The Macedonian Tendency: Christopher Hitchens - An Itch I Cannot Scratch

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Christopher Hitchens - An Itch I Cannot Scratch

I am a pack rat so I have a hard time throwing things away. Below is a 1993 letter to the editor of the now defunct "The European Newspaper" in which Christopher Hitchens discussed the Macedonian "name" issue . This is the first time that I had heard of him. My assumption was that he was a snotty upper class right wing twit journalist who had never been to the Balkans. (I don't have a copy of the original article, but if anyone can find it, please send it to me.)

Quelle surprise ... it seems our comrade Hitchens was had a reputation as a leftist ... even a Trotskyite. It also seems that he married a Greek Cypriot. It also seems that he left his wife and small child for another woman. Ms Greek Cypriot raised their child in England while comrade Chris stayed in New York. Nice! He wrote an ant-Turkish book on Cyprus, I suppose as a way of atoning for his cadish behavior.

Over the years, has contributed snotty anti-Macedonian articles in the Nation and other publications but has never commented on the plight of the Macedonians in Greece. This is odd because, I believe, that one of his friends is Hugh Poulton, of the Minority Rights Group ("Who are the Macedonians?") so he can't be totally ignorant of our issues.

I can't find the link at this time, but Sidney Blumenthal of Salon (a former friend) said that no one could really trust the facts in an article by Christopher Hitchens. His brother is a right wing commentator in England. My point is that anyone reading his work on Macedonia would never guess that he had been a leftist at one time.

April 7, 1993

To: The European "Letters to the Editor"
Re: "Not Just Paranoid about Macedonia" by Christopher Hitchens, April 1-7,

Mr. Hitchens is incorrect when he stated the title of "King of the Hellenes" was forced upon the newly crowned Greek King George "in deference to Ottoman objections to the original formulation 'King of the Greeks'". In the same way that Germans call their country Deutchland in their language, Greeks call themselves Hellenes and their country Hellas in their language. The word "Greece" like the word "Germany" is based on ancient Roman usage.

The rest of the article is similarly flawed. It reminds me of a lecture on sexual technique that is given by a virgin. Although some of the facts may be right, the insight that one might gain from a more intimate knowledge and direct experience is missing.

Please no more "if this is Tuesday, this must be Macedonia (or is it Moldova?)" type of articles.

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