July 10, 2008

Better "a second of freedom...than an eternity of slavery."

French philosopher André Glucksmann writes an eloquent tribute to Ingrid Betancourt...

....From the outset, Betancourt has congratulated the Colombian army and President Álvaro Uribe for the military operation that saved her. She praised not only its impeccable success but also—as she deliberately pointed out—its daring, for any military operation risked going awry for some unforeseen reason and leading to the execution of the hostages, as has sometimes happened in earlier attempts. Unlike her family members—who, she is careful to emphasize, have always so feared losing her that they distrusted and criticized Uribe’s adventurism and militarism—Betancourt congratulates the Colombian president. To be sure, Operation Checkmate could well have ended in bloodshed; but Betancourt had long wished for it, ready to face death if necessary. This had become a matter of principle for her. Better, she said, “a second of freedom,” even deadly freedom, than an eternity of slavery. She had attempted five escapes, and in retribution the guerilla fighters had chained her up by the neck. “I always avoided imagining my wife’s living conditions,” her husband said. “Now I know she lived like a dog.”

Betancourt’s choice, which she has proclaimed loud and clear since her first breaths of free air, is the result of mature reflection: rather the possibility of a bloody outcome than the life of a dog. She does not tell us that anything is better than death; she says rather that freedom is worth any price....

('course he doesn't mention that she considers her release a miracle of the Virgin Mary... but hey, he's a Philosophe. His perspective is a bit limited.)

Posted by John Weidner at July 10, 2008 9:40 PM
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