Friday, November 13, 2009

Susan Sontag - September, 2001

The disconnect between last Tuesday's monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing. The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a "cowardly" attack on "civilization" or "liberty" or "humanity" or "the free world" but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word "cowardly" is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday's slaughter, they were not cowards.

The New Yorker


  1. Who will be - where is our new Susan Sontag?

  2. We've still got Joan Didion! But yes: gravity, sensibility, and brevity. Missed. I posted this after reading about the impending trial. Apparently there has been no justice yet, although this nation has done nothing since that moment but start wars in the name of justice. I wish that Susan were here to sum up this contradiction in a neat couple of paragraphs.