A Ridiculous Rapid Response

July 25, 2011

Why did so many "experts" declare the Oslo attacks to be the work of Islamic terrorists?
By Christopher Hitchens

"Having had 16 years to reflect since Oklahoma City, we should really have become a little more refined in our rapid-response diagnoses of anti-civilian mass murder. Rather than make it more difficult, the number of contrasting features in the most recent case of Norway actually makes this task fractionally easier. The fruit bat and troll population of the recent scenery of catastrophe, enriched with Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell characters, permits a wider view of the various fields of fire and a greater variety of arguable motives for analysis."

Read More (Slate)


Anonymous said...

After that stutter last week,I think it is clear that The. Hitch. Is. Back.


Anonymous said...

Not to make it seem like I'm a cynic or anything Ben,but I've always noticed that people who are intensely passionate about something always tend to be more articulate about it than other things(even Cancer patients).

And I have a feeling Hitch has always had a greater sense of indignation towards our post-modern society's numerous different responses to terrorism than he's ever had towards Rupert f'ing Murdoch.

But that's just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

You contributed to this atmosphere of hate Hitch. Own up, and don't blame it on Falwell. It was you and the Atlas Shrugs crowd.

Brendan James said...

Agreed. His past few articles on the NotW were rather disspointing, but this piece was a great one. Back to form.

Anonymous said...

Ten bucks says that the assh@"& who accused CH of contributing to the atmosphere of hate is a Chomsky fanboy.

Anonymous said...


You may well be right, but my guess is that Hitch has a fairly free hand in choosing his subjects (in fact, I think a less deferential and possibly overawed editor might have done him a service by being more interventionist with that off column), and Hitch need not have decided on two Murdoch columns amid an avalanche of commentary on this story. Plenty of other stories out there (eg Irish Prime Minister's attack on Catholic Church)

Anyway, much as I enjoy Hitch's Slate pieces, it's the gloriously rich literary criticism he produces for the Atlantic Monthly or the cultural essays for VF that I love the most and that really look forward to. I wish he would spend more time on that kind of output. But I guess we're lucky to have both.


Tyler said...


First off, it's Atlas Shrugged. Second, if you've read any of Hitchens' stuff, it's clear that he is not an Ayn Rand fan, and frequently seems bemused that her acolytes even exist.

Karen Olsen said...

Well, I figure most MSM sources routinely jump the gun, as each wants to be the first to report a "breaking news" story. And, as I've been noticing more and more frequently these days, "downtown car bombing=Islamists/Muslims/jihadists" seems to be the trendy conclusion to jump to, unfortunately for all regular-folks Muslims around the world who just get up and go to work every day, like everyone else...

--Karen Olsen

Abbo said...

It may have been that and islamic group immediately took responsibility


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir