Everyone is telling their Christopher Hitchens stories so here is mine.

A spot of light breakfast reading for Hitch. Pic: Getty Images.

I met him in Kuwait in the opening days of the Iraq war. We were in the same pointless scramble, trying to convince Kuwaiti border guards to let us cross into Iraq.

I said G’day and was sucked immediately into conversation. He laughed a lot. He was cock-a-hoop. The war was just as he wanted it. I was in a sour mood, tired after weeks in Baghdad, cranky at having been pulled out when we were the last Australian TV team there. I was bickering bitterly with Kuwaiti officialdom. Hitchens cheered me up.

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  • Dark Horse says:

    08:01pm | 21/12/11

    It’s indeed a sad indictment of our critical thinking and analytical skills that so many blindly follow what are clearly myths. Joseph Campbell, mythologist, philosopher and one-time catholic captured the ignorance of religious belief very well in his book, “Hero with a Thousand Faces” which provided a history of heroes… Read more »

  • skepdad says:

    04:23pm | 21/12/11

    “When his beliefs no longer fitted the facts as he saw them, he changed his beliefs. That was his force.” This was often painted by his adversaries, who saw strength in dogma, as a weakness. Among his many other qualities, this one was his credential as a leader of freethought.… Read more »


George W Bush makes his fourth trip to Iraq as president of United States today in 2008 and is almost struck by two shoes thrown directly at him by Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi.

Hurling day. Photo: AP.

And it’s Tuesday at The Punch. What’s on your mind?

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  • Occatlydrurry says:

    06:21pm | 19/01/11

    Special blogs are a true speed to make known yourself and share your views nearly the area with friends, relatives, and the intermission of the world. Blogging can also be a grievous mo = ‘modus operandi’ to breed a second stream of part-time income. Most people that start out to… Read more »

  • stephen says:

    04:54pm | 14/12/10

    Pluto and Mars conjunction. Tits on a ‘bull’. Read more »


In October 2007 two unarmed Iraqi women were shot and killed by private military contractors working for Unity Resources Group (URG), the same firm that now guards the Australian embassy in Baghdad. 

There are good reasons for not wanting private security firms to end up like this. Photo: AP.

Just over a year earlier, contractors from the same company shot and killed a 72 year old Australian academic for failing to stop at a checkpoint.

The Defence Department recently told a Senate committee it was aware of the incidents when it awarded URG the embassy contract, but based on third party reports from “American, Iraqi and British authorities” decided the shootings were justified.

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  • Crystal says:

    09:11am | 13/12/10

    Awesome Paul! join the Libs and run for parliament… I’m sure the Senator will mentor you, he has always been one for promoting sound and solid debate. Your arguement is a reality that cannot be denied, nor circumvented, to imagine one can impose any real or imagined restrictions in the… Read more »

  • Coldsnacks says:

    08:24pm | 28/11/10

    I agree with both Othello Cat and what the Senator is saying. The privatisation of military power is a worrying thing, from a global security standpoint, simply due to the lack of accountability afforded. Whilst a populace can, in a democracy at least, hold their government accountable for the actions… Read more »


War broke out between Iraq and Iran today in 1980 following weeks of border clashes between the two nations.

Saddam Hussein addresses his troops.

And it’s Wednesday at The Punch, so what’s on your mind? Share it here.

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  • Pete says:

    04:46pm | 22/09/10

    A Chromosone? Read more »

  • Eric says:

    03:47pm | 22/09/10

    OMG, Hogan’s Heroes will return???? Read more »


It’s Friday @ The Punch

Today in 2003 a group of Iraqi men attempted to pull down a massive statue of Saddam Hussein in the main square of Baghdad.

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  • CedareksskavE says:

    02:17pm | 08/06/12

    Mitt Romney passed up a definite golden opportunity last week on to take an important meaningful step toward making inroads using the Latino community and also by proving he’s instead of harshly anti-immigrant. Or even she blew it all. <a >fake ray ban wayfarer sunglasses</a> But who could blame Romney… Read more »

  • Briniwend says:

    06:59am | 06/06/12

    Prosecutors had accused Edwards behind using almost $1 million within illegal campaign contributions to keep up his pregnant mistress under wraps. But after more than 50 hours with regards to deliberations, jurors cleared him because of one along with six counts as well as a deadlocked about the rest. <a… Read more »


If it’s possible that anything positive could come out of the Fort Hood shootings in the United States last week let’s hope it raises the much maligned profile of mental health in the armed forces. 

Private Will Kearns in Iraq. Pic by Gary Ramage

One third of American troops return home from Iraq suffering from some form of mental health issue. 

High divorce rates and domestic violence are also increasingly common.

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  • Sam says:

    09:20am | 13/11/09

    Listen to me, the crazy Arab. “Jihad” means “struggle”. It can be an inner struggle to understand the world or to change the world or to understand God’s plan in the context of current event (these are only examples). It (jihad)could also take the form of political struggle, or violent… Read more »

  • Simon says:

    08:14am | 13/11/09

    Dan I will paste the evidence we have from my comment above (please read it this time as I dopn;t want to copy and paste it again) - Nidal - shouted “Allah akbar’ while doing the killings attended an extremist mosque which was also attended by two of the September… Read more »


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