Christopher Hitchens, loveable old drunken psychotic that he is, savages Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the benediction at the forthcoming inauguration:
In November 2006, Warren made a trip to Syria and was granted an audience with the human toothbrush who has inherited control of that country and all its citizens. …
[W]hatever hospitality he received from the Syrian authorities did not go unreturned. "Syria," he told his viewers back home by video, is "a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is to not allow extremism of any kind." This is a highly original way to describe a regime that is joined at the hip with the Iranian theocracy, that is the patron of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and that is the official and unabashed host of the fugitive Hamas leadership whose military wing directs massacre operations from Damascus itself. (One might also add that the Syrian Baath Party's veteran defense minister, Mustafa Tlas, published a book under his own name that accused Jews of using the blood of non-Jewish children for the making of those ever-menacing Passover matzos. I suppose it depends how you define extremism.)
As a blogger far more read than I says, "Read the whole thing." I'll add that choosing an apologist for Syria, which has engaged in what I'll call genocide against its own people though some scholars would quibble, as a religious mentor is akin to giving a Pulitzer to Walter Duranty.