This is a pretty interesting interview
of Christopher Hitchens by Tavis Smiley.
On the question of whether or not Bush or Blair lied about the justifications for war:
TAVIS: So are you suggesting to me then that you do not believe, as many Americans apparently do, that President Bush lied to the American people?
HITCHENS: No, I don't think either President Bush or Prime Minister Blair actually lied. I think that they made the absolute most of and put the worst construction on every piece of intelligence they were given about Iraq's connections to terror, which are undoubted, and Iraq's record on WMD, which is also undoubted, and I personally think that was the prudent way to go. I think it meant some exaggeration, and I would have preferred that they stressed things like Iraq's breach of the genocide convention and its human rights record and so forth, because I think it's better to educate people than to frighten them.
On voting for Bush:
TAVIS: Do you think that President George W. Bush deserves to be reelected?
HITCHENS: [sighs] Well, it's a tough call for me. I wasn't-I certainly wasn't for his election the first time round. I didn't want Albert Gore, either, and I'm glad it wasn't Gore, by the way. One has to face that fact. I must say I'm a bit of a single issue voter on this. I want to be absolutely certain that there's a national security team that wakes up every morning wondering how to take the war to the enemy. I don't have that confidence about any of the Democratic candidates, but I think that a Kerry-Edwards ticket would be made up of people who have shown that they are serious on this point, yeah. So I'm not dogmatically for the reelection of the President, but I'm for applying that test as a voter.
I feel very much the same as Hitchens here, though I'm not quite as jazzed about Kerry as he seems to be. I'm not buying Kerry's crap about being duped by the President (he has access to very high levels of intelligence) or on voting for the war while saying he wasn't really voting for war (could he use that excuse on anything else he voted for?..."Well, I voted to outlaw all abortions, but I was trusting doctors' good judgement that they would actually continue to do the right thing"). Hint: If you don't support something, as written, don't vote for the damn thing.
On Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, "The Passion of the Christ":
HITCHENS: Yeah, it's an historical film based on a very fundamentalist Christian reading, Catholic Christian reading, of the bible. And when I say fundamentalist, I mean that Mr. Gibson thinks that the present Pope has basically sold out. He's a member of a splinter group of the Catholic right wing. And it's an attempt to extract the maximum agony from the scenes of the crucifixion. And it seems to me very clear that it suggests the responsibility for this is human, that it largely belongs to the Jewish people who were present at the time. And this, whether Mr. Gibson knows it or not, is a very old and sinister argument that has been used in the past by unscrupulous people to criminalize an entire nation. And I think the results for it are gonna be very regrettable. I think it's gonna be an appalling moment of mistrust and ill-will between the Catholic and Jewish communities.
He's writing an article for Vanity Fair about the film. I don't think it'll be posted on-line, but it should be interesting.