O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quinta-feira, dezembro 11, 2003

It Is Time to Wake Up

Este artigo do Arab News insta os árabes a aperceberem-se que os americanos não são os seus piores inimigos. Longe disso...

It is becoming clearer by the day that if we want to lead a happy and tranquil life, reclaim our true identity, bring up our children to be good and educated citizens, invest in our natural resources in a way that is "normal", build up a country at peace with itself and others, we need help. There is nothing wrong with admitting that. It takes away nothing from our past nor does it cloud our future.

As it is, we admit to a certain gap as we go about our daily lives: When we fly in an American-built aircraft, we bow to American technological superiority. When we turn on a Walkman, we nod to Japanese knowledge. When we ride in a Mercedes, we accept German know-how. When we douse ourselves in French cologne, we accept that our ancient secrets of "perfumed Arabia" have been bettered. Even when we see a non-Saudi cleaning our streets we are put to shame by those willing to actually work for a living in this life.

So what is wrong with subscribing to Pax Americana? In other words, what is wrong with peace on American terms? Every major power in human history, including Arab and Muslim, has imposed its version of peace on the nations of the world. A decade ago, we asked them to come and help. What has changed? They have always had a tangible presence in our land: They dug the oil out of the sand, they stationed their men here, they sold us arms, they helped open up the closed deserts, they kept the Soviets at bay, and even gave our students diplomatic visas to go study in their country. Are we afraid that they might rob us of our resources? Surely you don't need an army to get Bechtel and Halliburton fat contracts. They, and many others, are already here and have built us some rather nice edifices. If they can do the same for Iraq, why not? The Soviets, and now their heirs the Russians, are asking for debt payments from Iraq. In terms of money, they demand more than the Americans do. In achievements, they delivered nothing. It is time to wake up. The passion aroused by the sight of an invading army into an Arab land is history now. Those who face reality have a chance of affecting change and marching alongside history. Those who keep up the emotional denial will end up regressing. We as Arabs should know. Bin Laden and his ilk do not have the right to speak for us nor dictate who stays and who leaves the Arabian Peninsula. Not an inch should be conceded to that lunatic and his misguided followers. He has sent them to their deaths while he (and/or those who survive him) dictate from the caves of Afghanistan.

America, like any other country in the world, has its agenda. That is normal. It is also normal to dispute and resist that agenda if it is not favorable to our needs. But today we face an existential problem that precedes such finer points of political science. The Americans have never interfered with our religion or our institutions. If Bin Laden and his Talibanesque clique are the alternative, then we face the reality of having our books and tapes burned, our daughters not going to school, our education monopolized by the aphorisms of a certain creed, even our dress and diet controlled in a way that would make the ex-Soviet Gulags look like the Ritz. We will remain blind consumers who risk going back to tents when the oil runs out. How many of us look forward to that?

posted by Miguel Noronha 9:53 da manhã

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

mail: migueln@gmail.com