Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

Usually when a country threatens another country, adding, what’s more, that it will annihilate it, how does one react?

Remember Chamberlain, remember Churchill’s opposite reaction to Hitler’s threats?  ‘Peaceniks’ like the former are not only irresponsible, they are extremely dangerous, for it you heed them, you invite mayhem, slavery or downright immolation.

To René Descartes’ famous phrase: “I think, therefore I am”, I oppose what an Italian artist named Herbert Pagani said: “I defend myself, therefore I am”.  I’ve written that before, but I believe I ought to repeat it here.

So many of Israel’s inimical neighbors, including Gaza’s Hamas terror regime, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and especially Iran’s despicable Mollahs, the successors of that heinous Khomeini, to whom the French offered a welcoming exile on their territory for several years, have so often claimed they would wipe out the Jewish population from the Middle East that it is tantamount to a proper declaration of war.

Here, I blame Israel’s allies like the USA and other so-called friends, such as the UE, or Russia, who, for economic and diplomatic reasons, forbid that little country to respond to such threats.

To simplify what I am aiming at,  I’ll focus on three Western countries I know well, and on that backward and corrupt Iranian regime, which proffers such drivel in the name of Allah.

True, it is easier to blame politicians when you are not one, for we live in explosive times.  But since when hasn’t the Middle East been explosive?  I really can’t remember.

Yet if you have a good memory, Israel destroyed Irak’s nuclear reactor in 1981 under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, without asking anyone’s permission.  This was called Operation Opera.  And thank goodness it did.

But guess who sold that reactor?  President Jacques Chirac, the President of France.  I still like Jacques Chirac, for he is good to the Jews and he was the first-ever French Authority who asked forgiveness to the Jewish people for Pétain’s crime against humanity, offering French Jewry to the Nazi holocaust.  But there is a side of Chirac I dislike: it is his disdain of Israel.  In that he follows in the footsteps of Charles De Gaulle.  Both are typical examples of France’s very complicated and musty relationship with the Arab world, especially since it still feels guilty of having colonized a good number of their territories, with the bloodiest example, being Algeria, which De Gaulle at first wished to remain French, then, playing realpolitik, he decided to change his course, and by doing so, he sacrificed the wellbeing of one million of his compatriots – many of whom weren’t rich by any means.  Yes, he was a traitor to the French people who had lived on Algerian soil for generations, as well as to the Harkis, the Algerians who fought on their side to keep the country, French.

Those people had to leave after the Algerian Independence, with just a suitcase and their clothes on, since they were being slaughtered – instead of benefitting from the protection of the new Algerian government, as it was convened during the Evian Accords.  And how badly were they greeted once they arrived in the ‘mother’ country, a place most of them had never seen!

This being said, don’t think for one second that I justify colonialism.  But history is not written in black and white, it has many more shades of grey than people imagine or want others to believe – and here I must include so-called Western intellectuals and university professors who use their ideology to explain how history evolves -, and this is not a play of words, even if it sounds like one.

Great Britain is another case in point.  It promised the scientist Weizmann who helped it win World War I a land for the Jewish People in Palestine, by signing the Balfour Declaration.

Don’t forget though that there have been Jews living on that part of the world for millennia, even if the majority had been chased from it and dispersed throughout the world, mainly in Europe.  We all know that Britain had a “romantic” relationship with the Arabs – reread how Lawrence of Arabia fought the Ottomans to free the Arabs under their yoke.  Yet, like France, it discovered the Arabs’ strategic wealth of oil and, like France, it colonized quite a few Arab territories, not yet countries.  Here too, Lawrence understood he had become a puppet of his own government and felt betrayed.  All the existing Arab nations extant nowadays were artificially created by these two colonial powers.  As a consequence, Israel is not less artificial than, let’s say, Saudi Arabia, an assemblage of dozens of different tribes, with the big difference, that Israel has the history and Hebrew, its language, to prove its existence, when the others have invaded territories which didn’t belong to them.  Analyze the backgrounds of Lebanon, Syria, Irak, etc. and you will arrive at the same conclusion.  The Sunni fight against the Shia, they both fight against the Oriental Christians and the Jews, and instead of building, they are cast in a ‘culture’ – if you can call that ‘a culture’ – of death and destruction.  Here one must include large non-Arab countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.

What is happening in Europe today is mainly the fault of its own governments, having lied for more than half a century to their own populations, and this, because of their inept policies and their fear of Islamophobia.  The son of an exile myself, I know how difficult it is to settle in a new country, not having a cent in your pocket.  Yet all these poor immigrants who either came to Ellis Island or to the shores of Europe in the centuries past always fought their way through, and unlike so many of today’s refugees, they didn’t spit at their host countries or revolt against them.  So, you guys, behave yourselves.  You are not different from all the rest of us, and especially not superior, definitely not, so don’t demand what you don’t deserve, or impose your own ways to the rest of us, with your antiquated and often insulting manners.

As for the US of A, today’s superpower, yes, it still is the most powerful nation at the beginning of our 21st century, even though we shall soon see China and India surpass it in a few generations, it saved the World twice from German warmongers and Japan.

But it also led very bloody and useless wars, like that in Vietnam, and it also protected Latin American fascist regimes, against their indigenous populations.  Fidel Castro is one of its rare enemies in that region who could fight back.  So don’t blame Cuba for being communist, but the Ole’ USA.  The same can be said for all the blunders America committed in the Middle East, like George Doubly Stupid Bushe’s invasion of Irak.
All this being said, I love the freedom of the United States, where I have lived eight of my best years.  There is no other place like the Big Apple, my favorite city on this planet, where even a foreigner who doesn’t speak English feels ‘at home’.

Now let’s finish with that horrendous regime of Iran.  Iran, which has been a real country for millennia, with a superb Persian civilization – the art, the architecture, and the literature vouch for it – which today’s mollah have desecrated with their absurd and inane Islamic laws.  I believe the young generations of Iranians, who thirst for freedom and innovation, will soon get rid of these old and retarded men who are the shame of Persia, and that they will be able to rediscover what made Persia great while absorbing today’s technologies.

But their threat is to be taken with the utmost seriousness, for they too only swear by the new sword, i.e. terrorism and nuclear attacks, if only they could reach the point of launching a bomb. In the case of the Iranian regime I also echo Herbert  Pagani, adding: ‘not only should Israel defend itself, but it ought to be pro-active and destroy the Iranian regime itself, without touching its population, among whom I have some of my greatest friends’.

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo