The 2nd annual speakers series, held in Toronto at Grano Restaurant, explores the potential and limits of the use of American power in the Middle East and the prospects of democraticization for the region. The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies has been a partner in the Grano Series since its inception.

On November 16, 2005, journalist Christopher Hitchens spoke on “Trading Stability for Progress in the Mideast”.

He opened his remarks by explaining:

“I was once asked why I wanted to become a journalist, and I replied, “So that I wouldn’t have to rely on the press for information.” And to know people like Howar Ziad (Iraq’s ambassador to Canada); or to go recently to Blair House in Washington to meet Jalal Talabani, the first elected president of Iraq; or to have recently had a large number of Iraqi and Kurdish democratics in my home, including the man who led the guerrilla warfare in the southern marshes against Saddam Hussein for years. To be with these people is to feel very humble and also, in my case, very angry. Because when I read The New York Times the following day, or the Washington Post, it’s as if these meetings were never taking place. It’s like watching a fire burning under water to go to Iraq and see these passionate engagements and differences and disagreements and talks about the future, and to remember that three years ago it would have been death to possess a satellite dish.”

To read an an edited transcript of the talk, click here


To read more about the Grano Series, click here.