Saturday, January 17, 2009

So What Exactly Do I Call You?

History has a funny way of changing names, labels, identities and realities as time goes by. A group once considered "terrorists" can morph into "freedom fighters" and "patriots" in legends and schoolbooks if the right side wins. The British, for example, considered those fighting in the American colonies upstart terrorists, but now we hail those same people as the righteous fathers (and mothers) of the United States of America.

I wonder how history will treat Hamas further down the road. Because already, almost all Arab television networks call Hamas "the resistance." Before the Gaza crisis, there was a degree of controversy about the group - but now, in the face of Israel's merciless onslaught against Gaza, there is a general consensus in the Arab World about Hamas's role as fighters for justice and liberators from oppression.

Also interesting to see will be how history treats Israelis who speak out against Israel's policies regarding Palestinians, including what some are calling the Israeli army's genocide in Gaza.

What got me thinking about all of this was Valkyrie, the Tom Cruise movie about life at the end of the German Reich. The film is about the German resistance against Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. It's fascinating to see how those trying to undermine Hitler were vilified at the time, whereas now they are honored.

There were fifteen German attempts on Hitler's life while he was in power. Fifteen. And we hardly know anything about them, or more importantly the people behind them, because of how thoroughly they were crushed by the Nazis. But it's at least somewhat heartening to know that history gave those resisters some recognition for their efforts a few decades down the road.

I wonder how history will treat the "terrorists" and/or "resistance fighters" we find in all parts of today's world, from China to Spain, later on.

Until we find out, I guess we can entertain ourselves by watching a bunch of Tom Cruise films. Here's the trailer for Valkyrie. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered this myself. Several German offciers tried to blow themselves up with Hitler, potentially becoming the world's first suicide bombers. But in the west we treat Islamist suicide bomber as contemptable cowards. The only difference perhaps is the target, a destructive maniac on one side and innocents on the other. Always remember, the victors write the history.