Author Ben Burgis stops by to discuss his latest book “Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still Matters”.
Buy the book here: https://redemmas.org/titles/36536-christopher-hitchens–what-he-got-right–how-he-went-wrong–and-why-he-still-matters
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Sam: Author of his latest “Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still Matters”. Ben, welcome back to the program.
Ben: Yeah, thanks for having me back on, Sam.
Sam: I wanna just briefly talk a little bit about your book. I haven’t read it yet. Let me guess about how he went wrong. Did some of that involve a bottle?
Ben: You know honestly I don’t know how much it did because I think that I think that there are probably a lot of people who overindulged and whiskey as much as he did who who who maintained you know good anti-war positions. You know to the end of their lives. I don’t know if they need to start putting warnings like, “They start supporting us imperialism on the back of Johnny Walker black. but I do think I mean I do think something went disastrously wrong with the positions that he was taking on Iraq and the war on terror. and I think it is interesting to try to think about what that was right? because I think sometimes on the left we make the mistake of being a little bit too quick to say that everybody sort of secretly agrees with us. right? and so like if you say you don’t like you’re a grifter or something like that. especially if you start out agreeing. and I do think it’s sincere. I just think it’s tragically misguided you know that he had talked himself into this position that the united states could be a vehicle for democratic revolution in middle eastern nations. which I mean I think it is wrong both in terms of like us goals I think I think US-like likes democracy in these countries to the exact extent that it’s favorable US interests and not beyond that. I think if you look at it like you know Egypt et cetera et cetera et cetera right I think there’s plenty of evidence for that. But I think it’s also wrong in terms of capacity. I mean, I think like what I know, thinking about the 20 years that we spent in Afghanistan, it seems like putting morality aside. you know whether it would have been right to do if it’d been possible or not I think what overwhelmingly emerges for it to be is that the US just doesn’t have the capacity to remake these societies in our image.