Mr. Christopher Hitchens says he doesn’t remember his words that way. [In my column, “What’s Left?,” I wrote:
“Some drunk accosted me, saying, “George Bush was right about everything he said about Iraq!” It was Christopher Hitchens.”
Also, Mr. Hitchens wishes to make a distinction between “a drunk” and a “drinker.” Fair enough.
The other subject of the column, Mr. George Galloway, has gone into hiding, as far as I can tell. At the least, he has refused, as of this printing, to honor his promise to BBC Television Newsnight and his donors to make public the financial records of his “charity.”
I have offered Mr. Hitchens’ this space to reply in his own words. I neither agree with his recitation of facts nor his conclusions, but I find it harmless enough to reprint in total:
I was naturally delighted to see that you had decided to call out George Galloway, and to ask him the very questions that he has declined to answer (and dare not answer truthfully). It is appalling that this tool of dictators and assassins should be adopted by any movement daring to call itself anti-war.
Since I think you will have to agree that I have done much of the spadework in exposing Galloway’s true beliefs, interests and allegiances, I do not want to suspect you of “balancing” your own denunciation of him with a needless aspersion on myself.
The only time that you and have met properly was during an onstage event at the Los Angeles Times book fair. It was quite a long panel discussion chaired by Aaron Sorkin, and it was recorded. I can distinctly remember being somewhat cold to you after it, because of your ignorant crowd-pleasing remarks about President Karzai being only “the mayor of Kabul”. If you can produce any evidence that I was “out of it”, or that I gave a blanket endorsement of the Bush administration, I will be glad to inspect it. Until such time, I will harbor the unworthy suspicion that you are ingratiating yourself with your base in order to cushion the blow they might otherwise feel at your exposure of the Left’s latest hero.