segunda-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2005


Srdja Trifkovic,

Susan Sontag died of leukaemia in New York on December 29 at the age of 71. The obituarists described her as "one of America's most influential intellectuals, internationally renowned for the passionate engagement and breadth of her critical intelligence and her ardent activism in the cause of human rights" (The Financial Times, Dec. 30).

Her essays "expanded the universe of subjects it was 'all right' for intellectuals to take seriously," such as drugs, porn, and pop, ensuring that we'd "get used to these as intellectual topics."

All of which is one way of saying that Ms. Sontag has made a solid contribution to the degrading of our cultural and intellectual standards over the past four decades. But unlike some other purveyors of bad ideas, such as Voltaire, who could present them in eloquent prose, Sontag was unable to write a decent sentence.

Take this gem for style and contents:"The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballet et al., don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history. It is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself" (Partisan Review, winter 1967, p. 57).

Ms. Sontag's qualities were on full display during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. She supported the Muslim side and was a leading purveyor of the Muslim-fabricated myth of the Serbian "rape camps" where she asserted that "tens of thousands of women" were raped "by military order."

Writing in the Nation on Christmas Day 1995 she likened her trips to Sarajevo—comfortable, safe, and well-publicized—to the struggle of the Lincoln Brigade in Spain. Ms. Sontag's a-priori assumptions, that the Serbs were Fascist monsters, the Muslims innocent victims of a brutal aggression, were beyond dispute. Her smug self-depiction as a brave voice of intellectual and moral integrity in a cynical world was laughable.

Ms. Sontag was an enthusiastic supporter of Clinton's war against the Serbs in 1999. She ridiculed the objection that the war is ("wonderful word") illegal" with the usual reductio ad Hitlerum: "Imagine that Nazi Germany had had no expansionist ambitions but had simply made it a policy in the late 1930's and early 1940's to slaughter all the German Jews. Do we think a government has the right to do whatever it wants on its own territory? Maybe the governments of Europe would have said that 60 years ago. But would we approve now of their decision?"

[Já agora sempre comentava que isso foi precisamente o que aconteceu com Estaline - os seus piores crimes foram cometidos durante os anos 30 - feito aliado contra o regime Nazi que no inicio da Segunda Guerra, não podia ser acusado dos mesmos crimes em massa de Estaline, sendo que este no final foi presenteado com metade da Europa e influência em metade do mundo]

Writing in The New York Times in May 1999 she reasserted the lie of the Kosovo genocide, then repeated the already discredited claim that its prevention was the reason for Clinton's war, and finally dehumanized the victims of that war:"it is grotesque to equate the casualties inflicted by the NATO bombing with the mayhem inflicted on hundreds of thousands of people in the last eight years by the Serb programs of ethnic cleansing. Not all violence is equally reprehensible; not all wars are equally unjust? There is radical evil in the world, which is why there are just wars. And this is a just war? The Milosevic Government has finally brought on Serbia a small portion of the suffering it has inflicted on neighboring peoples."Sontag's view of the Balkans provides an apt summary of her opus.

As The New York Times obituarist has noted, she championed style over content: "She was concerned, in short, with sensation, in both meanings of the term."

In short she was not concerned with the truth. She dabbled in ideas but she could not think. Her lies, dishonesty, absence of moral sense and self-deceptions amounted to a sustained exercise in counter-realism, which is the essence of post-modernism.(...)

But "BHL" is Sontag's twin brother in almost every field imaginable: a media personality, an "intellectual," a hater of Western civilization, a Christophobe, an "essayist," an enthusiastic promoter of homosexuality, an admirer of Sartre, an outspoken advocate of the Muslim side in the Bosnian war and in Kosovo.

In Sontag's and Levy's lunatic account of world affairs the Christians are always at fault and their enemies are always innocent of any wrongdoing. For both of them the "siege" of Sarajevo became a stage for countless self-serving media appearances, as well as the symbol of their decisive move beyond truth and reality and beyond the limits of the aesthetic. "

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