Tag Archives: humanitarianism

Mario Vargas Llosa’s Iraq Chronicles

 

War Trophies - español

Santiago Alba Rico

Translation: David Brookbank, Machetera & Manuel Talens

(From the book “Crimes of War” published by the Committee in Solidarity with the Arab Cause, which includes the report written by brigade members about civilian victims.)

 

Sometimes things are so simple that one allows oneself to be carried away by discouragement; they are so simple and function with so few elements that there is no way to change them.  The worst that can be said about relationships of domination – conjugal, economic or colonial – is that they enormously simplify the mental universe of those involved, reducing it to the two perfect pieces of evidence that have accompanied and legitimized forceful triumph for thousands of years: the superiority of the victor and the inferiority of the vanquished.

In part for reasons of pedantry and in part out of superstition – and with the hope of increasing the fragility of the scenario by exaggerating its complexity – I have searched over much time for more complex and elaborate similarities with more ramifications.  But I give up.   Everything is so simple that it will endure, so plain that it will not fall apart: every one of those gestures that we call “Western,” each and every one of its parliaments and chatter, its toys, its depressions, its newspapers, its shopping baskets, its values, each one of its Christmas decorations and each of its electro-domestics, presuppose and reinforce the most simple and virtuous contempt for everyone else; the most generous, friendly, genuine and proper minimization of the Other; the sweetest, most intelligent, and most moderate negation of our neighbor.   Continue reading