Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Lola LeMieux Kindley - Importance of Defining Evil
I remember vividly, in fact it was one of the defining moments of my life, listening to the uprising in Hungary, mostly from students. They had finally fallen back to a broadcasting station as their last refuge and were broadcasting desperate requests to the world to help in their fight for freedom. And then the voices went silent.
In Prague, I noticed lots of little niches in buildings mostly in the Old Town and across the Vltava in Lesser Town, with candles burning. I couldn't understand the language, but it soon became clear that they were memorials to people who died facing the Soviet tanks in 1968, when they, too, thought they could grasp freedom. Almost all of the birth-death dates indicated teenagers to young twenties.
I am sickened by the response to those courageous voices in Iran. They already know what the authorities do to dissidents, but they are in the streets, nevertheless. Today I also received an email with a summary of a speech by Charles Krauthammer, measured, objective and analytical, but the person who heard him quoted him as saying that Obama is not only narcissistic, he also sees himself as the global leader of opinion and policy, rather than merely as president of the U.S. That's how it seems to me. So with the North Korean ship steaming illegally to Burma/Myanmar and the people dying in the streets of Iran, he equivocates over whether or not he still invites Iranian diplomatic personnel to U.S. embassies to celebrate the Fourth of July, for heaven's sake! I remember a trip to Vermont when a person from the plant spoke, as if he had witnessed it himself, of the streams in the fields around us running red with the blood of the colonists fighting for freedom. And this administration wants to welcome these butchers to celebrate the history of freedom and self-rule and human dignity on our national holiday?
Actually, I began comparing Chamberlain first to Carter, then to Clinton, and certainly to Obama.