As Remote as the Trojan War

Dariela Aquique

Trojan Horse by Domenico Tiepolo (1773) -

Readers definitely help me improve my wordsmithing craft. I always create new commentaries based on a few firmly held positions that I’m offered by them. So, accepting the challenge, let’s pick up on a new controversy – let’s talk about Troy.

In a previous post I referred to the killing of Muamuar Al Gadhafi and I was criticized for not discussing the role of NATO enough. Then I talked more about NATO and I was chided for not citing Angola. Although it should be a matter of interpretation, we continue this cycle of pulling rabbits out of the hat.

From the time of the eclogues of Homer, people have spoken about wars in which people died in foreign lands in the name of “causes” that were as alien to them as the foreign battlefields on which they fell.

According to ancient legend, some kings and warriors from distant regions allied to go to war against Troy, but only to show their loyalty to the Spartan king Menelaus and to make amends for insults made against him by Troy’s Prince Paris.

Because of this, both young Achilles and Patroclus lost their lives in foreign lands and Penelope spent twenty years waiting for her beloved Ulysses to return, all for a war that had nothing to do with them.

In this same way, today thousands of children are left without their parents, wives without their husbands and mothers without their children, all because of war and political confederations between nations of allied interests. Just as those armies once came from Ithaca, Crete or the port of Nafplion, today we can see Spanish, French, British and US troops invading every corner of the Middle East in the name of democracy.

This, my dear friends, is nonsense. But now that it’s clear that NATO’s actions are the modern equivalent of the Trojan War, let’s turn to the role of the Cuban army in the war in Angola.

The difference, if any (?), lies only in the fact that here they fought on the side of the attacked and not the aggressor. Nevertheless, the combativeness was absolutely indifferent and indeed must have resulted in widows and orphans being left with nothing more than medals and sentimental letters of official condolence.

Nothing justifies one nation invading another or the interference of any third party, whatever the pretext. But history proves otherwise, there will always be those who brandish arguments for intervention in conflicts, or how do explain the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War?

I hope this question raises interesting comments. I’ll give my opinion in advance: neither gnosis nor anything else will ever be enough for me to understand why human beings engage in death.

The Cubans in Angola, the Brigades in Spain and NATO in Libya (understanding that these three were all quite different) were all wars far removed from their homelands, as removed and remote as the Trojan War.

2 thoughts on “As Remote as the Trojan War

  • The history of Angola does not end with the end of Apartheid in South Africa. The victims of greed and corruption in Angola are black. The same goes for Zimbabwe. Angola’s government routinely returns desperate refugees to the DR of Congo.
    There is still a history that has given the Angolan people one of the most corrupt leaders in Africa. John, what are you planning to do about it? (Clearly, the Cuban government is not planning to do anything about it.)
    The same nothing you seem to advocate when Gaddafi planned a massacre in Benghazi?
    What about Dachau? Was it wrong in spite of all the racism back in the USA for the US Army to liberate the inmates of Dachau as clearly their presence in occupied Germany prevented the advance of what Grady and you John would call socialism.

  • Dariela,
    There are wars and there are wars.

    Cuba fought against a racist South Africa not only to defend (black) Angolans from those racists but to defeat U.S aggression and the U.S long term foreign policy objective of preventing socialism and democracy.

    That was a worthy cause, a noble cause .

    Nato led by the U.S took out Qadaffi for far less noble reasons: to maintain U.S hegemony in Africa, to keep Qadaffi from unifying African countries and preventing neo-colonialist exploitation.

    Qadaffi led a country in which the oil profits were spent in providing the highest Human Development Index in Africa contrary to what the capitalists do with their oil profits.
    Even Libya’s totalitarian state socialism was unacceptable to the U.S. and for the same reasons the U.S has waged its 50+ year war against Cuba.

    Were those who fought and died at Playa Giron wrong to defend the revolution?

    Would their widows and children be better off if they stayed home?

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