Saddam). It was almost like Hitchens was somehow blackmailed into becoming a mouthpiece for the warmongers…maybe it was that he is just too conservative and thus the off-hand snide comment about Dr Chomsky.

    IAs a spokes person or debator for atheism, I always prefered Dawkins over Hitchens anyway…much more intelligent discussion and much better humor too. Hitchens was just a bully it seems very clear here. I’d have to say the world is a better place today than 7 years ago, though..despite of the Iraq War and not because of it, among other reasons. It seems pretty obvious Iraq is less safe now than pre-invasion, unless of course you a large corporate interest there.

    • Kevin , actually as someone who has followed Hitchens since the 80s and read the body of his work , and i am also a christian , i think that he is most intelligent spokesman for atheism since either Camus or Ingersoll . actually he is more like Ingersoll, spoiling for a fight .

      the thing is is that Dawkins is brilliant but boring . Hitch is never boring , that is important in debates. of course he was way off course on Iraq, and could not admit he was wrong . that was sad. … but there always has to be a devils advocate there on every subject under the sun .

      i recommend the work of e.m. cioran as the most important atheist writer of the late 20th century . he died in the 1990s. now that is a devils advocate !

  4. AH — right on . i agree 100 per cent . Peter Hitchens did not support the war as you saw on the Hitchens brothers debate. As a progressive , i will take a conservative against intervention any day over a liberal that is for intervention .

  5. Disturbing window on dark days of Iraq debate-redux ca. 2005. How flip Hitch still was despite the disaster of his war, stubbornly stuck in war-footing despite Parenti’s relentless barrage of war facts & history of the mess of US imperialist interventionism. Hitch remained so smug while Dr. Parenti owned his arse.

    Hitch’s position is utterly obsolete while Parenti’s points are profound. Hitch should have kept his brilliant mind on masticating extremist ideology & out of militarism. Unfortunately his malicious militaristic meditations mattered (note all the applause– sometimes acing debate team on the wrong side has consequences). Hitchens managed to muscle his way into the American Miscreant Hall of Infamy, the intellectual enabler of war-crimes & foreign policy faux pas.

    Alas, we did get to see Iraq in 2010 & now 2012. Nobody promotes deluded Neocons or PNAC anymore, not even FOX. Bush, Wolfowitz, Rummy, Kristol (who also promised that by now we’d see the war as a good thing), et. al. are MIA. Old hawks Cheney & McCain are inane relics ranting against withdrawal, Condi covers her butt with books, returning troops (backing anti-war Paul) got no tickertape parade. The Arab Spring destroyed Hitch’s virtually bigoted screed patronizing any organic Mideast self-determination as impossible without intervention. History has taken sides & Hitch’s nation-building by bomb was on the wrong one.

    The heroes of the Iraq War are those few who fought against it.
    Great thanks to Michael Parenti!

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