Search Results for ‘75’

8 – The Poverty of Hindsight (19 Jan 09)

As the Bush years are now one day away from finally drawing to a close, what occurs to me is how much is lost in writing from hindsight. Sure, the gains that come with it are not open to dispute: often a better perspective as earlier unknown elements of the story fall into place, or revelations emerge that give it a dramatic twist. But there is something about the immediate experience of an event that, when conveyed with an effort, may contain knowledge about it that will be very difficult to recapture at a later stage. Which is why historians like diaries. Some knowledge just simply disappears. George Orwell understood this when writing about the Spanish Civil War and being sure that what he himself had learned about it from direct experience would never enter generally accepted historical records. Two striking examples from my own experience come immediately to mind: the last days of Saigon before North Vietnamese regulars took over the city in April 1975, and never-explained aspects of what happened during the horrific Kobe Earthquake and its aftermath in January 1995. I experienced the Bush years in a special, haunting manner. I had just embarked...

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36 – The Most Monstrous Lie of the Twentyfirst Century (19 Sep 2011)

Following with half an eye the pap pouring forth from the commentariat about how it felt on the day and what it thought since the event “that changed everything”, I was heartened by a reminder from Douglas Lummis (a former US Marine living in Okinawa, and eminent observer of the American-Japanese vassalage relationship) that the anniversary deserving even more attention is tomorrow. It was on September 20th ten years ago that George W. Bush declared perpetual war on large chunks of the world. On that day he told Congress that terrorism would no longer be dealt with as a crime but as something to be confronted with military might. Judging by published mainstream opinion the monstrousness of that announcement has never sunk in. What it comes down to, as Lummis reminds us, is that the United States has granted itself the right to create suspects, murder them, and to invade countries for such a purpose. “And given that no other country, but only the U.S., claims these rights, the result is that in international law, the principle of equality under the law has been destroyed.” Bush and Cheney also began something, as Lummis understands well, that because...

Total in this post : 75: 1