I am really going to regret when Christopher Hitchens is gone, and I confess it will be for my own loss of a person who’s writing gives me pleasure and his almost Cryanoistic honesty to his own beliefs (even when they are horribly wrong i.e Christianity) rather than for pity as he has lived a pretty interesting life and everybody has to die eventually.
The latest interview of him in the London Observer conveys all of the joy of reading Hitchens that I have but there is one line that is so important and so true and so totally ignored that it should be screamed from the mountaintops to everyone particularly to Thomas Freedman and the left:
As an aside on Mugabe, he makes one of those observations that are so precisely to the point that you wonder why so few other commentators ever get round to coming to it emphasis mine. “Darfur, Zimbabwe, Burma, North Korea, anywhere that the concept of human rights doesn’t exist, it’s always the Chinese at backstop. And always for reasons that you could write down in three words: blood for oil.”
This is the most vital part of the piece for two reasons. the first being that he cuts to the truth of the current world situation in two sentences, but the second is due to the interviewer Andrew Anthony unintentional indictment of the entire intelligentsia of the world who have not been willing or able to speak that basic truth.
Red China (and yes I use Red deliberately) has long supplanted Russia as the main focus of human rights abuse and supporter of same around the world. The rest of the world fearing their military and coveting their potential economic power ignore this truth but the reality is there. Hitchens is willing to say it. Nobody else dares because they see no personal profit in it, much easier to make a living hitting the United States.
As I said I’ll miss Hitchens when he is gone, and so will millions who stand up for freedom of speech around the world.