Sometimes an audience remembers that it has already seen what it is shown - or at least dreamed it in their restless sleep.

Then it might collectively take a quiet breath, as it is now in Venice at the premiere of Paul Schrader's film “The Card Counter”.

Do we know these pictures?

Or did we just imagine it when we found out about the place and the actions that are being recreated here?

Are we responsible for them?

It is about the torture prison of Abu Ghraib and the crimes there that were made possible by the "war on terror" of the administration of the American President George W. Bush.

Schrader's film tells a player story that is actually a soldier's story. Players and soldiers are united by a strange, compulsive amalgamation of daring on the one hand and discipline on the other, between which people (and societies in war) can easily be ground up like two stones. If George W. Bush had a choice after the 9/11 attacks, he could do other things than order or allow things to get around and make sure that in some areas the West is not believed when its leaders say their troops would bring freedom and human rights? Bush often gave confused speeches and the media liked to ridicule him. Then came Obama, who gave nice speeches. Then Trump, who gave very ugly speeches. Biden followed, he is now making confused speeches again.The Taliban used to be in power in Afghanistan; in Biden they are again. What has happened in the meantime besides suffering, effort, futility?

I thought: the world is going to end

On September 11, 2001, I was sitting, a freshly arrived editor at the newspaper, in an office that was not my place of work (I hadn't been assigned one yet) and wrote the gloss to the horror live.

I watched on CNN how each new message threatened to kill the last.

I thought: the world is going to end.

It didn't, but the scariest experience in years since then is that a new world can arise without the old one dying.

The current one consists of many crises, some acute, and some chronic, which attack the ability to make judgments, break them and tear away the rubble, like a flood of mud washing furniture out of dwellings in which it never looked cozy.

Did it start on September 11th, 2001, or is it just a way of remembering it? I don't know, any more than I knew then what to write. Nevertheless, I wrote because writing is like taking a breath in the auditorium. Perhaps it has always been so difficult to judge the story that is happening, even without real-time media. But was it ever more shameful to be an audience at this trial?

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