Carta abierta a Barack Obama: de Nóbel a Nóbel
BY NOBEL PRIZE WINNER ADOLFO PEREZ ESQUIVEL, BUENOS AIRES, MAY 5, 2011:
FROM NOBEL TO NOBEL
In addressing you I do it fraternally and, at the same time, to express my concern and indignation after witnessing the destruction and death caused in several nations in the name of “freedom and democracy”, two words that have been twisted and stripped of meaning, and how you end up justifying murder, which was cheered up as if you were talking about a sports event.
My indignation refers to the big celebration of this assassination by North American social sectors, chiefs of state in Europe and other countries…a murder ordered by your administration and the satisfaction in your smiling face while stating that it was “in the name of justice”.
You didn’t intend to seize and judge him for his alleged crimes, which makes us believe that your real intent was to assassinate him.
The dead are mute and fearing that Bin Laden could disclose compromising facts for the USA, you decided to kill him, ensuring his permanent silence, unaware that by doing this you have reinforced our suspicions.
When you were granted the Nobel Prize I sent you a letter which read: “Barack, I am astounded by your having been presented with the Nobel Prize, but now that you have it you must use to promote peace among nations; you have all the possibilities to do it…to end the wars and begin correcting the severe crisis in your own country and the world”.
Unfortunately, you have increased hatred and betrayed the principles you assumed during your electoral campaign, such as ending the invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq; closing the prisons in Guantanamo and Abu Graib, but you haven’t done it, quite to the contrary, you decided to start another war in Libya, backed up by NATO and the shameful resolution by UNO to support you, when this organization, diminished and weak, has lost its path and has been subjugated to the whims and interests of the dominant powers.
The foundational premise of the UNO is to defend and promote peace and dignity among nations. Its Chart begins saying: “Us, the peoples of the world…” currently ignored by this organization.
I would like to recall a mystic and teacher who has meant a great influence in my life: priest Thomas Merton of the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky, who stated: “The greater necessity of our time is to cleanse the enormous mass of mental garbage in our consciousness, which has turned public life into a mass disease. Without this domestic cleansing we will be unable to start seeing… and if we can’t see, we can’t think”.
You were very young, Barack, during the Vietnam war; maybe you don’t remember the huge opposition of the North American people to such war.
The dead, injured, and maimed in Vietnam are painful consequences…
Thomas Merton also said while analyzing a mail stamp exhibiting the legend: “el ejército norteamericano es clave para la paz” (The U.S. Army, key to peace”). No country possesses the key to anything other than war…power has nothing to do with peace. The more men are destined to the military, more destruction and violations occur.
I have shared with and accompanied Vietnam veterans, in particular Brian Wilson and his mates, all of them victims of that and all wars.
Life is unpredictable and surprising; it possesses the fragrance and beauty God gave us and must protect to ensure a fair and fraternal life for future generations; to reinstate balance in our Mother Earth.
If we don’t react and change the current situation of suicidal pride, dragging the peoples to deep corners where hope is death, it will be very hard to see the light. Mankind deserves a better fate.
You know that hope is like the flower who flourishes in mud and blossoms in all splendor exhibiting its beauty. Leopoldo Marechal, the notorious Argentine writer, used to say that “you get off the maze climbing to the top”.
I believe, Barack, that after erring the way, you find yourself within a maze, unable to find the exit and instead, you submerge deeper and deeper in violence, uncertainty…devoured by the thirst for power; dragged by the huge corporations, and the military, thinking that you possess the might to do whatever you want, and that the world must surrender to the USA, because you have the weaponry and invade countries in total impunity. This is painful reality but there is also the valiant resistance of the people who don’t yield to the greed of the dominant powers.
So huge are the atrocities perpetrated by your country that it could take a long time to discuss them; they are also a challenge to historians who would have to peer deeper to understand the behavior, the politics, the greatness and pettiness which have led North America to dominate the minds of its society preventing them to see other realities.
Bin Laden, alleged author of the attack to the Twin Towers, has been made the Satan who has terrorized the world and the USA propaganda has identified him as the “core of evil” which has served you well to wage the wars so craved by the military industry to merchandise their murderous trinkets.
Did you know that those who have investigated the painful events of September 11 have declared that such attacks were self-inflicted…the crash of a plane against the Pentagon and the evacuation of the Towers the previous day…all of it concocted to justify the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and now against Libya, based on lies and arrogance…that you are entitled to “save the peoples in the name of “freedom and the defense of democracy”, cynically stating that the deaths of women and children are “collateral damage”. I experienced all this in Iraq, in Iran, when you bombarded their cities and hospitals and a shelter for children victimized and deemed “collateral damage”.
Pronouncing a speech void of values and meaning, you dub assassination as “death” and boast that “finally, Bin Laden is “dead”. By no means, am I defending Bin Laden, as I have always been against terrorism by both, armed gangs and the government which your country exerts in several regions of the world, generating violence to maintain your control world-wide, and I wonder: if there is a “core of evil” how would you call it?
Could all of this be the reason for the fear North Americans live in…afraid of the vengeance from those dubbed as the “core of evil”…the superficiality and hypocrisy used to justify the unjustifiable.
Peace is a practice of life; the harmonic relations among peoples; it is a challenge to mankind’s consciousness; its path is difficult but hopeful; a path where people construct their own history. Peace is not something you give away…is something you build…and this is precisely what you don’t have, lad: courage to assume your historical responsibility towards your country and the world.
You cannot live immersed in a labyrinth of fear and control from those who truly rule the USA, ignoring international treaties, conventions and protocols of governments who sign but don’t comply with any agreement and hypocritically speak in the name of freedom and law.
How dare you speak of peace if you don’t want to honor your commitments, except those to benefit the USA?
How dare you talk about freedom when you keep innocent people in your prisons of Guantanamo, USA, Iraq, Abu Graib, and Afghanistan?
How dare you speak of human rights and dignity when you violate them permanently and fight all those who don’t share your ideology and, instead, must endure your abuse?
How dare you send soldiers to Haiti after a devastating earthquake, instead of sending humanitarian aid to that suffering country?
How dare you speak of freedom when you massacre the peoples in the Middle East and foster wars and torture in endless violence which hurt Palestinians and Israeli?
Barack: try to look at the top of the maze…you may find the star that guides you, even knowing you will never reach it,quoting Eduardo Galeano. Try to be consistent with what you say and do…this is the only way to avoid losing the way.
The Nobel Prize is a tool which must be used to serve the peoples, but never for personal vanity
I wish you find the strength and hope, and also wish you find the courage to mend your ways to attain wisdom and peace.
Our appreciation to Patricia Barba Avila for this translation. Also, to Camilo Perez Bustillo, Law professor at UNAM and lead Attorney for the 'International Tribunal of Conscience' Pueblos en Movimiento