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.