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The world according to Hitchens - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

This article doesn't say much. I would call Hitch an intellectual though.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 14:25:00 UTC | #242161

SharonMcT's Avatar Comment 2 by SharonMcT

"Your fellow countryman Mark Steyn ... (formerly of the National Post) makes similar sorts of exponential projections, of which I am a bit dubious because they don't allow for various things: the number of Muslims who come to Europe to get away from (Islamic fundamentalism) or the number of Muslims who will be born (in Europe) who won't want to be treated as if they were at one with Pakistan. So you never know. There might be exemplary forces in the other direction (i.e, resulting in better integration)."


Oh dear. It sounds so reasonable. What will people think? How will they ever get themselves worked up into a fearful frenzy upon hearing this? ;)

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 14:35:00 UTC | #242165

Prince of Gonzo's Avatar Comment 3 by Prince of Gonzo

A clarification if one could be so kind,

"On what he thinks of Liberal member of Parliament Michael Ignatieff - like Hitchens in 2003, a left-wing intellectual who surprised people by coming out in favour of the invasion of Iraq."

Did Hitchens support the invasion in Iraq, as this sentence seems to indicate (at least to me)? And if so, for what reason?

(and, first post on the site, I wish they taught evolution in Arkansas. Then I wouldn't be so embarassed about my past conversations)

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 14:43:00 UTC | #242167

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 4 by mordacious1

Prince

Yes, Hitchens has clearly stated many times that he supports our involvement in Iraq.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 15:05:00 UTC | #242176

FelixJ's Avatar Comment 5 by FelixJ

This article doesn't say much. I would call Hitch an intellectual though.


I hope this isn't intended to sound as arrogant as it does to me.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 15:26:00 UTC | #242180

Prince of Gonzo's Avatar Comment 6 by Prince of Gonzo

Mord, thank you.

After looking up a few of Hitchens's comments on the situation, I've realized that I have too easily accepted the American frame of the conflict (you agree with Bush [and you're stupid] or you see the lies, and you're not) and neglected the proper frames of morality (and such).

It almost bears mention that I supported the war in the beginning, though for purely abstract reasons. The plight and slaughter of the Kurds, the innate duty of we "leaders of the free world", and all the other pontification (that I still largely believe in) were convincing, and spoke to me in a way that I like to imagine the Lincoln-Douglas debates spoke to those (most holy) abolitionists of years past.

In my mind, at some point there has to be an absolute that I feel one can accept, and I have no problem accepting an absolute, as I doubt anyone would have a problem with apparent facts. There is, in my mind, a seditious idea (especially in the intellectual crowd of the social sciences) that a view can never be completely correct. Surely we can agree that gravity exists, that (to steal from There Will Be Blood) God is a superstition, and so on.

My question was born from a simplicity that only too much American television can provide, and I looked it up (upon your clarification) because I'm quite sure that Mr. Hitchens is brighter than I.

Mea culpa.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 15:37:00 UTC | #242185

Ex~'s Avatar Comment 7 by Ex~

Hitchens wants to be called an intellectual?

LOL

That's all I can say about that.

LOL

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:09:00 UTC | #242190

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 8 by Diacanu

Ex-


That's all I can say about that.


Good.
Bye.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:27:00 UTC | #242192

root2squared's Avatar Comment 9 by root2squared

An intellectual? Yes
Right about everything? No

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:30:00 UTC | #242193

ryouga's Avatar Comment 10 by ryouga

I'm a fan of Hitch but for someone who prides himself on his knowledge of international affairs I find it surprising that his understanding of the Georgia affair seems somewhat lacking. The vast majority of the western media have been guilty of not analyzing the situation carefully enough. Hitch has taken all the reporting at face value.
I'm no fan of Russia and there are numerous recent incidents and decisions that they can be criticised for but the Georgia issue is different. The way the invasion was carried out can be criticised even. Just as Hitch seperates the invasion of Iraq with the actual execution of the plan, which he has been critical of.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:41:00 UTC | #242194

Godfree Gordon's Avatar Comment 11 by Godfree Gordon

A boundless intellect - he has and is

I agree with his reading of intellectual

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 18:44:00 UTC | #242204

JeremyH's Avatar Comment 12 by JeremyH

For once I disagree with Hitchens. Russia is and has always been exagerated by American media. Ossetia DEMOCRATICALLY decided to join Russia, and Georgia, backed by the U.S, attacked the Ossetians, and Russia's attempts to protect the Ossetians were twisted by the media to make it look like it was the Russians who attacked.

Of course Russia tried to explain this, but who would have an American news story saying the Russians weren't the bad guys? Russia has been demonised so that the U.S can do whatever they want and the Americans people wont ask questions.

ryouga: You're right, Hitchens has taken the reporting at face value, one of the downsides of his patriotic attitude. It's hard to come to grips with the fact that your "objective news media" can be lying through it's teeth.

*EDIT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DjcJQ5Re-M
This video opened my eyes and made me hate fox news more than ever.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 19:12:00 UTC | #242210

JDAM's Avatar Comment 13 by JDAM

JeremyH (#255503)

I'm confused. I was under the impression that Ossetia was politically part of Georgia much in the same manner as Maine is politically part of the US. By what right do Ossetians simply vote to leave one country and join another? Would this in any way be comparable to Maine DEMOCRATICALLY voting to leave the US and become a part of Canada?

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 20:43:00 UTC | #242222

zecat's Avatar Comment 14 by zecat

Guys, I thought this place (richarddawkins.net) was "a clear thinking oasis" and a place for reason, as opposed to passionate brain farts. Can someone explain me how on earth it's possible, acceptable and reasonable to agree on preemptive striking and invading Irak WITHOUT ANY U.N. MANDATE?!

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 22:19:00 UTC | #242249

Fanusi Khiyal's Avatar Comment 15 by Fanusi Khiyal

Can someone explain me how on earth it's possible, acceptable and reasonable to agree on preemptive striking and invading Irak WITHOUT ANY U.N. MANDATE?!


For the simple reason that a UN mandate is a completely meaningless piece of paper, that's why.

The thing about the idea of a free, democratic, united Iraq is that it's a) impossible which is good because it is also, b) undesirable. My fatherland is a good example of what happens when you've got free democracies filled with people who hate jews. Anyway, the problem is that noone seems to get the heaven-sent opportunity. Support a free Kurdistan, and let the Sunni and the Shia slaughter each other. That'll be a permanent drain on the resources of the Jihad.

(oh, if it matters, Iraq had lost it's international sovreignity by all four standards that the UN sets).

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 22:35:00 UTC | #242257

zecat's Avatar Comment 16 by zecat

[Fanusi Khiyal] a UN mandate is a completely meaningless piece of paper


This is the kind of comments which make me believe I'm on the wrong website. This proves me once again that atheism alone, without humanism, isn't worth much.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 22:57:00 UTC | #242268

Fanusi Khiyal's Avatar Comment 17 by Fanusi Khiyal

zecat, so you escaped from the Church to worship the United Nations? I'd call that a step down.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:18:00 UTC | #242274

root2squared's Avatar Comment 18 by root2squared

zecat


This is the kind of comments which make me believe I'm on the wrong website. This proves me once again that atheism alone, without humanism, isn't worth much


Why would you even think so? Simply being an atheist does not necessarily make you a moral person.

Guys, I thought this place (richarddawkins.net) was "a clear thinking oasis" and a place for reason, as opposed to passionate brain farts. Can someone explain me how on earth it's possible, acceptable and reasonable to agree on preemptive striking and invading Irak WITHOUT ANY U.N. MANDATE?


Of course the Iraq war is criminal, immoral and has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. It's a sham. Don't assume all people on this website support the war in Iraq based on some posters who do.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:30:00 UTC | #242277

BrandySpears's Avatar Comment 19 by BrandySpears

Hitchens still refusing to mock Palin's fundamentalism.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:33:00 UTC | #242278

Fanusi Khiyal's Avatar Comment 20 by Fanusi Khiyal

root, just on the subject of the UN - we are talking about that UN, yes? The one that put the Sudan on its Human Rights Council while a genocide was going on? The one whose peacekeepers have been found guilty of extorting sex from eight year olds throughout the Third world?(Memo to African tribespeople: you have machetes for a reason. Use them.)

That UN, yes?

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:37:00 UTC | #242279

WilliamP's Avatar Comment 21 by WilliamP

Hitchens still refusing to mock Palin's fundamentalism.
Who would mock her fundamentalism when her stupidity is so much more of an attractive target?

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:41:00 UTC | #242280

root2squared's Avatar Comment 22 by root2squared

Fanusi,

I didn't mean the war was criminal because of anything to do with the UN. I stand by my comment without considering the UN at all.

But if you are going to say things like "The one that put the Sudan on its Human Rights Council while a genocide was going on?", what about the US being in bed with Saudi Arabia which treats women like dirt and is known for violating human rights?

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:42:00 UTC | #242281

BrandySpears's Avatar Comment 23 by BrandySpears

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:47:00 UTC | #242284

Fanusi Khiyal's Avatar Comment 24 by Fanusi Khiyal

root, gotcha. Any discussion of Iraq that invokes that gargoyle called the UN is unserious.

But if you are going to say things like "The one that put the Sudan on its Human Rights Council while a genocide was going on?", what about the US being in bed with Saudi Arabia which treats women like dirt and is known for violating human rights?


There are two reasons for that: 1) Oil, 2) if the Saudis ever become overtly hostile, we're in deep trouble, because we couldn't counterattack, without doing the one thing that could get the Sunni and Shia under one banner.

The UN, however, unlike the US, claims to be this international embodiment of law and justice. That's it's sole claim to any sort of legitimacy. It doesn't just tolerate atrocity, it applauds it, and engages in it (that food for sex scandal is one of the more hideous things I've heard; I'm not joking about machetes).

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:49:00 UTC | #242286

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 25 by Laurie Fraser

Of course the Iraq war is criminal, immoral and has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. It's a sham. Don't assume all people on this website support the war in Iraq based on some posters who do.


Exactly, root. We all (or most of us) know precisely why the U.S. invaded Iraq. It was the culmination of years of pre-positioning for both strategic and economic reasons. That it has spectacularly backfired is no surprise; the U.S. has a sorry history in its foreign excursions right back to Korea and Vietnam, and has not once done any good for the poor inhabitants of the countries it has invaded. Which is why Hitchens' support of the Iraq disaster is all the more befuddling, considering that he does have a reasonably good brain.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:50:00 UTC | #242288

root2squared's Avatar Comment 26 by root2squared

Fanusi,


The UN, however, unlike the US, claims to be this international embodiment of law and justice. That's it's sole claim to any sort of legitimacy. It doesn't just tolerate atrocity, it applauds it, and engages in it


Sorry, but the US claims to be spreading freedom and democracy. If you listen to the people in the US who support the war, they all claim "America is the greatest" and is the leader of the free world. These are the very people who knock the UN the most. So they are claiming that they are better than the UN at international affairs and in leading the world.

They are claiming the moral high ground, but are hypocrites by dealing with Saudi Arabia for oil. I am surprised by your stating oil to be a reason. Are you suggesting it's morally ok to support something immoral simply because you need the oil? I hope I'm wrong about that.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:56:00 UTC | #242292

root2squared's Avatar Comment 27 by root2squared

Laurie

As the old saying goes, "Follow the money". Essentially the government is routing our taxpayer money to the war profiting companies.

I don't understand how anyone in the armed forces can look at what's going on with Blackwater and believe they are actually fighting for something meaningful. The worst thing is so many innocent Iraqi people have been killed. And it's just created a lot more angry people who will be picked up by the fanatics and turned into terrorists.

Btw, I hope we have a good India-Aus test series in Oct.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:05:00 UTC | #242299

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 28 by Laurie Fraser

root, they're not just hypocrites in their dealings with Saudi Arabia. Fanusi's laughable attempts to pass off the U.N. as some sheltered workshop for atrocity mongers can simply be dismissed for the infantile guff it is. One of the U.N.'s biggest problems is that the U.S. has reneged on its dues for years, and then has the hide to criticise it for being ineffective (whilst the U.S. goes about vetoing anything and everything it can in the Security Council.)

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:08:00 UTC | #242301

quirinus's Avatar Comment 29 by quirinus

Europe is a ghost, else it would help minorities of Caucasia in the first place. Now doesnt have any right to complain about it. Europe missed the train while Russia did the right(and legal) move, no matter what its motives are. Now Europe has only one change in the region. Solving Armenian problem which is the next train, to bypass Georgia for Central Asian oil. But this needs a strong management, which EU lacks thanks to Sarkozy.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:10:00 UTC | #242304

root2squared's Avatar Comment 30 by root2squared

Laurie,

Yes, the US's disdain for the UN is quite apparent. They actually appointed as their representative a person who said

There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States." He also stated that "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.


It's like a bully beating up the class monitor and then claiming the class monitor is useless.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:13:00 UTC | #242305