An interview in Frontpage Magazine with Christopher Hitchens:
Osama bin Laden is a kind of pseudo-intellectual, with a rough theory of history and a highly reactionary desire to restore a lost empire. But he negates even this doomed, pseudo-Utopian project by his hysterical Puritanism, which bans even music and which of course would deny society the talents of women as well as driving out anyone with any culture or education. Thus, any society run by him or people like him would keep on going bankrupt and starving itself to death, with no ready explanation of why this kept happening. The repeated failure would inevitably be blamed on Zionist-Crusader conspiracies, and the violence and repression would then be projected outward, which is why we have a right to concern ourselves with the "internal affairs" of the Islamic world.
Below even the bin Laden level, however, there are those who insist that they prefer death to life, and who really mean it. Suicide is not so much their tactic as their rationale: they represent a cult of death and they are wedded to destruction. It's amazing how many people refuse to see this. They persist in saying that it's a protest against something, or a reaction to some injustice. They are right to an extent: as long as there is a non-Salafist Muslim anywhere, or a Jew or Christian or rationalist, or an unveiled woman or a profane work of art, the grievance can never be appeased. Of course this does have something in common with fascism - "Death to the intellect! Long live Death!" was a favorite slogan of some Francoists: I think it was coined by General Quiepo de Llano - but even fascism could build an autobahn or design a rocket, while these primitives only want to steal enough technology to wreak devastation. So far, they have mainly brought down their own house (as in Afghanistan and now in Iraq) but we can't allow ourselves take too much comfort from that. However, there is some encouragement to be derived. The 1990s Islamist insurgency in Algeria, for example, was crushed partly because the GIA (which now seems to have gone out of existence) had no political demands and had more or less excommunicated all other Algerians as heretics. This same dead-end for jihad is perhaps being reached in Palestine and will be reached, if we stay intransigent, in Iraq also. What I keep saying is: they wish to be martyrs and we must help them to achieve martyrdom by every method at our disposal.
He has more to say on Michael Moore, Islam, and his former comrades on the Left. A good New Year's Day read. Hopefully you will be sober by now!