by RIP RENSE
(Sept. 29, 2004)
I've been called a
lot of names, I suppose. I recall someone referring to me once as an "exposed
nerve," which I rather liked, and I remember the marginally literate editor who
(behind my back) enjoyed labelling me with a commonly employed vulgarism for the
nethermost exit point in the body. Coming from her, I wore it like a badge.
Yes, a reader has branded me
such. Now, it's true I chickened out decades ago on those offers from the New York
Daily News and CNN, but how did he know that? No, no---wait, I'm accused of cowardice
for my viewpoints---expressed right here in The Rip Post!
I didn't know I was significant enough to merit
such denunciation. I had no idea that anyone took The Post so seriously. And
while I find this kind of frightening, I don't plan to stop writing. That would be um,
Here's the scoop: a friend
kindly referred this site to a number of friends, and one wrote back to him,
going on about the "war on terror" and naming various American
"cowards." This is part of what the friend of a friend (let's call him Xavier
Onassis---say it fast) wrote: (Please excuse his capricious employment of capital
"another one is your buddy rip rense,
his cowardice being very charming and clever."
(Charming and clever? Evidence alone of how
vastly this fellow has misjudged me.)
"they appease the islamic-nazis by opposing
the u.s. rather than supporting it. they oppose it by trying to spread doubt and confusion
about our purpose in this war via peace protests and in this specific case a website. They
try to make our government look like the bad guys."
Wow. Wow-weeeee! To quote
Peter Pan at the beginning of the Disneyland ride, "Okay, everybody, here. . .we. .
.gooooooooooo!" Quick, wind up the cuckoo clocks! Calling all cars! Calling all cars!
Where do you even begin?
Let's see. . .I "oppose the U.S."
because I disagree with the administration's policies? Since when is any administration
synonymous with the U.S.? Doesn't Congress often oppose the policies of an
administration? By Xavier's "logic," Congress must occasionally be
anti-American! Dirty commie senators!
You wonder: does Xavier imagine that
there is a fundamentalist Muslim force out there equivalent to Hitler's army? Hell-bent on
blitzkrieging the U.S.?
The fact is that there are terrorists in
the world, as there have been for decades (forever, if you want to get technical), and
that they finally managed to strike the United States at home (of course, Timothy McVeigh
beat 'em to it)---just as a myriad of experts had predicted to an unheeding Washington
since oh, the dawn of time. There is no nation that declared war on the United
States. There are raging, murdering criminals on the loose. Thousands of 'em! Why, nineteen
or twenty alone pulled off 9/11!
And 9/11 wasn't really a first. Foreign
terrorism, you'll recall, struck the U.S. way back in 1968, when one Sirhan
Sirhan killed the next president of the United States, Robert F. Kennedy. Funny, but
neither LBJ or Nixon declared a "war on terror" after that. (Maybe they should
But back to Xavier:
. . . by opposing the u.s. rather than
supporting it. they oppose it by trying to spread doubt and confusion about our purpose in
this war via peace protests. . .
Think about it: Xavier says that if you support
peace on earth, you therefore oppose the U.S.(!) Come to think of it, most of
Europe might agree with him. . .
It's simple: Xavier equates freedom of speech,
and concern for the country, with treason. That is, if said free speech and concern for
the country express views contrary to his. This is significant, for Bush has aroused vast
legions of Xaviers. These are citizens who, quite without guilt and wholly in the name of gawdandcountree,
would ultimately imprison or put to death those with opposing viewpoints. Doubt it? Check
your history books. Look under "Auschwitz," "Cultural Revolution,"
"Idi Amin," "Cambodia". . .
The so-called "PATRIOT" Act is a
first step in this direction. It empowers the government to grab you and hold you
indefinitely if you happen to get drunk in a bar and make a joke about a "burning
Bush." Or to infiltrate your weekly coffee klatch where you and your pudgy
middle-aged neighbors plan candlelight vigils for peace. Laughing, are you? These things
have already happened.
Xavier is so wildly paranoid that
he believes that this website, the mighty Rip Post, which is read by at least
23.7 persons every week (and possibly some members of the animal kingdom) is not only
subverting the "war on terror"---it has an impact on the entire course of human
events! You know, like Oprah! Well, okay, let's say it did. Would that therefore negate
freedom of speech? Xavier, would-be fascist, thinks so. Here is still more of his
"Our government can be bad but nothing like
the enemies we're fighting. compare our nation with any arab nation and it's obvious that
charlatans like rip tell it all backwards."
(Now I'm a charlatan. Darn. And I thought I at
least had the integrity of being a "coward.")
It's interesting that Xavier believes that
"all Arab nations" are "bad." Now that's sophisticated thinking;
definitely a step up from grunting. And---hold on to your guttrahs---Xavier's way
of standing up for the good ol' USA is to compare it to, say, Syria or Saudi Arabia. Talk
about damning with faint praise! Perhaps Xavier never studied World War II, or the
scientific/ technological/humanitarian/sociological marvels pulled off by Uncle Sam in the
20th century. . .
Xavier is correct on one point,
though: "our government" is "nothing like the enemies we're fighting."
Right. Our government is building new nuclear weapons for use in "pre-emptive"
wars. The terrorists only dream of such things. Xaiver reminds me of the American-on-
the-street who told a TV reporter, "at least we don't behead people."
No, we just accidentally blow up children and mothers with big bombs and call it
"islamic-nazis are attacking all over the
Really! I'll be sure and check under my bed every
"the islamic-nazis want the u.s. especially to be
That old saw. Here's some news for Xavier: the United
States has always been divided. This is what happens in a free society. Why, it was once
so divided that it split apart into two whole countries, Xavier. That was called the Civil
As for the current schism in the country,
Xavier credits terrorists. Free will, intellect and concern for the future of humankind
can't possibly have anything to do with the widespread disagreement with administration
policy. Xavier thinks U.S. citizens aren't capable of thinking for themselves; that they
are hapless dupes being manipulated by terrorists.
In his case, he might be right.
"the islamic-nazis want us doubtful and
confused in hopes that we would elect a weak government who (sic) won't fight them back or
at least wont' (sic) fight back properly."
Actually, if pronoun-challenged Xavier
did any reading, he would know that the opposite is true. Osama bin-Laden and his
copycat minions want nothing more than for the U.S. to engage them. This legitimizes their
power, and affords them respect among the ignorant and impoverished so easily seduced by
ugly religion and the politics of death. The best thing the Bush administration could have
done for Al-Qaeda was to rile up all the Xaviers, proclaim the current endless "war
on terror," and implement the "doctrine of pre-emption" with the invasion
"Fighting back properly?"
here's how: treat terrorists as the criminals they are; hunt them down with
international cooperative law enforcement. It's in every civilized nation's interests.
Even semi-civilized ones. Remember that just after 9/11, the free world was united enough
to have dramatically undertaken such an effort. Instead came Bush's Iraq invasion and the
ensuing alienation---and villification---of the United States. An invasion carried out not
to fight terrorists, but to (check the Project for a New
American Century) permanently occupy the Middle East in the name of
controlling oil, protecting Israel, and magically prompting all Arab nations to---presto-change-o---
"Look at what happened in spain after the
train bombing just before their election. the terror attack worked just as planned: the
spanish people got scared and suddenly decided to elect a weak government which right away
stopped fighting the war. the message they gave the terrorists was: terrorism works, we
give up, come take us over."
No, the Spanish people got smart and realized
that the Iraq "war" is U.S. hegemony that has inspired and galvanized terrorists
like nothing in human history. Spain took itself off the hit-list. And as far as I can
tell, terrorists have not gone to Spain to "take over." Spain still appears to
be a sovereign nation.
Enough. I tried not to engage Xavier,
but I can't help myself. I always have this stupid idea that something might somehow get
through. Sad to say, his observations are important, for they represent the
"thinking" of millions. A few years ago, there were other Xaviers with other
enemies. Substitute the word, "commies," for "islamic-nazis" in the
above rant, and voila! Joe McCarthy.
Xavier is reacting to the propagandizing of the
Bush administration, which hysterically warns that terrorists are about to attack our
(apparently helpless!) nation again, at any moment. Especially if John Kerry is elected.
In other words, Xavier is just plain scared.
Scared sh---er, witless. He fails Fear Factor.
Well, he's not alone. I'm scared of terrorists,
too---exactly as I am of earthquakes, lightning, The Bachelor, and people using
cell phones in SUVs. Terrorism has been a part of Europe's reality for decades; now it is
part of ours.
But I'm far more frightened of an
administration that insists on endless world war, using as an excuse the heinous acts of a
few madmen; a policy that is creating and emboldening more killers each day. A policy that
was formulated long before 9/11 by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol,
Paul Wolfowitz, and the rest of the so-called Neocons.
If that makes me a coward, no problem.
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