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Ear to the Ground

The Nation Shares Its Hitchens Favorites

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Posted on Dec 17, 2011
Andrew Rusk (CC-BY)

Christopher Hitchens after beginning treatment for esophageal cancer.

Christopher Hitchens wrote for The Nation magazine between 1978 and 2006, aiming “sarcasm and invective” at “fools on both left and right.“ On the occasion of his death, the magazine collects some of his most memorable salvos. —ARK

The Nation:

Cyprus, the Battered Pawn,” July 8-15, 1978. This is apparently Christopher’s first Nation piece. He had a personal interest in the Cyprus conflict and wrote a book on it. This precocious work reminds us of what a good journalist he was, bringing to bear an informed sense of history as well as facts gleaned by from on-the-ground reporting.

Minority Report,” April 2, 1990. This column should refresh your memory on the Reagan/Bush administrations’ intervention in Nicaragua. Quoting some vapid Bush I staffer, “Hey! I guess the carrot did work better than the stick with those Sandinistas”—Christopher asks: “by what right does the United States presume to hold sticks and carrots over Nicaragua?”

Minority Report,” December 12, 1994. Christopher still sorting through the question of Republicans past and Democrats present and did it make a difference. The attentive reader can spot the start of his evolution to a new personal politics.

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By lefthook, December 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s one of my favorite Hitchens quote.

“LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I
write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty
of its proposal: “Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib
have improved markedly and dramatically since the
arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad.”

I could undertake to defend that statement against
any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty
International, and I know in advance that none of
them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before
March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture
chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not
without reason, it is an international byword for
Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is
still, unarguably, the difference between night and
day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-
Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this
manner? And where should one begin?”

See? That was Hitchens being an apologist for Abu
Gharaib. What a lovely person.

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By lefthook, December 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey everyone! Let’s all celebrate the life of a hateful
hack and supporter of genocide and torture just because
he was a lefty when he was young! Hooray! Good riddance
to bad rubbish.

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