Monday, July 12, 2010

In praise of great Women -- Oriana Fallaci


One word in whose echoed sound reverbrates every horror of human history.


Philosophers ponder it. Other men covet it. Tyrants wrap their bloody fingers around it; the democratically minded try to control it by spreading it, by balancing it.

Power is like the elements of the ancients: fire, wind, water -- forces for great good, and for great evil.

The late Oriana Fallaci simply loathed it.

"I see power as an inhuman and hateful phenomen," She once wrote.

Ms. Fallaci was the child of socialists. I see in Her life echoes of the late George Orwell, also a socialist early in life, who famously wrote against the horrors that it spawned.

I was too young to know of Ms. Fallaci in Her prime,during the 1970s and 1980s. But I am fascinated by this Woman who, according to the Washington Post, in Her long career as an interviewer "stripped apart the world's most powerful people."

She once confronted the Ayatollah Khomeini, no task for the faint-hearted. She also tackled Kissinger, Deng Xiaoping, even Sean Connery. The political left which cheered Her when She challenged what they spurned, was disgusted when She aimed the guns of Her intellect at their own sacred cows.

Continuing from the Post: "She [brought] to the interviews a ferocious manner that belied her diminutive, often-pigtailed appearance."

Ms. Fallaci was Italian-born, June 29, 1929 and passed away September 15, 2006. Like another Woman who I greatly admire,the late Audrey Hepburn, as a child She aided the resistance against WWII fascism. It is interesting to contemplate, though, the two very different paths those Women chose to take following that season of "bombing, terror and hunger."

Somewhere out there in the world are good and honest people who had the privilege of knowing this Woman -- and scoundrels whose pyschological clothing She ripped off in front of the world.

What an amazing Woman She was!

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