Thursday, August 10, 2006

The ordinary madness

There is nothing better than hear about a global plot to explode ten or so planes mid-air the day before you have to take a plane yourself. Really, it's so relaxing. Especially when your own father, a man usually level headed and absolutely impermeable to mass hysteria, calls you in the office wondering if you are really sure about wanting to take a plane the day after, that the day after it's the 11th (recurrent date for terrorist attacks) and that if there were some side cells around Europe, now that their plan has been discovered, they'd probably divert on secondary, probably less tightly controlled, airports like the one I'm departing from.

Madness. Which is becoming so usual, as I remember my mom's fear last year when my brother did fly to Egypt a few days after a devastating series of bombs at Sharm el Sheik and the reccomendations of my friends to be careful in London's subway months after the bombs of last July.

Then, you get emails from a mailing list where supposedly the majority of people are intelligent international professional working for UN agencies and where someone, from the country which suffered those metro bombs and that would had probably had more than 2.000 innocent civilian casualties within the coming hours had the police hadn't done its work, wrote, in order to condemn the operate of Americans (and I suppose Israelis too):

"The great allied leaders of the fight against fascism in World War II understood that success in the war effort also required success in winning the confidence and trust of the world. Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the United States into World War II on the basis of defending four freedoms, not just the freedom from fear, but also the freedoms of speech and belief and, crucially, the freedom from want. His stirring words resonate today:

In the future days, we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings, which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, trasnslated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor - anywhere in the world."

Madness, again. And so ordinary, as it comes more and more often that the thoughts of the past are quoted to demonstrate exactly the oposite point those thoughts were expressed for.

The funny thing, in fact, is that the writer sees these words as a prophetic condemn of the american/english commitment in middle east, while if you actually read it, they sound more like a posthumous endorsement of Bush's policy to bring such freedoms in places where they were definitely unheard of (Iraq and Afghanistan), even using force if necessary, exactly as Roosevelt did, after having pronounced those words, to Germany, Italy and Japan.

In fact, those words were pronounced in January 1941, one year before the americans got involved in WWII and forcefully brought democracy to Italy, Germany and Japan. I think Roosevelt would turn in his tomb to hear such words used to basically endorse a police of appeasement with the undemocratic regimes of today's' world, regimes were most, if not all, those freedoms are denied to the very root.

Anyway, supposing my plane will not explode mid-air on the way to Berlin or back, I will be leaving tomorrow and will be back in 10 days.

Now, given that, somehow, I doubt I shall have the chance of writing while there, to all my friends and casual or accidental reader one heatfelt wish: have some nice summer days!

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