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Attack of the Attackers

By       Message Mickey Z.     Permalink
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I've given some talks this year...talks that could accurately be described as "challenging" to those not part of a minute militant minority (see below link). One of the most predictable responses from the more mainstream of my listeners—whether during Q&A or in follow-up conversations and e-mails—is that some audience members feel attacked (by yours truly) for their lifestyle.

Attacked?

For the sake of clarity, I’d like to describe what I’d regard as an “attack.” Let’s say you’re a citizen in the most powerful nation on earth. You pay taxes and those taxes fund the most devastating military power the world has ever known. Your country uses this military power to intimidate, invade, and bomb with impunity. Most recently, some of those bombs you’ve help subsidize just might have landed in a residential area of Iraq and blown the limbs off a newborn baby, blinded his older sister, and wiped out the rest of the family. That, my friends, is what it’s like to be attacked. Sitting in a comfortable chair, sipping an overpriced latte in a local bar or bookstore, while an obscure writer opines that the America “way of life” is directly and indirectly responsible for the horrifying state of global affairs? Not an attack.

Sorry if that bursts your comfort bubble but as Henry Miller sez: “It isn’t the oceans which cut us off from the world; it’s the American way of looking at things.”

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Another interesting reaction I’ve gotten is usually from more seasoned veterans…and it goes a little something like this: “I’ve be doing this for so long and nothing seems to change. It’s all so demoralizing and makes you want to quit.”Cue the goddamned violins. A bunch of pampered Americans are getting all weepy because their meager activist efforts have been essentially fruitless. You want demoralized? Try this on for size: You live in 1975 East Timor when Indonesia—with permission and funding from the aforementioned most powerful nation on earth—invades your land and slaughters one-third of your population. Yet, you continue to fight and organize and struggle and raise global awareness, fully cognizant that such actions are essentially suicidal. The US-supported invaders are ruthless and relentless. Somehow, these East Timorese humans managed to avoid getting bummed out and their efforts have resulted in some improvement.

I hope that doesn’t put you in a funk but as Noam Chomsky sez: “I’m not here to cheer you up.”

(Samples of my talk here)

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Mickey Z. is author of several books, including CPR for Dummies and No Innocent Bystanders. He can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

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http://www.mickeyz.net
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

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