Those who choose to side with the victims and tormented over the victimizers and the tormentors are often the target of scorching criticism from those who accept and support the system as is, be they people of power, or the uncaring legion of the like-minded.
This essay is about a former US ambassador to Viet Nam, but he’s just one of many who belong to a club I could never be a member of in good conscience and with my integrity intact. We are all judged by what we say and do, and the company we keep. Choose carefully.
Here are two excerpts:
As for Ted Osius, his close affiliation with the likes of Albright is a blood-red stain on his personal and professional reputation, not the feather in the cap he thinks it is. While America’s reconciliation with Vietnam was not impossible, the ability to decipher the objective truth about his country’s history and its role in the world, and to care about the implications, appear to be beyond his grasp. To paraphrase a quote from a 2020 Tweet about Trumpism, Ted and I don’t have a difference of opinion; we have a difference in morality.
The moral degree of separation between an oppressor and her (or his) sycophants is perilously close. Osius’ self-serving connection to Albright is an appalling example of dishonor and disgrace by association. Sadly, he’s not alone, one of “millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
If I could dedicate this essay to someone, it would be to my brother – in the Asian sense – Fred Branfman (1942-2014), and those like him, who consistently choose the victims and tormented over the victimizers and the tormentors. They are my role models and heroes. I mention five, including two whistleblowers, one who was recently sentenced to 45 months in prison (Daniel Hale) and another who is living in exile (Edward Snowden), but there are many more. These people give me hope. At the same time, the countless victims of US state terrorism, the living and the dead, inspire and motivate me. I feel compelled to speak for those who have been silenced or are voiceless.
Agree, disagree, or a combination thereof, I welcome your feedback.
Shalom (שלום), MAA