[lbo-talk] Christopher Hitchens dead

SK seth235 at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 16 08:24:59 PST 2011

Doug wrote:

>I'm going to play an excerpt of my 2002 interview with him about Orwell & imperialism on my radio show this week. In it, he tries to explain the phrase "non-imperial occupation," and not very well.

I noticed that on your archives recently and had been meaning to listen to it and so this morning I listened to the first 25 minutes on the way in to work. It really takes me back to hearing all those arguments, since I read almost everything Hitchens wrote at that time. Listening to it again, his arguments are really remarkably awful. Iraq was going to implode anyway so at least the US should be involved when it happens. What sort of argument is that for bombing a country?

My favorite Hitchens memory is of when I happened to be in Florida visiting family and Hitchens was debating someone on the future of socialism at a local synagogue, and I was able to attend. Must have been sometime in the 90s. He was wonderful. I loved it that he quoted IF Stone's line about how people don't counterfeit a bankrupt currency. Unfortunately the memory got somewhat ruined for me years later when he quoted the same line in an entirely different context:

>... evidence that Niger‹with whose ministers Mr. Wilson had such "good relations"‹was trying to deal in yellowcake with North Korea and Libya as well as Iraq and Iran. This evidence is by no means refuted or contradicted by a forged or faked Italian document saying the same thing. It was a useful axiom of the late I.F. Stone that few people are so foolish as to counterfeit a bankrupt currency.

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