BarlowFriendz 8.6: Please, Folks, Call The Capital Today!

October 10, 2002 at 4:54 pm
Contributed by:

Hello Defenders of the Free World,

 

I thought you would enjoy this one, written by John Perry Barlow, former
lyricist of the Grateful Dead and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (http://www.eff.org), which has long
been the leader in defense of civil liberties online. It is forwarded with his
permission.

 

Although there is much else to read and reference–the House passed the
war resolution today–I haven’t the energy or heart to get into it in this
issue. You probably don’t have time to read all this stuff as it is.

 

As always: I appreciate
your feedback–sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort to compile these
notes, and your responses make it worthwhile. My thanks
 to readers
who sent me all this stuff!

 

In case you don’t read this one to the
end, I’ll repeat Barlow’s sig:

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the
nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing
falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations
of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and
will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque
self-deception.
– Mark Twain, The Mysterious
Stranger, 1916, Ch.9


[You are on my private Poli-spam list. If you don't
want to be on it, just say so.]


–C

 

—–Original Message—–
From: John Perry Barlow
[mailto:barlow@eff.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2002 12:17
PM
To: John Perry Barlow
Subject: BarlowFriendz 8.6: Please,
Folks, Call The Capital Today!





            
^

          




   
/_             
_
                             
———>  B a R L o W F R i e N D Z —–>



Also, if this broadcast feels as spammish
to you as it obviously is, I hope you remember that individual responses
generally elicit personal replies. And whether or not I have time to write back,
I always read your replies with careful delight.>

——————————>  ——————->
——–>





CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. NOW.



If you have opened this e-mail today, Thursday, October 10, stop reading it
right now.



Drop your mouse and grab your phone.



Call the offices of your senators and representatives and tell them how you
feel about their willingness to give “President” Bush blanket authorization to
make war whenever and however he feels like it, renewable indefinitely. They may
vote to do so as early as this evening.



This is nuts, folks. Good Ol’ Dubya has the brains of a *censored*er spaniel, but
unlike a *censored*er spaniel, he has nuclear weapons. Not to mention the masculine
insecurities of a Houston frat jock working on his second six pack. Not to
mention the conscience-anaesthetizing belief that God is on his side.



Worse, he has in the background some very bright people whose almost
autistic capacity for compassion would make Stalin look like the Dalai
Lama.



It was Stalin who said, “The death of one person is a tragedy. The death of
a million people is a statistic.” Dick Cheney, whom I’ve know quite well since
1976, is perfectly capable of thinking something like that. It’s no small wonder
that he has a heart condition. For years, his heart has been crying out for the
attention of the HAL 9000 in his head.



Dick wants to impose the Pax Americana upon the world. By force. He wants
to disarm Irag for the same reasons that Caeser wanted to disarm Gaul. The
reason he isn’t, like George Bush I, concerned about what sort of government
would replace Saddam’s is because *we* would govern Iraq for the indefinite
future. As we now govern Afghanistan and will, according to his plan, come to
govern the entire oil-producing portion of the Islamic world.



But Rome ruled by fear, not moral example. They crucified a lot more people
than Jesus Christ. They had no more interest in the well-being of their subjects
than do the architects of Pax Americana, which was first designed by Cheney and
Wolfowitz at the end of Bush I.



This concept was buffed up and re-codified in September 2000. It took the
form of a document called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which was released
then by an outfit called The Project for the New American Century. You may find
this document at
http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf
.



After you’ve called DC, I strongly recommend that you read it. Like all
great authoritarian literature, it produces in the reader a perfect combination
of boredom and terror.



One of its authors, Yale’s Donald Kagen, gave us a foretasted flavor of our
Imperial ruling style when he said recently, “People worry a lot about how the
Arab street is going to react [to the invasion of Iraq]. Well, I see that the
Arab street has gotten very, very quiet since we started blowing things
up.”



This is not the quiet of tranquillity. This is the smoldering quiet of
rage.



We have the military force to blow a lot of things up. But if that is how
the Pax is to be maintained, it will be a pox on America’s soul. For most of our
history, we have led by moral rather than military force. Are we ready to
forsake that tradition?



Besides, I believe the strategy of coerced Islamic pacification will
backfire hideously. Those quiet Arab streets will produce a virulent bloom of
young men who have nothing to lose and Paradise to gain.



As we learned on September 11, it doesn’t take a nation state to threaten
us, nor does it take a nation state to create genuine weapons of mass
destruction. A pencil sized stick of Cesium 137, which can be easily acquired at
any food irradiation facility, could, with 10 pounds of dynamite wrapped around
it, deliver a lethal dose of radiation to everyone in Lower Manhattan.



Modern technology greatly favors the underdog. As a purely practical matter
- never mind the moral questions – do we want to be the perpetual Overdog in a
world like that?



Pax Americana may slouch out of the Capital tonight and head off to Baghdad
to be born. If it is, we will make America safe for SUV’s. And almost nothing
else.



Call your senators and representative. Now.



We contained the Soviet Union for 57 years. We’ve contained Iraq for 11
years. However dishonest or barbaric or conniving Saddam’s government, they have
provided us with precisely zero identifiable threat since 1991. We can go on
containing them for a long time. With proper intelligence – which may be hard
for us to muster – we could probably neutralize them as well and do so without
“collateral damage” (our pleasant phrase for killing innocent bystanders).



But, as a nation, we no longer seem to think there are Moslem innocents. We
are systematically dehumanizing them. I beg you not to do this. Do not turn the
Islamic world into statistics instead of human beings like yourselves. Following
one of my previous missives on this subject, I received some astonishingly
bigoted replies. One former BarlowFriend said, essentially, “kill them all, let
Allah sort ‘em out.”



I make faint defense for either the cultural or political practices of the
Middle East. I’ve spent time there. It’s pretty awful, at least by my standards.
Egypt is a place so broken that it makes Mexico look like France. But the
people, even the ones who hated everything I stood for, were incredibly sweet to
me.



However bad their governments may be, however narrowing their ideology,
each of them is, like you, another mask that God wears. They laugh, they love,
they toss their babies in the air with as much affection as you toss
yours.



There are many babies in Iraq who will likely soon be tossed into mass
graves, assuming there’s a recognizable body to toss. There are many adults in
Iraq who have done nothing to you who will die horrible deaths simply because
their leader, whom they hate as much as we do, just might possibly someday
become able to do something bad to us.



These are real human beings. Very few of them mean you any harm. Even their
leader, who probably does mean you harm, is smart enough to know better than to
inflict it.



Imagine them, not as millions, but one person at a time. Grace them with
actual faces. Look into their deep, dark eyes. Are you still ready to kill them?
Do you have reason enough?



Call your senators and representatives. Now.



It’s probably too late. Even Tom Daschle has caved. But if we lose today,
we can begin to organize the long struggle that will be necessary to save
America and the world from Pax Americana. And you might as well begin your new
career as a political activist with a phone call today. You’d do well to get
into the habit.



With bleak heart,



Barlow



P.S. Please scroll down to my current .sig quote. It’s timely.






*************************************************************
John Perry
Barlow, Cognitive Dissident
Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, Electronic
Frontier Foundation
Berkman Fellow, Harvard Law
School
                     
Home(stead)
Page:
http://www.eff.org/~barlow


**************************************************************

Barlow
in Meatspace Now: New York City! (Until 10/12)
212/965-1991
 
(Provisional) Trajectory from Here: Salt Lake City
(10/12-15) -> Steamboat Springs, CO (10/15-16) -> Pinedale, Wyoming
(10/17-20) -> Eugene, OR (10/21-22) -> Down the West Coast (10/22-24)
-> San Francisco (10/24-28) -> LA (10/28-31) -> Las Vegas (11/1-2)
-> Salt Lake City (11/3) -> New York City (11/4-5) -> London (11/6-9)
-> Pinehurst, NC (11/9-12) -> New York
City…

**************************************************************

Next
the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is
attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and
will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and
thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God
for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque
self-deception.


– Mark Twain,
The Mysterious Stranger, 1916, Ch.9

Hello Defenders of the Free World,

 

I thought you would enjoy this one, written by John Perry Barlow, former
lyricist of the Grateful Dead and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (
http://www.eff.org), which has long
been the leader in defense of civil liberties online. It is forwarded with his
permission.

 

Although there is much else to read and reference–the House passed the
war resolution today–I haven’t the energy or heart to get into it in this
issue. You probably don’t have time to read all this stuff as it is.

 

As always: I appreciate
your feedback–sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort to compile these
notes, and your responses make it worthwhile. My thanks
 to readers
who sent me all this stuff!

 

In case you don’t read this one to the
end, I’ll repeat Barlow’s sig:

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the
nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing
falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations
of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and
will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque
self-deception.
– Mark Twain, The Mysterious
Stranger, 1916, Ch.9


[You are on my private Poli-spam list. If you don't
want to be on it, just say so.]


–C


 

—–Original Message—–
From: John Perry Barlow
[mailto:barlow@eff.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2002 12:17
PM
To: John Perry Barlow
Subject: BarlowFriendz 8.6: Please,
Folks, Call The Capital Today!





            
^

          




   
/_             
_
                             
———>  B a R L o W F R i e N D Z —–>



Also, if this broadcast feels as spammish
to you as it obviously is, I hope you remember that individual responses
generally elicit personal replies. And whether or not I have time to write back,
I always read your replies with careful delight.>

——————————>  ——————->
——–>





CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. NOW.



If you have opened this e-mail today, Thursday, October 10, stop reading it
right now.



Drop your mouse and grab your phone.



Call the offices of your senators and representatives and tell them how you
feel about their willingness to give “President” Bush blanket authorization to
make war whenever and however he feels like it, renewable indefinitely. They may
vote to do so as early as this evening.



This is nuts, folks. Good Ol’ Dubya has the brains of a *censored*er spaniel, but
unlike a *censored*er spaniel, he has nuclear weapons. Not to mention the masculine
insecurities of a Houston frat jock working on his second six pack. Not to
mention the conscience-anaesthetizing belief that God is on his side.



Worse, he has in the background some very bright people whose almost
autistic capacity for compassion would make Stalin look like the Dalai
Lama.



It was Stalin who said, “The death of one person is a tragedy. The death of
a million people is a statistic.” Dick Cheney, whom I’ve know quite well since
1976, is perfectly capable of thinking something like that. It’s no small wonder
that he has a heart condition. For years, his heart has been crying out for the
attention of the HAL 9000 in his head.



Dick wants to impose the Pax Americana upon the world. By force. He wants
to disarm Irag for the same reasons that Caeser wanted to disarm Gaul. The
reason he isn’t, like George Bush I, concerned about what sort of government
would replace Saddam’s is because *we* would govern Iraq for the indefinite
future. As we now govern Afghanistan and will, according to his plan, come to
govern the entire oil-producing portion of the Islamic world.



But Rome ruled by fear, not moral example. They crucified a lot more people
than Jesus Christ. They had no more interest in the well-being of their subjects
than do the architects of Pax Americana, which was first designed by Cheney and
Wolfowitz at the end of Bush I.



This concept was buffed up and re-codified in September 2000. It took the
form of a document called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which was released
then by an outfit called The Project for the New American Century. You may find
this document at
http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf
.



After you’ve called DC, I strongly recommend that you read it. Like all
great authoritarian literature, it produces in the reader a perfect combination
of boredom and terror.



One of its authors, Yale’s Donald Kagen, gave us a foretasted flavor of our
Imperial ruling style when he said recently, “People worry a lot about how the
Arab street is going to react [to the invasion of Iraq]. Well, I see that the
Arab street has gotten very, very quiet since we started blowing things
up.”



This is not the quiet of tranquillity. This is the smoldering quiet of
rage.



We have the military force to blow a lot of things up. But if that is how
the Pax is to be maintained, it will be a pox on America’s soul. For most of our
history, we have led by moral rather than military force. Are we ready to
forsake that tradition?



Besides, I believe the strategy of coerced Islamic pacification will
backfire hideously. Those quiet Arab streets will produce a virulent bloom of
young men who have nothing to lose and Paradise to gain.



As we learned on September 11, it doesn’t take a nation state to threaten
us, nor does it take a nation state to create genuine weapons of mass
destruction. A pencil sized stick of Cesium 137, which can be easily acquired at
any food irradiation facility, could, with 10 pounds of dynamite wrapped around
it, deliver a lethal dose of radiation to everyone in Lower Manhattan.



Modern technology greatly favors the underdog. As a purely practical matter
- never mind the moral questions – do we want to be the perpetual Overdog in a
world like that?



Pax Americana may slouch out of the Capital tonight and head off to Baghdad
to be born. If it is, we will make America safe for SUV’s. And almost nothing
else.



Call your senators and representative. Now.



We contained the Soviet Union for 57 years. We’ve contained Iraq for 11
years. However dishonest or barbaric or conniving Saddam’s government, they have
provided us with precisely zero identifiable threat since 1991. We can go on
containing them for a long time. With proper intelligence – which may be hard
for us to muster – we could probably neutralize them as well and do so without
“collateral damage” (our pleasant phrase for killing innocent bystanders).



But, as a nation, we no longer seem to think there are Moslem innocents. We
are systematically dehumanizing them. I beg you not to do this. Do not turn the
Islamic world into statistics instead of human beings like yourselves. Following
one of my previous missives on this subject, I received some astonishingly
bigoted replies. One former BarlowFriend said, essentially, “kill them all, let
Allah sort ‘em out.”



I make faint defense for either the cultural or political practices of the
Middle East. I’ve spent time there. It’s pretty awful, at least by my standards.
Egypt is a place so broken that it makes Mexico look like France. But the
people, even the ones who hated everything I stood for, were incredibly sweet to
me.



However bad their governments may be, however narrowing their ideology,
each of them is, like you, another mask that God wears. They laugh, they love,
they toss their babies in the air with as much affection as you toss
yours.



There are many babies in Iraq who will likely soon be tossed into mass
graves, assuming there’s a recognizable body to toss. There are many adults in
Iraq who have done nothing to you who will die horrible deaths simply because
their leader, whom they hate as much as we do, just might possibly someday
become able to do something bad to us.



These are real human beings. Very few of them mean you any harm. Even their
leader, who probably does mean you harm, is smart enough to know better than to
inflict it.



Imagine them, not as millions, but one person at a time. Grace them with
actual faces. Look into their deep, dark eyes. Are you still ready to kill them?
Do you have reason enough?



Call your senators and representatives. Now.



It’s probably too late. Even Tom Daschle has caved. But if we lose today,
we can begin to organize the long struggle that will be necessary to save
America and the world from Pax Americana. And you might as well begin your new
career as a political activist with a phone call today. You’d do well to get
into the habit.



With bleak heart,



Barlow



P.S. Please scroll down to my current .sig quote. It’s timely.






*************************************************************
John Perry
Barlow, Cognitive Dissident
Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, Electronic
Frontier Foundation
Berkman Fellow, Harvard Law
School
                     
Home(stead)
Page:
http://www.eff.org/~barlow


****************************************************************************************************************************

Next
the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is
attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and
will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and
thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God
for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque
self-deception.


– Mark Twain,
The Mysterious Stranger, 1916, Ch.9

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