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A hit that left too many wounds open
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-01-10 09:11:57
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When the doctors say “very encouraging” its something with a lot of gaps to cover. It definitely means alive but still it is a bullet in the head, it is long treatments and a lot of pain it is a lot of questions and very early for answers at least from the doctors’ side. The other side where the gun, the gunner and the rest are hiding, I’m afraid is full of answers looking for the right questions.

The messages passed from the Tea Party and the extreme conservative side of the Republican Party have divided the US people the worst possible way in decades and what is going to follow is unpredictable. But what should be predictable was an act like the one we’ve just watched, actually from the very beginning of Obama’s administration there is nobody who doubts that something like that would have happened however sad and tragic that might sounds. Parts of the American life and mainly parts of the American political life, the mainstream American political life – because the Tea Party belongs to the mainstream of the American political life – have been exploring all the sides of a partisan opposition reaching unbelievable high tones and searching all sides of dirt.

Haven’t we all got mails that doubt how American Barack Obama is? And that has happened in both sides of the Atlantic and I don’t doubt all sides of the world. And this is not the only mail that circulates from the beginning of the Obama administration and please don’t tell me that these mass emails are coming randomly from mindless fanatics idiots with serious psychological problems that don’t have anything better to do all day than trying to find email addresses and send mass mails. Obviously there is some kind of organization and mainly there is some kind of serious funding behind them. After all it’s not only the mass mails, this part of it, books, leaflets, brochures and telephone calls coast and coast a lot when they are happening is such mass hysteria. And the last two years we have seen all. And I’m sorry for the Americans because the whole thing only divides the people and the Republican Party in this case adopted them.

What made them adopt those politics? Probably the lack of politics. Probably George W. Bush has done more harm than we all thought and the Republican Party is his worst victim. Probably Mc Cain was not enough not only for the president’s seat but as a leader, perhaps the Americans weren’t ready for the change or worst perhaps the Americans are losing the sense of what democracy is about. And that’s painful and devastating not only for the American people.

The last seven years security has been the focus and the centre of the American policy pumping unbelievable funds from all sides of the American administration. The Arizona incident proved that all of it was a waste of money – tax money – time and resources. One man managed to hit a congresswoman and twelve more people killing six of them. What would have happened today if the gunman was a Muslim? I prefer not to continue but please let your imagination free to imagine.

And I hope an unbelievable scenario, hasn’t this hit proved to all the ambitious future gunmen how easy it is? Again use your imagination to understand what I mean.

One more thing this hit proved is that when somebody is determine to do something like that and doesn’t care for the consequences very little can stop them doesn’t matter how much is going to be spent and how many are going to try to stop it.

The news from US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is that she’s there alive and fighting and I want to believe that everybody around the world wishes her full recovery and the arrest of the responsible but I’m afraid this hit was more worrying than any other terrorist for just too many reasons and that the American society is in real critical point for their future.

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Emanuel Paparella2011-01-10 15:07:56
Indeed, Thanos, the vitriolic and disrespect for democratic institutions and free speech has reached a point that now so-called all-American “patriots” can shout to their president from the galley during a full session of Congress “you lie” (and it was congressman who so shouted it) or “you are illegitimate,” as it happened only a few days ago when the Constitution was being read, or a senatorial candidate can suggest “first amendment solutions” (meaning solutions by the gun) Such incitements and bad example, even if only rhetorical, is not lost on the deranged and the mentally sick and the ideological fanatic who abound in our societies and who are the most susceptible to bad rhetoric and the most impressionable and most likely to carry it out in nefarious deeds. We are undoubtedly in a very dark place in Western civilization on both sides of the Atlantic, I am afraid, and there is no light in sight yet, and we delude ourselves if we don’t think that we are not all responsible for such a situation. In a democracy people end up with the government they have tolerated and elected, even when they don’t all deserve it.

Emanuel Paparella2011-01-10 15:15:15
P.S. What is so disturbing in today's political climate is not the great divergence and disagreement in political ideas (which is always integral part of a democratic rocess that respects free speech), but the demonization of one's opponent. It is not any longer: we can disagree without being disagreable and can continue to cooperate, but "I am right, and you are evil." At that point the only logical solutions are first amendment solutions. No surprises there.

Emanuel Paparella2011-01-10 16:49:37
P.S.S. Come to think of it, we have seen a display of that sad attitude in the very pages of this magazine; I refer to Jon Sand, who no longer contributes to this magazine, who considered my presence and my opinion in it so offensive to his ultraliberal anything goes sensibilities that he did not shy from resorting to outright insults and ad hominem attacks, pretty much announcing that one of the two had to go: me or him. Eventually he was the one who voluntarily (or so I assume)left. Those people pay lip service to democracy and free speech and think of themselves as "enlightened" and part ot the solution, but I am afraid that they are in reality very much part of the problem.

Emanuel Paparella2011-01-11 02:37:29
Errata: first amendment should read second amendment solutions.

Jack2011-01-12 00:26:34

Even though I did not always see eye to eye with Mr. Sand, it was the tension between views that was very much a part of the entertainment of Ovi. I actually do miss Mr. Sand and wish him the best. I would love to speak with him and even though we disagreed on much, we were nonetheless friends. Some of the best friends I have made in life have been those with whom I have sparred a time or two.

As to the Congresswoman...I too join you in best wishes for her recovery and whether the U.S. recovers from this type of incident, I seriously doubt it. Dangerous times indeed. Great work Thanos.

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