in aN ASYMMETRIC Multi Lateral World
How Much Longer?
Uruguayan writer and journalist,
author of “Open Veins of Latin America” and “Memory of Fire.”
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 made.
How much longer will horrors be called mistakes?
This slaughter of civilians began with the kidnapping of a
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
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
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
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
How much longer will we continue to accept that torture can be
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
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
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
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
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
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
Those who dare denounce this murder are called anti-Semites.
How much longer will the critics of state terrorism be
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
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
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?