Gabriel García Márquez: "How does it feel?" (hoax)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Do you know that between 1824 and 1994 your country carried out 73 invasions in countries of Latin America? The victims were Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands, El Salvador, Guatemala and Grenada. [...] What does fear feel like? How does it feel, Yank, knowing that on September 11th the long war finally reached your home?" --"Gabriel García Márquez: "How does it feel?" (hoax)"

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"How does it feel?" is a text on the motives for the September 11 attacks attributed to Gabriel García Márquez, but in reality a hoax. Márquez denied having written this open letter to George W. Bush in "La Jornada".

This hoax is cited twice by Kishore Mahbubani, once in Beyond the Age of Innocence (2005) and once in Has the West Lost It? A Provocation (2018).

As of September 2018, there is no printed account of this hoax, internet sources speak of Marquez denying having written "un panfleto" (a pamphlet) that is "mal escrito" (badly written) in "La Jornada".

Full text

translation: Marion Marshrons

Letter to George W. Bush on September 11

How does it feel? How does it feel now that horror is erupting in your own yard and not in your neighbour’s living room? What is it like to feel the fear pressing down on your chest, the panic caused by the deafening noise, to see the flames burning out of control, the buildings collapsing, to experience the terrible smell penetrating to the depths of the lungs, and to see the eyes of the innocent walking around covered in blood and dust?

What does it feel like to spend a day in your own home not knowing what is going to happen next? How is it possible to emerge from the state of shock? On 6 August 1945 the survivors of Hiroshima were walking around in a state of shock. No part of the city was left standing after the bomb was dropped by the American artillery from the Enola Gay. In a few seconds 80,000 men, women and children had died. Another 250,000 were to die from radiation in the years to come. But that was a distant war and television did not even exist.

What does the horror feel like today when the terrible television pictures tell you that the events of that fateful September 11th did not take place in a distant land but in your own country? On another September 11th, 28 years earlier, a president by the name of Salvador Allende died resisting a coup d’état planned by the leaders of your country. That was also a time of horror but it was taking place many, many miles away from your borders in a small and obscure South American republic. Those republics were in your own back yard but you were never very concerned when your marines set off with all guns blazing to impose your point of view.

Do you know that between 1824 and 1994 your country carried out 73 invasions in countries of Latin America? The victims were Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands, El Salvador, Guatemala and Grenada.

The rulers of your country have been at war for almost a century. Since the beginning of the 20th century, there has been almost no war in which the people from your Pentagon have not been involved. Of course, the bombs always explode outside your territory, with the exception of Pearl Harbour when the Japanese bombed the Seventh Fleet in 1941. But the horror was still far away.

When the Twin Towers collapsed into dust, when you saw the TV pictures or heard the screams because you happened to be in Manhattan that morning, did you think for a second about how the peasants of Vietnam must have felt for so many years? In Manhattan, people fell from the heights of the skyscrapers like tragic puppets. In Vietnam, people screamed out in pain because napalm goes on burning the skin for a long time and their deaths were equally as dreadful as the deaths of those who leapt into the void in desperation.

Your air force did not leave a single factory standing or bridge undestroyed in Yugoslavia. In Iraq, 500,000 people died. Half a million souls were taken by Operation Desert Storm... How many people have bled to death in distant exotic places such as Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Angola, Somalia, Congo, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Sudan? The list goes on... In all those places, the bullets used were made in your country’s factories and were fired by your boys, by people paid by your State Department, and just so that you could carry on enjoying the American way of life.

For almost a century, your country has been at war with the entire world. Curiously, your leaders turn to the horsemen of the Apocalypse in the name of freedom and democracy. But you must know that for many peoples of the world (on this planet where every day 24,000 people die from hunger or curable diseases), the United States does not represent freedom but a distant terrible enemy who only sows war, hunger, fear and destruction. For you those military conflicts have taken place far away but for those who live there, a war in which buildings collapse under the bombing and people die a terrible death is a painful reality that is taking place right next to them. And 90% of the victims have been civilians, women, old people and children – “collateral damage”.

What is it like when horror knocks on your door, albeit for a single day? How does it make you feel when the victims in New York are secretaries, stock market traders or cleaners who pay their taxes on time and have never killed a fly?

What does fear feel like? How does it feel, Yank, knowing that on September 11th the long war finally reached your home?

Gabriel García Márquez

translation: Marion Marshrons

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gabriel García Márquez: "How does it feel?" (hoax)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools