Why are we not happy?

A senior al-Qaeda leader, Abu Laith al-Libi, has been killed in Afghanistan, the BBC reported a few days ago. Such news does not make happy. Why? Well, think about it. It is conceivable that sometimes war or police action is inescapable. If that’s the case, then sometimes the use of force is necessary. This is conceivable. But when you then actually kill somebody, because extreme circumstances necessitate it, it is still nauseating.

We are not now considering whether the present situation is serious enough to warrant war. We repeat that war was the wrong reaction to 9/11. The adoption of correct socio-economic policies coupled to education and massive direct development of poor countries is the right answer. But if anyone sincerely believes that war was necessary, then still it should worry us whenever somebody is killed. An estimated one million Iraqi’s have been killed! We cannot rejoice over any death, even if it is a so-called ‘terrorist’ killed in a so-called ‘just war’.

There are no just wars

Wars may be necessary, or inescapable as a last resort. Even that can be disputed. But wars are never ‘just’. They are always unjust and when as a consequence of necessary military action someone has been killed, we should ask forgiveness. A news item should run something like this: ‘The US army (or Al-Queda) regrets to have to inform the public that during military action it was necessary to take the life of X’. This we never hear. We only hear regret and mourning when someone on our own side has died. If this is not clear, we cannot express it any other way.

In today’s video Fidel Castro quite rightly remarks that Cuba’s so-called terrorism was always answered with counter-terrorism. The same thing, in other words. So while denying the charge, he concludes that at least the Cuban revolutionaries must be given credit for having been ‘effective terrorists’. This goes to show that all this rhetoric about terrorism is flawed. Anybody using violent means in Cuba now to overthrow the Cuban government is branded a ‘terrorist’ or ‘traitor’ by Fidel himself, not a ‘revolutionary’. So what’s the difference? This whole concept of ‘war on terrorism’ will get us nowhere. Nowhere at all. Hopefully it will end soon.

There is a better way

There is a much better way. The Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá is absolutely right in insisting that the transition to democracy be peaceful, the result of logical dialogue among the Cubans themselves. There should be no foreign military intervention. The outside world can help, but only financially, economically and intellectually. We can engage in discussion, point to solutions and lead by example. But violence will be counter-productive.

ARCO looks forward to welcoming Cuba into the free world. We want Cuba to take its rightful place as the Caribbean leader, both ethically and politically. But this will have to come about by peaceful means. There is a plan….