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unamuno's words


Thinking about Iraq and what it really means for a country to evolve from a dictatorship into a democracy (in the context of writing something about how hard the next few decades will be for Iraq, even if it is able to hold elections next January), I was reading a book on Argentina's experience between 1976-82, a time of military rule that coined the grim term "disappeared", and looking for some references I found this quote by Miguel Unamuno (Spanish writer, philosopher and poet):

Callar a veces significa mentir
por que el silencio puede interpretarse como un estar de acuerdo ...”
“Yo no podría sobrevivir
a un divorcio entre mi conciencia y mi palabra.

Miguel Unamuno Lugo (1864-1936)

Which, roughly translated, reads:
To be silent sometimes means to lie
because the silence could be understood as agreement ...
I could not survive a divorce
between my conscience and my word.
Strikingly appropriate to the times we live in.

By the way, the "disappeared" in Argentina where sometimes buried under the name "N.N." which is an acronym that dates back to the Nazis. In Nazi Germany N.N. meant "Nacht und Nebel", or "Night and Fog", the cover under which these unknown people had been taken.

Something to keep in mind about the consequences of dictatorships and the rule of fear.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on October 30 2004 at 12:31 PM

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