Saturday, October 22, 2011


These were the two significant images that greeted the start of my day: on one hand the picture of a man bloodied and bruised, who once stood before a nation he had ruled for more than forty years, now as helpless as a dog surrounded by a pack baying for blood. Another photo showed the same man lifeless and left on the street, defenseless against the merciless gaze of passersby. On the other hand was the picture of a composed group of three men, their anonymity safeguarded by the white masks that they wore, topped by the traditional Basque boina, announcing that their terrorist group, responsible for the loss of three hundred lives, have decided to definitely put an end their violent use of arms to push for their nationalist cause. Surely the news of Muamad Gadhafi’s capture and gruesome death and the announcement of the Basque terrorist group ETA have cause a stir as they made it to the news, but does it mean really something. I was looking at the news this evening and it occurred to me that the end of conflict doesn’t necessarily mean the start of peace. Libya has got a long struggle to endure before it finally gets rid of Gadhafi’s ghost; getting rid of a dictator doesn’t immediately guarantee peace and order to a country that has been divided for more than eight months by warfare. Either it begins the long journey to democracy (I don’t believe that democracy fixes a lot of things by itself), or it spirals down to more anarchy, leaving it worse than before. The ETA has left off arms, but does that spell out peace for the loved ones of those whom they have killed, murders for which they haven’t even showed the slightest remorse? What guarantee of peace does it spell out for us who live within reach of the Basque country?

These images are momentary, fleeting phantasms in the quest for a peace that still remains as elusive as ever.

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