Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hitchens in the Dock

by JACK McCARTHY

In the final decade before his demise, the late Christopher Hitchens had become the Phil Spector of American politics. Ala Spector, even his hair looked crazy.

After injecting himself into the Clinton-Lewinsky affair,  “Hitch 22” appeared on some network show looking, humorist Harry Shearer hilariously noted on his radio program, “Le Show”, “like he just rolled out of bed at the homeless shelter.”  He was drunk, hair going every which way, and as he angrily ranted about Clinton’s adulterous affair, he couldn’t stop blinking.

Hitchens’ evolution from young Trot, to eloquent dashing columnist for the liberal Nation magazine, to frothing war monger and volunteer mouthpiece and cheerleader for the Bush-Cheney junta’s plot to take the U.S. to war has been well-chronicled from Ian Buruma in the New York Review of Books, the website “Hitchenswatch”(which humorously noted, “We watch him so you don’t have to”) to the pages of CounterPunch.

But surely in the future the gold standard  for the deconstrucion of Hitchens will be Richard Seymours’ “Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens.”

The title of course is an ironic reference to Hitchens  book, “The Trial of Henry
Unhitched_zps5d3882c3Kissinger.”

But now, posthumously, it’s Hitchens’ turn in the dock.

Seymour’s book, part of Verso’s “Counterblast,” series,  is a thoroughly documented prosecutors brief and demonstrates why in a fair and just world Hitchens, who conspired with the likes of Ahmed Chalabi to start a most unnecessary war, would stand trial with Bush, Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz as an accused war criminal.

Seymour’s meticulous, Chomsky-esh detailing of the Hitchens saga was chided in the Washington Post for lacking “style” and being harshly biased. But, hey, this is a trial and Seymour as the chief prosecutor is supposed to  be biased.

Frankly, my favorite part of the book is the cover photo of Hitchens in mad hatter mode.

One can’t help but wonder what would be going through Hitchens head, were he still amongst the living, reading about  Secretary of State John Kerry warning Iraq to quit allowing Iran to use Iraqi airspace to assist the Assad regime in putting down a rebellion.

My guess is, unlike former Bush speech writer David “Axis of  Evil” Frum, Hitchens would continue to dissemble.

According to Glenn Greewald in The Guardian, for March 18, Frum not only laments how things have turned out in Iraq, but also admits in a Newsweek column that previous denials to the contrary, the war was very much about oil.

A newly contrite Frum also reveals that the real “axis of evil” was a secretive meeting with Ahmed Chalabi–in the apartment of Christopher Hitchens to discuss strategy for starting a war.

In the final analysis, the best characterization of Hitchens came from the man who knew him best: Alexander Cockburn. In a long ago Nation column, writing even before Hitchens became “just another right -wing porker,” Alex noted that more and more Hitchens had “postures” not “principles.”

The Trial of Christopher Hitchens demonstrates in lush detail that in the matter of Christopher Hitchens its case closed.

Jack McCarthy is former managing editor of the Florida Flambeau, contributing editor to Online Journal, and a proud contributor to Counterpunch. Can be reached at jackm32301@yahoo.com

 

 

Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at jackm32301@yahoo.com

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail