“Why Aren’t Americans Fighting Back?”
A non-US-citizen celebrates an attack on the CIA, and asks why Americans tolerate occupation
A foreign friend of mine, who must remain nameless here, recently contacted me to wish me a happy New Year and to celebrate the martyrdom operation in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of eight CIA agents. “This is wonderful!” he enthused. “Eight CIA agents at once! They must have had excellent intelligence and pulled everything off perfectly.”
I said I found it hard to get excited about a bunch of people getting killed, regardless of what they may have done to deserve it.
“That is the problem with you Americans,” he said. “Half of you are too stupid to resist your oppressors, and the other half reject violence even when it is justified and necessary.”
I told him I was flattered to be considered part of the non-stupid segment of the American public, but that even as a non-stupid non-pacifist I often find it hard to know when violence is justified or necessary.
“If your country were invaded and occupied by a hostile foreign power, your people slaughtered and tortured, your women raped, your religion and customs violated, your resources looted, would violent resistance be justified and necessary?”
“So when the people of Afghanistan blow up eight CIA agents, are their actions justified and necessary?”
“From their point of view, sure.”
“What about from your point of view?”
“As an American citizen, I’m trying to change things peacefully through legal, Constitutionally-protected means of protest.”
“You would be much more effective if you built a real resistance movement and blew up CIA agents. Or better yet CIA directors.”
I explained to him that I wouldn’t have the faintest idea of how to go about blowing up a CIA director even if I wanted to. It’s obviously a lot more complicated than “stick a fuse up his ass, light it, and run like hell.” And not all CIA directors are 100% bad. Remember William Colby? And what about all those former CIA people who have spoken out for 9/11 truth? What if somebody had blown them up?
“Your country is occupied by CIA-Mossad and the finance mafia that runs it,” he said. “They killed the Kennedies. They killed Martin Luther King, Jr. They killed Wellstone. They killed Gary Webb. They kill everyone that gets in their way. They start wars that kill millions. They rig your elections. They listen to your telephone conversations, read your emails, and use your cell phone as a roving microphone. They blackmail everyone of note, and if they can’t blackmail them, they frame them or neutralize them or kill them. Every American President since Reagan has been a CIA agent. Your Constitution is a dead letter. It was dead long before 9/11.”
I admitted that this was all true.
“Your country is under occupation. In Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and other places, when people are occupied, they fight back. Why won’t Americans fight back?”
I explained that a lot of us are fighting back. It’s called the infowar.
“Infowar is great,” he said. “But it doesn’t cost them enough to change their way of doing business. If you want a bad man to change his behavior, you have to give him some incentive for change. You have to raise the cost of the bad behavior until it becomes intolerable. A lot of grumbling on the internet doesn’t really cost them very much.”
What would be the best way to raise the cost, I asked. A general strike? Riots in the streets?
“Yes, those are time-honored methods,” he said.
I explained that the whole point of the infowar is to wake enough people up so that some day soon, when the economy gets bad enough, people will take to the streets, and the cops and troops will be on our side…like the final scene in V-for-Vendetta.
“V wasn’t afraid to use violence as part of his infowar,” he said. “Nor are the people of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ireland, Somalia, the Basque country, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Yemen, and everywhere else on earth where people are fighting occupation by the global financiers and their hired guns.
“What counts is having a culture of resistance. Where there is a culture of resistance, everybody pitches in to help. Some people set off bombs or organize attacks on occupation forces. Others, the great majority, fight the infowar and build a support network for the actual fighters. Even the biggest pacifist, where there is a culture of resistance, helps the resistance fighters by providing food, clothing, money, shelter, and encouragement, and by misdirecting the authorities and refusing all cooperation with them and sabotaging them whenever the opportunity arises.”
I asked why pacifists would be helping an armed resistance.
“Because they recognize that the violence is coming from the occupier, and that only attacks on the lives and property of the occupier can raise the cost of occupation high enough to end it.”
“But most Americans don’t perceive themselves as victims of a violent occupation,” I said. “We of the smart half see ourselves as occupiers of other countries, while the dumb ones see themselves as potential victims of violent terrorists who attack us because they hate our freedoms.”
“Forget the dumb half,” he said. “You need to convince the smart half that they are not occupiers. Why should Americans identify with the evil assholes who are raping the planet? Americans are under violent occupation, just like the people of other occupied lands, and they should build an effective resistance. You need to convince them to start thinking of it as an actual war, not just an infowar. In an actual war, the only thing that matters is reducing the enemy’s ability to wage war, and to raise the cost of his continuing to wage war until the cost becomes intolerable.”
I said I had no idea how to do that. Wouldn’t attacks on lives and property be counterproductive?
“It depends whose lives and property,” he answered. “Attacking ordinary Americans in their passenger airplanes and office buildings helps the occupiers, not the resistance. That’s why the occupiers are behind so much false-flag terrorism. But attacks on the leading men behind the occupation of planet Earth…now that could be very productive. Attacks on their property, kidnapping of their loved ones, and of course assassinations, these tactics would raise the price of their behavior. If the powerful men who craft the evil policies had to live in fear, they would have a powerful disincentive to continue crafting evil policies.”
Kidnappings? Assassinations? Are you kidding?! That would be WRONG, I screamed, Nixonesque in my self-consciousness, that would be SO wrong! Why, the very idea! How utterly APPALLING! Don’t you realize that the bad guys could be listening in even as we speak?!
My friend just chortled, remarked on what a hopeless bunch of boobs Americans are, told me that he wouldn’t ask me to celebrate any more blastings of CIA agents, wished me well in my infowar, and went back to wherever he came from.
I chewed over his words for quite some time. I decided I’m not sure I entirely agree with him, but I’ll tell you this: they’d have to waterboard me quite a bit before I’d give up his name.
24 Thoughts to “Will 2010 Be the Year Americans Finally Fight Back?”
the man is right. Until the people in Washington and other places being receiving consequences beyond their ability to tolerate, nothing will change.
If you get a chance watch this standup comedy. It is in German, but with English subtitles. You've got a good sense of humour, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Volker Pispers history of USA and terrorism
"I'll tell you this: they'd have to waterboard me quite a bit before I'd give up his name."
I wouldn't waste my time waterboarding your sorry carcass. I'd do it to you family in front of you just for shits and giggles though.
Unlike many others here in the US nothing you say shocks or surprises me. We are war with the muzzies and sooner, rather than later, the sheep will figure it out.
I've been hunting and killing islamovermin since 1983 and my only regret you weren't one of them.
Well, if it isn't "hang 'em high" Kevin Barrett–you terrorist apologizing, anti-American piece of offal.
Gassed any innocent Jewish people lately, nut-bar?
You're under arrest for the precrime of incitement to terrorism!
Just so you don't get the impression that a substantial percentage of my readers are psychos, here are some comments on this post I've received by email.
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And in this New Year, I'm grateful for men who are braver than me at suggesting sedition.
So as a novelty for the 1% of you who haven't heard or read this one, let me suggest that what was good enough for our grandparents is good enough for us…
The year was 1908. The young woman who had just arrived at Ellis Island from Eastern Europe was facing the gauntlet of Anglo-American hostility to the working class that industrial capitalism demanded to run the apparatus of rampant industrialization. The woman had read the manifests of Marx, Engels and the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzshe. She was conversant with the new social/anarchic framework being proposed by Bakunin and the other anarchists, including the illustrious Emma Goldman. The immigration agent who was standing in her way to her new life in America was a derivative of the infamously numbskull No Nothing Party. So, after our belle passed the small pox, yellow fever and plague tests she was at the end of her personal gauntlet forced to endure the blind patriotism test. To wit (or not, as the case proves) the immigration agent asked our fair maiden whether she would attempt to overthrow the Government of the United States by means of violence of sedition.
After a careful moment of contemplation, our heroine replied: "Sedition."
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Americans citizens are nothing more than hypnotized slaves for the zionist agenda. Want a job? Join the army and work to subject other peoples to the same bosses who are your bosses.
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As the new world order states….yo yo yo yo yo…..
Keep up the fight!
Happy and safe 2010!
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More reader comments via email.
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[The following article from Truth Jihad raises some very tough issues that form a subtle undercurrent in the anti-war movement that both saps the will of the left to really plant themselves in the path of the war machine and gives fuel to the right, as the neocon war-mongers accuse us of being un- or anti-American. This is a false charge, that we want to see the United States defeated militarily. The fear that restrains us is that this might be true on some level, that we are supporting the people who are killing American soldiers. None of this is true. Most of the people in the American anti-war movement are there to defend our country and the world from the monsters who run our government. The soldiers are our relatives and our neighbors sons and daughters; how could we wish them harm? We are not here to bring the government down, but to clean-out the bastards who have taken it over.
What is true, is that we want to see our war machine stopped in its advance, but we want to that machine used to stabilize and repair the devastation it has caused in service to the ruling monsters. The foreign caller in the following article questions: Why don't we fight to stop our government's aggression? Violence is what they want; the more, the better. The answer is: fighting for peace merely adds to the cycle of aggression and retribution. Ending our way of violence requires that we break the cycles that feed the violence. Support for the war begins within the mind; it is there that it must be tackled.
The military is restrained by the political, in that they are self-limiting in their use of force, never using more violence than they fell that they can get away with on a political level. They are careful not to unleash too much force lest it provoke a violent reaction from the American people. As long as we are self-limiting, avoiding the urge to resort to violence, they remain self-restraining. Our infowar must strive to remain within these bounds, if we hope to become the monkey wrench in the machine.
If Americans must die in a criminal war directed by the CIA, it is preferable to me that the victims are CIA operatives instead of the soldiers under their command. In my opinion, it is wrong to celebrate in their killing, though I know that if and when they begin killing my friends and neighbors here, I would feel the same way.]
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Terrific, pertinent read, Kevin — thanks for passing that along…!
Happy New Year to you, too!
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Here's a skeptical take on the same news item: some CIA (or whatever) types were preparing for a fake bombing mission, when the device to be used went off accidently. Since word had gotten out, a quick cover story was needed.
(Works for me, anyway)
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Nice one. 🙂
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And more reader comments from emails.
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I had to get back at you on this.
You know I've given this subject a tremendous amount of thought. Violence never wins, only peace wins. In my book I talk about stockholm syndrome, any human can get it, not just Americans. The polarization of that is what I call Gaza syndrome. I don't know who I am insulting more in that phrase; Israel for locking down the Palestinians, or the Palestinians for having a mental reaction or syndrome.
Violence is just as useless as submission, Gaza being case in point.
No matter who is killed, albeit it is somehow more acceptable that fighters kill fighters, soldiers kill soldiers instead of innocents, but specifically with the cia agents- Are there not replacements on the way? Was there anything really won? I have bony knuckles, and a mean left hook, but I am no match for any gun toting trained pro and even those with a poor shot might end me easily.
We all want the same thing and react the same ways! Iran, Afghan or American. Americans are no more pathetic than anyone else, and likely less so, we just tolerate a lot and need sparks. We are simply products of our environment and many might have societal stockholm syndrome. We are people after all, no more or less despicable than others on the planet?
One man is noted as freeing South Asia from violent, reppressive, oligarchical rule. He did this in spite of violence, not with it. Gandhi changed the world by disregarding being submissive and violent. Both reactions are quite easy to manipulate and both are often done out of fear. I have to agree with the notion of fighting back to protect, but who to fight back against in Afghanistan? A repressive local or oppressive foreigner? One side of the coin or the other. Happy new year!
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The USSR didn't fall due to violent resistance, nor did Argentina or Chile's dictatorships.
If things turn violent, can you imagine a country the size of the US looking like Somalia, or Rwanda? In fact, the guy doesn't seem to understand that hatred and greed and confusion are the problem, at the root.
In Iraq, the educated people were targeted. They left. Very few educated people want to fight. So look at Iraq now. The poorest and most desperate ones who could not escape are left, and in desperation they turn violent.
So this fellow's analysis is faulty and morally untenable. Chomsky has quite accurately pointed out that the people in the USA are totally outgunned, violent resistance has been planned for. The authorities would be very happy for it to happen so as to indulge their sadistic tendencies all the more.
Look at Burma, they tried to overthrow their corrupt military dictatorship and it failed.
So it is difficult to envision the conditions that would create a change from the current situation, as diagnosed by that fellow. But all things are impermanent. Having just spent almost a year in China, it is noteworthy that they think in historical terms in dynasties lasting scores of years, and centuries. We Americans think in much shorter terms.
So it is hard to see what America's fate is, but if the laws of cause and effect have not been revoked, the people who have created this situation will in the end experience the result.
Stay with your principles.
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C.I.A. Playing grater Quasi_Military Role in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Intel officer: CIA officers' deaths will be avenged – CNN.com
Thanks for the link to Volker Pispers. This German really spells it out and recognizes Merkel as another empty puppet like Brown, Sarkozy, "Dubya" and the rest.
In the same spirit that John Lennon embraced when stating the war is over if you want it to be, the same can be said regarding you agreeing that the Constitution is a dead letter. it's dead only if you want it to be…
"Violence never wins…"
Incredible the trite platitudes spouted by assholes to make themselves feel puffed up and righteous. Not to mention justifying never taking any kind of action to resist injustice. If it werent for the "violence" of the Vietnamese, that nation would be our 52nd state and half their population would have been liquidated by us- or however many we could have killed, unimpeded. If not for the "violence" of Hezbollah in 2006, Israhell would have all of Lebanon's water supply now…. History offers relentless other examples. To the losers does NOT belong the spoil. Or freedom. It aint free.
The zombies who spout comforting cliches' just havent felt any pain.
But then- Unplug their MTV and threaten their prozac and you uprisers may see a few cowards stung into shrill pouts!
Hi again Kevin
It is worth noting that one of the Sandanista leaders, who was a Catholic priest or maybe even higher in the Church, spoke of being pacifist, but in the face of severe violent repression, they had no choice but to defend themselves with force.
Contrast that with a great movie, The Mission, in which this question is also dealt with.
Some rainforest Indians were converted to Catholicism by priest, played by Jeremy Irons. He saves a mercenary slave trader played by Robert Duvall helping him to renounce his violent evil ways.
As the fate of the Indians becomes clear, they are to be wiped out for refusing to submit to slavery, Duvall opts to defend them with force, and Jeremy Irons says, "God is Love" and if he can't live that life, then it is not worth living.
In the final act of the movie, the village is invaded, the church burned, Jeremy Irons, leading the Indians in a peace march is shot and killed, while Robert Duvall is shot to death trying to defend the bridge used by the invading soldiers.
Sometimes things just don't work out. That is the true test of faith.
We may well be in that situation now.
Speaking of movies…what does it mean that overflow audiences are standing up and cheering the annihilation of US military & mercenaries by occupation victims at the end of Avatar — the most expensive movie ever made? Do Americans really WANT to cheer for the Iraqis, Afghanis & Palestinians, but can only do so openly when those wars wear a thin fictional disguise and the audience wears 3-D glasses? Maybe Americans haven't lost the anti-imperial spirit of 1776?
Regarding the Constitution, I agree, it's there if you want it. But what can people who believe in the rule of law do when 'the government' starts illegally kidnapping and torturing people?
"Appearing on Hardball, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) defended the use of waterboarding — and unlike other GOPers, he openly used the word 'torture.'"
"'I would not limit our intelligence agencies' ability to get information from people,' said Schock. 'If they have a ticking time-bomb or some critical piece of information that can save American lives, I don't believe that we should limit waterboarding or quite frankly any other alternative torture technique, if it means saving Americans' lives.'" http://tiny.cc/J1GUN.
One answer might be: any group that kidnaps and tortures isn't the legitimate government any more. So do we have just as much right to kidnap and torture Schock as his goons have to kidap and torture anybody else?
When 'the government' kidnaps, tortures, wages wars of aggression, blows up the WTC, etc. etc., is it the legitimate government any more? Are we witnessing the collapse of legitimacy in the US? Is that why the whole country is cheering the annihilation of the US military & mercenaries in Avatar?
The Man is 100% right. Keep up the good work! Most Americans still don't seem to have a clue–are busy believing what they're told to believe, basically.
Noel Glynn of the UK truth movement writes:
WHY VIOLENCE IS NOT THE WAY
Thanks to Kevin and Fish for this. Here's my twopennoth
The ruling elite are much better armed than the public is, from tazers to nukes. The hand-guns, which Americans seem to believe is a civil right to possess, will be useless against the US state.
It is poor tactics when choosing weapons for the struggle to choose the kind of weapon that the enemy is infinitely more powerful in. That is one reason why non-violence is more likely to bring the desired results than violence.
M K Ghandi’s example is an inspiration to many although it did not bring about Ghandi’s ultimate aim: a restructured non-violent society. However it did bring about the end of British rule in India.
If we use violence, they will certainly use violence against us and we will lose any public support we might have had. The public want a quiet life with their families and fear those who they believe initiate violence. Use violence and we will be doing the ruling elite’s job for them by giving them plenty of reasons to justify draconian control (oppression) in the eyes of the public. They will no longer need to undertake false flag operations because we will create the violent attacks they need to justify their oppression.
Violence begets violence, unleashes war, brings about Hell on Earth. It may bring about ultimate control by those who have rebelled, but control over what kind of society? One which is ruled autocratically by a new elite, the "New Class" as Milovan Djilas termed it – The kind of autocratic society which people partially successfully rebelled against by non-violent methods in eastern Europe during the 1980s.
Lenin’s and Mao’s revolutions were only partially successful. Neither produced the kind of society sought by the revolutionaries: a society of peace, goodwill, caring and sharing – in short a utopian communism. Neither has the Islamic revolution in Iran brought about a universally popular society. The French revolution, while also aiming for admirable ideals, brought about twenty years of warfare, huge loss of life and an oppressive empire.
If we are religious, we may, through using violence, encourage the attitude of others that our religion is a violent one. Some maintain religion itself is a cause of division, war and violence.
If our goal is a revolution from the status quo, we should bear in mind that the forms of society set up by revolutions are shaped by the nature of those revolutions. Violent revolutions bring about government which can only be sustained by violence i.e. oppression. It creates enemies who will seek by any means to come back into power and it creates violent oppressive means to defend itself from them. Non-violent revolutions tend to bring about gentler, freer societies though none are perfect.
Then there is the problem that violence seduces people into it because it is sexy. It produces revolutionary heroes and war heroes. Use of the jibe “you coward” leads people (particularly men) into choosing violence. Even sporting violence produces heroes, as is attested to by Roman graffiti in admiration of gladiators. War games with toy guns or computer games induce a fascination with violence among boys, later leading to an acceptance of military violence.
Non-violence has its own weapons: the strike, the boycott, publicity, street protests, whistle-blowing etc – not so sexy perhaps, but ultimately more successful in bringing about desirable ends.
Response to Noel:
These are all excellent points.
Those of us who want to reduce violence need to begin with a clear-eyed view of who is perpetrating violence, where it is occurring and why, and to what extent WE are responsible.
So: please open your eyes and recognize that more than 99% of all violence is state violence. (If we add violence against nature, violence against human dignity, etc. then we should say it's state/corporate violence.)
If you pay taxes you are paying for the mass murder of people abroad and the mass kidnapping (and murder if the victims resist) of people at home. We are trained to believe that "the state" has the right to murder and kidnap ("imprison") people. But there is no such thing as "the state," it's just an label for the coordinated actions of the powerful. For example, the state killed Martin Luther King, Jr. via the CIA, FBI, US Army, and the mafia. Of these agencies, organized crime may well be the most powerful bureaucracy of "the state." But there's really no difference — the state IS organized crime. (Re: Sibel Edmonds on the Russian-Israeli-NY mafia & 9/11.)
Given the fact that virtually all violence is state violence in this extended sense, we should not pretend that we are being nonviolent if we protest nonviolently yet pay taxes and otherwise participate in the system that is perpetrating nearly all the violence.
In the best of all worlds, we would find a way to avoid contributing to state/corporate violence while using nonviolent means to bring down the state/corporate system.
In the world as it is, people who genuinely want to bring down, say, the Israeli state, or the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, or the US empire, or the New World Order, may reach the conclusion that directing at least a small fraction of their enemies' violence back at those enemies may be one effective tool among many. Personally I couldn't pre-judge any particular act of violence without knowing its specific circumstances. Examples: I might support the police kidnapping a murderer here in Wisconsin, just as I would support the Iraqi resistance kidnapping a Blackwater torturer in Iraq; while I would oppose many other prospective kidnappings ("jailings"). See "In Defense of Anarchism" by Wolff for the philosophical background.
This "conversation" was just the voices in Barrett's head. Violent occupation in the United States? Yeah that makes no sense. Occupation in Somalia? All I see is anarchy and angry violent men killing people in Somalia, a failed state. The Muslim extremists act outside the law and stone people to death. Yeah that is great behavior.
Terrorism in search of political change usually never achieves anything and is immoral in nearly all circumstances.
If you lived in Castro's Cuba or North Korea or Iran or Mugabe's Zimbabwe then maybe terrorism against military targets and the government could be justified. But in free wealthy countries, it's just madness. That is why America has a constitution. I guarantee Barrett's friend is just another angry engineering student who believes in anti-Semitic nonsense and the protocols of the elders of Zion and is just another angry know nothing Muslim zealot (course their are plenty of angry know nothing Jews and red neck Christians too).
The only thing terrorism will achieve is a cycle of revenge and hardening of people's will to fight. America is not Spain; we are much more powerful (and less frightened) and any act to change our course (in Afghanistan) should be a political act. Any violence will only make the American public angry and vengeful.
Le style, c'est l'homme meme.
"Terrorism in search of political change usually never achieves anything"
Usually never? Hmmm…how about 9/11? Are you telling me that Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Netanyahu didn't change anything by 9/11?
Or how about the American, French, or Russian revolutions?
Have the terrorist invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan changed anything there?
Did the terrorism practiced against the Native Americans have anything to do with their dispossession?
As my book Questioning the War on Terror shows, 99% of terrorism (violence against civilians for political purposes) is state terrorism, carried out by governments and their militaries and intelligence agencies. They wouldn't do it if it didn't affect anything.
Anonymous seems to be saying that state terrorism is fine, don't resist it, because you can't change anything. He's either a depressed, dumbed-down imbecile or a shill for the real (government) terrorists.
Anonymous's comment is so vapid, it makes me want to rush out to overthrow the government using force and violence ; – )
I do belive somewhere in the constititution
it says,now this is where I,m unsure Forien or domestic enimies we can protect our seles from so should this not give us the legal right to go in throw there asses out of the building,Hire people to run things that won't rape our people of everything we have like now.
Wow–this is bold.
It's all Jack Blood's fault. He kept saying "Be bold" and finally talked me into it 😉
six agents inside job? Remember Scott Tillman!
You have a very knowledgeable and wise friend there. Unfortunately most Americans are fully subjugated by the years of mind-control propaganda to ever rebel. And from what I've seen here and in other forums, if we started fighting, we'd all wind up fighting each other. So many people are firmly bogged down in political and religious views that have no connection with the natural world. We would probably wind up with a modern day equivalent of "all men are created equal" where it didn't include the black slaves or women.
All tyrants will pay for their evil crimes against life soon enough.
We are not their slaves and we will never be their slaves.