Sunday, April 23, 2006

So That's the Problem?

I think I've announced it on this blog before, but I am and have been for a long time a great admirer of Christopher Hitchens. He's as brilliant a polemicist and observer of world affairs as any, and to have survived dyed-in-the-wool Trotskyism with the full sum of his intellect is itself an impressive feat. Of all the critiques to saddle him with, laziness is not one. So what is exactly going on with his recent NYT letter to the editor I have no idea. In a rejoinder to the realists par excellence Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whom he recently took to task for what I agree was a rather lazy and "smelly" assumption regarding the Jewish lobby, he writes:

"And if Osama bin Laden were moved principally by the suffering of the Palestinians - rather than by his demand to impose a caliphate on Afghans, Iraqis, Turks, Egyptians, and others - then he would be at least morally in the right."

Really? So, if he hadn't long ago proven his words of allegiance to Palestinians to be duplicitous, and instead was moved, "principally by the suffering of the Palestinians", to murder 2,700 innocent people in one day, "then he would be at least morally in the right"? I had presumed that the World Trade Center bombings had put the question of ideological motive somewhat beside the point, and that Hitchens thought so, too.

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