Arundhati Roy, Meet General Westmoreland
Serendipitous connections are a major source of satisfaction to me, and they happen not infrequently.
They are often, if not usually, in the format of a generalization that I came upon and considered true
"in the main," followed by an example of the generalization that I came upon later.
This page describes such a connection.
"Who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark Doppelganger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilized. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance," its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. . . . Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable." Arundhati Roy, The Guardian, September 27, 2001
I came upon this exquisitely crafted statement in the Prologue to Nemesis — The Last Days of The American
Republic, by Chalmers Johnson. Here I'm interested in just a short fragment: its chilling disregard
for non-American lives.
A few days ago, I watched George Butler's documentary Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry. The film
documents Kerry's stint as Swift Boat commander in Vietnam and his anti-war activities after he mustered out.
It is unabashedly pro-Kerry, and I have no problem with that, myself. The Vietnam footage is the
highest quality I have yet seen; it is superb. I found Kerry's statements to the Fulbright committee
and on the Dick Cavett show to be deeply moving.
"The American people must know, that their civilians who got killed are not better than those who are getting killed by the American weapons and support. ... The American people are responsible for the actions of their government and they must question all of the crimes that their government is committing against other people, or they—Americans—will be the targets of our operations that could diminish them." (Reprinted by the Daily News from LETTER EXPLAINED MOTIVE IN BOMBING, OFFICIALS NOW SAY, by Alison Mitchell. New York Times, March 28, 1993.)
"What goes around, comes around." What more is there to say?