By The Progressive on July 22, 2006
How Much Longer?
By Eduardo Galeano

September 2006 Issue

One country bombed two countries. Such impunity might astound were it not business as usual. In response to the few timid protests from the international community, Israel said mistakes were made.

How much longer will horrors be called mistakes?

This slaughter of civilians began with the kidnapping of a soldier.

How much longer will the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier be allowed to justify the kidnapping of Palestinian sovereignty?

How much longer will the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers be allowed to justify the kidnapping of the entire nation of Lebanon?

For centuries the slaughter of Jews was the favorite sport of Europeans. Auschwitz was the natural culmination of an ancient river of terror, which had flowed across all of Europe.

How much longer will Palestinians and other Arabs be made to pay for crimes they didn’t commit?

Hezbollah didn’t exist when Israel razed Lebanon in earlier invasions.

How much longer will we continue to believe the story of this attacked attacker, which practices terrorism because it has the right to defend itself from terrorism?

Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon: How much longer will Israel and the United States be allowed to exterminate countries with impunity?

The tortures of Abu Ghraib, which triggered a certain universal sickness, are nothing new to us in Latin America. Our militaries learned their interrogation techniques from the School of the Americas, which may no longer exist in name but lives on in effect.

How much longer will we continue to accept that torture can be legitimized?

Israel has ignored forty-six resolutions of the General Assembly and other U.N. bodies.

How much longer will Israel enjoy the privilege of selective deafness?

The United Nations makes recommendations but never decisions. When it does decide, the United States makes sure the decision is blocked. In the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. has vetoed forty resolutions condemning actions of Israel.

How much longer will the United Nations act as if it were just another name for the United States?

Since the Palestinians had their homes confiscated and their land taken from them, much blood has flowed.

How much longer will blood flow so that force can justify what law denies?

History is repeated day after day, year after year, and ten Arabs die for every one Israeli. How much longer will an Israeli life be measured as worth ten Arab lives?

In proportion to the overall population, the 50,000 civilians killed in Iraq—the majority of them women and children—are the equivalent of 800,000 Americans.

How much longer will we continue to accept, as if customary, the killing of Iraqis in a blind war that has forgotten all of its justifications?

Iran is developing nuclear energy, but the so-called international community is not concerned in the least by the fact that Israel already has 250 atomic bombs, despite the fact that the country lives permanently on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Who calibrates the universal dangerometer? Was Iran the country that dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

In the age of globalization, the right to express is less powerful than the right to apply pressure. To justify the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, war is called peace. The Israelis are patriots, and the Palestinians are terrorists, and terrorists sow universal alarm.

How much longer will the media broadcast fear instead of news?

The slaughter happening today, which is not the first and I fear will not be the last, is happening in silence. Has the world gone deaf?

How much longer will the outcry of the outraged be sounded on a bell of straw?

The bombing is killing children, more than a third of the victims.

Those who dare denounce this murder are called anti-Semites.

How much longer will the critics of state terrorism be considered anti-Semites?

How much longer will we accept this grotesque form of extortion?

Are the Jews who are horrified by what is being done in their name anti-Semites? Are there not Arab voices that defend a Palestinian homeland but condemn fundamentalist insanity?

Terrorists resemble one another: state terrorists, respectable members of government, and private terrorists, madmen acting alone or in those organized in groups hard at work since the Cold War battling communist totalitarianism. All act in the name of various gods, whether God, Allah, or Jehovah.

How much longer will we ignore that fact that all terrorists scorn human life and feed off of one another?

Isn’t it clear that in the war between Israel and Hezbollah, it is the civilians, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Israeli, who are dying?

And isn’t it clear that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the invasion of Gaza and Lebanon are the incubators of hatred, producing fanatic after fanatic after fanatic?

We are the only species of animal that specializes in mutual extermination.

We devote $2.5 billion per day to military spending. Misery and war are children of the same father.

How much longer will we accept that this world so in love with death is the only world possible? U

Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer and journalist, is author of “Open Veins of Latin America” and “Memory of Fire.” This article is published with permission of IPS Columnist Service.

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From a puny real-estate deal to campaign finance scandals, Walker's stench is in the air.

By Julia Burke
Ali Abd ElRahman believes the United States has the potential to take a leadership role in food...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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