The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Friday, March 14, 2003


Today Lileks linked to one Liv Aleo, a cute young woman who runs a pacifist website called "Become the Change." (Presumably for people who want a faster path than "Working for Change.")

To call Aleo a dim bulb would be an insult to hard-working 20-watt illuminators. The GE products in my house may not know much, but they surely are more aware of history than Ghandi's grandson, approvingly quoted by Aleo:


When a man asked him with distress how we could have protected the millions of victims of Hitler's abuse without using violence, Mr. Gandhi replied, "If people had gone out in masses, sitting in the roads, thousands deep, would Hitler's troops have trampled them to invade a nation?"

Mr. Gandhi continued that of course they wouldn't, nor could they. The eyes of the world and just pure shame would have turned them away from their violence.


Yes, you read that right. Hitler's regime commited every possible cruelty against its Slavic foes. For example: "The Fuehrer has decided to have St. Petersburg wiped off the face of the earth." And Goering: "Whether ten thousand Russian females collapse during the construction of an antitank ditch does not concern me, so long as the ditch gets built." While the Nazis concealed evidence of their most vile crimes, in general they worshipped power and cruelty. But when confronted with the grandson of a famous man and a hippie chick with a nice chest, the three-million strong attacking force would have turned around and slunk off. Shirer wept.

(The initial attack involved three million men along an enormous frontier of something like 800 miles. How many hippies does it take to man an 800-mile long front "thousands deep"?)

Anyway, Aleo is inspired by the idea of thousands of activists shaking their fingers on the Iraqi border:


What soldier can drop our bombs over land where his mother or wife might be?


I think it's easy for a soldier to figure out whether his mom or wife is a human shield ... by calling them up and asking them? "Hi Mom, it's Kenny. Have you lost your mind? Sorry, I was just checking."

Become The Change is recruiting human shields, but in an innovative way:


What we at becomethechange.org are doing is asking people to make a pledge: "If 5,000 (or 6,000, or 8,000 – whatever feels most comfortable) others will go, I will join them in Iraq to form a human shield ..."


So you can have the self-satisfaction of working for peace while calculating a sufficiently large number of co-conspirators that makes it unnecessary for you to leave your couch! And thus we have anti-war activism as conceived by 16-year old girls considering skinny dipping: "I will if everyone else will."



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