April 30, 1997
Just a short week ago we were all treated on TV with what the New York Times, in its April 24 Editorial, defined as an "astonishing feat", the "justifiable rescue" of the hostages in the Japanese embassy in Lima, the capital of Peru. The triumph of law and order over a bunch of terrorists - worse, Marxist terrorists - who were playing soccer in the residence's living-room "should help to deter future terrorist attacks", the Times carries on in its usual moralizing tone (by the way, what's the size of the living-room in your nice and cozy suburban home?). A small blimp passing through the News with a subliminal message saying: You can go back to sleep, GOOD people; we've dealt a huge blow to the BAD people out there; next time, they'll think twice before deciding to disturb your so-well-deserved comfort. As the Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimori, said, Democracy will survive. And, like the Bolivians did with Che Guevara, 30 years ago, the Fujimori Administration went on to bury the remains of the terrorists in unmarked graves in various cemeteries around the city. We don't want to create martyrs, do we? Funny, today, the Swiss watch maker, Swatch, sell watches featuring Che's image. From terrorist he's become a rebel, like James Dean, but with a cause. Another astonishing feat of capitalism...
Anyway, law and order has triumphed and Democracy will survive, which, in other words, means that our financial investments in Peru are back on tract, secured and, yes, profitable. So, relax, be relieved; indeed you can go back to sleep!
Meantime, in Peru, the democratic constitution has been suspended since 1992 and Congress dissolved - in the name of Democracy, of course. Almost fifty percent of the population live in poverty and about 3.8 million people (total population is 24 million), especially in the "High Plains", are by all standards completely destitute. Actually, poverty has increased since Fujimori came to power in 1990. Would this be another feat, by any chance?
Yea, have a good night! Just don't snore too much. And don't hold your breath either. The probabilities of such a feat to help deter future violence is close to zero.
Afterthought: Perhaps the Times could suggest sending Powell, Clinton, Bush, Carter and other luminaries down there to discourse on the soothing merits of volunteerism, our tool of the day to fight poverty.