This was actually broadcast yesterday, but in case you missed it, here it is in full (with Michael Moore doing a podcast beforehand, and a Q & A after):
(If you just want to see the movie, fast-forward to minute 38.)
For those who say “Never Forget”, here’s what they forgot. Here’s what you really shouldn’t forget. Here’s the antidote to everything our corporate crapaganda media have been feeding us from the minute the Twin Towers were struck.
Even up here in Canada, we haven’t been immune to this disease; our local toadies and bootlickers fell over each other in their haste to be the first to hold the bullies’ coats. The simple humanitarian goodwill that prevailed in Gander and Whitehorse was soon forgotten as our so-called opinion shapers decided to fawn on the most bellicose Yanks, like Miss Jean Brodie on Mussolini and his Fascisti, while dismissing dissenters with a lofty wave of their hands. They have a lot to answer for, but so far, nobody who mongered for war has been fired or even been called on the carpet for their facile defences of the indefensible. I can only conclude that the rich bastards who own our media, and who paid those jokers’ salaries, profited from that war as much as any of the weapons dealers and oil companies. They certainly were NOT the voices of reason or morality, no matter how hard they tried to posture as such.
I never went along with their narrative. I refused to buy into the “clash of civilizations” bullshit, or the “you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists” bullshit, or the “we will be greeted as liberators” bullshit. I rejected the notions of both terrorist “jihad” and corporatist “McWorld”. One doesn’t enlighten the world by being embedded with the perpetrators of Collateral Murder and selling them as the Good Guys. And one cannot claim to be enlightened oneself if one permits the blinders to be clapped onto oneself by those who materially profit from war-mongering.
Our right-wing media garbage peddlers have only prospered since then, and that’s fucking disheartening. There ought to be consequences for those who supported Dubya Bush’s war crimes, and so far there have been none. Nobody’s been fired or even censured. Nobody’s apologized or admitted they were wrong. Everything got glossed over after the Bushes were gently broomed out of the White House by the Obamas. Even Ellen DeGeneres, the so-called “Queen of Nice”, proved her own class loyalties by cheerfully sitting next to Dubya at a baseball game, instead of ostracizing him like the war criminal he is. Money talked, and many a crook walked. Hell, Donald Rumsfeld even went to his grave this year merely retired, and utterly unpunished. He got more praise than criticism from the moron media, even in death. Sic semper tyrannis!
And of course, no one among the talking heads observed the extreme irony of a “war on terror” that perpetuated terrorism and multiplied it thousandsfold; likewise, none of those vociferous defenders of Freeze Peach could even see how antithetical it was to their so-called democratic western values to put antiwar protesters in the States in literal people-pens on the sidelines while the pro-war parade rolled on. I guess it’s easy to be so blinkered when you’re so well paid to write drivel that isn’t fit to line a birdcage with!
Well, no matter. Some of us still protested for peace. Here, in my otherwise conservative and downright drowsy hometown here in Southern Ontario, even the police supported our right to do so, cordoning off the streets so our peace march could proceed without fear of some deranged wingnut driving into us. What a contrast to the “Free Speech Zones” in the States! And also, what a contrast to now, when some truly fascist governors in the States have actually flirted with legalizing vehicular homicide against any protester who dissents against them!
I remember what a cold winter’s day that was, when we marched against the impending war in Iraq; it was -18ºC, with a windchill in the minus-twenties. I bundled up, double-dosed myself with some heavy-duty medication for the bad head cold I was fighting, grabbed my Betsy Ross peace flag, and went.
Our march was small, but well received. The only local people who opposed us, at least that I could see, were three goofy-looking teenage boys carrying pro-war placards and heckling from the sidelines; a woman from our march went over and confronted them. I don’t know what she said, but clearly it had a healthy effect; the would-be trolls left in tears. Unimpeded, we marched from the town hall to the county courthouse, getting lots of supportive horn-honking, smiles, and waves from passing cars. I was photographed with my flag, and asked why I was carrying it. “It’s in solidarity with our friends in the States who don’t want this war either,” was what I said. It was also in solidarity with the ordinary people of Afghanistan and Iraq, who had done nothing to deserve the shitstorm that was falling on them, or just about to.
It was one of the proudest days of my life, even if it was one of the loneliest at the time. You haven’t felt truly proud, or scared, until you’ve held an unpopular opinion that’s actually justified. And when you don’t let terrorism blind you to the ugly truths of imperialism, vulture capitalism, and blowback. And when you don’t go along with the prevailing racism, religious bigotry, or the unspeakable F-word…FASCISM. Because that’s what we were up against that day, those few hundred people in a town of thousands, who dared to speak out.
Flash forward from 2003 to now, and I feel more than ever that I was right to go to that march, even sick with a bad head cold. Even opposed by feckless idiots of the chattering classes, who wouldn’t have been out of place if they’d stood with those three dumb little high-school boys on the street corner. Even on a day when both the political climate and the literal weather were chilly towards the likes of me, and the viewpoint I went to express.
Time has proven us peaceniks right: the war in Iraq was pointless, and the fake good guys lost. The war in Afghanistan, which has only just now been called off, was also pointless, and the fake good guys lost ignominiously. It was a whole lot of bloodletting for nothing, and those of us who knew all along that it would be, are now vindicated. And Michael Moore, who was initially ostracized for criticizing it in his documentary, is now a cultural hero. That’s pretty sweet.
It would be so much sweeter if there had been a bringing to justice, instead of yet another crank-up of the old war machine. And if there weren’t millions dead for nothing, and if their murderers weren’t still at large, and if their enablers had only faced some consequences for their lack of credibility.
We’re still waiting. And we will still be protesting.