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The Enemy

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  791 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
In a brilliant essay on the death of Osama bin Laden, Christopher Hitchens insists that the necessity to resist the threat of theocratic fanaticism is by no means cancelled. Hitchens argues that bin Laden and his adherents represented the most serious and determined and bloodthirsty attempt to revive totalitarian and racist ideology since 1945. Further, that while the unen ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 15 pages
Published May 16th 2011 by Amazon Digital Services
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Jun 04, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it
This is Christopher Hitchens' "anti-eulogy" to Osama Bin-Laden in which he reflects not only on the nihilistic despot's role in history but the meaning of his death on the future of fascistic movements. Hitchens is a bright spot in the socio-philosophical writings of the first part of the 21st century and he has plenty to say in this very brief Kindle only e-book.
Brendan Monroe
Nov 05, 2014 Brendan Monroe rated it really liked it
Remember when the debate back in 2011 was whether it was appropriate to celebrate one man's death? The sight of cheering crowds in front of the White House following The President's speech announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden left many feeling uncomfortable. Bin Laden was, after all, just another human being, flawed though he may have been. Such was the thinking at the time. Hitchens calls Bin Laden what he was- an evil islamofascist whose death, much like those of Hitler and Stalin, was well ...more
May 29, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it
A short book , really an essay. I read this as a Kindle Single. These are really a cute idea. Enough for the medium.
Hitchens was a great polemicist, maybe the best in last 50 years. This is him at his best. Maybe you can appreciate him if you agree with him as I do on this subject. If he was banging on about why Iraq needed to be invaded my feelings might be different.
Bin Laden was a fascist, a murderer, delusional and in the end a failure. All neatly summarized by Hitchens.
The only writer who
Jun 23, 2013 John rated it liked it
THE ENEMY was written shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of the U.S. military. In this short volume, Hitchens takes issue with anyone on the far Left who might be willing to view bin Laden as a spokesperson for the Middle East's poor and downtrodden, or perhaps as a noble revolutionary bent on the overthrow of an imperialist nation. Personally, I think it glaringly obvious that bin Laden was an irredeemably evil man whose actions are impossible to justify. Still, the fact th ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
If you're well read on the "war on terror", there is probably nothing you don't already know about Osama bin Laden or haven't read from other sources. For me however it was a brief but informative read on an infamous man. Not essential reading, but for the price of a cup of coffee, you should pick it up. And you'll easily finish it in the same time you could have drunk said coffee and as always with Hitchens, my vocabulary expands a little after consuming each of his works.
Dec 02, 2011 Tyson rated it it was amazing
Very quick, but Poignant look at Bin laden and his "legacy." Well written yet brief it does a great job of summing up the impact Bin laden had on history and how he did more harm than good for himself as well as the Islamic world.
Brian S. Wise
May 17, 2011 Brian S. Wise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
Very nearly philosophically spotless; a fine dissertation of one godless savage that sat at the head of an entire movement of godless savages.
Jan 14, 2014 James rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
This terse monologue is alternately cogent and casuistic. To demonstrate the latter feature, consider this passage:

"That he was unarmed when shot is only loosely compatible with the fact that he was housed in a military garrison town, had a loaded automatic weapon in the room with him, COULD [my emphasis] well have been wearing a suicide vest, had stated repeatedly that he would never be taken alive [me: this pledge was just that, as he was ultimately - and physically, mind, this adverb being n
Lukas Dufka
Oct 12, 2015 Lukas Dufka rated it really liked it
Hitchens demolishes the claim of some rather gullible people (CIA officials among them) that Bin Ladin was a noble and decent muslim who fought for the oppressed. Two years after his death, when al Qaeda cells are budding all over the volatile Maghreb and middle East regions, it is more imperative than ever to understand what Bin Ladin stood for. He was not anti-imperialist, fighting to free people from oppression. In fact, he dreamed of creating his own form of oppression - restoring the Caliph ...more
Ryan Smith
Jan 25, 2012 Ryan Smith rated it really liked it
Christopher Hitchens' well-honed and well-worn blade has been put to many individuals throughout his extensive (though, now we must realize, always too short) career, and now one can say it has been put to no one more justified, at least in the popular mindset. While facing controversy that was his homestead in scorching, well-researched books against Mother Teresa among others, little of such would understandably be expected here. It cannot be an understatement to say that few individuals have ...more
Matthew Griffiths
Jan 13, 2013 Matthew Griffiths rated it it was ok
An interesting refutation of as Hitchens terms it "Bin Ladenism".

However much of the focus here was to argue that Bin Laden was in no way similar to the myth of the man and that his movement was bound to fail. The arguments against the myth of Bin Laden as a figure similar in nature to Che Guevara or other anti-colonialists were well delivered although Hitchens spent no time delivering any material to the contrary for balance which left the whole work coming off more as an ill-informed rant tha
Eric Wojciechowski
Jul 14, 2014 Eric Wojciechowski rated it it was amazing
A short pamphlet regarding the world's worst Caliph wanna-be (now under the sea) and his probable realization, just before a terse meeting with Seal Team Six, that 9/11 didn't accomplish the goal.
In a Kindle edition of what was probably first long article in print, the Hitch dryly and definitively debunks the myths surrounding OBL: that he is some kind of class warrior/freedom fighter against imperialism, that he is a quiet, thoughtful, wise thinker, that he has a philosophy essentially beyond repressed, bellicose, extremist hate-mongering.

Worth looking into, since Hitch's natural ease of prose and rhetorical incision comes in handy for certain and especially if one might take issue wit
Richard Lawrence
Jan 11, 2015 Richard Lawrence rated it it was amazing
Shelves: freethought
Excellent analysis of Osama Bin Laden and the movement he created.
Mohammed Al-Garawi
Nov 28, 2015 Mohammed Al-Garawi rated it really liked it
Consider this Bin Laden's epitaph.
Hitchens is a bracing, clear and articulate writer and thinker and this short kindle-book length essay written shortly after the death of Osama Bin Laden is a remarkably accomplished first draft of history of the times and the individual. It is a truly insightful character study as well as a reflection on what Osama set in motion and how the world, and the United States responded. It is not the definitive comment on Bin Laden and the beginning of the War on Terror but it is an important one.
May 17, 2011 Mimi rated it liked it
A very interesting Kindle Single written by English-American author/journalist [[Christopher Hitchens]] in which he discusses Bin Laden and bin Ladenism as a form of tyrannical despotism and includes his own critique of those who attempt to soften the deeds of Bin Laden.

This was a short read, although quite intense so it took me a little longer then expected to complete...the dictionary function on the Kindle really came in handy here ;)
Patrick Mccusker
Mar 18, 2013 Patrick Mccusker rated it it was ok
Pretty much standard Hitchens. It's very informed and convincingly states why Bin Laden's shooting was an unconditionally good thing (he has a very interesting take on why 9/11 was a ridiculous mistake on the part of Al-Qaeda), but is hamstrung by it's brevity. It's a very good book condensed to a decent essay, meaning that despite being quite enjoyable it feels like a teaser for something much more.
Abhisek Pandey
Dec 28, 2015 Abhisek Pandey rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
While I agree with most of what Hitchens wrote on the bin Ladenism, which we have read many times in the past, there's hardly anything which is insightful. But then, it's very small book, so small that Arundhati Roy writes articles longer than this. Despite the size and the ranting tone, it's a very provocative piece, reminding loudly & clearly about the world we are living in.
Pavol Hardos
Jan 08, 2012 Pavol Hardos rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, non-fiction
If there were an opposite of eulogy, this would be it, a well deserved condemnation of a man, his deeds and thoughts, delivered after his timely demise - let us call it malogy - and Bin Laden gets his due here. However it is a bit too brief to be a standalone piece, barely a pamphlet, seems too short even to be called an article.
A.J. Howard
Jun 28, 2011 A.J. Howard rated it it was ok
I kind of feel guilty for posting this as 'read.' The article is decent enough, but it's sooo brief. It is barely longer than Hitch's articles for Slate. I don't mind paying $2, even for abbreviated doses of Hitchens, but for $20 I can get get 12 Hitchens articles, plus a years supply of colonge samples.
Jul 07, 2011 Jayson rated it it was ok
This short book by Christopher Hitchens was about his reporting/writings about Osama Bin Laden leading up to his death. The book offered a philosophical reasoning behind Bin Laden's tyrannical ways. I was searching for more details about how Bin Laden was actually killed or the mission.
Dec 11, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Here Christopher Hitchens takes on Osama Bin Laden and other Islamic jihadists. While the depth of analysis is on the superficial side, Hitchens makes some good points and, as always, writes very well. I may not agree with everything he says, but I like the way he says it.
that cute little red-eyed kitten
Nothing new here, but wouldn't that be expecting too much from a man who's been dead for some years (and I mean Hitch). A fine essay and a good reminder to why it's so important to always recognize totalitarian thought for what it is when it rises its ugly face.
Sarah C. Frazer
Apr 24, 2015 Sarah C. Frazer rated it it was amazing
Great Here and Now Readin

Regardless of your religious beliefs, you must read this book with an open mind and not let the author's personal belief and philosophy prejudice your examination of a pivotal point in American history.
Feb 18, 2013 Ángel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La corrosiva pluma del genial Christopher Hitchens no podía dejar de tocar a un personaje tan controversial como Bin Laden. Su influencia, su pensamiento, sus logros y su derrota final, son abordados en este breve ensayo. Recomendable.
An interesting half political, half philosophical essay on Bin Laden, his life, death and all issues surrounding it. A short read, but not necessarily a very quick one, lots of facts, thoughts and arguments to think through and about.
Carl Morano
Jul 04, 2014 Carl Morano rated it it was amazing
A brutal, truthful look at the war on terror

Hitchens pulls no punches and is sure to offend the head-the-sand leftists rightists. Read this essay and deal with it!
Jun 28, 2011 Brent rated it liked it
Not a lot of new insight here - basically just Hitchens providing a recap of Bin Laden's life and summing up his previous analysis and insights on him.
Petra Willemse
May 22, 2011 Petra Willemse rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A good summary of Hitchens thoughts on Bin Laden in the years since 9-11 and his recent death. If you like Hitchens, it will be an interesting read.
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Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. He was ...more
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“Like the Nazis, the cadres of jihad have a death wish that sets the seal on their nihilism. The goal of a world run by an oligarchy in possession of Teutonic genes, who may kill or enslave other 'races' according to need, is not more unrealizable than the idea that a single state, let alone the globe itself, could be governed according to the dictates of an allegedly holy book. This mad scheme begins by denying itself the talents (and the rights) of half the population, views with superstitious horror the charging of interest, and invokes the right of Muslims to subject nonbelievers to special taxes and confiscations. Not even Afghanistan or Somalia, scenes of the furthest advances yet made by pro-caliphate forces, could be governed for long in this way without setting new standards for beggary and decline.” 22 likes
“As the cleansing ocean closes over bin Laden's carcass, may the earth lie lightly on the countless graves of those he sentenced without compunction to be burned alive or dismembered in the street.” 9 likes
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