Christopher Hitchens: Is Barack Obama Secretly Swiss?

Is Obama Swiss?No stranger to controversial opinions, Christopher Hitchens asks on Slate:

However meanly and grudgingly, even the new Republican speaker has now conceded that the president is Hawaiian-born and some kind of Christian. So let’s hope that’s the end of all that. A more pressing question now obtrudes itself: Is Barack Obama secretly Swiss?

Let me explain what I mean. A Middle Eastern despot now knows for sure when his time in power is well and truly up. He knows it when his bankers in Zurich or Geneva cease accepting his transfers and responding to his confidential communications and instead begin the process of “freezing” his assets and disclosing their extent and their whereabouts to investigators in his long-exploited country. And, at precisely that moment, the U.S. government also announces that it no longer recognizes the said depositor as the duly constituted head of state. Occasionally, there is a little bit of “raggedness” in the coordination. CIA Director Leon Panetta testified to Congress that Hosni Mubarak would “step down” a day before he actually did so. But the whole charm of the CIA is that its intelligence-gathering is always a few beats off when compared with widespread general knowledge. Generally, though, the White House and the State Department have their timepieces and reactions set to Swiss coordinates.

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  • Anonymous

    Birtherism borders on cretinism. I’ve listened to the birther argument carefully and it amounts to this – Obama wasn’t born in the US. To quote one birther activist I heard on the radio, “Show me a birth certificate and I’ll go away.” OK. Suppose a guy was born in Mexico during his WASP parents’ vacation. Two days later the infant is in the US, and he never leaves the place again. No one can be more American. Yet by the birther argument, he can’t be president.
    Or take someone who was born in the US but grew up in England. Such a person would be more English than American. Yet by the birther logic, he can become the president.

    Birthers are lame and pathetic. Their spiel borders on racism and xenophobia. Why don’t they complain about Kissinger? The guy ran the US during the ’70s. He isn’t American and he has the accent to prove it. No complaints on the birther front, though, because the patsies Ford and Carter were 100% American.

    Where were the birthers when Bush stole two elections? I guess you can steal elections as long as you were born in the USA. By the way, how is Bush even an American? He went to the Andover and Yale, which follow the British aristocratic tradition. He lives in a castle. Bush’s America has little to do with the WalMart hillbilly hell I imagine most birthers inhabit. How is Bush even human?

    Here we have Bush and Obama, who are indictable for a million real and serious offenses, domestic and international, and these birther creeps are focusing on a ridiculous obsolete technicality. How dumb can you get? By all evidence a person and a people can get very dumb, and sadly the saner among us have to suffer by proxy. Ah, well, too bad.

  • hucksawyer

    Birtherism borders on cretinism. I’ve listened to the birther argument carefully and it amounts to this – Obama wasn’t born in the US. To quote one birther activist I heard on the radio, “Show me a birth certificate and I’ll go away.” OK. Suppose a guy was born in Mexico during his WASP parents’ vacation. Two days later the infant is in the US, and he never leaves the place again. No one can be more American. Yet by the birther argument, he can’t be president.
    Or take someone who was born in the US but grew up in England. Such a person would be more English than American. Yet by the birther logic, he can become the president.

    Birthers are lame and pathetic. Their spiel borders on racism and xenophobia. Why don’t they complain about Kissinger? The guy ran the US during the ’70s. He isn’t American and he has the accent to prove it. No complaints on the birther front, though, because the patsies Ford and Carter were 100% American.

    Where were the birthers when Bush stole two elections? I guess you can steal elections as long as you were born in the USA. By the way, how is Bush even an American? He went to the Andover and Yale, which follow the British aristocratic tradition. He lives in a castle. Bush’s America has little to do with the WalMart hillbilly hell I imagine most birthers inhabit. How is Bush even human?

    Here we have Bush and Obama, who are indictable for a million real and serious offenses, domestic and international, and these birther creeps are focusing on a ridiculous obsolete technicality. How dumb can you get? By all evidence a person and a people can get very dumb, and sadly the saner among us have to suffer by proxy. Ah, well, too bad.
    —-
    I notice the Hitchens piece isn’t about the birthers, but that’s OK. I felt like rantinga about those bastards. Speaking of ranting, Hitchens, who is a good ranter, should have ranted against Bush back in the day. The hypocrite! Both Bush and Hitchens.

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