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Christopher Hitchens, September 11, 9/11

In the days that followed September 11th, 2001, most of us had dizzying question marks hovering in our minds in the hazy chaos of this tragedy, as the dust was still falling, both literally and figuratively. Who did it? Why did they do it? What does it mean for the future? The world was going to change, that would be certain, but the view ahead was foggy.

But not for one person.

Christopher Hitchens was already rigorously scanning the facts and forging insights, as he poured down to the page his biting, take-no-prisoners analysis in his usual profilic ouput. Only one day after the towers came down, Hitchens' pen was cutting through the fog, as well as predicting what would come next, from the hassles in airport security to the "great deal of pugnacious talk to be endured in the next few days." On September 12, 2001, in a moving and respectful reflection he wrote in the Evening Standard,

Much of what is said by the cable bombardiers will be worthless, or bluff. But the overused words "civilized world" seem to me

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