By Kyle | August 16, 2010
A rangy and unusually unsentimental interview with Charlie Rose shows Christopher Hitchens at his finest. Hitchens notes that his mother was a chain-smoker and his father was a heavy drinker. He begged his mother, at least, to stop. And his children took up the call with him. He said that the one thing that tends to make him lachrymose is the thought that he will not see what becomes of his children. Given the chance to do it all over again, Hitchens says he wouldn’t change: the late-nights, the conversation, the friendship made it all worth it. “Life is a wager,” as he puts it.
Hitchens makes it clear that his Iraq stance really was of a piece with his whole life: steadfast anti-totalitarianism. It’s the rest of the left that moved. Any enemy of America’s was a friend of theirs.
He admires President Obama for being “cerebral” but also calls the president “possibly very weak” in that he seems to believe that our differences in opinion with Iran are due to some sort of misunderstanding instead of Iran’s intransigent theocratic dictatorship and its dedication to the export of violence. “Confrontation is inevitable” with such a power. Hitchens worries that doubling the US presence in Afghanistan while announcing the date that they will begin to leave could be disastrous. Asked to name a political figure he admires, Hitchens sang, at length, the praises of Tony Blair.