In March 2003, my college friends asked me if I was attending the student protests against the Iraq War. My reply was no, which silenced them into a trance. When prompted to explain my refusal to attend, I pointed out my support for the Iraq war; It was, in my mind, the moral duty of free nations to aspire to oppose totalitarian regimes in the world. Yes, I’m a liberal, but unlike many in British liberal politics, I’m not an apologist. Nor does my position become poisoned by moral equivalence.
Tyranny has to be fought and defeated. That was, and still is, my foreign policy doctrine. Liberal interventionism is a topic explored, and defended, countless times by myself and others. Christopher was the leader of our political vanguard; even though he would resent being anointed with the role.
And that year  was when I discovered the writings, lectures and natural contrarian ideals of Christopher Hitchens. Even though he was a regular critique of liberals, and a self-declared Marxist until his death, Christopher knew and understood the true values of the Left: Opposition and defeating all unjustified hierarchies and abusers of powers. Authority carries a burden of proof. It is not and never will be self justified. Totalitarian regimes are illegitimate by nature.
Yet most on the modern Left tend to resist criticising individuals, groups or nations that provoke Western governments. Iran is a prime example. But, Hitchens biggest achievement was teaching us one viable lesson: being intellectually honest with yourself. Speak your mind freely and openly, don’t let anyone deny you that right.
Truly a remarkable man, which the world will never replace.