quarta-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2005

Antes e agora

"The very word 'guerrilla' acquired its present meaning from the ferocious insurgency of the illiterate Spanish poor against their would-be liberators under the leadership of their traditional oppressors.

On July 6, 1808, King Joseph of Spain presented a draft constitution that for the first time in Spain's history offered an independent judiciary, freedom of the press, and the abolition of the remaining feudal privileges of the aristocracy and the church. … Yet the Spanish peasantry did not rise up to demand the immediate implementation of the constitution. Instead, they obeyed the priests, who summoned them to fight against the ungodly innovations of the foreign invader – for Joseph was the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte and had been placed on the Spanish throne by French troops a month earlier. That was all that mattered for most Spaniards – not what was proposed, but who proposed it."

The same thing happened in Naples, where a "Holy Faith" militia organized by Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo rose up against the Napoleonic "liberators" and paved the way for the British massacre of local French-supported liberals. It didn't matter to the insurgents that the Roman Catholic faith was enshrined in the Napoleonic constitution – the illiterate peasants who resisted "liberation" couldn't know that and wouldn't have cared if they did. As Luttwak says, what mattered was "not what was proposed, but who proposed it."

Like the Spanish and Italian peasants who were urged to resist Napoleon's occupation by their priests, the Iraqi people are listening to their clerics, who are telling them that foreigners are crusading against their religion, stealing their resources, and violating their women. In Germany and Japan, the elites collaborated with the Allies to effect a transformation of the political structure, and the people, with a long (if not entirely untroubled) history of parliamentary government behind them, were not in irreconcilable opposition. The situation is quite different in Iraq. In short, there can be no Iraqi democracy in any recognizably Western sense of the term due to the acute shortage of democrats."

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