Last week, The British Guardian reported that columnist, reporter and pundit Christopher Hitchens had been attacked and “roughed up” by neo-nazis in Lebanon, after defacing one of their posters. He had reason; the poster displayed a variation of a swastika.
Hitchens had been drinking on Beirut’s main boulevard, Hamra Street, on Saturday afternoon with two other western journalists after attending a rally to commemorate the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. They spotted a poster for the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a far-right group whose logo bears an uncanny resemblance to the Nazi swastika, and Hitchens decided to act.
One of the others mentioned is blogger Michael Totten, who wrote about the attack yesterday. It’s riviting.
I blinked several times. Was he really insulting the Syrian Social Nationalist Party while they might be watching? Neither Christopher nor Jonathan seemed to sense what was coming, but my own danger signals went haywire.
An angry young man shot across Hamra Street as though he’d been fired out of a cannon. “Hey!” he yelled as he pointed with one hand and speed-dialed for backup on his phone with the other.
“We need to get out of here now,” I said.
But the young man latched onto Christopher’s arm and wouldn’t let go. “Come with me!” he said and jabbed a finger toward Christopher’s face. They were the only words I heard him say in English.
What happens next is worthy of James Bond novel, but is sadly real. Most definitely a RTWT post (unless you want to remain naive, of course).