Writing at City Journal, Andrew Klavan makes a related point that I connect with a recent Slate article by Christopher Hitchens.
Klavan's introductory paragraph from The Big White Lie:
The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace.This is related to Hitchens' A Hell of a Country in a somewhat roundabout way. First, an excerpt from that article:
...Iraq was headed straight for implosion and failure, both as a state and a society, well before 2003. Not only this, but its Sunni ruling elite was flirting increasingly with a Salafist ideology. In such circumstances—as many Iraqi dissidents argued even at the time—the United States had to face the alarming fact that a ruined Iraq was in its future whether it intervened or not.A former Trotskyite, Hitchens is no neocon; and, signature iconoclasm aside, his continued admiration for Trotsky makes it difficult to grant him libertarian status. However, as a consistent supporter of fighting back against Islamofascism, Hitchens is one of the few with a far-left background apparently still capable of defining the word fascism. The rest of them think it rhymes with "Bush," and have no idea who Franco was.
...Without needing or wishing to soften any critique of post-invasion planning, I would propose that this analysis [Ali Allawi's memoir The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace] has a highly unsettling implication. Hell was coming to Iraq no matter what.
The relationship between these writings? Hitchens is the only person with significant leftist bona fides who isn't lying about the war. He could have written Klavan's opening paragraph with the exception of a single word.