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October 28, 2008


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Karl Miller

Most Dishonest Opinion Writer? That's a high charge these days. Has Charles Krauthammer surrendered the tiara already?

I totally agree about Dawkins, but I think you're being unfair to Hitchens. He's really the least we have to worry about. Like it or not, his case for the Iraq war has always come from the simple belief that Iraq shouldn't be starved to death by a psychopathic crime family -- and I don't think that's a euphemistic way of putting it at all. Even Slavoj Zizek concedes that much. I don't know what Hitchens has written about Chalabi, but he was correct about Talabani. If you've seen the movie "Three Kings" and felt anything remotely emotional at the end of it -- any outrage for the triangulation and betrayal that marked our first adventure in Iraq, any frustration with Clinton's slow-boil genocide in the 90s -- then it's really hard to switch to the "realist" camp that says Iraq wasn't a priority after 9/11.

Mind you, this is only to explain the case for going into Iraq. I have never heard Hitchens defend Rumsfeld's shock doctrine, Blackwater, or torture. I know Hitchens can be contrarian to a fault, but he's also worked directly with the Kurds, sheltered Rushdie from the Ayatollah. If he's happy that Bush has (perhaps inadvertently) advanced these causes, I really can't blame him.

As for his atheism, Hitchens has repeatedly criticized the Dawkins-Dennet clubhouse -- mostly for building one in the first place. He finds the term "brights" to be cringe-inducing. I'm guessing you do, too.

And while we're throwing out titles, let's admit that Most Obnoxious Atheist goes to Sam Harris. Listen to the boy argue with people -- he works backwards from the same borderline-autistic vantage each time. A = A, ergo: fuck off. Talk about being dead inside! At least Hitchens can appreciate the irrational pleasures of sex, booze, and literature.

I wrote about these guys a while ago ...


... and if you're still really pissed at Hitchens, click over to watch his smack-down with Sean Hannity again.


If you read 'Unweaving The Rainbow' you would know that Dawkins' worldview is anything but cold. Why do "mysteries" and "creative responses" have to be conflated with the insanity of theocratic dogma? Mystery doesn't mean one gets to posit a deity that comes equipped with a divine owner's manual for living.

Don't like the New Atheists? Become an Old Atheist with Carl Sagan and Samuel Clemens.

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