Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

"The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer, 2007)
With attacks on everyone from Saddam Hussein to Mother Teresa, Christopher Hitchens was able to make enemies everywhere he went. I considered him an enemy starting in 2002 and 2003 and as long as the Iraq War raged.  He was one of the most dangerous supporters of the war because of his background in literature and the Left and he seemed to have given the subject of attacking Iraq more than a second's thought. Leaders in the US and the UK were able to point to his arguments as justifications for their aggression. Maybe only Judith Miller and the New York Times are more guilty of providing 'liberal' intellectual cover for war criminals. 
I would comment on the significance of the fact that he died on the day that the US was formally ending the war in Iraq, but we know (and he would agree) that such juxtapositions are purely random and coincidental.

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