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RIP Christopher Hitchens
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Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
Captiv8 wrote:
And this is why people like Hitchens are so important: they reaffirm the validity and necessity of intellectual thought. Amid the strong anti-intellectual current in the United States we need people, whether we agree with their personal views or not, to stand up and clearly articulate any given position based on logic, rationale, and research.


I don't think he did "reaffirm the validity and necessity of intellectual thought". If someone like Hitchens and a halfwit like George Bush can reach the same conclusions, what's the point of being an intellectual?


I think the important part is how they came to those conclusions. It was very interesting to read about how Hitchens came to support action in Iraq - in regards to Kurdish communities he had visited. He arguments for the invasion were well argued and it made me think harder about my stance which helped me in the long run - Hitchens had big differences with Bush in how the argument for war was presented to the public.

Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
MCGF wrote:
So you can only admire people you agree with?


What would there be to admire about him if you didn't agree with his ideas? If you think he was a good writer (I don't, but that's a different argument), that's hardly something to praise. Leni Riefenstahl and D.W. Griffith are considered master filmmakers, but are not deserving of our admiration.


Being a good writer is not something to praise? That's crazy to me. David Foster Wallace was a praiseworthy author not for just what he talked about but how he went about it in language, structure etc. Leni Riefenstahl and D.W. Griffith are considered masters not just due to their content - it was the style and form they used, innovative techniques and experimentation that explains much of the admiration.
Post Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:43 am
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Charlie Foxtrot



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 1379
Location: Rochester, NY
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Style without substance is like a house without a foundation.
Post Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:16 am
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Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
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Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
Style without substance is like a house without a foundation.


There is substance with Hitchens, Griffiths and Reifstahl though so I'm confused. I thought at first you didn't agree with the content but now it is wholly without substance?
Post Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:23 am
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2215
Location: Las Vegas
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Alan Hague wrote:
But that's ultimately the question that it comes down to: did the right in fact accomplish what the left theorized about? And the answer is unequivocally: NO. Is Iraq a democratic, egalitarian society? Definitely not, especially in the wake of the recent ordeal involving the Sunni bloc of parliament threatening to resign in opposition to corruption/consolidation of power on behalf of Nouri al-Maliki. Democracy is not functioning in Iraq. The country has been opened up for investment, which is great for business; not so great if you're working class & want electricity & running water & schools.

Also, is the right's method the proper way of going about creating positive change in the world? Does invasion & warfare inspire benevolence & understanding in the besieged population?
But is Iraq as it exists today a country with more potential for democracy than it was with Sadaam in power? I really think it is.

It's a hard issue for me. Is the world better off now that we removed Sadaam? I really don't know. I tend to favor the exit of century long dictators. Even if the result is fairly chaotic, I guess I still prefer that chaos to a dictatorship that commits genocide and ignores international regulation.

Of course I have problem with the Bush doctrine and the precedent that it sets. And obviously the justifications were fabricated to appease the public, but I do wonder how history will remember this period in time as it relates to the middle east.

I know that we all have a horse in this race and we want to be able to say unequivocally that W was wrong and the result is worse than if we had never intervened. I'm just not sure that is true.

Regarding benevolent imperialism, I don't think Hitchens or neocons are that naive. But what they are pushing for has theory behind it. Realism. Economic interdependence. Global stability.

The aftermath of WW2 was loaded with imperialism that I doubt was benevolent, but that doesn't change the reality of Japan and Germany and what happened in those cultures as a result of our post war presence.

It's a bit of a mindfuck to talk to an Iranian American who votes republican because they see republicans as the party more willing to intervene and support revolution. They could give a fuck about precedent or the underlying goals of an intervention. They just want a change in power so much that they are willing to side with the party that is willing to shape the world in its image.

I don't know. I'm a person that is pretty confident in his views, but Hitchens is one of those people who made me question the way I thought and really made me examine my own logic as it relates to foreign policy and cultural imperialism. I appreciate that and I'm not about trivialize his legacy because he agreed with end result of one of W's decisions.
Post Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:04 pm
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Self Conscious



Joined: 01 Apr 2009
Posts: 322
Location: Sleeping in a box car dreaming of lost starts
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tommi teardrop wrote:
Alan Hague wrote:
But that's ultimately the question that it comes down to: did the right in fact accomplish what the left theorized about? And the answer is unequivocally: NO. Is Iraq a democratic, egalitarian society? Definitely not, especially in the wake of the recent ordeal involving the Sunni bloc of parliament threatening to resign in opposition to corruption/consolidation of power on behalf of Nouri al-Maliki. Democracy is not functioning in Iraq. The country has been opened up for investment, which is great for business; not so great if you're working class & want electricity & running water & schools.

Also, is the right's method the proper way of going about creating positive change in the world? Does invasion & warfare inspire benevolence & understanding in the besieged population?
But is Iraq as it exists today a country with more potential for democracy than it was with Sadaam in power? I really think it is.

It's a hard issue for me. Is the world better off now that we removed Sadaam? I really don't know. I tend to favor the exit of century long dictators. Even if the result is fairly chaotic, I guess I still prefer that chaos to a dictatorship that commits genocide and ignores international regulation.

Of course I have problem with the Bush doctrine and the precedent that it sets. And obviously the justifications were fabricated to appease the public, but I do wonder how history will remember this period in time as it relates to the middle east.

I know that we all have a horse in this race and we want to be able to say unequivocally that W was wrong and the result is worse than if we had never intervened. I'm just not sure that is true.

Regarding benevolent imperialism, I don't think Hitchens or neocons are that naive. But what they are pushing for has theory behind it. Realism. Economic interdependence. Global stability.

The aftermath of WW2 was loaded with imperialism that I doubt was benevolent, but that doesn't change the reality of Japan and Germany and what happened in those cultures as a result of our post war presence.

It's a bit of a mindfuck to talk to an Iranian American who votes republican because they see republicans as the party more willing to intervene and support revolution. They could give a fuck about precedent or the underlying goals of an intervention. They just want a change in power so much that they are willing to side with the party that is willing to shape the world in its image.

I don't know. I'm a person that is pretty confident in his views, but Hitchens is one of those people who made me question the way I thought and really made me examine my own logic as it relates to foreign policy and cultural imperialism. I appreciate that and I'm not about trivialize his legacy because he agreed with end result of one of W's decisions.


great post again tommi!
Post Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:39 pm
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Self Conscious



Joined: 01 Apr 2009
Posts: 322
Location: Sleeping in a box car dreaming of lost starts
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b. dolan wrote:
Rest in Peace...

This is still my favorite Christopher Hitchens performance... it really might be the greatest debate i've ever seen.

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Galloway is a clown and Hitchens wiped the floor with him. his points consisted of ad hominem attacks and pure inaccuracies. he belongs no where near a stage with Hitchens on it. Hitch was a great great man who championed critical thinking and skepticism and will be truly missed. one of the greatest intellectuals of our generation. because of him, i look at the world with a (true) open mind.
Post Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:32 am
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