Letters for November 21, 2002

A left-wing zealot

 Swings wildly at alternative rag's scribe: Thank you for Bob Norman's eloquent article ("The Antiwarriors," November 14) about our bus trip to Washington, D.C., on October 26. The title and subtitle of your story set the tone early for your obvious attempt at discrediting the participants of the growing and unstoppable peace movement.

While everyone has a right to his own opinion and I respect that, you do make your article sound very anti-establishment/anti-war. But the underlying tongue-in-cheek, bash-the-protesters attitude is obvious. Do you actually think (like the politicians) that we are this stupid? It's no wonder Michael Moore called his book Stupid White Men. All the other people you bashed in your "shotgun report" can, and I hope they do, defend themselves. I am writing you to defend myself.

"A middle-aged man pulled some protest 'hardware' out of the trunk...." Hardware? What the hell is hardware? You make it sound like I'm getting out an AK-47 or a rocket launcher. Why don't you just call me a terrorist? Do you mean my video camera, my "Veterans for Peace" hat, the sign I carried with me during the march that shows the real horrors of war: children in a Kabul hospital wrapped in bloody bandages, crying out to us to stop the insanity? Images the mainstream media won't show the American people for fear that it may actually affect their consciences.

Mention the word revolution to the rich and they scramble for their remote-controlled cameras at the gates of their palatial homes. "Break open the rifle lockers, quick -- arm the maids, the butlers, and the gardener; they are coming to get a piece of my hard-earned booty." Look it up -- revolution only means change, so calm down, you Palm Beachers.

Oh, and the bit about the patriotic-blinder sunglasses. If people in this country did just that, i.e., take them off, as the politicians and the wealthy did a long time ago, they'd see just how much "they're being ripped off and enslaved" -- a quote from James Nichols in an interview by Michael Moore from his new film, Bowling for Columbine.

Regarding your bashing of Jello Biafra's "America-hating rants" or Amiri Baraka's "scape-goating poetry," I will say this: These men are two of the bravest and most patriotic (in a "good" way) people I have ever heard speak. They don't believe in the manipulator's intimidation attempt to make us believe that "we can't handle the truth." And just because I played some of their work on the bus doesn't mean I agree with or believe everything they say.

Biafra does not hate America; he loves this country more than Norman can see. Norman just doesn't have the depth to see it. His shallow idea of patriotism means to wrap yourself in red, white, and blue and spew horse-hockey like "America is a great (whatever that means) country, whatever its faults." You talk how great it is because we can Bush-bash. Try that to his face and see how fast you will become a political prisoner. A free country? That's a joke. Free if and only if you follow the party line.

"When I spoke with Frank...." If you ever spoke with me on that trip to D.C., you certainly did not introduce yourself or mention you were there as an infiltrator to do an article on how stupid we protesters were for sitting on a bus for all those hours, not being able to get comfortable. Boo-hoo for you. Some of us are willing to make sacrifices from our cushy lives to be in solidarity with enslaved people who live in squalor so that we can have massive SUVs and king-size beds with satin (or is it gold-trimmed?) sheets.

You also say, "I was lucky to get an hour's sleep the whole trip." So who are the "whiners"? And while we're at it, who were/are the savages?

I never said I was "apolitical" prior to 9/11. I said I was asleep, like most Americans are to this day, due to the success of the corporate-media/government-brainwashing-public-relations-firms' (paid for by our tax dollars) effort to keep the public uninformed about the real agenda of American foreign policy.

This isn't the first time I've been immigrant-bashed by the right-wing media. Your type always likes to throw that, "Oh, he's a foreigner and that explains his attitude towards the good ole USA." I'll tell you this, Canadians are going to help save this country from itself. Think of all the canucks that have spoken out and made Americans think; Neil Young ("tall white mansions and little shacks²), Bruce Cockburn, Donald Sutherland, the Guess Who with American Woman (³I don't need your war machines/I don't need your ghetto scenes²), and the list now includes me.

If I hated this country, do you actually believe I'd go to Washington? I have two American-born sons. If I didn't love this place, I'd have taken them to Canada for their births. And I would have moved away after 9/11, fearful of more attacks. Instead, I'm still here fighting for our Constitutional rights that John Asscroft is trying to take away from us with his USA Patriot Act.

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