A few more thoughts on Christopher Hitchens ...
In my previous post I failed to mention how rough he looked. He limped out to the podium, the result of a spider or insect bite on his leg. He appeared to be sweating profusely, and didn't seem quite as quick on his feet as the one time I'd seen him speak before. But he managed to stay articulate and sharp through it all.
The questions asked to him were moderated, and they were pretty much all softballs. No questions regarding the legitimacy of the Iraq war were posed.
I find him a far stronger journalist than forecaster. Not many risk their well being to sneak into North Korea to offer first-hand reporting. Fewer than that have themselves voluntarily water boarded.
The times when he simply describes the atrocities of these regimes and leaves it to the reader/listener to decide how to act are, in my opinion, his strongest moments. And in this talk he pretty much did just that - he didn't offer much in the way of recommendations on what the U.S. or the any other nation should do in response to North Korea or Iran.
But when he starts trying to extrapolate how likely a country is to develop nuclear arms, or what they will do when they get them, I just don't think he's got a better idea than anyone else.