Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ode to Christopher Hitchens

Here's a great multi-part YouTube video of Christopher Hitchens in a debate about Iraq. It dates from before the war, but Hitch, as always, states so clearly what the war against Islamofascism is all about. Warning: the audio is badly out of sync with the video.

The entire debate is broken into several clips. You can find them all here. Somewhere in the midst of the debate Hitchens mentions the withdrawal of East Timor from Indonesia. I learned some new facts today, from watching that video.

Here's a great article by Hitch, which fleshes out the East Timor-Bali bombing-bin Laden connection. This was also written before the Iraq war. But the Bali boming and the East Timor business is something of which I had not been aware. He has lots to say on related matters as well, some of which I quote below, with my emphasis added in bold.

Fighting Saddam makes our Osama problem better

"Let me cite two of Bin Laden's recent pronouncements. After the slaughter of Australian holiday-makers in Bali a few months ago, a statement was issued by al-Qaida that justified the mass murder on the grounds that Australian troops had assisted in East Timor's transition to independence. Bin Laden had many times venomously criticized this Australian involvement before Sept. 11, so whether he is dead or alive the point is made: The Aussies brought this on themselves by helping a mainly Christian minority regain its independence from a mainly Muslim state. "
"In a sermon to his troops before Sept. 11, and on many other occasions that we have on tape, Bin Laden told them that beating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan had been the hard part. The destruction of the other superpower, he asserted, would be easy. America was soft and corrupt and sunk in luxury, controlled by venal Jews. It was so weak and decadent that it had run away from Somalia. It would not risk its own forces and could not face the idea of taking casualties. If you care for the evidence then, you might note that Bin Laden recruits on the basis that the United States will not fight."
"It seems obvious that there are those in the Muslim world who dislike or suspect the United States for what it does or does not do, and those who hate it for its very existence. The task of statecraft is to make this distinction and also to work hard and intelligently to make it wider. But to argue that nothing can be done lest it incur the displeasure of the second group is to surrender without a fight, and then to get a fight anyway. American support for elections and for women's rights would infuriate the second group just as much as American action against Saddam. There is, to put it very mildly, no pleasing some people. Nor should there be. Self-respect as well as sound strategy demands that we make the enemy worry what we will do, and not waste away worrying what he may think of us."

Well said, Hitch!


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