This story is much more than about Chris Hitchens utterly brave and rightious actions against a classic symbol of utter tyrany. It’s also a dramatic eye opener as to the nature of the Syrian regime, Lebanon and the possible Somalification of parts of the middle east. I will have to read this a number of times to digest all the new information contained herein. I do appreciate one thing Hitchens said though…
No that was a lie. I appreciate everything Christopher Hitchens says. But in particular he said something about this incident which reflects one of my most personal inner monologues. What would I do if facing a Hitlerian regime. How would I react to the thuggery and the symbolism and brutish oppresion. Would I have the courage to act as perhaps all of us imagine we would? Chris Hitchens did. The sick twisted and unpalatable fact is, we all may in the not too distant future. More of us have already perhaps than are prepared to admit it.
Take your time and read through this story in this link. A small sample is below…
We had just attended a massive rally downtown commemorating the fourth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Christopher needed a new pair of shoes. Our colleague Jonathan Foreman from Standpoint Magazine needed a shirt. I needed a coffee. So I led the way as the three of us strolled over to Hamra Street where we could buy just about anything. And I told my two companions a story about the neighborhood’s past on the way.
“When Hezbollah violently seized West Beirut last May,” I said, “the Syrian Social Nationalist Party followed them in. They put up their spinning swastika flags all over the neighborhood, and no one dared touch them until the prime minister ordered them taken down several months later.”
SSNP flags on Hamra Street
It was a warning of sorts – or at least it would have been heeded as such by most people. I don’t go looking for trouble, Jonathan is as mild-mannered a writer as any I know, but Christopher is brave and combative, and he would have none of it.
“My attitude to posters with swastikas on them,” he later told Alice Fordham at NOW Lebanon, “has always been the same. They should be ripped down.”
Don’t pass this on. Go to the original site and read it all. Warning: It’s a little like paint stripper for the eyes.