Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The New Hitler Is Bush

When an astronaut was asked how he saw the Earth from the moon, he responded: "Fragile." He also noted that no divisions could be seen between nations. Life, the greatest flowering of evolution, is threatened today and there is great urgency to take care of it, says Leonardo Boff.I congratulate all of you gathered at a peace congress in Berlin and as I have been officially asked to send you a message since I couldn’t be present, I’m sending this: Just as at one time the cause of the wars was Hitler, now the cause of the wars is Bush. In a conference like yours it would be hypocritical not to say it.Bush has stated that he does not rule out the use of any weapon. And therefore, not even nuclear ones. In fact, he has used arms of mass destruction to fight non existing arms of mass destruction in Iraq. US author Noam Chomsky has stated that the greatest State terrorism is that practiced by the United States. Before, Martin Luther King had said that his government was the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world. The United States has invaded countries 216 times (including mine, Nicaragua). A long time ago, Mark Twain said his country’s flag should remain the same but with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by skulls and cross-bones. Bush has turned even worse, because the president has put himself above the Constitution and above national and international law.The governments of Europe should demand the United States to submit a report on its secret prisons in Europe and on using European airports to transfer prisoners to countries where torture is a routine, as has been denounced by several US papers. The Washington Post itself has reported that there are secret US prisons in eight foreign countries.Amnesty International has talked about the US Gulags stating that one of those Gulags is the Guantanamo Base. There all human rights and all international laws are violated; a territory where the United States has no right to be and where even the right to visit is illegal.In Guantanamo, one of the interrogators told a teenager named Mohamed: "This camp is for those who are going to be here forever. Don’t think that you will ever return to your home. You will be here for the rest of your life. Don’t worry; we will keep you alive so that you can suffer more." The young man responded: "Before, I had hope. Now that I am at Guantanamo I’ve lost all hope." (I took this statement from a US Catholic worker).In Guantanamo there have been hundreds of suicide attempts (350 during the first year and a half) which authorities insist on calling: "Manipulative actions to hurt oneself."The United States has a new Gestapo. I’ve been there and many people are aware of it. However, many are either not aware, or are in agreement with it, just as occurred in Germany many years ago. The churches are also responsible because of their silence.The world should not continue to tolerate this, nor should the secrecy or silence continue. At the beginning of the Nuremberg Tribunals a US prosecutor, Judge Robert Jackson, declared that to avoid that these crimes occur, government leaders had to be held responsible. I say the same should happen with Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Bremen and others. I think they should be tried in Nuremberg.The war in Iraq is a prolonged war crime. What’s worse is that many other countries are also threatened. As a Latin American, I raise my voice in defense of Cuba and in defense of Venezuela, both seriously threatened (and Cuba being subjected to the longest economic blockade in history).We don’t deny that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are satanic, but agree that both were created by the United States during its conflict with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. I am in agreement with Gunter Grass in that "terrorism can only be fought with more economic justice."There is a psalm that says: "Justice and peace will kiss." It’s because justice and peace go together. There’s no justice without peace and no peace without justice. Our weapon against war is humanism, because as Marti said, "Homeland is Humanity." War is a major threat to this planet and the solar system. And the human race is a species threatened by extinction.I end by joining German theologian Karl Rahner in saying that the human body is sacred. It is sacred because it was created by God, as all the religions on Earth profess, and God created all of its functions, including its sexuality. And besides, we Christians believe that in the human body the Word was made flesh. We defend peace and justice and defend the human body.


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