The Guardian October 17, 2001


Granma Editorial: The war has begun

The following is the editorial published by Granma following the 
bombing and missile attacks by British and American planes and ships on 
Afghanistan:

On October 7 the war began. Or rather, the military attack on Afghanistan 
began. The word "war" suggests a conflict between two more or less equal 
parties, in which the weakest has at least a minimum amount of technical, 
financial and economic resources with which to defend itself. But in this 
case, one of the sides has absolutely nothing. But let's call it a war 
anyway. That's what the person who ordered the military operations called 
it.

This is really a singular kind of war. An entire country has been converted 
into a proving ground for the most modern weapons ever invented. The 
specialists and experts in research centres and military workshops who 
spent billions of dollars to create instruments of death will follow every 
detail of how their sinister creatures have performed.

No matter what the pretext, this is a war with the most sophisticated 
technology aimed at people who don't know how to read or write; a war of a 
US$20 trillion annual Gross Domestic Product versus a country that produces 
1,000 times less; a war that will be transformed, for economic, cultural 
and religious reasons, into a war of the former colonisers versus the 
formerly colonised, of the most developed versus the least developed, of 
the richest versus the poorest, of those who call themselves civilised 
versus those who the "civilised" consider backward and savage.

It's not a war against terrorism, which could and should be defeated by 
other more effective, rapid and lasting means available to us; it is a war 
in favour of terrorism, whose military operations will make it more 
complicated and more difficult to eradicate terrorism. A cure worse than 
the disease.

Now we will be showered with news about bombs, missiles, air attacks; 
movements of armoured vehicles filled with troops of ethnicities allied 
with the invaders; aerial landings and movements of the attacking 
countries' elite ground troops; occupation of cities, even the capital, in 
a relatively short time; whatever television footage is permitted by the 
censors or leaked despite them.

The battles will be against the natives of that country and not the 
terrorists. There are no battalions or armies of terrorists. This is a 
sinister method and concept of fighting a phantom.

The events mentioned here will be accompanied by triumphalism, chauvinist 
exaltations, boasting, bragging and other expressions of arrogance and of a 
supposed cultural and racial superiority.

Then comes the great question: will the resistance end, will all the 
antagonism disappear, or will the real war begin, the one defined as long 
and interminable? We are sure that this is the biggest question that those 
who pride themselves on having launched this irresponsible war must ask 
themselves today.

Millions of refugees have fanned out everywhere, and the worst times are 
yet to come. We await the course of events.

Once again, we will see hesitation and panic in the world. Later, as the 
foreseeable problems present themselves, there will be a raised awareness 
and a universal rejection of the war that has just begun. Sooner or later, 
even US citizens, impacted today by the horrible tragedy, will understand 
that.

We will continue to fight with all our strength for the only possible 
solution  the cessation of military operations and the eradication of 
terrorism through co-operation and the support of all countries, the 
unanimous repudiation and condemnation of international public opinion, 
under the leadership of the United Nations.

Back to index page