All of the lights

Pages: 2 (435 mots) Publié le: 3 mars 2011
My first real encounter with the world outside the United States came in 1962,
when I spent s€veral mOfiths working for an anti-government newspaper in South
Africa. [...J The battle againstaparthei~\vas my first exposure to serious politics, and
to a ninetelm-yea '-oldi,as was then, it was ovenvhelming. Part of the experience was
5 realizing that the filiSAwas on the wrong side. Finespeeches at the United Natiol)s
were one thing, but the directory board in the iJ.obbyof the American Embassy in
Pretoria, with its long list of military attaches, told a different story. [...J Learningsomething of the cooperation between th illSA a!ndthe white regime in South Africa
[... J was my first lesson that Americ was not always the noble force for freedom I
10 wanted it to be. A few yearsafterwards, the !VietnamWat underlined that lesson, for
me and for milliGns of other i'\.mericans 0[my generation
Later encounters with the rest of the world have underlined it in different ways.Despite President BusH's cowboy forayl intoraq~ the way most nations experience
American might these days is not military, but economic. Time abroad is always an
15 education. I had not thought muchabout globalization until m wife and I lived for
six months i Il'ldi in the late 1990s. To read even Inclia'> mainstream2 newspapers
was a revelation. Indian were outraged by merican corporateaJttempts to patent3
bas mati rice and a medicinal extract of the neem tree\ products that ndians had
been using for centuries. [...J
20 To travel anywhere these days with open eyes is to see aiWorlddominated by an
increasingly arrogant superpow€r. When it comes to a different kind of international
agreement, those of which the human race has reason to be proud, the United States
has refused tosign almost all of them: the treary establishing the International
Criminal Court, the ban on landmines, the Kyoto accords on global warming and
25 many, many others. [.._]
And yet, another type...
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