By Oriana Fallaci : from her book The Rage and The Pride

Stars and stripes

I am profoundly linked to her. America is for me a husband, a lover, to whom I shall always remain loyal and faithful notwith­standing his defects. (And provided that he does not cuckold me with some unforgivable betrayal). I care for my husband, my lover. I like his impu­dence, his courage, his optimism. I adore his genia­lity, his ingenuity, his trust in himself and in the fu­ture. I compliment the respect he has for common people and for the wretched, the ugly, the dejected. I envy the infinite patience with which he bears the offenses and the slanders. I praise the marve­lous dignity and even humility with which he faces his incomparable success, I mean the fact that in only two centuries he has become the absolute winner. The archetype that both in the Good and in the Evil we all want to follow or to imitate. The lifebuoy to which we resort or ask for help.

And I never forget that, hadn’t this husband de­feated Hitler, today I would speak German. Had he not held back the Soviet Union, today I would speak Russian… Finally, I admire his undisputed and indisputable generosity. For instance the one he shows when I arrive in New York, I hand him my Italian passport with the U.S. Residence-Card, and the Customs Officer says: “Welcome home”. It seems to me, such a fine gesture of unselfishness, bounteousness.

It reminds me that America has always been the Refugium Peccatorum, the orpha­nage, of the people without a country. Without a patria, without a home, a mother.

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