Hitchens and the Iraq War
The World Trade Center burned for months after the attack. It still burns intemperately in the hearts of many Americans, up there with the Alamo for fanning patriotic fervor. For Hitchens, it was the occasion to decide that someone’s else’s country could no wrong, and to adjust his citizenship accordingly. In A Long Short War , his shrill and un-nuanced polemics vented his adoptive patriotism. He attacks everyone who disagreed with him on the cardinal issue of uncritical support for the war on Iraq in quasi-Vyshinkyist fashion. He also tried to maintain all the old positions he held on the Left, while uncritically embracing his new friends “the Pentagon Intellectuals” or the “tougher thinkers in the Defense Department.” The resulting portmanteau politics are an uneasy and disturbing mix, not Orwellian in the emulatory sense.