Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

he disrespects more peaceful ways...

Young Douglas is a naughty boy. And a condescending one as well.

So I've decided to stop feeding him traffic on his blog and to drag him, kicking and screaming if necessary, over to this blog if he wants to continue with his ill-informed put-downs of pacifism meretriciously masquerading as genuine debate.

Here on my blog I feel much freer to bitchslap the little pinko commie bastard when he misbehaves. He does, after all, advocate violence, so he ought to be enjoying this... ;-)

To save you a trip over to his blog, I'll now deconstruct his latest feeble effort over here. Ready? OK, here goes...

He holds up the death of Rachel Corrie as evidence of a "fundamental flaw" in pacifism. He suggests by this that if pacifists get killed there is a flaw in pacifism. He couldn't be more wrong. I have no idea where he got such a distorted view of what pacifism is all about. In fact, I would argue that by killing Corrie, the Israeli regime lost a huge amount of support from the rest of the world and that her death brought a huge amount of damaging attention upon what the Israeli occupation was/is really doing. I assert that it did huge damage to the Israeli cause. Much more so than any suicide bomber's cowardly attack on innocent Israeli civilians.

I would argue, that whilst Corrie's death was most tragic and regrettable, it was by no means in vain. By killing Corrie, the IDF discredited itself and the Israeli cause immensely, and brought a huge mountain of negative publicity upon itself. Whereas, every suicide bomber actually strengthens the Israelis' cause and their determination to fight, as well as winning them sympathy from some misguided quarters. Therefore, if anything, Corrie's death was a hundred times more effective and damaging to Israel than a suicide bomber's attack.

One of the strongest weapons of pacifism is that of public opinion. The more pacifists get killed or mistreated, the more the tide of public opinion swings away from the oppressors/aggressors and towards the pacifists' resistance.

Conversely, armed struggle provides the oppressor with justification for violent retaliation and the means to demonise the members of the resistance. It is counterproductive in the sense that it gets huge numbers of people killed before a "victory" is achieved.

Here's a little thought experiment: The armed resistance against American aggression in Vietnam cost the Vietnamese people 3,000,000 (that's three million) dead bodies. In America (and Australia) the propaganda surrounding the deaths of our own soldiers convinced our people long enough for this terrible death toll to be exacted upon the Vietnamese (and Cambodians, and Laotians).

However (and this is the thought experiment) if the Vietnamese resistance had been kept totally pacifist, i.e. human masses of peaceful protestors gridlocking the places where the Americans tried to go, surrounding American bases with peaceful protestors; and if those protestors did not in any way harm the Americans, and if all they did was to refuse to budge and just keep up the chant "Yankee Go Home !!!" day after day, week after week, what could the Americans have done, and how soon would they have had to do it?

Sure, they could fire into the crowds. They could kill hundreds, maybe thousands. But as the world found out about it, and they would have, global outrage at such a monstrous injustice would have forced the Yanks to piss off within months (not ten years as it was with the war) and if (let's say) the number of innocent, peaceful protestors murdered by the Americans had gotten as high as 30,000 (and such a figure would have constituted a Human Rights attrocity of such proportions that America would have been promptly and successfully prosecuted in The Hague) this number would still have been only 1/100th of the number of Vietnamese killed by the Americans in that war.

So, I wonder if Douglas can tell me why he thinks armed struggle (war) is better than nonviolent resistance (peace).

One way, you instantly and demonstrably turn the aggressor into a murdering monster, whereas the other way, the aggressor can justify their violence.

One way, some people will get murdered, whereas the other way many many more times that number will surely die.

One way, the aggression cannot be maintained for very long (usually only months), whereas the other way the conflict can, and generally does, go on for many years.

I argue that Douglas has not yet even begun to grasp the devastating effect that properly planned and executed peaceful people power can have.

He certainly has not (all of his obfuscations aside) demonstrated any fundamental flaw in pacifism at all...

Ironically and, dare I say, disingenuously, he expresses anger at Corrie's death, yet he would apparently gladly recruit, motivate, train, arm, and dispatch thousands, nay hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of politcal killers (whom he would call "freedom fighters" to die for his questionable "cause" and thereby also subject the civilian population to a vastly protracted period in which millions would be "collaterally" killed by both sides. Can you see the inconsistency in his rhetoric yet?


Anonymous Theo said...

Only need another three million to stop the communists and things would be peachy.

June 26, 2005 5:56 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Theo! Good to see you here again!

But nah, I disagree with your view of the problem. It's the same view which tricked me into believing the propaganda that had me go to Vietnam to kill communists.

The problem is not communism. The problem is authoritarianism and totalitarianism (the former leading to the latter). Communism is merely an economic theory. It's the idea that imposing it and enforcing it is the way to go that's the problem.

You can have the world's most wonderful idea, but if you have to kill people to impose it, and if after that, you have to kill, torture and incarcerate people who disagree with this wonderful idea, then you've lost the plot, or your idea ain't so wonderful anyway.

The communist loonies do it, but so do the capitalist loonies.

I don't believe in fighting looniness with looniness. I believe in fighting looniness with sanity and reason.

I don't believe in fighting violence with violence, I believe in fighting violence with peace.

Communication is the answer. You can only educate and motivate the masses through communication.

But communicating violence only leads to violence. It teaches violence. It's authoritarian and it's only used by authoritarians i.e. control freaks. It's that way which leads to totalitarianism. It's the wrong way.

Example is the most powerful form of leadership/teaching. Violent examples teach violence, peaceful examples teach peace. You can't teach peace through war. Peace fucks war every time, and vice versa.

Here endeth the sermon...

June 26, 2005 10:28 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Hi Gerry, the problem with pacifism as a strategic method to make political change is that it relies on media exposure.

The Tianamen Square masacre was a demonstration of pacifism up against tanks. What brought our attention to it was the media exposure.

How many pacifists are dying silently (like the Kurds did in northern Iraq) while the world looks elsewhere? One is either a pacifist or not. To utilise it asa strategy would only work so long as the activists have media exposure. If none is forthcoming then the activists would probably step up to violence to achive their goal - unless they were genuinly pacifists.

What would be the motivation for someone to die silently and unkown to the world?

June 27, 2005 11:27 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

You raise a crucial point, Pat.

Yes, media exposure is an essential part of the sort of actions I have in mind.

We're talking The Seven Ps here, Pat: - Properly Priorly Planned Peaceful People Power Protests.

They would not be feeble little events easily quashed and suppressed. They would be massive. If we didn't have the numbers, we would recruit (and train) until we did. I'm talking about something like a Pacifist Army here, Pat. They would be disciplined committed pacifists professionally managed by a committed pacificst leadership. You do understand what I mean by commitment, don't you Pat?

There would be so much video coverage it would make your eyes water. The news would go out through hundreds of media outlets, both mainstream, alternative and freelance.

Suppression of information would be impossible or the events would not take place.

Coordinators, marshalls and other key personnel would all be committed pacifists and fully trained in nonviolent protest coordination and management. Hot-heads and those who
have even the slightest notion of justifying violent responses would not be part of the organisation.

You said What would be the motivation for someone to die silently and unkown to the world? Exactly! Video of any and all acts of violence visited upon the protestors would be splattered across the world by a well managed media/PR machine. This is the 21st century.

Properly Priorly Planned Peaceful People Power Protests are the most devastating political tool there is. But it does require a certain critical mass in order to be effective. Building up to the critical mass is the recruitment/training phase and not the protest action phase.

I don't think there's anyone in this country doing this level of organisation - yet. But that's what I'm hoping to invoke. Call me a dreamer... :-)

June 28, 2005 12:40 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

You are a dreamer Gerry but, like John Lennon, I'm sure you're not the only one.

Which leads me to ask - why Diogenes? He was certainly no dreamer. Wikipedia characterises him as having "..a great despise for human beings."

You however have premised your philosophy on a great trust in the goodness of all people to work in a common interest neglecting ones own self interest to do so.

Eg. You seem to believe that the protests against the Vietnam war were borne of a general desire of the populace to "do the good and right thing". I see those protests as a manifestation of people's self interest. Without the draft there would have been no protests. No one giave a damn then and no one gives a damn now about wars in far off places until they become personally involved. Such is the nature of men.

There will be no groundswell to change course in Iraq unless the coalition nations were to introduce conscription. It was a strategic error for Al-Qaeda to attack civilians as it made every civilian personally aware that they were and are in danger of their lives.

Gerry you are utopian. I am more a cynic than you. If you were truly a Diogenesian you would bear the same cynicism you have for the motives of the conservative parties for your socialist comrades viz. Herr Bob Brown and co.

June 28, 2005 11:18 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Pat, you really must read more reputable works than Wikipedia.

Diogenes was an optimist. Why else would he have gone around daily for years with his lantern, hoping to find an honest man?

June 28, 2005 12:30 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Oh, I nearly forgot to reply to this, Pat: Without the draft there would have been no protests..

Oh, really? Do you know how many people protested around the world on the eve of (and immediately following) the Iraq invasion? In Australia alone the anti-war protests in that fortnight totalled more than a million people. Care to hazard a guess how many people protested worldwide during that period?

D'oh, there was no draft, Pat.

Here endeth your draft thesis.

June 28, 2005 12:48 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Gerry, I don't think that linked article supports your thesis that Diogenes was an optimist - in fact I think it pretty succinctly rebuts it.

So there were protests, how many people rocked up - the organisers tell you one thing, the media another, the officials another. The result - the war continues.

I would suggest that the people who protested were doing so as a means of showing the world just how good, moral and righteous they are. IMHO protesters are public wankers - something that Diogenes got up to if that Wikipedia article is to be believed.

The best form of protest (and a pacifists approach) I would suggest is to quietly go about paying as little tax as one can possibly get away with.

Never join a club or organisation if it can be helped, never vote, never participate in groups of 3 or more publicly gathering over any issue.

There is not much of any organisation that involves people that is not sullied by manipulation. Do what one thinks is right at all times and never, never compare yourself to others standards but always to your own. But then, I am conservative and by nature cynical of all human motivations. That is why a market economy works the best of all economies. People's foibles are factored in - in fact they are an assumption that forms its basic principles upon which all else is founded.

June 28, 2005 4:30 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Pat, the linked article was chosen for it's humorous nature. I was having a laugh.

I was one of those protestors you refer to as wankers. I think on that note we'll call it quits. Thanks for visiting.

June 28, 2005 6:15 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Sheesh - don't be like that Gerry. You were pretty snarky the first time I came across you at Vieux Cordelier.

I missed the joke re. Diogenes, my fault. I am not usually humourless.

As for protesting and being a wanker, I marched at the anti-gun rally post Port Arthur massacre so I guess that makes me a big wanker.

Anyway, if you want me to bugger off from commenting I will. I did enjoy your thoughts.

June 28, 2005 9:53 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Pat, you're right. I'm a snarky old fart.

And you're right about everything else as well of course.

You've found Absolute Truth and you no longer need to question anything. You've seen The Light.

Greed and selfishness should indeed be built into the way we "do business".

The strong should prevail and the weak should perish.

Blind belief should replace logic and reason.

Bigotry should be institutionalised in the form of war-justifying religions. Onward Christian Soldiers, and all that jazz.

People who protest against war, injustice, selfishenss and greed are wankers.

And from our discourse over at Vieux Cordelier, I deduce that you reckon that:

Noam Chomsky is a wanker.
Gore Vidal is a wanker.
John Pilger is a wanker.
Peter Singer is a wanker.

And no doubt, Daniel Ellsberg, Neil Sheehan, William Blum, Clyde Prestowitz, Chalmers Johnson, Andrew J. Bacevich, James Bamford, Howard Zinn, Greg Palast, Joel Bakan, Jared Diamond, Tom Segev, Christian Parenti and Edward W. Said are all card-carrying wankers as well.

Next you'll be telling me Jesus was a wanker too.

In fact, Pat, it's becoming clear to me that anyone who doesn't share your favourite brand of bigotry is a wanker.

You'll excuse me if I can find no reasons to bother trying to swap ideas with you. I'm sure you can realise now what a huge waste of time this would be for both of us.

June 29, 2005 5:26 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Well Gerry you've certainly put my arguments in a context that I am finding hard to refute. I think I grasp your point - could I be the real wanker in all this wank?! Am I projecting (psychologically speaking)? I'll toddle off now to sleep on it - hands above the sheets of course.

June 29, 2005 10:53 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Nah, you're not a wanker, Pat. You've just allowed yourself to be seduced by the all-pervasive propaganda of American capitalist totalitarianism. You have gone over to the dork side of the farce I'm afraid. You can come back to the fold anytime you wish... ;-)

Remember, if Jesus were around today, he'd be either a socialist or a communist. He certainly wouldn't be a capitalist. Wanna join the Church of Jesus, Pat? ;-)

June 29, 2005 11:43 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Oh, and another thing, Pat, have your read The Gospel According To Saint Gerry yet?

June 29, 2005 11:59 PM  

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