Monday, August 30, 2010

boulevardier steps out


What kind of spring is this,
Where there are no flowers and
The air is filled with a miserable smell?

Shaikh Abdurraheem Muslim Dost

A Pakistani poet and essayist, arrested in 2001, he was confined at Guantánamo until April 2005. Upon publication of his prison memoir he was arrested by Pakistan's ISI in 2006, at whose request nobody knows. No one knows where he is.
Poems from Guantánamo
Marc Falkoff, editor
University of Iowa Press, 2007


  1. what is yet to come from those 8 years of darkness? and how will we manage to sweep it all under the rug of a flag.

  2. I was afraid my posting of this unforgettably apposite drawing would leave the impression that I am discussing the past. I post it for its nonchalance. As LA certainly does know, from the human rights point of view the infamous "8 years" continue almost without abatement under a kinder, gentler accent. As her comment seems to suggest, the United States has an enormous remedial distance to travel, much less to advance, to occupy a place among the company of lawful nations. That said, one does respect the desirability of not digressing into politics, per se.

    This, however, is a crisis for American youth, and not merely for the usual testamentary reasons. That generation has never known a culture which is not searingly chauvinistic and serenely belligerent; and even among its privileged, has been raised not to know or to cherish the meaning of habeas corpus, the right against warrantless search, the right against self-incrimination, and other rights of due process. The trials of American crimes against humanity may indeed, therefore, take place where Pinochet's did, in London. But the restoration of American liberties against domestic enemies is no longer, alas, a project for English courts.

    This posting is for them, the young, and the conscience they surely possess despite the dimensions of its innocence. Our crimes are premeditated. They are against them. They are against their birthright.

    We visited this question before, regarding the dancers practicing in the museum in Minneapolis: Do you love them?

  3. We hated these 8 years but never forgot the Americans came to our rescue during WW1 and WW2.

  4. We haven't forgotten it, either, which makes the ignobility of our present mire so much more stark. Those 8 years were triggered at the time of your "évenéments du mai," when our Presidential election opened the unreconstructed secessionist States as a treasure trove of lockstep political revanchism. That the figure in Office in those 8 years personified them so exquisitely, was a climax long in coming and unextinguished to this day.

    But, Ivan, regarding our rapport with civilisation in the 1940s, don't forget - word was out, that the '28s from Bordeaux were ascendantly drinkable and yet still for laying down, and we were then a practical people. That said, I defer happily to your long view.