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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  1. 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.

  2. “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.

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. “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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. [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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. >“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.

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

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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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