The Right Coast

March 31, 2004
Hitchens on Clarke
By Mike Rappaport

As my blogging no doubt reveals, I have been a bit obsessed with reading about Richard Clarke lately. One of the best pieces is by Christopher Hitchens in Slate. He just seems to know so much about these matters, including significant details. And, of course, he has a way with words.

The highlights of the Slate piece:

Hitchens's description of how the book "The Age of Sacred Terror, published in 2002," depicts Clarke "as an egotistical pain in the ass who had the merit of getting things right."

Hitchens's discussion of how Clarke previously accepted the connection between Iraq and Al Qaida.

Hitchens's pointing out the important state sponsorship that Al Qaida and other terrorists received from American "friends" Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and how the war against Iraq has constrained them.

And he ends with this parting shot: "But in my experience, dud theories die only to be replaced by new and even dumber ones. The current reigning favorite is that fighting al-Qaida in Iraq is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida."