Saturday, September 24, 2005

From Srebrenica To Baghdad

By Christopher Hitchens - Monday, July 11, 2005 -

What the genocide taught us about intervention.

Ten years since the hecatomb of Srebrenica … surely a decade cannot have passed so quickly? It really feels to me like yesterday. I can hear Susan Sontag's exact tone of voice as she described being in a ministerial office in Sarajevo when the mayor of Srebrenica got through on a bad line to say, "This is goodbye." He did not mean au revoir. Ronald Steel is one of the most gentle and humane liberals I have ever met, but I can still see his next-day's op-ed in the New York Times, announcing that the fall of the "safe havens" was "a blessing in disguise," since it might force the Bosnians to sue for peace. I can remember the red rage in which I wrote a letter to the Times, saying that a mass murder was a pretty effective disguise.

It is the liberal Christopher Hitchens who keeps reminding us of the intellectually honest people in the war on terror. He is one. Hitchens supported the war in Bosnia, when a large number of the neo-conservatives were still thinking through their ideas on what America should stand for. Simultaneously, Hitchens is one liberal who proved not to be a socialist first and a human second. When we were attacked by the islamofascists, he knew where he stood. He has not wavered from his commitment to human decency as the foundation for his liberal philosophy, rather than just another argument to defeat his political opponents. This consistency is part of what makes him such a fierce defender of his positions. It has also won him a great number of enemies among those for whom socialism is the goal, and the rest of liberal thought is just pretense.

When you run into someone who claims to be a liberal or a progressive, the quickest way to find out their level of integrity is to ask them if they still embrace Hitchens. If they don't, they are a socialist, and their dedication is to the destruction of capitalism and America.


Post a Comment

<< Home