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Hitchens Interview
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Here's a recent interview with Christopher Hitchens. The right is recently warming up to him because of his stance on the war against Iraq and "theocratic terrorism", as he calls it. The left are still in the process of trying to marginalize him as an irrelevant blowhard for those same views.

I still enjoy reading him, and find myself agreeing with him on many core stances.

Here are some excerpts I especially liked:

This leads into a question about the President. He refers often to his religious conversion. Some people suggest that his foreign policy is guided by this belief in God. Would you agree?

What it shows is that being a man of faith is of no use when confronting something as complex as Iraq or North Korea. What help is it to be a man of faith when dealing with Kim Jong Il or Saddam Hussein? The other day, he greeted Erdogan, the new leader of Turkey, at the White House. And Bush says to him, “We understand each other, because you’re a man of faith and so am I.” Now, if a non-believer visits, what’s Bush going to do? Say, “Well, I don’t like you as much because you’re not a man of faith”? No. He’s going to say, “We’re very proud of our special relationship with the people of such-and-such.” It’s just a useless remark.

I'd agree. Hitchens then says he doesn't know why Bush would say such things, which is silly because it's fairly clear. Most Americans like it when he says such things, because most Americans are religious.

On Jerry Brown and Ralph Nader:

Is there anyone in public life who comes close to representing your views?

Most recently, I’d say it would be Jerry Brown or Ralph Nader. One is a crazed, semi-Catholic, and one is a sort of crazed health nut, safety-first fanatic. But both are people of integrity, and they’re in politics because of conviction. And I’m very, very glad that neither of them ever had a chance of becoming President. But I’m glad that they ran. And I’m very glad that Nader stayed in to the end, because he hurt Al Gore’s chances of winning.

I pretty much agree with him on this one. People mocked Jerry Brown, with his 1-800 number for campaign contributions, but I thought it was a brilliant idea and I respected him immensely for trying to fund his campaign with small, grassroots funding from hundreds of thousands of Americans. Problem was, he was a very weak candidate. And Nader comes across as a grump. But like Hitchens, I'm still glad both of these men got into politics. I'd also add Perot to the list.

Hitchens also says, even though he likes John Edwards, he wouldn't vote for him. Why?

Because I’d vote for Bush. The important thing is this: Is a candidate completely serious about prosecuting the war on theocratic terrorism to the fullest extent? Only Bush is.

Even though he says to the Turkish president, You believe in God, so we understand each other?

Well, he says that. But he has people around him who are absolutely determined to destroy the terrorists, and they’re smart. That’s another liberal snig that annoys me a lot these days—Bush is stupid, the administration is stupid. The fact has to be faced: The intellectual candle power of this administration is a great deal brighter than the Clinton administration.

This is precisely my view. I would vote for Bush in 2004 for exactly the same reason, even though I thoroughly despise his views on the faith-based initiatives, missile defense, cloning, the environment, and on and on. Unfortunately, domestic issues don't mean jack if we're not around to debate them. The war against terrorism, in my opinion, trumps everything else.

And I also agree with Hitchens that people need to get over calling Bush and his Administration stupid. That characterization just doesn't fly anymore. You can't be Machiavellian and flat-out dumb at the same time. Pick one and go with it.

Anyway, it's an interesting interview. Have a look.

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