Originally published Jan 2, 2010.
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.