Monday, May 16, 2005

Agreeing with Hitchins

Usually I find Christopher Hitchens to be an insufferable boor. His post-9/11 conversion to full-fledged reactionary did nothing to change my opinion of him. Whether arguing from the right, left or center, he's always struck me as too proud of his own intelligence and unwilling to recognize the same in others. Anyway, when I saw this article in Slate, I was prepared to scoff. However, boorishness aside, I found myself sort of agreeing with Hitch. Technically speaking, of course, insurgency does adequately describe the people doing the killing in Iraq. Their politics, religious beliefs, race and motives aside, they are rebelling against the nascent Iraqi government and American troops. However, the brutality of their means, the viciousness of their ideology and the fundamentally totalitarian nature of their goal requires, I think, a more descriptive, more pejorative term than "insurgents".