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imperialism & war | political theory

Letter to a War Protestor

This letter ran in Front Page Magazine.
Letter to a War Protester
By Michael P. Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 17, 2003


Dear Kathie,



Last week you sent me an email asking me to join you in marching for peace on the 15th in Center City Philadelphia. I explained to you about the leadership of these protests. I explained that these people were communists and anti-Americans who have an axe to grind. I explained that my research about them leads me to believe that their cause has more to do with discrediting and destroying capitalism, democracy, and the United States than peace.



I told you I would be more than happy to express my desire for peace. However, peace is not what these leaders want. You started spouting specious arguments comparing Iraq to North Korea and about oil-the usual canards and fallacies that this crowd spouts. You replied that the leadership did not matter. It did not make a difference they were communists. The ultimate objective was peace.



You told me that you were at a forum the week before at the White Dog Café. Medea Benjamin was the guest speaker. You said Medea fascinated you. You remarked about how compassionate her speech was. You told me that she went to Iraq and met nice Iraqis.



My reply was that I did not think she was invited to Iraq to meet members of the secret police and the Republican Guard. Of course, there are nice Iraqis, I said. I know some Iraqis. They are the salt of the earth. So what? Saddam Hussein has murdered many nice Iraqis lately. Then again, a lot Iraqis have been murdering other people.



Once again, I reiterated that these pacifists were really Communists. You said that Communism was no longer a threat and reiterated that the leadership of the rallies did not matter only what their objective was. You proffered a sort of ends "justifies the means" thesis.



My rejoinder was that the rally leadership did matter and that these rally leaders deceive. These rally leaders idolize those who kill and enslave.



Well Kathie, here is a concrete example of why the leadership is important. These are excerpts from a Sunday, February 16, 2003, Washington Post article written by Evelyn Nieves. Even you will believe the Washington Post Kathie. I know normally you do not believe me when I tell you something. You did not believe me when I told you that ANSWER was affiliated with a Stalininst/Kimist organization. You did not believe me when I told you that Not In Our Name was affiliated with a Maoist group. You learned I was correct. However, I do not believe that you will question the Washington Post.



In her article entitled Antiwar Organizer's Politics Cause Rift, Nieves wrote, ". . . few of the tens of thousands of marchers had even heard of International ANSWER., one of the main organizers.. ANSWER's politics seemed moot... (ANSWER) has defended dictators such as Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and North Korea's Kim Jong Il and decried the state of Israel... the last several days, ANSWER's politics have created a rift within the leadership of the antiwar movement... Rabbi Michael Lerner, one of the nation's most prominent liberal Jewish leaders and editor of the San Francisco-based magazine Tikkun, went public to complain that he was "banned" from speaking at the Sunday rally here, because ANSWER objected to his positions on Israel."



According to Nieves' article, ANSWER and other rally organizers, said Lerner was not invited to speak because he had previously "attacked" ANSWER's positions. Lerner had criticized ANSWER for allowing too many speakers who believe that the United States is threatening to attack Iraq because Israel wants the war. Nieves quoted Lerner as saying "There are good reasons to oppose the war and Saddam. Still, it feels that we are being manipulated when subjected to mindless speeches and slogans whose knee-jerk anti-imperialism rarely articulates the deep reasons we should oppose corporate globalization."



Nieves then quoted a news release by the four coalitions organizing the antiwar demonstrations -- Bay Area United Against War, Not In Our Name project, United for Peace and Justice and International ANSWER. The communication stated, "When members of the Tikkun community, who have actively participated in the organizing meetings for Feb. 16, suggested to Bay Area United for Peace and Justice, that it propose Michael Lerner as a speaker, it was explained by members of UFPJ that since he had publicly attacked ANSWER in both the New York Times and Tikkun community e-mail newsletters, his inclusion in the program would violate the agreement among the Feb. 16 organizing groups."



Then Nieves states what is the crux of the issue-why leadership matters. In one sentence Nieves expressed the Orwellian world of the organizers when she wrote, "In other words, dissent among dissenters was not allowed."



See what I mean Kathie.



You and your colleagues say it does not matter who the leaders are. Yet it does. Here is a perfect example. The anti-war leadership who organized the February 15 rally would not permit a particular anti-war activist to speak because they do not like his politics and because he criticized them.



The people who believe in free speech really do not think speech is free.



These are your associates Kathie, deny it though you may. They are as every bit as ruthless, despotic, and deceitful as the genocidal totalitarians they admire. Remember Medea Benjamin was originally Susie Benjamin and chose the name of an infanticidal character of Greek mythology. These are not the people who will bring peace on earth.



You want peace Kathie? Join me in a rally. My march will be to protest the real villain in this drama -Saddam Hussein. Join me in telling him to destroy his WMD's. Then there will be peace AND FREEDOM.



DISARM NOW SADDAM!
You Must Forget... 17.Feb.2003 02:45

Varro

That there are murderers on both sides....Saddam Hussein is a bloody dictator....but George W. Bush committed premeditated murders of the innocents Gary Graham and Timothy Spence while Governor of Texas.

"You can reach the top of your profession
If you become the leader of the land
For murder is the sport of the elected
You don't need to lift a finger of your hand."
- The Police, "Murder By Numbers"

So, if you support the President, you support a murderer, plain and simple.

A rare find 17.Feb.2003 02:55

PHH

Of course everything you read isn't true, but it's not often you run into 100% gen-you-wine bullshit. Most often they dillute it with a little reality. But here it's straight up and pure.

I'll bet Kathie was really impressed. Yes, sir. I'll bet that really won her over and made her see the errors of her ways. Some really effective propaganda there for sure, a powerful message, no doubt about it.

Rejoinder 17.Feb.2003 08:35

Bush Admirer

Varro - Gary Graham and Timothy Spence were not innocent. They got what they deserved to get -- it was just a bit too long in coming.

PHH - Everything you read isn't true. Your post is a good example. Everything in that letter posted above is true though.

By the way, congrats on making through another weekend without blowing up your meth lab.

B.A.

Ooops Again! 17.Feb.2003 10:45

Bush Admirer

Sorry my fellow citizens. Every now and then my alter-ego gets the best of me and I write the LIES of a neo-conservative corporate whore. Once again, I apologize for my above post.

What I really meant to say is that "ISMs" are DEAD. Ideology is meaningless. There is only TRUTH and NON-TRUTH. I marched against war with Iraq on February 15th, in solidarity with millions of other humans worldwide. And what really struck me is that I have much more in common with the working-class, the poor, the people of color, and those who are repressed worldwide, than I share with the ruthless, cold-hearted, exploitive men of power and privilege. And that holds TRUE whether the men of power are in Washington D.C., Baghdad, Pyongyang, Tel Aviv, London or Kabul. Those in power need us to fuel their goals FAR MORE than we need them. This is the TRUTH that is revealing itself to human consciousness. I am no longer willing to accept the "options" presented to me by "the experts"--I will only listen to the voice of the People. As one Iraqi who is living in exile in Australia said, "They [the U.N.] could lift the sanctions against the Iraqi people, they could take Saddam to the international court of law...and in that way isolate the regime and free the Iraqi people." We may not stop this particular war on Iraq, but eventually we will STOP ALL WARS. And we will shift this planet from destructive, exploitive "killingry", to sustainable, life-affirming "livingry".

I am off to go throw a brick through my television, tell my funders that I will no longer support their neo-conservative propaganda, and contact my favorite non-profit human rights organizations to tell them that I will be giving them the proceeds from the sale of all my worldly possessions.

In solidarity,

B.A.

Facts 17.Feb.2003 13:44

Bush Admirer

Name one thing that letter states that isn't true. Lerner is a long-time peace activist and organizer. He was banned from speaking in San Francisco. Why? Because he has criticized ANSWER? Because he supports Israel's right to exist?

You all accuse Bush and Blair of "secret" crimes but the crimes of ANSWER and the other organizers are obvious: THey are silencing somebody for disagreeing. This is the kind of friends the Left keeps. That's how you know a person's character - by the kind of people they associate with.

Also, Hussein has praised the peace marchers for their "humanitarian" effort. Just great. Today the nascent democratic movement in Iraq is that much more isolated, marginalized. Hussein is that much more emboldened to torture. You are strengthening a person who kills, rapes and tortures his own people, his own supporters.

By the way, I am not the BA that you all know and hate. But I figure as long as people are appropriating that name that I would too. So to the other BA, godspeed!

Get your facts straight, BA 17.Feb.2003 14:01

ab

BA writes about the piece movement: "You are strengthening a person who kills, rapes and tortures his own people, his own supporters."

Our intention is to ELIMINATE criminals like Bush, not to "strengthen" them, as you propose. Try to pay attention. Don't bother to comment before educating yourself on the issues.

FrontPageMagazine.com ?!?!!?!?? 17.Feb.2003 15:52

HA HA HAH HA HA HA

oh great, more wingnut screeds cut-pasted by Indymedia's Troll Crew . . .

and B.A.--

stick with the child porn, Twinkies, Whoppers, and Fox News . . . it'll keep ya regular.

Get it straight, BA-hole 17.Feb.2003 15:58

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

Michael Lerner was never "banned" from speaking. He was simply never even considered for the job. There will be other speakers who share his pro-Israel yet anti-occupation views who are much better speakers than him. He was never even in the running, but being the careerist type, Lerner made a stink in order to get his name in the papers yet again.

The puppet-President that George The Second will install after a bloody massacre ("regime change" he calls it) will not be remotely democratic. In fact, he will be a totalitarian, authoritarian type. George The Second is not remotely democratic. If he was, he would have obeyed the mandate of the US voters and not stolen the presidency from Al Gore, a slightly less fascist version of George The Second.

The "anti-Americans" the letters refers to are protestors exercising their hard-won civil rights of free assembly and free speech, under ridicule of pinheads like BA-hole and other dismissive impotent-types. They are the most American of all - they respect and live democracy, not the totalitarian fascist corporatism that George The Second is such a proponent of.

"a lot of Iraqis have been murdering people" th eletter says, as if to say "See? Those dirty ragheads should all be killed!" How pathetically stupid and racist.

The letter writer is aghast that rally organizers "idolize those that kill and enslave" - yet the letter writer idolizes George The Secodn - who both kills AND enslaves. Guess what kids; slavery is more prevalent in the world today, and slaves live in worse conditions, than when slavery was legal. Thank you, "globalisation" - thank you George The Second, Ruler of The Global Empire.

The letter writer is such an obedient parrot of corporate news. Much like BA, he spews precisely the same lies in precisely the same order as those advertisement-sellers we know as "journalists." This letter is as full of agenda-filled lies as a pimp's stoned patter; so easy to see through unless you are simple minded or intoxicated.

Welcome to the New World Order. Check your brain at the front door.

Post-Massacre Iraq pResident 18.Feb.2003 01:11

Gollum

Gringo Stars wrote, "The puppet-President that George The Second will install after a bloody massacre ("regime change" he calls it) will not be remotely democratic. In fact, he will be a totalitarian, authoritarian type."

As in Afghanistan, shrub probably will anoint an ex-Unocal employee to front the puppet government. [Meanwhile, boogeyman bin Laden has never been found and the US military is getting its butt kicked in Afghanistan. It'll be awhile before it's safe to build that pipeline....]