Thursday, February 10, 2005

Galeano On Salgado: 12

From Eduardo Galeano's "Salgado, 17 Times":
12. I have spent five minutes searching for words as I gaze at a blank sheet of paper. In those five minutes, the world spent ten million dollars on armaments and one hundred and sixty children starved to death or died of curable illness. That is to say, during my five minutes of reflection, the world spent ten million dollars on armaments in order that one hundred and sixty children could be murdered with utter impunity in the war of wars, the most silent, the most undeclared war, the war that goes by the name of peace.

Bodies out of concentration camps. Auschwitzes of hunger. A system for purification of the species? Aimed at the "inferior races" (which reproduce like rabbits), starvation is used instead of gas chambers. And for the same price, a method of population control. The epoch of peace by fear was ushered in with the atom bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For want of world wars, starvation checks population explosion. Meanwhile, new bombs police the hungry. A human being can die only once, as far as we know, but the number of nuclear bombs currently stockpiled provides the option of killing everyone twelve times.

Sick with the plague of death, this world that eradicates the hungry instead of hunger produces food enough for all of humanity and more. Yet, some die of starvation and others of overeating. To guarantee that the usurpation of bread shall endure, there are twenty five times as many soldiers as doctors in the world. Since 1980, the poor countries have increased military spending while expenditures for public health were cut back by half.

An African economist, Davison Budhoo, resigned from the International Monetary Fund. In his farewell letter he wrote: "There has been too much blood, as you know. It runs in rivers. It has befouled me completely. I sometimes feel that there isn't soap enough in the world to wash away what I have done in your name".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It kills me whenever I hear someone simply dismiss that disasters, calamities, wars, accidents, hunger, and disasters are god's way of reducing the population.

It sends chills on my spine and once I asked someone -- if one of those "disasters" happened in front of us and took me away, would you say, it was just one of god's way of reducing the population?


5:55 pm  

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