The classy blogger, Alexandra von Maltzan, did a nice piece on one of my heroes, the amazing and courageous journalist from Italy, Oriana Fallaci, now 75 and dying of cancer. Oriana wrote The Rage And The Pride, which was published two weeks after 911. For her strongly pro-American and anti-Islamic book she's received death threats from Muslims and an indictment from a judge in her native Italy which could result in prison if she were to go back and face charges.
Before that book Oriana wrote The Force of Reason, a warning to Europe that it was about to become a "dominion of Islam" as Alexandra put it. In the post 911 book her tone was evermore urgent, "You don't understand or don't want to understand that if we don't oppose them, if we don't defend ourselves, if we don't fight, the Jihad will win". Followed by this, "Anyone who is not afraid of war is an idiot." And this, "But in Life and in History there are times when one is not permitted to be afraid."
That's Oriana. I was in Vietnam stationed at an Air Force dispensary behind a typewriter, getting drunk, chasing whores and laying on the beach, while Oriana was out in the jungles seeing what the war was all about. She has a wide and fearless view of the world. The bullet wounds she's suffered seem almost irrelevant to the strength of her character. On the other hand where would John Kerry be without his?