Nuremberg Moments

BBC:

United States dilutes UN rape-in-war resolution…
“Justice is not inevitable”: Amal Clooney spoke at UN Security Council meeting…
“This is your Nuremberg moment,” Mrs Clooney said. “Your chance to stand on the right side of history.”

One’s chance to stand. My chance to stand.  I just don’t conceive of the world like this. I’ve chosen to stand in various places: in the driveways of nuclear weapons plants, at the entrances of military bases, on train tracks, on shipyard docks. Lots of standing on the sidewalks of American cities, holding placards, banners, handing out leaflets. I’ve chosen to sit in various buildings, entrances, doorways, on a runway. Chosen not to stand or sit but to climb over barbed wire fences.

I’m not sure what to make of the proposition that justice is not inevitable. Justice gets done? I remember the mid-70s, and my dad explaining that no, there wasn’t going to be anything like a war crimes tribunal, Kissinger and others went instead into cabinet positions in the next administration. War criminals of the 1980s got airports and aircraft carriers named after them, black or white of any decade can and do receive a Nobel.

And moment. Again, this just makes no sense to me. Long tedious hours standing in the sun or sitting at home typing leaflets, letters to congress, to the editor, to foreign and domestic militaries. Moment?

These concepts have valence for readers (?) viewers rather, who spend billions of dollars, billions, on movies about imaginary super heroes, sitting in the dark munching while imaginary justice is meted out on the screen before them. In movies, in television shows, conflict, struggle, justice, occupy moments, fill the interstices between the screenwriter’s scripted moments of humor or passion.

The right side of history. In Nuremberg 1945-46, Jerusalem 1961, Fort Benning 1970-71? The right side? In this world of limited attention span craven hypnotized consumers of waking video nightmare simply declaring a commitment to history as opposed to artifice seems challenge enough, let alone trying to bifurcate history into right and wrong sides.

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