Thursday, August 03, 2006

Even symbolic acts count 

When I go to an anti-war demonstration in the U.S. I am not under the illusion that my attendance at that march is going to end the war. Even during the Vietnam war when people marched by the millions the war dragged on for years and years. Yet, if I miss an anti-war protest I feel guilty. I am a citizen of a country at war and if I don't do what I can to speak out and make whatever little tiny protest against this war I can then I feel I am complicit in the war. Silence in the the face of a barbaric war is not acceptable.

Similarly, the Israeli attack on Lebanon that cries out for protest. The great majority of us have little ability to affect events there - but speaking out is still an imperative.

For that reason, Venezuelans can today feel very proud of their government. In a largely symbolic act they withdrew their ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel's continued attacks on a largely defenseless civilian population. Said Chavez:

"It really causes indignation to see how the state of Israel continues bombing, killing ... with all of the power they have, with the support of the United States,"

"Indignation"? That is certainly an understatement from a person well known for bombast. Nevertheless, Venezuela is standing up and making its postion known to all the world. Good for them. That more people throughout the world would have such courage.


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