Readers’ tributes to Hitchens: Part 5

December 22, 2011 • 4:09 am

We’ll have a few more days of readers’ tributes to the life of Christopher Hitchens.

This one is from Dominik Miketa:

This photo was taken in the Lindsay Bar of Balliol College, Oxford, where Hitch spent his undergraduate years reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics. People at Balliol are so proud of the great man: you can see my friend Emily kissing Hitch’s picture on the wall. We intend to toast to Christopher when we go back to Balliol after the holidays and somehow I expect the bar will run out of Johnnie Walker on that night.

Here’s a drawing and some words from Henry McQuale:

For Hitch, who didn’t make me an atheist, but who made me a non-pusillanimous one.Thanks to him I realized that disbelief is not enough and that harshness is sometimes necessary, because there are far worse things than disrespect towards cherished beliefs: just as it is immoral not to urgently warn who is about to drink poison thinking it will quench his thirst (specially when the bottle is passed promising the freshest of waters), now I know that the pusillanimity of being quiet about the evils of religion is an act of unforgivable negligence towards mankind, for as Hitch brilliantly showed, there are few poisons deadlier than religion, and religion poisons everything.

From k.m.:

Here’s my submission in honour of Hitch. I chose a few of my favourite photos of him, mounted them on cork (for obvious reasons), and hung them on my xmas tree. A cheeky nod to this great man. I’ve cried too much in the last couple of days to include myself in any photo, so I hope this will do.

And from Aja, who wanted to thank Hitch for his “mental illumination:

Hitchens always made observations that cast an issue in a new light.  I would read his books and essays and it was like a light went on.

From reader Jacobus van Beverningk:

This is a picture I took in January 2007 at James Randi’s TAM5 (The Amazing Meeting #5), in Las Vegas. It’s as if he’s in debate with his own projected image. Fond memories!

11 thoughts on “Readers’ tributes to Hitchens: Part 5

  1. Hitch was a war mongering hater who supported the Bush wars to the hilt.

    Propaganda like his helped kill my nephew.

    I wish there were a hell for supporters or War Criminals like him.

    1. How did the propaganda kill him?

      Or did he die fighting in the said war? Should you wish he’s in with Hitch then?

    2. I’m also sorry for your loss, but may I suggest adjusting the target of your anger. Hitchins had a strong conviction in his support of the war and that was against the very idea of tyranny. Hussein was a horrible dictator, who visited death and dismay upon his people. He was a man worthy of deposing. I doubt many would disagree with Hitchins on his feelings in this regard, yet what we oppose is calling upon the dogs of war as the tool of Hussein’s removal, and we oppose the disinformation used to qualify such actions. In these actions we enacted and in some areas exceeded the atrocities of Hussein. Wishing “Hell” upon any one man or all supporters of such an atrocity fills the Devil’s tavern and does nothing for the problem. Oppose the idea of war itself. Curse the temple of Aries and the bile he feeds into the hearts of men and women. Wishing the worst kind of suffering on any of your fellow species is the very spirit of war. A vast majority of America supported this war, many more than today. Some like to hide behind the excuse of misinformation, but war of any measure should be viewed with the utmost skepticism. We cannot take back the Iraq war. We cannot unbomb the women and children, we cannot take away their depleted uranium cancers. We cannot return the bullets we paid for out of every paycheck, the bombs that blew the limbs off more babies than soldiers. We can only watch closely for the seeds of war as they are planted by any president. We can only combat the cloak of misinformation, and oppose the very idea of war with the very spirit and unapologetic zeal with which Hitchens supported it. Bear no vitriol for a dead man, only raise a glass in honor of the qualities he expounded, and adopt them in any argument, especially if that argument is against that man himself.

      1. I’m sure you’re a nice, well-meaning person, but it’s absolute smouldering horseshit to suggest that we went invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a bad man.

        We were told–endlessly–that Iraq was a threat to our own security, that Iraq had WMDs, that Iraq was allied with al-Qaeda, and that we didn’t want to “wait for the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

        Thus we were lied into that invasion, hundreds of thousands died, millions became refugees, and it cost the US over $1 trillion.

        You may want to help others forget all this, but I don’t.

        1. That wasn’t my intention. I’m well aware of the line of smouldering horseshit we were fed in 2003 that gained the public approval for this war, but Hussein being a bad man was part of Hitchens support, unless I’m mistaken, and also the line that is being fed to now justify the action after the horseshit was cleared away. In either case, regardless of what line we were fed, or how we were lied to, the action of war was taken, and, in hindsight, the line of BS wasn’t a very good one. Hussein being a bad man is irrelevant. Iraq was an atrocity, there is no forgetting that. My point was being skeptical of any call to war. If I failed to adequately express that, then I apologize. As someone who remained apathetic (ashamedly so) during the entire war, buying the BS hook line and sinker, I now watch every military action like a hawk and avoid the MSM propaganda. Iraq happened, it’s up to us not to let it happen again. Wishing torment on anyone who supported that war seems like a waste of energy since a majority of us accepted it based on shoddy evidence, and even if the WMDs did exist, the act of war would still be debatable. We are a warmongering society, we spend over 50% of all taxes on war. Just look at the saber rattling going on over Iran, again, on shoddy evidence. FORGET IRAQ?! If anything we need to remember it now more than ever! But it seems that finger pointing is taking more interest than opening eyes.

  2. Yeah, Hitch was complicated and I disagreed with him on many things (as most readers probably did). No one here is celebrating his support for the invasion of Iraq. We are celebrating his writing and staunch defense of atheism and reason.

    I don’t know of any hero who was free of any blemish, do you?

  3. Hitchens may have been supportive of the Iraq war but I have to question how much of his pro-war rhetoric was effective in convincing others to join his side of this particular argument.
    I have rarely seen anyone on the various atheist forums stating anything but complete disagreement with Hitchens views on this subject – despite their full hearted agreement with his statements on the religious question.
    Richard Dawkins himself marched in opposition to the Iraq war.
    If he didn’t manage to get atheists on his side in the Iraq war question then who exactly did Hitchens convince?
    The religious? The gun-ho patriotic flag-wavers?
    I suspect that they needed little encouragement from Hitchens to jump on that particular bandwagon.

  4. I marched against the Iraq war in Brisbane, Australia. I kept muttering, we know that Nth Korea has WMDs, so why are we invading Iraq exactly?

    I separate Hitchen’s view on Iraq from his passion for teaching people to think critically. Unfortunately, critical thinking can still lead to different political ends; however at least a freedom from religious myths.

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