This movie is suddenly running through my head. Ran is the Japanese word for Chaos. It's a samurai epic based upon King Lear, in which a cruel king spends fifty years conquering his land and uniting it, only for the land to come utterly undone in his old age. It's impossible to see the movie and not think of Imperial Japan, the suffering it inflicts on others viciously inflicted upon itself, and yet the country who inflicted the retributive suffering on Japan has suffered only mildly in comparison. As far as empires go, the American Empire was far, far from the worst. Even if you don't have family from other empires, pile after pile of miserable reading about it is a library card away. We have not paid yet in blood for our sins since the Civil War. War is murder, the world is what it is, and good people do what they can to conduct themselves with honor, but goodness is only relative in war, and the iniquity of the fathers is visited upon the sons unto the third and fourth generation. Even were everything which the United States did in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Saudi Arabia, Congo and Zaire, Indonesia (to say nothing of domestic crimes against American citizens), entirely justified, the violence would still be revisited upon us, because the world has no solutions, only problems. It should not be controversial to say that the KGB was much, much more ruthless than the CIA, to anyone who's read history seriously, that is undeniable. But what does that matter? It's also undeniable is that Russians have paid for their crimes many times over. Has any country ever been so overdue to pay for what they've done as we are?
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