Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christopher Eric Hitchens, 1949-2011


  1. Your hero is a babbling drunk who was irrelevant for most of his career (not to mention the fact he thought invading Iraq would bring the country democracy)? You need to read more book, kiddie.

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  4. Johanna, my love of literature brought me to Hitchens. While Hitchens may have only achieved widespread fame in his later years, he has been a well respected political journalist for most of his adult life, which is to say that he was probably more "relevant" than any of us. As for your point on Iraq he and many others believed that eradicating Al-Qaeda and it's allies might bring a little more peace into the world, which it probably has.

  5. That's odd because my love of literature brought me to Hesse, Nabokov, Dostoevsky...and so on, but your love of literature brought you to a journalist? You must consider the classifieds and playboy to be literature.

    He was a competent journalist early on, before he switched sides and thought invading nations was a good thing. He is famous for two things, thinking bombs create peace and for his atheism. Bombs do not and did not create peace for Iraq and God is so terribly passé...God became passé after Nietzche.

    As for relevance...I am the most relevant person on earth, and your taste in `literature` sucks...bmb

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  7. In my daily life, I try to stick to the Geneva convention whenever I can. Therefore, the false-flag-commenters posing as me (number 3 & 6) were removed. To make things abundantly clear: I reserve the right to post whatever I like on this blog, and to masturbate to homever I wish. This is noones business but mine, so fuck off.

    "Johanna", the many places where my love for literature has brought me is quite irrelevant, though I can say that I have always had a soft spot in my heart for good journalism. (and as a side note, playboy has had many good journalists writing for them, so yes, I quite enjoy it. Is it fair to say that you've never read playboy?)

    I wish that your point about religion was true. Sadly it is'nt. This can be hard for someone living in Saltsjö-Boo to see, but once you start travelling the world with open eyes it becomes very clear that religion still is very harmful to people.

    Hitchens never really "switched sides". Rather, he stayed true to his ideals and morals when many on the left escaped them to defend islamo-fascists. His point about Iraq was that America had every right to invade mass-murderers who safe-guarded the prople behind 9/11 atacks. Wouldn't you agree?

    Finally, Hitchens was no racist.

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  9. The false flag commentators were merely jokes, that you removed them is more of an indication that you take yourself too seriously. And the quips about Hitchens are an attack on your bad taste, I am not denying your right to bad taste. As for playboy, it is not exactly where the best and brightest journalists flock to.

    If you do in fact take the time to travel beyond the land of lingonberry, herring, and a robust welfare state you'll see the impact of religion is far less easy to categorize. It can be bad it can be good. It is important to recognize one thing about religion though, Christianity has been, in terms of a body count, the most barbaric of all religions. In Europe, the attacks on religion, are far too often thinly veiled attacks on a particular religion--the beliefs of poor immigrants who sell kebabs on the side of street.

    Iraq did not have any connection with the 911 hijackers, it is common knowledge that Saudi Arabia had more to do with nurturing those attackers than Afghanistan or Iraq. Do you wonder why Saudi Arabia wasn't bombed instead of Iraq? Of course you haven't, you're still worried that the Muslim guy working at Ikea might be trying to dismantle your freedom.

    If Hitchens wasn't a racist, then he was at least a terrible journalist near the end of his life.

  10. Erik / LESPRIT NOUVEAU09 February, 2012 15:09

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  11. By the way, the anonymous poster was also me...we do seem to share the same sense of humor don't we?

  12. I cannot for the life of me see the amusement of this obvious strawman debating; it's just dishonest and I have no patience for it.Besides, believe it or not, friends of mine actually come here, and I do care about what they think of me.

    On playboy: I never said they did. I just think playboy is an ok read at times. It has also shown itself to be a must-read on certain topics - understanding Malcolm X is impossible without Alex Haley's piece. This is all I'm saying. Leave it alone.

    Look, noone is defending Christianity here. I'm not so sure that it actually has more bodies on its conscious than Islam, but even if that were true - we have almost done away with its shackles in my country and the courts of power in much of europe, and globally, it poses no way near the threat that Islam does. And the dismantlement of freedom always comes from it's side, (though incidentally, christianity gets a free ride off of this at times) - or the likes of you, who because of liberal sensibilities or white guilt are paralyzed to do anything about it. Not only is it cowardly and dangerous, it is disgustingly racist, for it excuses the actions of "swarthy foreigners" saying that they couldn't know any better, and were we only more tolerant, these poor, poor, immigrants forced to sell kebabs (the only kind of immigrant, as far as you're concerned) wouldn't be so violent. The noble savage and all that. This you say to addherents of an ideology that stand for everything your type claim to detest - patriarchal sexism, racism, hostility towards reason and science, homophobia, sectarianism and fascism. If you attribute the middle-passage to christianity, then what are we to make of the 110 million slaves (mostly women) brought to the arabian peninsula? A proud track record there, but I want no part of it's defense. I think the only morally rightous thing to do is refute it whenever, wherever we can, regardless of the circumstances. And race only has something to do with it because of you lot, you make it a race-thing, when in fact it needs not to be.

    Iraq doesn't really interest me. But I can say this much - the Kurdish genocide, the hostility towards nearby countries, harbouring of al-Zarqawi and Abuni Daal, and generally fooling around with WMD's are all legitimate reasons to warrant an invasion. And believe me, I have no love in my heart for the Saudis.

  13. The 'strawman bashing' is a friendlier way of saying outright that you are a xenophobic Muslim bashing right wing loon. And trust me, you do not need to have read playboy to understand Malcolm X; I fear you may suffer from a very limited selection of reading materials.

    If you are uncertain if Christian civilizations have killed more than Muslim ones, look to World War II alone--I don't think it was al-qaeda that killed six million Jews. Don't even mention the men behind the crusades, the conquistadors, the colonizers of the Americas...and on and on.

    Anyways, no one is defending Islamic fundamentalism, which is conversely your strawman argument. It is petty and alarmist to think that the real threat to the globe is Islam. Have you looked and wondered where this evil sort of Islam comes from or what actors have encouraged it? Saddam Hussein, al-qaeda, and WMDs all were actively supported by the US and the more significant European powers. There is no such thing as a proud track record.

    As for immigrants, the ones who sell kebabs are the ones you are most afraid of. They are the least integrated and hence the ones you hate and need the most for cheap labor.

    If Iraq doesn't interest you, then Hitchens shouldn't either because that is where his theory and ideas met practice--and where he is exposed as a lunatic.

  14. BTW where did you get a figure of 110million female slaves to the Arabian peninsula? If playboy had a history section maybe you'd know the complex role that slaves played in Islamic civilization. Slavery isn't right and no religion did slavery in a nice manner but get your facts straight you strudel.

  15. Understanding Malcolm X without Haleys biography is impossible. I told yo to leave it alone...

    Why do you fear I have a lack of reading material? You're the one who resorts to name-calling... I mean, really? Right-wing loon? I've given you no reason to suspect this, except a staunch resistance to Islam (never mind Christianity). But as I've said before, there is no need to go after Christianity in my nation with the same vigour as there is to fight Islam. I can't remember the last time I met a christian; we don't have a Sun-network or a Fox-ditto here, and our countryside is'nt packed filled with crackpot-babtist churches... it's a non-issue, really.

    Then we need to state whether we talking about religious people killing other people, or religious people killing inspired by their faith. I was going for the latter, bu even if were discussing the former, I'm still not sure the numbers add up. Never mind that nazi-extermination of jews had more of a biological reasoning behind it than a catholic one (I differ to the Hitch on this - but granted, it was a mixture of the two). But you dont conquer everyhing between Spain and Indonesia without cracking a few eggs, wouldn't you agree? If you're interested in this, go back, look at the wars, do the math... The results don't really matter, as far as I'm concerned, Christianity and Islam is head to head on this. What matters is now and the future - you can't compare American Christian fundamentalists killing two abortion-doctors a decade to the global enterprise that is Islamofascism, it just becomes silly. The main force of evil today, like communism and nazism and fascism etc was in heir days, is Islamofascism. Whether you like it or not.

    U.S. foreign policy is never flawless and often naive, and is worthy of a lot of criticism. But after arming the taliban, supporting saddam, taking the side of muslims in a christian-muslim war - where's the thanks? There is none, for the list of petty griveances is always longer. Like trying to undo a genocide in East Timor, the barbican wars, letting danish cartoonists work freely or merely having christian troops on saudi land. This is what upsets these people. You can't avoid it. And it doesn't matter how aggressively imperialistic their policies might be, the treatment of women in these countries is akin to slavery at best, but you could as well call it genocidal.

    And yes, as for immigrants, the ones selling Kebab are my favourite kind. My time in Berlin gave me one of my best friends, a Turk son of one of the kebab-pioneers in Berlin (the döner kebab or kebab in bread was invented in Berlin by the likes of his father). They now have a chain of excellent restaurants, called Hasir. If you're ever in Berlin...

    Armed conflict doesn't interest me as much as ideological or political strife, but granted, sometimes (and with Islamists most times) it is unavoidable.


    I can't remember where I got the figure 110 million, and I don't really have the time to look it up, but above you'll find some quite interesting facts about Islamic slavery. (Don't forget it started some six hundred years before its European counterpart, and officially ended 100 years after - and on a side note, Malcolm X was horrified by the slave-trade he winessed while visiting Mecca.) 2 women on every man, that the middle passage of these slaves brought a much lower survival rate than American slaves; the fact that male slaves were almost always castrated and often killed at old age, a fact demonstrated by an almost complete void of slave-descendants in Muslim lands, etc. etc. You'll also find that there were some 1.25 million European slaves taken by the Arabs - twice as many as those taken by to America - so clearly any white guilt is not applicable here.

    You look at all this and with indifference say "ah, but slavery in Islamic civilization is a complex matter". I just don't how to respond to such a callous statement. Which brings us to my final point: preaching non-resistance to fascism is to defend it. If you do it because this is fascism with a brown face I don't know, but that does seem to be the case.

  17. Why leave it alone, because as a Malcolm X expert you say so? Haley’s book on Malcolm X is exactly that, a book, not a playboy article. You don’t need playboy to read about Malcolm X, also, I was hoping not to have to school you, but a full book might be a little more comprehensive than some article you found while relieving your boyhood urges.

    If you don’t feel a need to fight Christianity with the same vigour you are not only very provincial (whereas you made claims of worldliness, haha) but are a flat out racist. If Islam, equipped with the dated and rudimentary military weaponry, is a threat, then how can a Christian kingdom, armed with all sorts of advanced weaponry and filled with crackpot Baptist Churches be a non-issue? It is a non-issue to you because your world is small, doesn’t extend beyond your little suburb, and because well you can’t possibly imagine Christianity to be as bad as Islam.

    A tit for tat on which civilization has done more bad things is not
    always very effective. But if you want to go down that road, then look to facts. The creation of the Islamic empire did not kill as many people as the crusades, the conquering of the Americas, two world wars, the cold war, and the massive killings going on in the Middle East by American armies or backed militias now. A sane person wouldn’t need to really discuss this because it is self evident but of course you get your facts from playboy. Also, what is the global enterprise that is Islamofacism (a nonsense term if I ever heard one)? Is it more of a threat than the global enterprise that is the American military? Of course not, because Islamofacism and the American military are bed fellows. Main force of evil, you say? That’s Christian fundamentalist talk.

    You are crazy, the main issue is with American interventionism, why would anyone gives thanks to that? Other than the great deal of nonsense you wrote, I like the sensationalism about genocide…Yes, the Muslim countries are killing all their women. Aside from being praised as a saint for your advocacy of women’s rights, you should also be recognized as a great comedian. Oh, and you have Turkish kebab selling best friend, how magnanimous of you. Is this a case of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer?

    Lastly, you can’t remember where you got the figure because you just made it up like the loon you are. Focus on the Arab slave trade does a lot to soften the guilt of the white man’s slave trade. The idea that the Arab slave trade was somehow more brutal than the European slave trade is important not in fact but in motive—it says one thing the Muslims are ultra bad and scary. You listed some “facts”, but the matter is more complex for Islamic civilizations because out of slaves came dynasties..Turkish slave soldiers took over the same governments that purchased them; the lines of slave and master in Islamic civilization were not the same as in the USA or Europe. Read a book you uneducated fascist playboy fanatic.

  18. The Haley book orignated in the article. The latter I have read only on the internet. I can't remember the last time I read an actual playboy magazine. Can we stop talking about it?

    Also, all these accusations you make about my character are false, again and again. And then there is the name calling, which is just... come on, huh? It's not getting us anywhere. You've made some new assumptions - complete lies, but we already new you had a thing for that. I'm sorry I don't live up to the image you have of me, but perhaps you should try meeting more people to riddle you of your prejudices. I have always been and always will be an inner city-kid. And as far as my friends go, back off, will you? You're just making a fool of yourself. Let's start debating and stop this nonsense.

    And back to christianity vs islam. I DON'T CARE WHICH IS HISTORICALLY WORSE! Can I make it any clearer? I'm just saying I need some definate proof before I can honestly say hat this one, or that one is the more malignant. They both need to be sent to the dustheap of history, if you ask me. But you go abit far in your accusations of christian war-criminals. The cold war?

    But my point about the Arabic slave trade was merely to illustrate that if you claim that the so called "christian kingdom" is only a descendant of a long line of white man's crimes, then the very same thing can be said of the forces of islam. But the fact that you refuse to even agnowledge this makes me wonder if we can take this any further. And stating that muslims historically seem to have racistly discriminated between their slaves is on them, not me. But they weren't all Mamluks, you know?

    Yes genocidal may be a bit harsh, and for that I apologise to all Muslim patriarchs out there who's feelings may have been hurt and who now may feel a strong sense to behad me, which is of course very understandable. Please don't.

    I'm gona have to come back later to your points on american interventionism, but let me just ask you this: when did it go wrong? When did the US morph into this crusader-war-machine? Because I have to believe that you believe that the US among oher things saved us from zee Germans, twice, and maybe kept the Russky at bay? Yes? At least for a while, and if I understand you correctly it was at this time this transformation took place. So when did it all go wrong?

  19. You are the one who keeps bringing up the necessity of reading playboy, and I really don't think Haley started interviewing Malcolm X for the sake of playboy--which goes back to the original pt, it isn't a serious publication for journalism.

    Name calling and talking about your friends, what? I appreciate you trying to play the victim and all but get serious. If you don't like being called a loon, then start making logical pts. Maybe try not suggesting the dearth of women's rights in some Muslim countries (women's rights seem to be most lacking in American allied nations) is the same as genocide--just for the sake of lucid discussion. Whether you are inner city, outer city, living in the streets, I don't care...the viewpoints you've expressed are still overwhelmingly provincial.

    You don't care but you should especially when both Islam and Christianity are still alive and kicking. If you are going to demonize one you have to know what the history of the other religion is. If you are going to talk in terms of global threat, then both sides of the coin need to be evaluated. That you don't see this is an example of an extreme prejudice you are blind to.

    Mamluks, Central Asian Turkish dynasties...they were slaves originally. Anyways, the point is not that the Islamic civilization is innocent of crimes...any and all empires are guilty of horrible exploitation. The point is that the current vilification of Islam as a threat is bogus, one, because of the West's strategic interest in that region, second, for your ilk, because they make up the cheap labor pool and have some alien customs and lifestyles. You need the labor but don't like the laborer. That's the real source of this sudden hatred for Islam, because if you really hated religion on principle, you'd first be most disgusted with Christianity, which is the creed of the most threatening and dangerous nation on the globe. What you'd be crying out against is the crazy Christians in the American south that are calling for war on this nation and war on that nation.

    And who wants to behead you? The Muslim crazies may be quick to chant jihad but they aren't stupid, what would they gain from beheading a nobody? Also, nation states are horrible little monsters, they do not love or care or do anything if it is not in their interest. If you think the USA saved you from Germans or Russians then also realize they didn't do it for your benefit. America became what is it today, not through saving people, but through luck of having some very violent and quarrelsome competitors. If Sweden suddenly decides to get into the way of American hegemony, you'd suffer an Iraqi fate too.

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  22. Noam? Is that you Noam?

    Your the one who couldn't care less about all the opressed people in the middle east (like kurds), because according you, America is the true evil in the world. I don't deny the abhorrent influence catholicism has in africa for example. And if I ever meet any catholics open about their faith, I will tell them just that. Regardless of what good or bad religion does, I still consider it inherintly evil. Whoever said all politics is local mustn't have been talking to you, but the fact of the matter is that sure no Muslim is rying to kill me now, but at the flip of a hat me or really anyone else could change that because of fucking cartoons.

    I don't deny american intervention is a largely selfish practice, or that say Marshall aid may have been the finest propaganda-campaign conceived in modern history. But I still hold that american interventionism should be encouraged when it can do good, and ofcourse criticized when it does bad. And you do remember when America started intervening, don't you? The barbican wars against (koranically justified)muslim slave-takers (From the Halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli...) At least that was ne slave trade surpressed. I think it is clear that we need them, for what would be the option? The UN? If the US would have intervened in Darfur, would you still be crying about nicaragua and contras and CIA and argentine? Not to mention christian fundamentalism and racism and islamophobia... This is what your chomskyan arguments sound like.

    Europe, or Sweden, isn't the US or Canada. You can't just translate your immigrant working situation to ours and make arabs out of mexicans. Sweden has the most relaxed immigration policy in the world. We also have a searing youth unemployment rate and an even higher immigrant unemployment rate, and just because someone is an immigrant you can't employ him at a discount price so no, you're wrong there again.

    Aren't you getting tired of having your pseudo-arguments crushed?

  23. Darling, if you draw racist and sacrilegious cartoons no one would notice--you don't have that kind of voice, you aren't a pseudo intellectual, you aren't a don't pretend you are in imminent danger. Your site sometimes has pretty pictures though.

    I suppose you mean the Marshall Plan, but I can't figure out what you are trying to refer to when you say 'barbican wars'. And the talk about the slave trade..I am thinking you may be more than a little confused. Darfur, Libya, now Syria all are more complex than you might think and require more analysis than wikipedia (if you are in fact interested in learning something). Anyways, you are really simple minded if you think that we only hear about the negative aspects of US foreign policy--it's quite the opposite. The problem is that there isn't much positive information about American foreign policy to show off.

    As for immigrant labor, I am starting to realize you are really out of your element here. Have you heard of globalization? You realize that immigrants, by virtue of their economic circumstance, are willing to take jobs at wages that the native population wouldn't accept? These are just very basic facts. But you are right that American Mexicans aren't the same as Arab immigrants in Sweden. The horrible racist element in Europe doesn't exist in the same way as it does in the USA. Mexicans aren't considered ideologically dangerous in the USA . The sad fact is that in Europe the hate for the Muslim has replaced your hate for the Jew. It is just a new victim the grand secular rational civilization has chosen. You realize anti semitism was widespread in Europe, right? And you know that the Holocaust was not a shocking act by weirdo Germans alone? The seeds that developed into Nazism are inherent in European civilization, World War II was so horrifying because it resulted in Europeans dying too not just some far off savage.

    As for crushing things, you are not even coherent anymore. But you are becoming increasingly comedic, I like the bit about Montezuma, and the clumsy juxtaposition of that culture with the Arab culture. In your dull mind both were colonized, both were weird, both were savages, and both needed to be civilized by the European sword....nice way to showcase your racism.

  24. The Barbary Wars. To be fair, it was a mistranslatin of a mistranslation of a mistranslation.

    There, you've said it: in your opinion, criticizing a religion is racist. Good for you.

    You are really becoming quite psychotic. But where does the hate come from? How does a person surfing some blog muster the hate and the energy to get upset about a single little picture of some journalist? You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

  25. You were babbling about the Barbary Wars? That is your example of how wicked and cruel the Muslims are? You must want to nuke Somalia, then.

    Youve run out of stock phrases from Hitchens to use, that much is apparent. Now you are claiming to be a victim of hate. Why on earth would you NOT think you are a victim of your own fatuity? 110 million slaves, Muslim states commit genocide against their woman, conflating all distant and non-European cultures with barbarity (from Montezuma to Tripoli)...these are all comments coming from a sane man who loves truth, not an imbecile who denies his own racism.

    I dont have any hate for you, that is what you imagine. I dont think you are particularly intelligent, which is what I suspected all along--when you declared Hitchens as your hero. So go on imagining that I think criticizing a religion is racist.

    The last line...hackneyed levity, but I laughed. Sadly, all you offer is a laugh.

  26. Well, what arguments have you brought forth, that I haven't answer? Or when you say that the main problem is with U.S. interventionism, I say look at the barbary wars, that's how it started. Then you go into a tirade about how stupid and racist I am, based on strawmen and assumptions that I debunk countless of times. It is quite obvious that you are obsessed, because of reasons that I dare not speculate of... But don' worry about me, I don't take the chomskyan ideologue filtered through some hysteric, half litterate semi-hipsterous internet she-troll to heart, really. I wouldn't say that it's been fun, bu it's been alright I guess.

    So ask yourself this: if I'm guilty of hackneyed levity, amog other things, then what are you? Witty? Discerning? To the point, fair and a role-model for the dialectic, perhaps?

  27. Hey Erik, you are a sad person. I read the comments, you don't debunk anything. You expose your racist ideas. You are a baby Breivik, you need education.

  28. Hi Hans!

    When will the left stop the name calling, guilt by association (and violence) and start producing arguents? Edeucate me, as it were. You can start by explaining to me which race is muslim.