من تجويف جهاز الهبوط لطائرة بوينج 747 في مطار بروكسيل كانت تخرج ثلاثة أصابع ليد بشرية تقبض متشنجة على الحافة , واقترب المراقب أكثر , حيث اكتشف داخل جهاز الهبوط جسدين لصبيين أسودين هزيلين , متقلصين , وملامح وجهيهما متجمدة خوفاً , انهما جسدا فوديه توريه كيتا و ألاسين كيتا , صبيان غينيان في الخامسة عشرة والرابعة عشرة يرتدي كل منهما (شورتاً) بسيطاً (وصندلاً) وقميصاً .ويحوي جهاز الهبوط الرئيسي في الطائرة ست عشرة عجلة كبيرة , ولا تفتح الا من كابينة القيادة , ولكن حين تكون الطائرة جاثمة فوق الممر فإن بوسع أي كان أن يتسلل إلى الفتحة .واثناء الرحلة تحلق الطائرة على ارتفاع 11000 متر حيث تبلغ درجة الحرارة 50 درجة مئوية تحت الصفر .وربما كان الصبيان قد تسللا الى الفتحة اثناء هبوط الطائرة في كوناكرى ووجد المراقب في جيب قميص توريه ورقة مطوية كتب عليها بخطٍ رديء : " فإذا رأيتم اننا نضحي بأنفسنا ونعرض حياتنا للخطر فلأننا نعاني كثيراً في افريقيا , ونحن بحاجة اليكم لمكافحة البؤس , ولوضع حد للحرب في افريقيا , غير أننا نريد أن ندرس , ونطالبكم بأن تساعدونا على أن ندرس حتى نصبح مثلكم في بلادنا .وفي النهاية نرجوكم بشدة أن تعذرونا إذ تجاسرنا على أن نكتب لكم هذه الرسالة , أنتم الكبار الذين نوليكم الكثير من الإحترام , ولا تنسوا أن علينا أن نشكو لكم أنتم ضعف قوانا في افريقيا" * نشرت صورة لهذه الرسالة في مكتب الأمم المتحدة الأوروبي في الوثيقة E/CN/4/2000/52 جنيف , 2000 , وقد وقعت هذه المأساة عام 1999 .
To bring the matter to one point, Is the power who is jealous of our prosperity, a proper power to govern us? Whoever says, No, to this question, is an independent, for independency means no more than this, whether we shall make our own law, or, whether the king, the greatest enemy which this continent hath, or can have, shall tell us there shall be no laws but such as I like.
A telling example of what it has all come to can be found in the person of Rick Santorum, the junior Republican senator from Pennsylvania. Elected to the House in 1990 and then the Senate in 1994, Santorum, forty, is the apotheosis of the brash newer member who imposes himself on the working order of the Senate, demonstrates little respect for the institution, becomes a one-man ideological enforcer, and brings down the level of civility. Toothy, with a shock of dark hair, Santorum looks the perfect pol for the television age. Unburdened by brilliance, he makes his impact through pestiferousness.
Mass culture is Peter Pan culture. It tells us that if we close our eyes, if we visualize what we want, if we have faith in ourselves, if we tell God that we believe in miracles, if we tap into our inner strength, if we grasp that we are truly exceptional, if we focus on happiness, our lives will be harmonious and complete. This cultural retreat into illusion, whether peddled by positive psychologists, Hollywood, or Christian preachers, is a form of magical thinking. It turns worthless mortgages and debt into wealth. It turns the destruction of our manufacturing base into an opportunity for growth. It turns alienation and anxiety into a cheerful conformity. It turns a nation that wages illegal wars and administers off-shore penal colonies where it openly practices torture into the greatest democracy on earth.
In other words, our constitution was designed by people who were idealistic but not ideological. There's a big difference. You can have a philosophy that tends to be liberal or conservative but still be open to evidence, experience, and argument. That enables people with honest differences to find practical, principled compromise. On the other hand, fervent insistence on an ideology makes evidence, experience, and arguments irrelevant: If you possess the absolute truth, those who disagree are by definition wrong, and evidence of success or failure is irrelevant. There is nothing to learn from the experience of other countries. Respectful arguments are a waste of time. Compromise is weakness. And if your policies fail, you don't abandon them; instead, you double down, asserting that they would have worked if only they had been carried to their logical extreme.
The older America, until the 1890s and in some respects until 1914, was wrapped in the security of continental isolation, village society, the Protestant denominations, and a flourishing industrial capitalism. But reluctantly, year by year, over several decades, it has been drawn into the twentieth century and forced to cope with its unpleasant realities: first the incursions of cosmopolitanism and skepticism, then the disappearance of American isolation and easy military security, the collapse of traditional capitalism and its supplementation by a centralized welfare state, finally the unrelenting costs and stringencies of the Second World War, the Korean War, and the cold war. As a consequence, the heartland of America, filled with people who are often fundamentalist in religion, nativist in prejudice, isolationist in foreign policy, and conservative in economics, has constantly rumbled with an underground revolt against all these tormenting manifestations of our modern predicament.
All this is the more maddening, as Edward Shils has pointed out, in a populistic culture which has always set a premium on government by the common man and through the common judgement and which believes deeply in the sacred character of publicity. Here the politician expresses what a large part of the public feels. The citizen cannot cease to need or to be at the mercy of experts, but he can achieve a kind of revenge by ridiculing the wild-eyed professor, the irresponsible brain truster, or the mad scientist, and by applauding the politicians as the pursue the subversive teacher, the suspect scientist, or the allegedly treacherous foreign-policy adviser. There has always been in our national experience a type of mind which elevates hatred to a kind of creed; for this mind, group hatreds take a place in politics similar to the class struggle in some other modern societies. Filled with obscure and ill-directed grievances and frustrations, with elaborate hallucinations about secrets and conspiracies, groups of malcontents have found scapegoats at various times in Masons or abolitionists, Catholics, Mormons, or Jews, Negroes, or immigrants, the liquor interests or the international bankers. In the succession of scapegoats chosen by the followers of this tradition of Know-Nothingism, the intelligentsia have at last in our time found a place.
I wish it were different. I wish that we privileged knowledge in politicians, that the ones who know things didn't have to hide it behind brown pants, and that the know-not-enoughs were laughed all the way to the Maine border on their first New Hampshire meet and greet. I wish that in order to secure his party's nomination, a presidential candidate would be required to point at the sky and name all the stars; have the periodic table of the elements memorized; rattle off the kings and queens of Spain; define the significance of the Gatling gun; joke around in Latin; interpret the symbolism in seventeenth-century Dutch painting; explain photosynthesis to a six-year-old; recite Emily Dickinson; bake a perfect popover; build a shortwave radio out of a coconut; and know all the words to Hoagy Carmichael's "Two Sleepy People," Johnny Cash's "Five Feet High and Rising," and "You Got the Silver" by the Rolling Stones. After all, the United States is the greatest country on earth dealing with the most complicated problems in the history of the world--poverty, pollution, justice, Jerusalem. What we need is a president who is at least twelve kinds of nerd, a nerd messiah to come along every four years, acquire the Secret Service code name Poindexter, install a Revenge of the Nerds screen saver on the Oval Office computer, and one by one decrypt our woes.
...never [enter] into dispute or argument with another. I never saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many, on their getting warm, becoming rude, & shooting one another. ... When I hear another express an opinion which is not mine, I say to myself, he has a right to his opinion, as I to mine; why should I question it? His error does me no injury, and shall I become a Don Quixote, to bring all men by force of argument to one opinion? ... There are two classes of disputants most frequently to be met with among us. The first is of young students, just entered the threshold of science, with a first view of its outlines, not yet filled up with the details & modifications which a further progress would bring to their knoledge. The other consists of the ill-tempered & rude men in society, who have taken up a passion for politics. ... Consider yourself, when with them, as among the patients of Bedlam, needing medical more than moral counsel. Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics. In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.