|15 Mar 2004 @ 06:51, by Andy Lehman|
Can't say that I've ever been a fan of socialism, or that I probably ever will be, nor do I believe that the solutions to most important problems have much of anything to do with government at all, but at least the guy is capable of saying something true. A politician, saying something true about the Iraq war. Next thing you know we'll see cancer-curing bananas growing on apple trees. To see one of the stupid governments that supported that war (against the will of the VAST majority of its people, but then "democracy" is when governments do what America wants them to, so no problem there, LOL) thrown out of office for the mess it helped create... gives one warm feelings inside. Here's to Blair and Bush being the next ones kicked out of power. I'd just like to give them both a big kiss for making the world so much safer (like, "really, BRAVO guys, you really know how to turn a country into a chaotic war zone and volunteer other people's lives en masse for... whatever"). *Sigh* and no, that doesn't mean any bombings are, were, or will be okay. It means that Aznar's government supported a murderous crime, based, as is now becoming clear, on outright lies (as some of us have been saying for a looooong time). And they probably shouldn't be surprised when, justified or not, some of those darned evil people they're trying to eliminate by way of invading entire countries decide to fight back. It's not a matter of giving them a sanction to fight back, mind you; the blessing and the curse (mostly a blessing) of human nature is that you can't stop them, no matter what you do. Each person can only control themselves. They simply don't control other people. That's how free we are. The really tragic thing is that innocent people in Madrid paid for something their government did without their support. Tragic, too, that there are people who have gotten so screwed up that they're crazy enough to carry out such acts.
About fighting back: a while ago someone asked me what I'd do if China or Pakistan (!?) invaded the US and told my mommy to walk in the street. You know, since I was arguing against the Iraq war, I must have been some kind of wimp who would just let people walk all over him and hand America over to the terrorists. I'll tell you what I'd do if someone invaded: I'd do my best to make life a living (not for long) HELL for any soldier (or any person who tried to use immediately life-threatening FORCE to make me pray to any god, Muslim, Christian, channeled Martian or otherwise, and who managed to create a situation in which simply saying "no" or "stuff it" would not suffice; I must add, by the way, that having someone on the other side of the world who has a culture you don't like and who isn't tolerant enough for your liking doesn't fall under this category), from any country, who presumed the right to invade my home, order my family around at gunpoint and kill my neighbors. I've said it before; I'm not a total pacifist. I believe in self defense. However, I don't believe that the laws of cause and effect are suspended when "self defense" is invoked; if one goes too far, even in perfectly justified self defense, there WILL be serious consequences, and nothing will make them go away. No amount of force will erase them. That's justice/karma/the golden rule for you. The moral of the story is that yes, you can defend yourself, but be careful who you murder. REALLY careful. Insanely careful. And if you can't avoid killing innocent civilians who've done nothing to you... then a lot of people are going to have VERY good reasons to make sure your troops become incapable of so much as firing a rubber bullet at them, ever again. I can think of several thousand people in Iraq, probably several million, who have a first class claim to self defense against the US and its troops. That kind of comes with the territory when you use force against entire populations, no matter what you're "trying" to do. I'd do anything I could to weaken the structure that supported the invading troops; anything I could to deprive them of power and of the ability to use force against me and the people I love, regardless of their rhetoric or stated intentions. Actually, that's not true. I'd probably fight ten times harder once the word "liberation" slipped out of their mouths. What a slander that would be. I'd do everything I could to force the poor duped troops to go home and live with their families (horror of horrors!) and leave my "freedom" to me, to fight for or die for as I saw fit.
Then again, that's me. My definition of "freedom" is an individual one; I believe that every individual has the right to decide to fight, or not, for what they believe in, and to fully accept the consequences of their action or inaction (in the case of inaction, if you accept the power of a dictatorship as your government, that is what you will get; if you allow yourself to be blackmailed into accepting it, that is what you will get; you have a right to give your life in the fight against it if you wish, but you don't have a right to volunteer anyone else's life unless they are trying to rule you through coercion). That right exists regardless, and almost always in spite of, any government or army. It exists because we are human beings, and that's it. It also exists regardless of what anyone else, or everyone else, thinks, says, or does. The decision and the courage involved in exercising that right are entirely the responsibility of each person. It exists, but it comes with no assurances of a house, job, or car. The only assurance it comes with is that you always have a choice not to comply with those who would try to tell you that your life is not yours to live or to fuck up as you please. I know that some people will try to push a collectivized idea of "freedom" which is a function of proximity to an SUV dealership and a nice suburban home, or defined as some misty conception of womb-like security. And, of course, however much individual people have to be brutalized or regulated into being "good" under such an idea of freedom, it's fine because the collective "greater good" is being served. Those things aren't freedom, by any stretch of the imagination. They are the products of the way particular people have chosen to use their own basic freedom, which for better or for worse has developed over hundreds of years of democratic rule (debatable, but I'll grant it here for the sake of argument) and which also has its base in a particularly liberal (in the older sense of the word; I'm not talking Democrats here) conception of philosophy and of humanity that dates back even further. It wasn't implanted by military occupation, and it didn't replace serfdom in a year, a decade, or even a century. It CERTAINLY was not a result of so-called "democratic" institutions; such institutions arose from it. The same is true of the Constitution. Nor is it the natural state of human beings. All of humanity is not somehow destined to end up that way, no matter how much some people wish that were so.
By the way, I'd never for a second go and kill the families of the occupying soldiers. So what happened in Spain was wrong, absolutely. Period. No questions asked. The people who did it, and only those people, should be hunted down like dogs. But frankly what do Bush, Aznar, Blair, and anyone else who actually supported the Iraq war expect? For the people of the entire world to present themselves as disarmed subjects to their military force? Please. "Oops, America is scared and has gone into chicken-with-its-head-cut-off mode, so I guess a couple thousand of us will die now, huh. Oh well, all for the greater good." Well I'll tell you something. Any "greater good" that is served by the death of innocent people, and which actually necessitates it, is something we can do without. If you don't like violence, and you want to prevent it, don't invade a country, kill twice as many civilians (at LEAST) as died on 9/11, and call it "collateral damage" or, crime of crimes, "necessary". If there's ANY lesson to be taken from stupid things like 9/11/01 and 3/11/04, it's that such things are NEVER justified. Those who think they are, for whatever reason or in service of whatever ideal or way of life, deserve only to be resisted. Those who take part in or support such things are kind of giving up any right to speak against violence. When they use violence unnecessarily and speak against it at the same time, what they're actually speaking for is domination (domination in the name of some twisted "good" is still domination). Because non-violence isn't written into the fabric of the universe. It's not automatic. I don't happen to believe that anyone's imaginary friend is sitting up there in the heavens telling us what to do. One can't initiate violence on a massive scale and then expect that the graces of "something" will allow them to lock the situation down immediately afterwards, even as their armed-to-the-teeth troops still occupy the place in question. The idea that violence just is not the way to do things exists as a "moral" only so far as people are able to restrain themselves and use violence only when they have no other choice at all, and certainly NOT when they get bored with inspections or come up with a really good fish story to scare people stupid or something.