Hitchens and Al Jazeera - quoted piece
edited: Sunday, June 25, 2006
By Afshin Rattansi
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2006
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Piece about The Dream of the Decade and Christopher Hitchens.
Even Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair writer and cheerleader for George Bush and the neocons, is outraged about news of the U.S. President’s intention to destroy Al Jazeera’s headquarters in the Middle East. If Hitchens was once a doyenne of careful polemic (Mother Theresa, Henry Kissinger), he isn’t now. In fact, in the sideswipe he takes in his latest piece for Slate magazine, he casts doubt on the fairness of Al Jazeera Arabic.
Perhaps he should take a look at the latest quartet by former Al Jazeera producer Afshin Rattansi who worked on the programme strand that first revealed the criminals who carried out the 9-11 massacres in the Eastern United States. Entitled “The Dream of the Decade – The London Novels”, Rattansi – who launched a channel in the Middle East and worked at BBC’s Today programme before leaving amidst the crisis caused by the death of WMD scientist, Dr. David Kelly – draws the victims of terrorism or the threat of terrorism with the utmost care. He picks a London basement bar, under siege from a bombscare.
But why it is interesting to invoke the name of Hitchens is that the other novels -thematically based on the issues of private finance, wealth distribution under Mrs. Thatcher, terrorism, property and the media – each feature some of the old Hitchens bite. They resurrect a quality that Hitchens’ new foe, George Galloway ,who so splendidly destroyed the presidential ambitions of Senator Norm Coleman, ascribed to Hitch, himself – something about eloquence and the left.