Thursday, 3 July 2008

'I can't belive it's not torture'

Christopher Hitchens gives me problems.

I really want to like the man who gave us “God Is Not Great’. And the man whose heroes include Oliver Cromwell and Tom Paine. Who has exposed Zionist atrocities in Palestine and Serb atrocities in the Balkans.

But I’m stuck with the guy who thinks that George Dubya was the lesser of two evils and that invading Iraq was somehow progressive. The ex-Marxist who articulated the idea of ‘Islamo-fascism’. The guy who dismissed the idea that atrocities were being committed by the allies in Iraq in the name of ‘regime change’. And who down-played water-boarding* as ‘aggressive interrogation’ and emphatically not torture.

I now want to like the man who had the balls to allow himself to be water-boarded. And who has the good grace to admit he was wrong and that the practice is in fact torture.

But instead I am stuck with the fact that he is supposedly number 5 in the world’s ranking of intellectuals (whatever that means) and yet apparently needed to personally experience torture in order to recognise it. Or more importantly, still can’t extrapolate from the experience that possibly the rest of the allies claims to be the good guys in the Middle East are also bullshit.

• Note: this is not a sport allied to snow-boarding it is, and always has been, a newspeak term to describe the horrific practice of TORTURE by controlled drowning.

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