Friday, March 24, 2006

War and Democracy

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." – Albert Einstein

Activists from around America have been asking themselves why recent anti-war protests have drawn far lower than expected crowds. With support for Bush and the war at an all time low here in America, I am sure it came as a shock to the organizers to see less faces out at their marches then there were 3 years ago.

I think the answer to why less folks have come out for these gatherings can be answered as such:

1.) A majority of Americans do not feel that protests are a very good way of getting their point across. Clearly, marching around in the streets with puppets and signs has not changed policy up in Washington. The fact that protest marches have become nothing but big parties for the left does not help them gain legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of America.
2.) Most Americans, even when they feel the war is not going well, do not agree with the goals of the rallies’ organizers. It is no secret that organizations like ‘International ANSWER’ and ‘The World Can not Wait!’ are front groups for totalitarian communist organizations. We may not like Bush, but we also don’t buy into the “Bush=Hitler” that these groups keep coming back to. This may not be a government we can be proud of, but we are not living in a fascist state either. That kind of far-left rhetoric is not conducive to having a realistic conversation about the war.

Clearly, the situation in Iraq has not gone as planned, and President Bush is going to pay for it in the end. I think that the idea of ending a dictatorship and establishing a democracy is a good one, but democracies can be unstable. To assume that folks are going to throw flowers at you because you gave them a liberal democracy is a pipe dream. Hell, and I believe liberal-democracies are the best form of government this world has yet seen! But just plopping a democracy down overnight does not stop terrorists and extremists from functioning.

Iraq may not be headed toward civil war, but it is heading toward a disintegration of the nation-state that currently exists. The best we can hope for at this point is a loose federation of independent provinces like the one we see in Serbia-Montenegro. Let us pray that is does not take a bloody civil war in Iraq for the American government to recognize this.

But it is not realistic for the troops to just come home today. The only folks who are advocating that are living in a fantasy land. Groups like World Can’t Wait and ANSWER are not simply against the war, they are inherently against all things American. They oppose the government, the economic system, the social system, and just about anything else that defines us. They have openly advocated socialist revolution within our country. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that, it is just plain stupid at this point in history. Where the hell have these people been for the last 30 years?

That is why they have not been able to generate decent crowds at their marches. Most Americans know that we need a change of direction in Iraq. Most of us know that Bush mislead America as to his reasoning for the war, if not out-right lied. We need to actively pursue a realistic exit strategy. The argument “we leave when we win,” is sounding as stupid as many of the protestors at this point.

Let’s just hope reason wins out in the end, and we can leave the Iraqi people in a better situation then they have now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

It's an undercover cop! Oh wait, that was just a cat

Activists in Santa Cruz have been making a stink recently about some undercover police officers that attended an organizing event for the local anti-war community. Let me remind you that this meeting was open to the public, and that the group sponsoring it was planning to have a parade go down Main St. without a permit. They stated that it was ‘illegal’ for the city to have them go through all the channels us normal citizens have to clear for such an event.

So I am not surprised that with that kind of antagonist attitude, the SCPD took a little closer look into what exactly these folks were planning. Anyone who has ever hung out on Pacific Avenue at night knows that it can be a rough place. Put together protestors who had no intention of working within the town’s laws, and some local drunk jerks, and you could have a rather explosive event. Was something likely to get out of hand? Maybe not, but I don’t fault the police for doing their homework.

So recently, the activist community has cried foul any time they suspect someone at one of their events of being an officer. Here is a recent ‘story’ at Santa Cruz Indymedia.

undercover cops at immigrant rights march?

who are these guys that came to friday's anti-HR4437 march in santa cruz? why did the guy with the video camera refuse to identify himself? why where the two middle-aged, athletically built white men staying by themselves, not talking with anyone and giving glances to anyone taking pictures of them? who were the two people that these two men walked off with at the end? why did they keep looking back when a group of protesters were walking in their direction? were there 4 undercover cops present? if so, who? why? who ordered it? does holding signs make them infiltrators? hasn't santa cruz seen enough of this?

it's past time that we keep track of all police presence at every political event. they cannot be trusted.”

Apparently proper capitalization is bourgeois as well.

The real problem, that a lot of these people don’t seem to understand, is that the streets are owned by everyone! Not just those who protest. Every single person has a right to be safe, and having police officers around helps create safety. Police do patrols not because they suspect a crime is being committed, but to make sure nothing suspicious is going down. And as for the activists assuming this is some kind of sting operation to eventually round them up and send them to a gulag, grow the fuck up. I know it makes folks feel cool to think they are some kind of ‘enemy of the state,’ but the reality is that the police are there to make sure you don’t break anything. You say it was a peaceful protest huh? Well, take a look at these other ‘peaceful protests.’

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ummmm, Candy

Here is a new posting I found on Ireland’s Indymedia that concerns shoplifting. It is so stupid that I think a response would be inadequate; is is just too goofy to believe. Only on Indymedia my friends!

"Everybody goes into shops and shopkeepers don’t feel sad about things that go missing. Shopkeepers don’t think ‘I really miss that Snickers bar, now I only have 399 left.’ If they do feel sad when they lose a Snickers they should have another job because when you sell a Snickers bar you have to let the person who gives you 65 cent take it away. If you always felt sad then being a shopkeeper would be a tough job. I really like Snickers bars and sometimes I think ‘Hey why did I eat that Snickers bar already? I wish I still had that Snickers bar so I could eat it now.’ It is different for shopkeepers they don’t eat all the Snickers bars in the shop. Not all shopkeepers are fat and that proves that they don’t eat all the Snickers bars. They sell most of the Snickers bars, so I think that means they can’t be too sad when a Snickers bar is stolen. They don’t miss the Snickers bar they only miss the money."

Nothing gets by those Indymedia folks! Big thanks to the folks over at Indymedia Ireland Watch.