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eclectica
2006-01-20, 10:47
I have finished reading a book titled American Hiroshima by David J. Dionisi. I discovered the book after reading an article about it on the Al Jazeera website. There is a website devoted to the book located at americanhiroshima.info (http://www.americanhiroshima.info/).

The book is about the United States and what it has done wrong with its foreign policy. The theme of the book is that good will begets good will. If many people in the World are angry at the United States then it means that a terrorist attack is more likely to occur. The book seeks ways to make Americans liked rather than hated internationally. Terrorism will always be a problem, because there will always be fanatics who are not pleased with the way a country conducts its affairs. But if there are only one in a million in a population willing to commit a terrorist act versus one in a thousand, then that would affect how many actually do occur. The book promotes peace and good policies, rather than force, as a more effective way to fight terrorism.

I agree with almost everything the book says. It is written in a plain style of writing lacking scholarly pretentiousness. The book is not of a partisan nature because while it criticizes the Bush administration, it also criticizes other past events in American history. I wish this author Dionisi would run for president, because he knows what is needed to fix the United States and put it on the right path. But politics tends to be a dirty affair and would turn away many potentially good leaders. The reason Americans have had bad leaders is not because there is a shortage of good leaders, but because the voters have had bad judgement in choosing their leaders. I hope for the sake of the United States that a time will come when the voters exhibit good judgement, and are able to elect a good leader. Perhaps things will have to get really bad in order for people to wake up and seek a good leader.

The problem with the United States is that it has hubris. Americans may think that is a good thing, as a form of self reliance and pride. While those are worthy goals for a country, there has been an abandonment and corruption of its own professed values as well as the violating of laws and treaties. For example there is the supporting of torture of prisoners, the abuse of citizens by the government, supporting "collateral damage" with the killing of noncombatants, the starting of wars using preemption as a justification, miserliness with foreign aid, and the support of dictatorships. I sometimes feel that the only thing that could give Americans a reality check and to cause them to change their ways would have to be drastic, like an atomic bomb being detonated inside of its borders.

It is unlikely that an atomic bomb would be detonated in the United States. The more likely thing that would happen would be the explosion of a relatively harmless "dirty bomb". But the advice the book gives with its fears of a worse case scenario, would also reduce the odds of terrorist attacks that are not "worse case".

I would like to share two songs that deal with the theme of nukes. The first one was written in 1960 by Penderecki. The second one by John Vanderslice is based on a poem by Robert Lowell titled Fall 1961. I have included the text of the poem below as well. I prefer reading the poem of Lowell in my mind without any music attached to its words.

krzysztof penderecki - threnody for the victims of hiroshima.mp3 (http://www.p2pjihad.org/eclectica/krzysztof penderecki - threnody for the victims of hiroshima for 52 stringed instruments.mp3) 17 MB (ED2K link) (ed2k://|file|krzysztof.penderecki.-.threnody.for.the.victims.of.hiroshima.for.52.stringed.instruments.mp3|17279268|22ACFB814DA297D2C66B00639B12A5AF|h=IPTZUGSQINEZBTHNK7GE6WLM5RK3SYSS|/)

John Vanderslice - Radiant With Terror.mp3 (http://www.p2pjihad.org/eclectica/John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolt - Radiant With Terror.mp3) 3 MB (ED2K link) (ed2k://|file|John.Vanderslice.-.Pixel.Revolt.-.Radiant.With.Terror.mp3|3238016|BDE1EA959D1DB0E24ED00729C314060E|h=47XULUFKDO3WADSNVYLZL7TY7USO7FW7|/)


Robert Lowell - Fall 1961

Back and forth, back and forth
goes the tock, tock, tock
of the orange, bland, ambassadorial
face of the moon
on the grandfather clock.

All autumn, the chafe and jar
of nuclear war;
we have talked our extinction to death.
I swim like a minnow
behind my studio window.

Our end drifts nearer,
the moon lifts,
radiant with terror.
The state
is a diver under a glass bell.

A fatherís no shield
for his child.
We are like a lot of wild
spiders crying together,
but without tears.