Saturday, October 06, 2007

a woman, a man, love & war

Saturday, October 06, 2007


"We are flying into a black hole where we have already been, one in which we condemned dissidents only because they thought differently from the majority. And it is no exaggeration to say that we are 'flying' there: the time has already arrived when the persecution of human rights defenders has become common once again, and when human rights committees in the country are de facto being liquidated."

~ anna politkovskaya



"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."

~ winston churchill

... expand the post to read my words ...

Do you know the woman? She was killed for speaking out against Vladimir Putin, the leader of her country. They found her body in the lift of the building where she lived, a year ago. Is this the world we want to call our own? A world that indicts people for harbouring beliefs and thoughts that differ from the rulers? Or, for looking different ... for looking like our vision of that which we call "the enemy" ...? It seems to me, we should take a close look at this case ... and cases like it ... anywhere in the world. North America seems far less free than we think. If we're so free and liberated, then why does GITMO exist?

Do you remember the man? And what he said and did? He lived an amazing life ~ born 10 years after the end of the American Civil War, and died around the time of Malcolm X's assassination. He fought in the Boar War, was a POW, led the British Navy in early WWI, rode in the last cavalry charge of WWI, and was the only leader in those early thirties that saw right through Hitler and Nazism. He wrote about the failings of trying to reorganzation the fallen Ottoman Empire, and apparently George Bush cannot read or thinks himself too big to learn from history. Churchill's perhaps laughing his ass off at Dubya's Gunsmoke Gang! Either that, or he's terribly saddened. Or maybe a bit of both. Or ... maybe he's musing in that sardonic British way of his. Like we all do, sometimes, about Dubya.

Do you want to be Anna? Neither do I. Do you want to be Churchill, who saw the writing on the wall, when no one else would listen? Do you want to be Dubya, who allowed vengence and intolerance to blind him to the wisdom of reality? Perhaps you are Dubya, and do think Iraqis, Iranians and Palestinians must "pay" for the carnage of 9/11. Then ... why do you find it so incredulous that many Iraqis, Iranians, and Palestinians view us with similar sentiment?

Do you want to be MLK, whom, I feel, knew his destiny involved dying so his people could LIVE? So, what do we do about it? We'd best decide, coz none of us is free as long as some of us are oppressing others. And as long as we allow hatred and intolerance to colour the lenses thru which we view the world. Do you think your enemies should receive entitlement to human rights? Or are rights only for those with whom we agree? Do we dissolve all disagreement thru oppressive and violent means?

Why don't we produce great world leaders like Churchill anymore? Why don't our current leaders understand humanity ... suffering ... the human condition ... the way those of our past did? Why don't we elevate noble people like Politkovskaya, instead of the ego-driven and substance-less Paris Hilton's of the world? Does happiness really occupy such importance as to become an end to which we all strive ... at all cost? Is there nothing more, beyond hedonism and ego, for which we should reach? Why did anyone think that a FUCKING WAR would serve as the answer to global disagreements? Are these the same people that think you just go around beating dissenters, and all those who follow said dissenters? why?

Here's something for your listening pleasure ~ listen to tracks 2 ... America needs to hear that message about the cup of bitterness, once more. Then, listen to track 5 ~ do you remember? Do you ... love your enemy? Did MLK die for nothing ...? Did Politkovskaya?


Have we forgotten? Do we want to forget? Let us remember ... not just speak of remembering, but live it ~ feel it ~ DO IT!


10 comments:

foam said...

mantissa,
sometimes posts are not taken away quick enough. my thoughts are with you.

the.red.mantissa said...

thanx, friend. i got your other comment ... thank you. i took the post down coz it sounded too whiney. and this is the post i had up originally. besides, someone who's so inconsiderate does not deserve that much airtime from me.

i am considering my options.

as for the post ~ one year ago today ana politkovskaya was murdered for speaking out. and i think many americans need to hear the words of MLK once again. LOUD AND CLEAR.

foam said...

but it was not whiney at all. but i know how that goes. i'm afraid of sounding whiney too at times. some posts are never published.
i just read your other post and will come back to this one soon.

the.red.mantissa said...

and ... i see things have changed since MLK ... but not really ...

Simmesport

how sad. how small. what's free about the USA? not much. hmmmm.

X. Dell said...

I must be missing something here.

When I first came to New York, I had a chance to talk to a woman who had defected from the Soviet Union during the 1960s. We were both having problems with the local library, which didn't seem to want to abide by its own policies. Comisserating about the rudeness of the staff, the stupidness of the system, she flat out said that she saw absolutely no difference between working with the Soviet system than working with any American bureaucracy. Yet, we have this notion that our way is better than theirs. What we never knew was that our system was the same as theirs.

The difference: Soviets knew that their system was corrupt. Americans say theirs is corrupt too, but they keep right on supporting it.

Years later I had this very close friend from Haiti. He had survived FRAPH (the US-sponsored death squads), the Tonton Macoutes, and the accusation that his father was a CIA agent, and managed to escape with his family to New Jersey, where police officers illegally arrested him, bet him severely, left him for dead, and perjured their testimony about the incident. The incident rendered him paraplegic. He also suffers from psychosis resulting from cranial trauma.

You see, he learned, like many of us here, that many Americans live in third-world conditions, complete with poverty, hunger, hard-work, violent official repression, and bureaucratic indifference.

He couldn't believe this happened to him, given what he had learned of the fabled America (sorry, US). Then again, many Americans don't believe that this kind of thing goes on in their country.

You see, the US, for the most part, is segregated, both physically and culturally. It's easy for some to look away from the seedy parts of it. It's hard as hell for others to see anything else.

Some people (we call them conservatives) believe that we have to rid society of bad individuals. The "individual" excuse glibly and self-righteously allows us to blame a few for national brutality, and keeps us from seeing something more critical: a society in peril.

the.red.mantissa said...

as time passes i become less and less naive about the usa ... indeed, x-dell, i agree with what you say. i have learned, thru the blogosphere, and thru general awareness of world/usa politics and events that the american psyche is quite different that that of canada. it fascinates me. and shocks me, still ... its like a stew of contractions.

Anonymous said...

the government of the usa is so corrupt ... it's pitiful..
thanks for writing this post ..
foam

eric1313 said...

A beautiful post full of great challenges to your readers.

I would love to be Winston Churchill. He was a slave to his nation during dark days, but he persevered and saw to it that Hitler's disease did not infect and kill the entire world.

Now 'dubs' is bringing it back, calling his enemies fascists, while he perpetrates fascist crimes himself. Sinclair Lewis always said: "when fascism come to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

So very true.

eric1313 said...

Sorry I totally didn't spell check, but you got my drift, I'm sure.

Take care!

the.red.mantissa said...

foam ~ hey. i sometimes feel like i don't do these topics justice by such a cursory glance. but, the more i write, the more i read and the more i dialogue and that's a learning curve, i suppose. i wasn't much into this sort of thing b4 blogging. sort of neat, huh?

eric ~ thanx, even despite what i said to foam. (see above). i have always loved churchill, identified with him. ever since and young girl ... and my dad used to tell the the story of being in london the day churchill died and then again on the day of his funeral .. how moving it felt. i have never really felt any sort of affection for any other political figure as i do for churchill. he's like a grandfather. strange, huh?

its good for the world that churchill, indeed, perservered and did not give up when they all called him a senile old kook. i often wonder how far hitler would have gone ... was he attempting to restore the former glory of the german empire, with his own psychotic twist?

not that it matters, but i wondered ... and never quite could decide if he was just a disturbed megalomaniac with a wish for world domination or a disturbed megalomaniac out to avenge germany's post ww1 devastation and all that fall-out (which ultimately lended itself to the rise of nazism).

love the sinclair lewis quote. how prophetic. i think this quote will get a place in my sidebar, somewhere.