Good Reads

Michael Totten, a blogger based out of Portland who has written a number of interesting pieces on Kosovo, Iraq, Lebanon, and the “Olympics War” of 2008 between Georgia and Russia, has posted part one of a long interview with Christopher Hitchens who, as Totten says, really needs no introduction.

An excerpt:

Hitchens: These people are saying the grandfather and granddaughter [Kurt Westergaard and his granddaughter -ed.] were the authors of their own attempted assassinations. These are some of the same people who say that if I don’t believe in God I can’t know what morality is. They’ve just dissolved morality completely into relativism by saying actually, occasionally, carving up grandfathers and granddaughters with an axe on New Year’s Eve can be okay if it’s done to protect the reputation of a seventh century Arabian man who heard voices.


If we grant that these people are right or that they have a point, we grant that the Taliban does represent Islam. If we grant that the completely contrived protest against Danish cartoons by a few mullahs represents Islamic emotion, how much more contemptuous of Islamic people could we be?


Hitchens: Here’s a way of throwing an Oregon progressive into a state of confusion: ask him or her if they’ve read the latest Al Qaeda pronouncements on the Hindu question. Or, shall we put it another way, a billion infidels, brown-skinned, third world, living in a secular democracy, and all of them deemed by fatwa as fit only for slaughter.


Underneath this indulgence, Michael, this lenience we inflict on ourselves and others, is a vague feeling among millions in the West that Islam is somehow the religion of millions of the oppressed third world, of the brown-skinned, and of the black-skinned in Somalia and Nigeria. What I call the cultural cringe is involved. It’s subliminal, but it’s played on by terms like Islamophobia coined by the propaganda of the other side. It’s designed to make you feel bad even if you don’t like it. It’s thought crime. The attempt is to make Islamophobia something you’ll be as reluctant to be accused of as being a racist.

Actually, from some people I don’t even care if I’m being called a racist. Their standards have become so low that it doesn’t hurt like it should. [emphasis added]

I’ll post a link to part two when Totten puts it on his site.


4 Responses to “Good Reads”

  1. 1 Chris
    January 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Great interview, and Hitchens even sounds sober despite the picture that looks decidedly drunk. Not that I think there is a problem with drunken interviews or commentaries. Anyway, he put a lot of things in the correct light and it’s a wonder that it has come to this. Then again, with that article you posted on the ‘white’ science labs…it seems like there are undercurrents to both stories that meet somewhere in the moral/ethical sewers running beneath our (apparently) collective fear(s).

    Great blog too by the way, it’s nice to see you guys moving on and I’ll check in regularly to spout off nonsense.


  2. 2 CJ Ciaramella
    January 7, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks, Chris. Spread the word if you know any other interested parties.

  3. 3 Vincent
    January 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    That picture of Hitchens was taken a year or so ago when he was in Lebanon, either shortly before or shortly after he got his ass kicked by those Lebanese fascists he refers to in the interview.

    And thanks for stopping in, man. It was good running into you yesterday.

  4. 4 Chris
    January 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Good running into you too Vincent. I’ll pass the word on to interesting/worthy individuals. Which means, I’ll just link to your blog on my Facebook account (kidding).

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