January 1, 2012 Leave a comment
Before being able to welcome 2012, Christopher Hitchens lost his battle to cancer and passed away at the aged of 62. Hitchens has been a journalist and an author for a long time. Many will remember his strong anti god-view and his accusations of the Church and Mother Theresa, in particular accusing her for spreading ignorance, disease and undesired populations growth. However, most of all he would be remembered for taking a stand in support of the Iraq war, which has labeled him a liberal turned neo-con in the minds of many.
Hitchens was also especially interested in the achievements of Thomas Jefferson as a person and a founding father of the USA. He wrote a biography of Jefferson and often used his knowledge to combat claims that the US was founded on the base of religion (he differentiated between faith and organized religion).
Hitchens has been a long time reporter on the Middle East. He covered the politics in the Arab countries including the wars and the political developments. He was also a known criticizer of the Israeli policy over the Palestinians and opposed the idea of Zionism harshly, however, he was a supporter of the notion of the Jews living in peace in a UN recognized democratic country.
Hitchens was dubbed a neo-con, when he refused to follow the ultra-liberal move towards criticizing the Western involvement in conflicts in foreign countries and mainly for speaking out in favour of the Iraq war, while Noam Chomsky and other prominent left-wing thinkers took an opposing view.
Hitchens was a talented orator and a true polemic. In the early millennium he enjoyed ripping people like George Galloway apart in debates, exposing their double standards of supporting and promoting war in Iraq, Syria and Gaza and returning to the West to criticize violence. Hitchens also criticized the history of the anti-war coalition, which opposed involvement in the Bosnia conflict as well. When debating with an anti-war promoter, Hitchens would often recount the ideology of Al-Qaeda and published reasoning (such as over the dispute in East Timor) to prove that their actions are not as a response to Colonisation, rather a spread of their way of life globally.
Noam Chomsky who was once revered by Hitchens was applauded for his earlier work, but harshly criticized for his new-found promotion of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and his “anti-imperialist” view.
The World has lost a truly inspirational man who was not afraid to say what he thought and argue his point even if it didn’t fit the “liberal” stream he used to belong to.
It is a shame that Hitchen’s death was not more widely publicized. However he lives behind him a wealth of knowledge and his essence and a string of books and publications such as Hitch-22, God Is Not Great, Love Poverty and War and others.
The global intellectual debating scene will miss one of its most talented members.