"The moment you give up your principles, and your values... the moment you laugh at those principles, and those values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period."
- Oriana Fallaci in a 2005 Wall Street Journal Interview
Since 9/11, Fallaci had dedicated herself in the fight against "the greatest threat to Western civilization since the Cold War, Islamofascism". Her most well-known and controversial works of this time were The Rage and The Pride (La Rabbia e l'Orgoglio), 2001 and The Force of Reason (La Forza della Ragione), 2004.
From Michael Ledeen's tribute of yesterday:
Lots of people were surprised to learn that she lived as a virtual recluse in New York City, rather than Florence, but America was a big part of her soul. A real freedom fighter has to love America, and she did, just as she hated America when it failed to meet her high standards. Her writings on America were extraordinary; the words she wrote right after 9/11 deserve to be remembered for a very long time:
The fact is that America is a special country, my dear friend. A country to envy, of which to be jealous…and it is that way because it is born of a spiritual necessity…and of the most sublime human idea: the idea of liberty, or better, of liberty married to the idea of equality...
She HAD to live here, you see. Just as she had to die in Florence, where she will be buried in the Evangelical cemetery alongside her parents.
But we shouldn’t be in a hurry to bury her. For the moment, she’s still very much with us. All you have to do is look at the news of the day, replete with the grotesque distortions of Pope Benedict’s thoughtful speech in Germany. Those distortions are driven by one her pet peeves: the politically correct fear of offending Muslims, any Muslims, even those who want us dead and decapitated. She and Benedict evidently hit it off quite well, truly the odd couple, she the lifelong atheist (albeit, in her delightfully paradoxical formulation, a “Christian atheist”) and he the lifelong theologian.