Memo from an Old Contrarian: Hitchens on Revolution, Islamism and More-Or-Less Benign Dictatorship

No one really knows what will come of ongoing events in Tunisia and Egypt (and Yemen and Palestine, &c.). A plethora of under-qualified voices are currently vying for interpretative hegemony, not to mention secure plottings of the various ‘implications’ for the US, global order and the very meaning of freedom in the 21st century. What will it mean for the Mammonites currently scrambling behind the curve? Will the language of ‘partnership’ and ‘reform’ contain the unrest?

It will surely not be long before someone frames the last days’ clashes in Alexandria as the eventual outcome of bombs over Baghdad. I have no particular interest in indulging such faux-talking-head insta-response. What did catch my attention was an especially contrary and confused statement from Christopher Hitchens, billed at Slate as an encouragement to juvenile Tunisia and then at The National Post as a qualified defence of ‘civilized dictatorship’.

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