Speaking Ill

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald does a Mother Theresa on Christopher Hitchens.

To allow significant political figures to be heralded with purely one-sided requiems — enforced by misguided (even if well-intentioned) notions of private etiquette that bar discussions of their bad acts — is not a matter of politeness; it’s deceitful and propagandistic. To exploit the sentiments of sympathy produced by death to enshrine a political figure as Great and Noble is to sanction, or at best minimize, their sins. Misapplying private death etiquette to public figures creates false history and glorifies the ignoble.

Good point– that private and public are not the same. I sympathize with Christopher Hitchens’ wife and children, who lost a father too soon. Perhaps the center of this issue is the need not to bury the history of the Iraq War with the declaration of its end, because the suffering caused here and in Iraq will not be undone in our lifetimes.

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2 responses

  1. I believe on Iraq, Hitchens did disagree. Surely you are not intimating that the murderous Saddam, his corrupt sons, lying in wait to take over, or his other partners in death, such as “Chemical Alllie” were better for the nation than what exists now. Have you seen the progress in the Kurdish areas with free press, universal suffrage, new universities. The real issue is that in spite of the best advice fro his own commanders and bureaucrats, Mr. Obama, a person of singular non-ability or accomplishment, decided to run away from success. Mr. Hitchens, I think was wonderfully correct in his assessments.

    1. The Iraq government invited us to leave when a condition of the US staying was that our troops would be immune from Iraqi law.
      And it’s President Obama.
      it was for the Iraqi people to overthrow their own bad dictator, not for us to invade a country that was not a direct threat.
      Gods help us if we decide to invade all the countries that are indirect threats.

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