Monday, October 13, 2008

Hitchens Endorses Obama; Smears McCain-Palin

For most of the past decade, Christopher Hitchens has been on our side. This began after September 11, 2001 when he debated the likes of Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, Katha Pollitt, Michael Moore and George Galloway concerning left-wing attitudes to Islamic fundamentalism. His disaffection with the Left post-9/11 prompted him to resign as a contributor to The Nation. Hitchens has been labeled by some as a neo-conservative although he never accepted the label. He has acknowledged that he is agreement with neo-conservatives on some matters but states such an alliance is temporary.

Well, this alliance has to come to end with his endorsement of Barack Obama. ( Whether you agree or disagree with Hitchens, his writing is compelling. But his vote for Obama is not so much an endorsement of him as it is a litany of smears against McCain and Palin. It's the sort of thing you would expect on The Daily Kos or The Democratic Underground. For instance, Hitchens writes that McCain is "someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarassing deficit, both cognitive and physical."

Gee, perhaps someone forgot to tell Hitchens that McCain spent nearly six years in a box in the Hanoi Hilton and had nearly every bone in his body broken.

Yet Hitchens spares his deepest scorn for Palin who he describes as a "deceiving and unscrupulous woman", "a national disgrace" and complains about "her bizarre religious & political affiliations." Of course, Hitchens is an avowed atheist with a strong disdain for organized religion. Sure, he is willing to be critical of Islam but he criticizes Evangelicals with the same zeal even though they don't go about beheading people they deem to be heathens. He chides Palin for stating "falsehoods" about Obama's position on Afghanistan. All Palin did was quote Obama who said U.S. troops in Afghanistan were doing nothing "but air raiding villages and killing civilians" as if U.S. troops in Afghanistan were to blame for the troubles in that country bred al Qaeda and the Taliban.

While Hitchens considers Obama "overrrated" he is quite comfortable with him and Biden on the basis that the Democratic ticket is "not a capitulationist one." What part of meeting Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez "without preconditions" doesn't Hitchens understand? Lest we forget Biden wanted to give Iran $200 million as a good will gesture after September 11, 2001, something you'd think Hitchens would recall.

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