Recently I was re-reading THE RAGE AND THE PRIDE by the late Italian writer/journalist Oriana Fallaci. This 2001 book–English translation in USA in 2002–was a best seller in Europe. It was a sharp attack against the Islamic invasion of Europe, first by stealth, now open. She also expressed her solidarity with the USA after the 9/11 attacks. (She was self-exiled here.)
Her literary war of words against the Muslim invasion landed her in legal hot water as the forces of Political Correctness are even worse in Europe than here. The usually left but always heterodox & independent Oriana Fallaci fought off the attacks in both the legal courts and court of public opinion. (An ordeal as she had terminal cancer.) She openly said out in the open what others were only whispering in the shadows. (Sort of like discussing race in America). And while usually somewhat radical, she had no love for male homosexuals either.
She was a brave lady. She was badly wounded covering the Mexican student uprising in 1968 and was actually taken to a morgue. She walked out of it! Later in the 1970s she would find fame as probably the gutsiest interviewer around. She did a job on Arafat I’ll never forget. And she was pretty good dealing with that pompous ass–and very corrupt–Henry Kissinger.
But what got my attention was the following:
“Seduced by the articles I had written in 1967 and in 1968 from South Vietnam, articles which fully expressed what I thought about that questionable war, in 1969 the Ho Chi Minh government invited me to visit North Vietnam. So I went and it did not take me long to conclude that the rascals of Hanoi were no better than the rascals of Saigon.”
She goes on to report that the North Vietnamese regime was even more repressive than the Red Chinese regime then in the throes of the ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’. She said she used the same independence of judgement in which she had reported the war from Saigon.
For her honest reporting–which detailed the sufferings of common people in the North–Oriana was slandered by the Italian communists and their hangers-on back home. She denounced the defamation campaign as despicable.
Now here comes the kicker:
“Not as despicable, though, as the defamations that a young actress from Hollywood (whose name I don’t mention out of contempt) spewed on me after a trip which followed mine . . . Led by her scarce intelligence as well as by her presumptuousness and love of publicity, in fact, once back home the young actress gave several lectures and slandered me by saying what those Hanoi leaders had asked her to say. That I was sold to the American government, that I had gone to North Vietnam to spy on behalf of the Pentagon, that I had belonged to the CIA and had written those falsehoods under the CIA’s direction. I did not kill her, alas. I limited myself to send her a short and ferocious letter in which I said that history and politics were too serious matters for nullities of her kind, and in which I promised to kick her cute behind at the first occasion. But the occasion never came. I was always engaged in the too serious matters, mainly some war, and she was always engaged in some marriage or movie or video that teached how to stay in good shape. Thus, I keep my promise now. And instead of kicking her cute behind I spit in her face as I do with Bin Laden’s admirers. Better: as forgiveness is not a virtue of mine”.
THAT HAS TO BE JANE FONDA!