No, it isn't true
You knew that Hitchens would have to respond to the Lancet study, didn't you? I'll refrain from excerpting, and rather summarize:
1. The Lancet Study is wrong for some reason. I don't really understand statistics, but some other people do.
2. Even if the study is right, the sanctions killed more people. That the damage inflicted by the sanctions dramatically decreased after the development of the oil-for-food program, and that the Lancet study accounts for the excess death rate over and above those killed by sanctions... um, I forget where I was going with that.
3. Even if the study is right, 2/3rds of the deaths are killings by insurgents, and there is absolutely, positively no way that the coalition could be held responsible for setting loose brutal criminal gangs and creating the conditions of civil war. And forget, by the way, that I have in the past lauded the Iraq War for turning Iraq into a killing field for foreign insurgents.
4. The editor of Lancet is a damn dirty leftist and, consequently, almost certainly an incorrigible liar.
We're obviously beyond the point where one could say with any degree of originality that Christopher Hitchens is a morally and intellectually bankrupt sociopath. He is the true heir to the Stalinist left that he relentlessly rails about; there is no limit to the death and destruction that he's willing to tolerate in service of his revolution. What's more important now is to note that those who willingly associate themselves with people like Hitchens and Bill Kristol should be viewed in the same light. To paraphrase Yglesias, even if we were to find something of value in the Euston Manifesto or the work of PNAC (and this is a tremendous "if"), associating with the people who press these intellectual projects is, in itself, evidence of a lack of seriousness about foreign policy.
This is what alcohol does to your brain, rots it and fills it with water. Hitchens in a drunk. Nothing more or less. A sad, old, drunk.
posted by Steve @ 12:19:00 PM