by and about Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens, April 13
1949 - December 15, 2011
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In Memoriam, my courageous brother Christopher, 1949-2011
-Mail Online December 16, 2011 By Peter Hitchens
Update from Christopher Hitchens
-Vanity Fair June 30,
"I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of
chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I
regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice."
Author Christopher Hitchens diagnosed with
-Guardian July 01, 2010
"The author and polemicist Christopher Hitchens yesterday announced he
was cutting short a promotional book tour in order to undergo
Multicultural Masochism: The "war
on terrorism" didn't cause the Fort Hood shootings.
-Slate November 23, 2009
"It's both amusing and educational to observe a consensus
it suddenly starts to give way at all points without yielding an inch.
A couple of weeks ago, the consoling view was that Maj. Nidal Malik
Hasan was a man more to be pitied than feared, a full-blown officer in
the U.S. armed forces who was too shaken up by the stories of returned
veterans to be able to function properly, and a physician too
stressed-out to bear in mind that there was such a thing as a
Hard Evidence: Seven salient
facts about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
-Slate November 16, 2009
"The admonition not to rush to judgment or jump to
might sound fair and prudent enough, perhaps even statesmanlike when
uttered by the president, as long it's borne in mind that such advice
is itself a judgment that is more than halfway to a conclusion. What it
plainly implies in the present case is that the actions of Maj. Nidal
Malik Hasan should not be assumed in any meaningful way to be related
to his Muslim faith."
Sarah Palin's Political Instincts
-Newsweek November 14,
"Sarah Palin herself can apparently never tire of
her folksy provincialism with the pointy-headed intellectuals, and with
those in the despised city of "Washington," where her supporters
want—it would seem against her own better
her. To hear the woman talk, you would imagine that populism was a
magic formula that had never been tried before (though Continetti and
his colleagues at the conservative Weekly Standard eagerly compare
Palin to the raucous demagogue and onetime Klan-fan William Jennings
Bryan: remember—they said it, not me)."
The Intelligence Squared
Debate - Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world?
-BBC World November 07,
Underqualified for the Overrated:
Christopher Hitchens on Obama's undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.
-Newsweek October 10,
"Alfred Nobel had one odd thing in common with Mark Twain
Ernest Hemingway and Marcus Garvey. He had the chance to read about his
own death in the newspapers. It seems that he was so depressed by the
emphasis that the obituarists laid on his pioneering work on
dynamite—the WMD of its day—that he resolved at
upgrade his real death notice by endowing an award for international
Don't Say a Word: A U.N.
resolution seeks to criminalize opinions that differ with the Islamic
-Slate March 02, 2009
"The Muslim religion makes unusually large claims for
All religions do this, of course, in that they claim to know and to be
able to interpret the wishes of a supreme being. But Islam affirms
itself as the last and final revelation of God's word, the consummation
of all the mere glimpses of the truth vouchsafed to all the foregoing
faiths, available by way of the unimprovable, immaculate text of "the
recitation," or Quran."
Hitchens and the Battle of Beirut
February 25, 2009
"Last week Christopher Hitchens and I were attacked in
Less than 24 hours after we landed at the international airport, a half
dozen members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party jumped us on Hamra
Street when he defaced one of their signs. "
Discusses Obama's Iraq, Afghanistan Plans (VIDEO)
-Huffington Post / MSNBC
February 25, 2009
"Christopher Hitchens appeared on Hardball tonight to
President Obama's plan to withdraw a significant number of U.S. combat
troops from Iraq. Hitchens, an early and very vocal supporter of the
Iraq war, said Obama and the Democrats have been "saved" by Iraqi Prime
Minister al-Maliki because once the Iraqis themselves start asking the
U.S. to go, people who warn against a withdrawal start to look "out of
Avigdor Lieberman's Chutzpah: The
right to return cannot confer the right to expel.
-Slate February 23, 2009
"A reliable friend and colleague swears that he saw the
following incident in the Israeli-occupied territories a couple of
years ago. A Palestinian physician, in urgent need of permission to
travel, was trying to persuade a soldier at a roadblock to allow him to
hurry on to the next town."
Don't Let the Mullahs Run Out the
Clock: Obama must talk directly to the Iranian people.
-Slate February 16, 2009
"It's strange how some totalitarian types feel the urge to
blunt and honest, even almost confessional. I call as my witness the
senior member of the Robert Mugabe coterie who was quoted in the New
York Times on Feb. 11 concerning the sham swearing-in of Morgan
Tsvangirai as prime minister of Zimbabwe."
Is Zimbabwe Now a Rogue State?
And is it germ warfare when cholera sufferers are forced to cross
-Slate February 09, 2009
"The situation in Zimbabwe has now reached the point where
international community would be entirely justified in using force to
put Robert Mugabe under arrest and place him on trial. Why do I say
to a Much-Misunderstood Man: John Updike preferred to be wrong on
account of the right reservations than right because of the wrong ones
February 02, 2009
"Most of the celebrations and elegies for the great John
were abysmally bland, praising him as the bard and chronicler of the
great American middle (middle-class, middle-minded, and so forth). One
obituarist got it more nearly right, saying that Updike seemed like a
paragon of the bourgeoisie to some while appearing as a worrying
outrider of sexual liberation and subversion to others"
A Wonderful Day for Washington,
D.C: Now it's time to hold President Obama accountable for his promises.
-Slate January 26, 2009
"By all means the speech, but first, if you will allow me,
words also on the day itself. Washington, D.C., is in many ways a
provincial town, still highly segregated and occasionally mutually
suspicious. It has been much too easy to count the moments of civic
esprit down the years."
Than a Good Feeling: Why are so many oligarchs, royal families, and
special-interest groups giving money to the Clinton Foundation?
-Slate January 12, 2009
"Here is a thought experiment that does not take very much
thought. Picture, if you will, Hillary Clinton facing a foreign-policy
conundrum. With whom will she discuss it first and most intently: with
her president or her husband?"
Man Who Made Us Whole: Lincoln, himself, was paradoxical—as
the way we see him now. To really know the 16th president, look past
the ways in which we remember him.
January 10, 2009
"Here's the view from the White House as the new president
gloomily out of its windows in 1861. The Washington Monument is an
abandoned stump, surrounded by scattered blocks of stone. The Capitol
has no dome. Slaves toil in the stinking heat, and the Potomac is an
Bad Timing:Gaza could have been a
model of the future Palestinian state. Instead, it is a place of
repression and aggression.
-Slate January 05, 2009
"The deaths of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, and of Israelis
(Muslim and Christian Arab, and Druse and Bedouin, as well as Jewish,
don't forget, in Ashdod and Sderot), are hardly ennobled by the sordid
realization that the timing of the carnage has been determined by three
sets of electoral calculation"
Shame on You, Rick Warren: Still
more reasons to boot the huckster of Saddleback from the inauguration.
-Slate December 29, 2008
"It seems to have been agreed by every single media outlet
only one group has the right to challenge Obama's promotion of "Pastor"
Rick Warren, and that group is the constituency of politically
organized homosexuals. But why should that be?"
Questions About Rick Warren's Role in the Inauguration: If we must have
an officiating priest, surely we can do better than this vulgar
-Slate December 19, 2008
"It is theoretically possible to make an apparently
remark that is also factually true and morally sound. Thus, when the
Rev. Bailey Smith, one of the deputies of the late Jerry Falwell,
claimed that "God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew," I was in
complete agreement with him. This is because I do not believe that
there is any supernatural supervisor who lends an ear to any prayer."
'Tis the Season To Be
Incredulous: The moral and aesthetic nightmare of Christmas.
-Slate December 15, 2008
"I had never before been a special fan of that great
Phyllis Diller, but she utterly won my heart this week by sending me an
envelope that, when opened, contained a torn-off square of brown-bag
paper of the kind suitable for latrine duty in an ill-run correctional
Inconvenient Truths: The media's
disingenuous failure to state the obvious.
-Slate December 08, 2008
"The obvious is sometimes the most difficult thing to
and few things are more amusing than the efforts of our journals of
record to keep "open" minds about the self-evident, and thus to create
mysteries when the real task of reportage is to dispel them."
Our Friends in Bombay: We
must stand by our most important ally.
-Slate December 01, 2008
"It's in human nature to mention any personal connection
offering solidarity, so I shall just briefly say that on my first visit
to India, in 1980, I stayed at the Taj Mahal in Bombay, visited the
"Gateway of India" and took a boat to Elephanta Island, toured the
magnificent railway station, had my first diwali festival at Juhu
beach, and paced the amazing corniche that was still known by
some—after its dazzling string of lights—as "Queen
Christopher Hitchens debates Paul
Begala on Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State
-CNN Larry King Live
November 25, 2008
Serving the Clintonian Interest:
The last thing we need is a Clinton in charge of foreign policy.
-Slate November 24, 2008
"It was apt in a small way that the first endorser of
Rodham Clinton for secretary of state should have been Henry Kissinger.
The last time he was nominated for any position of
responsibility—the chairmanship of the 9/11
accepted with many florid words about the great honor and
responsibility, and then he withdrew when it became clear that he would
have to disclose the client list of Kissinger Associates."
Christopher Hitchens on Hilary
Clinton as Secretary of State
-MSNBC Hardball with
Chris Matthews, November 17, 2008
Fidel Gets Religion: Why on earth
did Castro build a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Havana?
-Slate November 17, 2008
"In January of 2009—on New Year's Day, to be
precise—it will have been half a century since the brave and
bearded ones entered Havana and chased Fulgencio Batista and his
cronies (carrying much of the Cuban treasury with them) off the island."
Barack to Reality: Obama's
victory didn't magically eliminate America's problems and enemies
-Slate November 10, 2008
"Yes, yes, yes. I, too, took pleasure in standing in line
exchanging pleasantries and greetings with the amazingly courteous
staff at my polling station and the many citizens of my delightfully
diverse Washington neighborhood. I, too, am still wearing my lapel
sticker, with the jaunty words "I Voted." And I found it pretty easy to
cast a vote that told the Republican Party, for which I recommended
a vote last time, not to try any of this shit again. No more
Debates Rabbi Wolpe on God
-New York Times City
Room November 03, 2008
"More than 1,500 people went to Temple Emanu-El, one of
largest synagogues in the world, on Wednesday evening for a
wide-ranging debate on that age-old question. On one side: Christopher
Hitchens, the writer, wit and author of the polemic “God Is
Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” published last year
Twelve/Warner Books. On the other side: Rabbi David J. Wolpe of Sinai
Temple in Los Angeles, whom Newsweek has called the No. 1 rabbi in
America and the author of “Why Faith Matters,”
last month by HarperOne. "
McCain's Shameful Slur.
The Republican's appalling attack on Rashid Khalidi
-Slate November 03, 2008
"On the clouded synapses of Sen. John McCain, it became
his campaign limped and lurched to its close, the termites had been
dining long and dining well."
Sarah Palin's War on Science. The
GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledgte and learning.
-Slate October 27, 2008
"In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly
cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that
tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels
of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and
with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign,
it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any
Speak Up! Stop covering
Palin until she gives a press conference.
-Slate October 20, 2008
"The new line of the day, taken by many conservative
intellectuals, is that criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin is essentially a
blend of snobbery and sexism. This, I presume, is intended as a sort of
strike against the considerable number of conservative commentators,
from David Frum to Christopher Buckley, who have openly said that the
woman is not qualified to be vice president."
Christopher Hitchens' talks with
Laura Ingraham on the O'Reilly Factor about voting for Obama
-Fox News Channel The
O'Reilly Factor October 17, 2008
Vote For Obama: McCain lacks the
character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a
-Slate October 13, 2008
"I used to nod wisely when people said: "Let's discuss
than personalities." It seemed so obvious that in politics an issue was
an issue and a personality was a personality, and that the more one
could separate the two, the more serious one was. After all, in a
debate on serious issues, any mention of the opponent's personality
would be ad hominem at best and at worst would stoop as low as ad
the Banana Republic
-Vanity Fair October 09,
"The ongoing financial meltdown is just the latest example
disturbing trend that, to this adoptive American, threatens to put the
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave on a par with Zimbabwe,
Venezuela, and Equatorial Guinea. "
How To Win Afghanistan's Opium War
-Slate October 06, 2008
"I used to know Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Her Majesty's
ambassador in Kabul, and I have no reason to doubt that he was quoted
correctly in the leaked cable from the deputy French ambassador to
Afghanistan that has since appeared in the Parisian press"
-Vanity Fair October 02,
"It looked as if the 60s had ended Eton’s
dominance over British life. Yet the fabled school, training ground for
18 prime ministers, countless literary greats, and fictional icons such
as James Bond and Bertie Wooster, is once again center stage. "
by John G. Rodwan Jr.
-Open Letters Monthly
“Like many a journalist before and since, Marx
was not shy
about recycling his best lines,” observes journalist,
and reviewer Christopher Hitchens, who could have been describing
himself – or a great many writers. The tendency to reuse
might initially look like a journalist shortcut, but it’s one
capable of serving a larger purpose."
Fair: The Portraits
-Vanity Fair October 2008
"With the publication of Vanity Fair, The Portraits: A
of Iconic Images, and a touring show that opens this month at the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, Christopher Hitchens charts the
magazine’s omnivorous yet discriminating sensibility, in
personality, style, and wit meet the grittier issues of the day. "
Disregarding Henry: Both
candidates kowtowed to the disgraceful Kissinger. Only Obama cited him
-Slate September 28, 2008
"How extraordinary to find that, for two straight days,
American media would preoccupy themselves with the question of who had
the greater right—in a debate over foreign-policy
of all things—to quote Henry Kissinger."
God 0, Atheism 2:
Hitchens Eats Another Religious Figure for Lunch
-Discover Magazine Blogs
September 23, 2008
"Are you there God, and if so, will you please provide an
emissary that can go head-to-head with Christopher Hitchens without
getting spectacularly flayed?"
Is Obama Another Dukakis? Why is
Obama so vapid, hesitant, and gutless?
-Slate September 22, 2008
"Last week really ought to have been the end of the McCain
campaign. With the whole country feeling (and its financial class
acting) as if we lived in a sweltering, bankrupt banana republic, and
with this misery added to the generally Belarusian atmosphere that
surrounds any American trying to board a train, catch a plane, fill a
prescription, or get a public servant or private practitioner on the
phone, it was surely the moment for the supposedly reform candidate to
assume a commanding position."
Pakistan Is The Problem:
And Barack Obama seems to be the only candidate willing to face it.
-Slate September 15, 2008
"At a recent dinner party in the British embassy in Kabul,
of the guests referred to "the Afghan-Pakistan war." The rest of the
table fell silent. This is the truth that dare not speak its name. Even
mentioning it in private in the Afghan capital's green zone is enough
to solicit murmurs of disapproval. Few want to accept that the war is
widening; that it now involves Pakistan, a country with an unstable
government and nuclear weapons."
The Best Woman? Don't patronize
-Slate September 09, 2008
"In The Best Man, the only useful or amusing
play—ever to have been set at an American political
Gore Vidal presents us with Joe and Mabel Cantwell (Cliff Robertson and
Edie Adams in the 1964 movie version), who are a right-wing "family
values" couple with a large and grisly brood. The two have the
appalling habit of referring to each other as "Papa Bear" and "Mama
Bear," and when it seems that Cantwell has the goods on his rival,
William Russell, and is sure of the nomination, Mabel exclaims horridly
that this means that "Papa Bear and Mama Bear and all of the baby bears
are on their way to the White House."
Let Them Count Houses: Can't we
escape this tiresome damagoguery about candidate's income property?
-Slate September 01, 2008
"Sen. John McCain's now-notorious answer to the question
many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own was first repeated to me as if
he had been deliberately joking. And I must say that I thought his
reported response—that he'd have to ask his staff to check
"get to you" with a full count—was really quite funny. But
everybody began acting as if he'd just told all the poor and unemployed
to eat cake, so I thought I ought to check the original."
The Verbal Revolution: How the
Prague Spring broke world Communism's main spring.
-Slate August 25, 2008
"The Warsaw Pact no longer exists. Czechoslovakia no
exists. The Soviet Union, which tried by force to keep the second
entity as a part of the first one, likewise no longer exists. Yet few
events in memory can be as real and "concrete"—to borrow a
favorite term of Marxist propaganda—as the struggle that once
took place in these far-from-ethereal regions of Central and Eastern
South Ossetia Isn't Kosovo:
Whatever Moscow says, there are at least six significant differences
between the two situations.
-Slate August 18, 2008
"While it is almost certainly true that Moscow's action in
Ossetian and (for good measure) the Abkhazian enclave of Georgia has
been, in a real sense, the revenge for the independence of Kosovo (on
Feb. 14 Vladimir Putin said publicly that Western recognition of
Kosovar independence would be met by intensified Russian support for
irredentism in South Ossetia), it is extremely important to bear in
mind that this observation does not permit us the moral sloth of
allowing any equivalence between the two dramas."
on Trial: A Debate Over the Existence of God - Dinesh D'Souza &
Christopher Hitchens St. Louis Missouri September 10, 2008
- tickets available from the St.
Louis Symphony Hall
Iraq's Budget Surplus Scandal:
Why do we have such a hard time hearing good news from Baghdad?
-Slate August 11, 2008
"One day I will publish my entire collection of
headlines, where the true purport of the story is the inverse of the
intended one. (Top billing thus far would go to the greatest downer of
them all: the tale of Iraq's unemployed gravediggers, their
always-insecure standard of living newly imperiled by the falling
The Man Who Kept On
Writing: Alexander Solzhenitsyn lived as if there were such a thing as
-Slate August 04, 2008
"Every now and then it happens. The state or the system
encounters an individual who, bafflingly, maddeningly, absurdly, cannot
Should they manage to survive, such heroes have a good chance of
outliving the state or the system that so grossly underestimated them."