Hitchens on Bernard-Henri Lévy

Here’s a worth-reading article in the NYT:

And then there is this:

“I’m convinced that the collapse of the Communist house almost everywhere has even, in certain cases, had the unexpected side effect of wiping out the traces of its crimes, the visible signs of its failure, allowing certain people to start dreaming once again of an unsullied Communism, uncompromised and happy.”

If this is not precisely true, even of those nostalgic for “Fidel,” apologetic about Hugo Chávez, credulous about how “secular” the Baath Party was, or prone to sympathize with Vladimir Putin concerning the “encircling” of his country by aggressive titans like Estonia and Kosovo and Georgia, still it does contain a truth. One could actually have gone further and argued that the totalitarian temptation now extends to an endorsement of Islam­ism as the last, best hope of humanity against the American empire. I could without difficulty name some prominent leftists, from George Galloway to Michael Moore, who have used the same glowing terms to describe “resistance” in, say, Iraq as they would once have employed for the Red Army or the Vietcong. Trawling the intellectual history of Europe, as he is able to do with some skill, Lévy comes across an ancestor of this sinister convergence in a yearning remark confided to his journal by the fascist writer Paul Claudel on May 21, 1935: “Hitler’s speech; a kind of Islamism is being created at the center of Europe.”