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Michael Totten on the Chris Hitchens Syrian Nazi story.

?But I would have done it anyway. One must take a stand. One simply must.?

(Via Protein Wisdom)

There are two things about Michael Totten that make his account of Chris Hitchens versus the Syrian Nazis of interest:

  1. He’s an on-site reporter for that region for several years now, with a well-deserved reputation of being a straight shooter who reports what he sees as well as what he’s told;
  2. He was actually there.

So read the whole thing. It will be unsurprising to anyone reading this that Totten’s account is nothing like the rather fevered speculation that Ace referenced here, and that Dan Collins reaction-lampooned here: it has all the messiness that one associates with a true account. Hitchens got offended by a fascist symbol enough to deface; the fascists got offended by his defacing it, and showed up in enough numbers to let them attack a few middle-aged men until one of their targets could get a taxi to take them away.  No Hollywood heroics, just a confrontation where the good guys were in a bad tactical position, and they took some lumps because of it.  The good news? Totten learned the right lesson from this: don’t waste time reasoning with fascists. Have your own backup on speed dial, instead.

Yes, that advice scales up.

Moe Lane

Crossposted at Moe Lane.

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