Worth a Thousand Words… and Two Thousand Sorrows

It’s interesting, although I normally agree with The New York Times Columnist Thomas L. Friedman, I can’t this time, with his article Worth a Thousand Words.

I do share the sentiments of horror looking at that picture, the sames I have had each time I see a kid the age of my daughters slaughter by American troops – of course, they did not mean to, but that’s why war is just wrong, because you do “things you did not mean to”-.

But, that’s not the issue now.

You say that the insurgent is just the sunny who want to keep tyranizing Iraq. We don’t know who the insurgents are, and we don’t have any reason to believe that the insurgents are just sunnies, or that they had any previous access to Iraq’s oil.

We do know, though, that when Saddam was our man we supported his killings.

Also, we are trying to impose elections on the iraqui people, because America still believes that Western values and processes are the only ones valid in the world, and that everyone has to agree with them. That comes from assuming that Democracy as we know it here, is a ahistorical thing, is a God-given. That’s a false premise, though, as you well know. Democracy has a historicity, as Islam has one, as Christianity has one, as our legal system has one. So, why do we assume that Iraquies want elections Western style?

I’m certain that they do not want people being killed, that much I agree with you.

But, I’m from Cuba, and I can’t help wondering how would I feel if, to “liberate” my country, US decides to conquer it (shall we say “again”?) and in the process kills my mother and brothers who are there? In short, when did it happen that it was ok to kill your way to democracy?

The ones organizing the elections, and the democratic process in Iraq have a lot at stake, and are aspiring to more power after the fact, they are very westernized, etc. But, what about the rest?

The other problem is that, as you well know, the power is the one that gets to name the terror: so now the insurgents in Iraq are terrorist, while the ones that US was supporting in Nicaragua were freedom fighters.

On the other hand, if a group of insurgents were meeting in a house in Mosul to organize an antielection rally: what do you think the US army would do to them?

They are also fighting, and the elections and its organizing process may not be considered legitimate by everyone in Iraq, so they are opposing them… and probably they took a page from our play book: the ends justify the means. Wasn’t that the rational for going to war?


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