Saturday, April 12, 2003

Hitting the nail on the head

This columnist really says it all.

Here's a portion of that column which speaks volumes. To wit:

"There’s almost nothing you can’t get away with doing to an American. Take away his health insurance and he’s likely to fall to his knees in gratitude. You can tell him to his face that you’re pulling funding for his kids’ schools in order to bail out some millionaire stockbroker in Connecticut who overbet the peso–and he not only won’t get mad, he’ll swell up with pride and burst out singing the "Star-Spangled Banner." You can even steal his pension and gamble it away in Vegas, and the most he’ll do is sulk a little.

In those rare cases when an American gets mad, what he usually does is wait four years to vote for an identical candidate. Push him a little farther over the edge, and he may flirt with a hopeless third-party politician or write a sarcastic letter to the New York Times. And when he becomes disconsolate, when he finally decides to take to the streets, look out–because now he’s a real threat–standing in some park or other publicly sanctioned place, and chanting goofy slogans while carrying a poster of George Bush with a crayon-drawn forked tail.

The White House expected the Iraqis to line up like redcoats with their muskets drawn in single-rank formation because that’s what we do. Whatever they tell us the permissible means of protest is, that’s what we do. If the permit for the demonstration is at an abandoned drive-in fifty miles from the nearest town, we show up there, brows furrowed and banners waving, in huge numbers. While the generals point at high-tech maps on all the major networks, we sit there babbling into the crackly dissenter line on C-SPAN at two in the morning. There would probably still be kings playing croquet on the grounds of Versailles today if the tactics of the French revolution had been like this–better heed us peasants, messieurs, or we’ll send twice the usual amount of mail to our congressmen."

This is why things are pretty much hopeless in this country. Without any opposition and with the Brownshirts controlling all 3 branches of government AND the press, there is no way they can be defeated without some serious popular uprising. Cartoonist Ted Rall made the same observation a few years ago in this column.

This is the main reason why I haven't been a part of the anti-war protests that have been occurring. I participated in the WTO protests 4 years ago but they didn't do anything except persuade the WTO to hold their meetings in places like Qatar instead. They certainly didn't prevent Bush from coming to power. And none of the protests which were taking place months before this war started did anything to stop it from happening. Nor did the recent protests do anything to stop innocent children from being killed.

Bottom line is that while the hippies are conducting their peaceful protests, people are still dying.


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