in THE AGE OF EMPIRE
How Much Longer?
Uruguayan writer and journalist,
author of "Open Veins of Latin America" and "Memory of
28 July 2006
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Those who dare denounce this murder are called
How much longer will the critics of state terrorism be
How much longer will we accept this grotesque form of
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
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
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
We are the only species of animal that specializes in
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?