Iraq War Fifth Anniversary Protest, San Francisco, March 19, 2008
Sometimes at these rallies you meet people who are so magnificently self-contradicting that you are left in awe at their lack of introspection. Is it really possible to be so blissfully unaware that you're practically redefining the parameters of hypocrisy -- without even realizing it?
Take this young woman for example. She has a bag featuring the Rising Sun design, which was the flag of Imperialist Japan. That's right, the same militaristic Japan that was allied with the Nazis and which was the sworn enemy of the communist movements in Asia. AND YET...and yet she is also wearing a sweatshirt with a larger-than-life portrait of Che Guevara, the communist guerrilla and revolutionary. Now, tell me -- does anybody notice a contradiction here?
Hellooooooo -- anybody home?
Next up in our Pantheon of Insurmountable Nincompoops is this genius, who proudly waved his Satanist flag while wearing -- could it be? -- no, don't tell me, a man-purse with the umistakable icon of...
Yes, that's him all right, the greatest communist of all time, one who was particularly keen on suppressing individuality. To whatever extent you take Satanism seriously, one of the key precepts Satanists claim for themselves is: individualism and worship of the self! Whoops. Not to mention that Mao outlawed all religions.
Goodbye, my Satanist-Maoist friend.
Now, here's a different breed of self-negating hypocrite. Yoga is -- well, it's supposed to be -- a form of meditation, to be practiced in peace, quiet, and (if possible) solitude. But this exhibitionistic duo decided the best place to pursue enlightment through yogic meditation was right in the middle of a frenzied political protest. Certainly, their goal must be nirvana, and the inner peace that calm spiritual insight brings.
DO NOT LOOK AT ME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! I am meditating! Can't you see I'm meditating here? I had no other place to do it except in the middle of two thousand screaming people. See? See how I'm meditating? Look at me, goddamn it. LOOK AT ME!!!
Over at the ISM booth, we have a more typical glassy-eyed political automaton, who somehow manages to wear a communist Chinese hat and a Full Arafat Kaffiyeh and just keep smiling like she hasn't a care (or a thought) in the world.
Changing gears once again, we come to our final conundrum, a Kurdish woman who is calling for Turkey to pull out of northen Iraq. OK, fair enough, by itself that's a valid single-issue protest concept. But this rally is an anti-American anti-war rally. Everyone else wants the Americans to pull out. But, as this woman must know, it was the American military that toppled Saddam Hussein and thereby created a semi-independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq in the first place; and it's the American presence there that has kept Iraq from descending into chaos and prevented extremist Sunnis or Shi'ites from taking control of the country -- and almost certainly ending any dreams of an independent Kurdistan. So why in the world is this woman marching with the pro-Saddam, anti-American crowd? Aren't the Kurds of Northern Iraq America's allies now? If she's going to come to this rally at all, wouldn't it be more logical for her to be over with the counter-protesters who support what the American miltary has done for the Iraqi Kurds?
OK, after that, my head just hurts. I crave clarity!
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