Journal February 20, 2017

Vitaly Churkin died at the UN this morning.    Listened to the obituaries for a while.   He was a man who knew diplomacy.    Susan Rice and Samantha Power sent their messages off condolence.   Power said she was ‘devastated’.   Imagine!   This is the same shrew who refused to attend the emergency meeting of the Security Council that Churkin called last fall after a US air attack outside Deir Ezzor killed 80 Syrian soldiers and wounded a hundred more, allowing nearby ISIS forces to overrun their encampments on hilltops surrounding the airport they were using to bring in food and other necessities to the population of the besieged city.    Yes, Powers boycotted the meeting. Instead, she held a press conference outside the door where she denounced him and accused the Russians off war crimes in histrionic tones, all but stamping her feet in a childish tantrum.   They said today that Churkin got his start as an actor so perhaps that allowed him to deal with the childish manners and unprofessional grandstanding of his U.S. counterparts.

It crossed my my mind that /Russia sends her best to the United Nations while the U.S. sends unqualified shrews with  academic credentials but no understanding off diplomacy or of the real consequences of U.S. policy around the globe. Tough little girls who know little of life, mean girls flaunting their pretense off maturity while back-stabbing their peers for sport.  How sad.

There’s always another tough babe to lead the U.S. Mission, but the Russians won’t easily replace the consummate professional, diplomat and engaged human being representing them at the United Nations.

Vitaly Churkin, Presente!    Salud!


Somewhere I saw a reference to Harold Pinter’s speech when he received his Nobel Prize for Literature.    I think I have seen it before, but I went to YouTube to see it again and was blown away by the power of his denunciation of U.S. foreign policy around the world.  My drama class went to see some Pinter plays in New York and staged The Homecoming as our final project.   I was fascinated by his plays, but did not really understand them.   i was too young and unconscious of my own reality to grasp the subtle and sophisticated characters in Pinter’s world.      This was my first real encounter with theater.   Much later I learned of Pinter’s antiwar activism.

The Nobel speech is stunning, though, given the political nature of the “Nobel Peace Prize” which has been given to some of the greatest war mongers alive, Henry Kissinger and Barak Obama stand out.   This year there was speculation that the prize would go to the White Helmets a propaganda producing organization in Syria affiliated with Al Qaeda and created a British Intelligence.   Scary.   Now they are in the running for an Oscar for a documentary they  filmed to demonstrate their humanity and bravery in the face off the evil Assad.   Sick and scary stuff.  

But back to the Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter spoke for peace, and for humanity. Perhaps only an artist can truly communicate the meaning of war and peace. Pinter’s passionate speech caused me to think again about Bob Dylan’s ambivalent and likely passive aggressive response receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. Dylan first didn’t respond to the announcement that he had won, and then after a polite but not very warm response, he didn’t show up for the ceremony.   There must have been something on his mind.  But he wasn’t prepared to say it aloud.  

Pinter seized the platform to make a powerful personal and political statement, using his intelligence and his art.    Dylan never wanted to be a hero.   He was never comfortable with the ways some of his work has been politicized.   It’s unfair to make a comparison.   Even so, I thought – So this is my generation. )-:

If you want to see Pinter’s speech, here it is:


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