AT LEAST HE GOES ON ASSIGNMENT!  2:49 pm February 18, 2009

Hitchens Beaten by Lebanese Thugs, In Lebanon?

by Ken Layne

Drink-soaked former Trotskyite popinjay.Here’s some Hot International Gossip that’s just weird enough to be true, because it’s about Christopher Hitchens drinking while on assignment in some Foreign Land, so it’s already 100% credible: The beloved Washington journalist was supposedly out for a night of boozing in Beirut when he chanced upon a political propaganda poster from the not-so-beloved Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the right-wing turned left-wing turned pain-in-the-ass Syrians always fucking around with Lebanon. Obviously, Hitchens needed to deface this poster, while some SSNP thugs were watching from across the street.

Hitchens, whose political views are about as steady as the SSNP’s, was reportedly out for a night of Journalistic Research when he came across this too-tempting poster and was compelled to scrawl “Fuck the SSNP.” And then he (reportedly!) got his ass kicked.

We now consult the Abu Muqawama blog, which is seriously the greatest blog we’ve ever encountered, because the writers and commenters all sound like weird intellectuals with Oxford educations and detailed information on the Beirut bar scene:

This story has now been confirmed. Look, it’s widely known that since the May 2008 events the SSNP guys have behaved like thugs in Hamra (where the ass-kicking took place). But seriously, would you roll into East L.A. and start writing over gang signs? I mean, is that smart? C’mon, Brother Hitchens, we’re rootin’ for you, but have a little walkin’ around sense. He was probably at De Prague. Where the wait staff is, like, 90% SSNP. Abu Muqawama’s Top Three West Beirut Watering Holes: 1. Barometre (cheap arak, great fattoush); 2. Captain’s Cabin; 3. Danny’s. (In response to a reader, the great Chez Andre closed sometime a little over a year ago. That hole-in-the-wall was great.)

Hitchens is apparently alive and well and drinking as usual, but with a limp.

“On the bright side,” an anonymous commenter adds, “Isn’t this a sign that things are improving in Lebanon? An irritating foreigner defaces a poster and gets beaten up — not shot, knifed, or ‘disappeared.’”

Hitchens Beaten by the SSNP? [Abu Muqawama]

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cal February 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Cheap arak, great fattoush? I’m there.

ManchuCandidate February 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I call bullshit. Hitch was probably just taking a piss on the sign.

Colander February 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

We should invite those commenters over for a buttsecks party.

WalnutsIsMyCo-Pilot February 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I can’t wait to see the made-for-TV movie about this. I have a feeling it involves buttseks… but once again, Hitchens is gonna consider it over-rated.

AfghanVet February 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

“On the bright side,” an anonymous commenter adds, “Isn’t this a sign that things are improving in Lebanon? An irritating foreigner defaces a poster and gets beaten up — not shot, knifed, or ‘disappeared.’”


Damn good point. That is a measurable metric right there.

Norbert February 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm

First the water-boarding experiment, now this. Soon: Hitchens does Free Tibet Duet at Bjork Concert in Tianamen Square; Turns His Imminent Execution into Slate Article.

I kid. While his God is Bad book could have been written by a chimp, I thought Hitchens’ little pamphlet on being a contrarian was terrific, and we share an interest in alcohol.

Serolf Divad February 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm

I’m sure Hitchens was so boozed up he didn’t feel a thing.

twowheeljunkie February 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Luckily Hitchens was too drunk to feel anything.

4tehlulz February 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm

The only reason he didn’t get knifed was that the thugs confused Hitch with someone who mattered.

SayItWithWookies February 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm

[re=246266]cal[/re]: I thought the arak was on a mountain in Turkey.

I’m glad Hitchens is okay — despite being a neocon on Iraq, he’s an alcoholic atheist trainwreck, so we have a lot in common. I look forward to many years of being annoyed by his pompous prolixity.

shanemacgowan February 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

HItchens was heard to yell “You can’t hurt me! I’ve been waterboarded by the CIA!”

Internally valid February 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

“Abu Muqawama is a blog dedicated to following issues related to contemporary insurgencies as well as counterinsurgency tactics and strategy. Abu Muqawama aims to be a resource for students, counterinsurgents, academics, and the general public.”

Another Wonkette clone.

tiger February 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Haw haw what a complete dumb-ass sot!

Canmon (the Inadequate) February 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm

The Lebanese flag reminds me of Christmas.

slavojzizek February 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm

If it’s true, I rate the guys who kicked Hitchens’ ass up there with the shoe-thrower. When are Americans going to start delivering justice to the war mongerers, rather than outsourcing the work to Arabs?

Monsieur Grumpe February 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm

There are so few places left that welcome American tourists any more and there goes Mr. Hitchens ruining it for the rest of us.

Lionel Hutz Esq. February 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

You guys are so unfair. Clearly Hitchens was trying to have some cheep, rough buttsex.

tiger February 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Now if only Denby and Coulter could follow such an example…

Jukesgrrl February 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Interesting photo of Hitchen … holding a brochure that says, “We succeed only when our clients succeed.” Now what could he possibly be considering? Selling real estate? Joining a gym? Getting a new publicist? Entering rehab?

freakishlystrong February 18, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Hitch is a blood, SSNP are Crips, shit like that’s bound to happen…

S.Luggo February 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm

[re=246283]Serolf Divad[/re]: It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it.

S.Luggo February 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm

BTW: Captain’s Cabin is located in the West Village, next to Yankee Candle.

V572625694 February 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Many local NPR affiliates employ some dweeb announcer with an English accent because it sounds “classy” even though they’re often idiots. [I'm talking to you, Alabama Public Radio.] Hitchens and Sullivan have executed the remarkable trick of parleying a broad “a” into MSNBC-level (that is, minor league) teevee pundit status, while torturing the mother tongue in their Web products–well, only Hitchens. Sully’s a good, solid writer until he starts talking about Hilz or Ron Paul.*

*What? You don’t remember his Paultard days? I’ll bet he wishes he didn’t either.

Lionel Hutz Esq. February 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

[re=246283]Serolf Divad[/re]: You can give up on yourself, and take the Hitchens-guarding job like so many have contemplated in our darkest moments, or you can admit to yourself there’s only one person that can make you happy and do whatever it takes to get them back.

Gorillionaire February 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Nice mall-booth shades, JC Penny short sleeve shirt and Jacklyn Smith label sport coat there, Hitch.

chascates February 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Waiting on Andrew Sullivan to comment.

iwillsavethispatient February 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Presumably, they wanted to take him hostage, but couldn’t stand being in the same room as him for more than a few minutes.

Toomush Infermashun February 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Yeah, but isn’t this like just about everyone’s fantasy: coming across Hitchens on a bar stool mumbling anything about, well, anything, must be an open invitation to take it to the street for a good shitkicking JUST ON GENERAL PRINCIPLES…. I’m pretty sure my six-year-old grandneice feels the same way…

lubnani February 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm

In re: on assignment.

Not to be all harsh on a fellow tradesman, but Hitch is on a junket paid for by a group that lobbies the USG on behalf of certain Lebanese factions. Once the check clears, I am sure you will read in Slate or elsewhere about who exactly are the goodies and the baddies in that little piece of land called Lebanon.

Oh, and all praise to abu muqawama.

justshocking February 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm

from the Abu M. comments…

what an astonishing list of things for him to reconsider! Lobster and anal!! I think their comments should visit wonkette. Um, not that the wonkette posters aren’t awesome.

AxmxZ February 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm

The Acts and Imminent Martyrdom of Saint Hitch.

AnnieGetYourFun February 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

[re=246277]AfghanVet[/re]: Meh. Lebanon was never a Mecca (as it were) for beheadings. The fact that you can easily and legally get drunk in Beirut is a pretty good sign that you’re in a relatively safe area.

If Hitch can make it to Tora Bora and back, you can color me impressed.

answerbird February 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

>“Isn’t this a sign that things are improving in Lebanon? An irritating foreigner defaces a poster >and gets beaten up — not shot, knifed, or ‘disappeared.’”

We should be so lucky – I wish the CIA gave Hutch the full experience and put his ass in a diaper and flew him on a plane to a black site in Poland.

TGY February 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Hah, I would’ve liked to see those thugs try and do the same thing to Hunter S. Thompson.

S.Luggo February 18, 2009 at 4:49 pm

[re=246439]AxmxZ[/re]: Hitch’s beat-down happened in Lebanon, PENNSYLVANIA, after he ordered at Pink Lady at the Blarney Stone.

Mr Blifil February 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Where was George Galloway while all this was happening?

AxmxZ February 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

[re=246452]TGY[/re]: Oh please, one racoon-screech and they’d be running for the cedar hills.

Thegreatbacon February 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm

He probably just LOOKS beat up because he’s always so bloated. They don’t understand that it’s how he normally looks.

Gorillionaire February 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

[re=246452]TGY[/re]: Thompson would have written something so funny on the poster, the thugs would have laughed and bought him another drink.

Thegreatbacon February 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Also — “Have a little walkin’ around sense” is the phrase I’m going to be using at least a hundred times this week.

Tommmcatt February 18, 2009 at 5:41 pm

This would be better with picture of Hitchens being beaten. Hell, even drawings would work for me.

masterdebater February 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I’m pretty sure that it isn’t OK if you point out that these people are Islamic, violent, intolerant of other’s ideas, and, well…you know. So, when will you be forced to issue an apology?

deserter February 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

A while ago I interned for an organization where Exum (original Abu M., not sure if he still writes it) was a fellow … your impression’s spot on. Really nice, slightly awkward intellectual with a jolie-laide appeal.

Mavky February 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Oh the guilty pleasure of love-hate Hitch. Damn, that explains a lot about my love life.

Scandalabra February 18, 2009 at 7:36 pm

A traveling dinner theater revival tour of “The Odd Couple” starring Hitch and Sully would be a laff riot. Neil Simon could let them “ad lib” for additional hilarity.

Bison February 18, 2009 at 8:10 pm

[re=246452]TGY[/re]: HST practically made a career out of getting his ass kicked.

S.Luggo February 18, 2009 at 8:11 pm

[re=246666]Scandalabra[/re]: Which would be catcher and which would be pitcher? Or do we care?

Scooter February 18, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Why assume he was being pummeled for defacing a poster? Perhaps the thugs had seen him spouting his muddled world view on CNN. I know I’ve had the urge to bean him more than once.

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