Size Matters?

Thanks Debra For Keeping it Up

by Paul Dean

Dissident Voice
March 2, 2003


*Editorís Note: The following is a reply to syndicated columnist Debra Saundersí latest commentary Does Size Matter?

Dear Ms. Saunders,


Thank God for Jesus and good Americans such as yourself. These violent protestors are indeed a scourge. The tiny band of protestors in hundreds of cities across the world certainly should not be encouraged, as if their voices mean anything. If we true patriots acknowledge that their message conveys any idea other than a validation of the 'concept of demonstrations,' we would then have to address those ideas, and that could be highly inconvenient in this present circumstance. Much better to dismiss all such ideas as "mindless anti-American rhetoric." That way, we won't have to get bogged down in arguments that employ logic, and which must demonstrate consistency.


You, and all of us patriots who are in the unenviable position of having to make it appear that Bushs' war plans are about democracy and security, are strategically and tactically correct to keep all debate at the level of "How big is it?" If we make theirs look smaller, continue to assert that size does not matter, and keep asserting that THEY are the ones with a political interest in manipulating perceptions of the size of their movement, we will have all of our bases covered. But you are a pro, you already know all of this.


And you also know that we can ill afford to debate the issues. On those, we are vulnerable everywhere. For example, if the discussion were to veer toward examination of the 'bad weapons' pretext, we might have to answer for the use of depleted uranium ordinance, which causes birth defects and cancer, both in those that they are used against, and in our brave soldiers. God forbid the discussion should be directed towards the Bush's administrations' possible use of nuclear weapons, as it would be very difficult to justify our use of the most destructive weapon ever constructed, as a means to prevent really bad weapons from being used.


And we, as educated people, know that democracy is the least of our concerns. Pinochet killed 3000 people after democratically elected Salvador Allende was murdered on Sept. 11th, 1973, with US support. And we installed and backed the Shah of Iran, who was a murderous thug, etc. etc. Never mind the fact that Bush himself is only President because of vote fraud and manipulation of public opinion.


I could go on and on, but thanks to people like you, I will never have to, if you continue do your job correctly. Keep asserting that the stupid hippy demonstrators are ignoring how evil Saddam is, and we will never have to discuss those photos of Rumsfeld shaking hands with the personification of Evil, back in '83 when Evil was gassing his own people with materials purchased from us. Keep asserting that at any moment he will attack and hurt us, and perhaps no one will notice that if that were true, he could have done so at any time from the Gulf War forward, but has not. People might ask why, even now, with virtually nothing to lose, he doesn't strike us with the Mother of all Weapons, even as we vow to attack him, and we point to the awesome threat he represents to us all.


And of course, we can't wait until people conceive of the all-but-obvious idea that Bush could eliminate suspicion that his war will be about oil, by announcing categorically that US corporations will not profit at all from this war. People might realize that Bush could tell the UN and the world that all profits from the sale of Iraqi oil will go towards rebuilding Iraq.But he has not done so, even though this would obviously be the strongest step he could take if his real motive was fear of the threat posed by Saddam. Intelligent people like you and I know that Bush will never do that. And we know why, but we cannot ever admit it, or even discuss it, because to do so would be detrimental to our real agenda. Intelligent debate is our enemy, and is to be avoided at all costs.


Much better, then, to continue to sneer at how small theirs is. Our smirk is our badge. After all, we own the press, and the voting machines, and the oil companies, and the courts, and more weapons than all other nations combined. That is some mighty big equipment to have under your belt.You must continue to assert that ours is much bigger than theirs. And above all, never utter the phrase: "By any standard of measurement, the demonstrations of Feb15th and 16th, were the largest global protests against war and imperialism IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD." To do so might give you a little bit of a shrinking feeling.


Paul Dean is an activist and bass player with the band Blusion. He lives in Sebastopol, CA.Email:



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