August 18th, 2002
Camille Paglia speaks on all and sundry!
Worth a thorough read. She excoriates many in this piece, and writes from a historical perspective that gets missed in all the talk of a “War On Terror.” Check it…
But as a chain of suicide bombers steadily blew up buses and restaurants in Israel over the past year, my sympathy for the Palestinian cause has gradually diminished. War, declared or undeclared, justifies attacks on military targets. But the massacre of civilians – in the World Trade Center or at a Jerusalem market – is barbarism. What kind of state could be formed by people who tolerate and cheer such atrocities? When moderate factions are so feeble, who can believe that a Palestinian state would not be the staging area for missile attacks on Israel?
My reading of history – based on the rise and fall of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Rome, and Byzantium – is that the world has embarked on a long period of uncertainty, a century or more of grotesque contrasts. There will be years, even decades of Western affluence and peace, then scattered outbreaks of violence and chaos, put down by assertions of military and police power, verging on the fascist. Should there be severe climatic shifts affecting food production (a subject I harped on in my Salon column), the world economy would be destabilized, and complex societies would unravel.