England We Need Your Help
By Lawrence Hagerty, March 12, 2002
One of the
Big Lies taught to American school children is that the United
States single-handedly won World War II for the allies and
saved the world. This distorted view of history,
of course, leaves out the fact that our faithful European
allies had been holding off a deadly foe for several years
before the U.S. had the decency to join them. Even then, it
took the attack on Pearl Harbor to get this country moving.
A fair reading of history reveals that it was the steadfastness
of our allies, particularly Britain, who saved
our civilizations. History now seems to be repeating itself,
and once again much depends upon the determination of the
It came as
quite a shock to see how quickly Tony Blair enlisted the U.K.
(and by his influence, much of the rest of Europe) to support
the American government's decision to begin a war on Afghanistan.
If ever there has been a time for proceeding slowly and fully
evaluating the facts before committing to a deadly course
of action, it was in the weeks immediately following September
11th. I still think our world would be a better place if the
international political community had urged more restraint
from those in control of the government in the United States.
What has now
been done in the name of the American people cannot be easily
undone, although undo it we must! The only question is where
to begin, for our resources are few and must be used wisely.
Perhaps the following information will prove helpful in this
quest. I learned both of these facts just three days ago and
haven't been able to stop thinking about them.
important thing I discovered is that there's a sizeable number
of people who are quite passionate about ending America's
Wars on the poor, the weak, and the less advantaged.
If you live
in the U.S. right now and are receiving all of your information
from the mainstream media, there is no way you could know
this movement even exists. If you are not living in this country
today, it will be difficult for you to understand the loss
of freedom we have experienced here since the events of September
11th. Our media is now feeding the public a steady stream
of government propaganda and outright lies. Virtually all
of the U.S. media - radio, television, newspapers, and magazines
- are ultimately owned by just six corporations (some experts
now say five). And these six corporations are also very influential
in government circles. In a way, this nation has become somewhat
like Sarajevo when it was under siege in the 1990s. The only
truthful information received is coming in over the Internet,
and then it is passed by word-of-mouth to those who aren't
connected to the Net. Fortunately, the lines of communication
are still open. Which brings me to last Friday night in San
Diego, a beautiful but highly conservative California city.
Perhaps its conservatism stems from the area also being the
home of several large military bases.
Into this uptight
city, which is full of gas-guzzling SUVs flying U.S. flags
as they speed along the freeways, rode the quintessential
American cowboy. Although I didn't see his actual entrance,
I am quite certain that Michael
Moore must have come into town riding on the world's largest
white horse. Under cover of a book signing tour,
Moore led the most exciting political rally I have ever attended.
My wife and I arrived two hours early, along with the rest
of the Internet crowd who had been following Moore's tour
online and knew what to expect. With an hour remaining before
the program was to begin, the fire marshal closed the doors
because the audience had already exceeded its capacity of
800. After receiving the gracious approval of those in the
audience, Michael Moore began his presentation outside the
auditorium speaking to a crowd of over 1,000 people who weren't
allowed into the main venue. It was too bad that no radio
station was there to broadcast his remarks to the additional
throng of people who were stuck in the massive traffic jam
surrounding the area. (By the way, I could find nothing about
this event in the local paper the next day!)
While we were
waiting for Michael to join us, representatives from a wide
variety of organizations gave brief presentations about their
work and how we can assist them. Even the most dedicated long-term
activists seemed completely taken off guard by the huge turnout.
It was a wake-up call to everyone there that something very
powerful is awakening. A powerful spirit is beginning to move
once again in this land. And on Friday night that spirit was
embodied in the persona of Michael Moore.
slowly developing, fine-tuned speeches we hear sliding out
of the mouths of our politicians, Michael Moore wasted no
time getting to the point. Some of my favorite lines are:
- There is no recession, my friends: No downturn,
no hard times. The rich are wallowing in loot and
now they want to make sure you don't come-a-lookin' for
your piece of the pie.
- Our water is poisoned, the ozone's in shreds, and
the SUVs are advancing like a plague of locusts.
- The government has been seized by a ne'er-do-well
rich boy and his elderly henchmen.
- If you just do a little, you can sometimes do a
for over two hours and then he answered questions from the
audience. Hundreds of people were in line waiting to get Michael's
autograph in their copy of his new book, Stupid
White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the
Nation. This book, by the way, was printed on September
10th. After the tragedies of September 11th, the publisher
decided it was "too out of touch with the American people,"
and they made plans to destroy all 50,000 copies of the unreleased
book. Only by sheer force of will (and the invaluable help
of the world's librarians who organized a support campaign
through the Internet) did Moore force the publisher's hand.
Released just two weeks ago, the book has already gone through
nine printings and is at the top of almost every best-seller
list in the country.
In his book,
Michael Moore doesn't just tell us that the Emperor has no
clothes, he also exposes much of the corruption that is eating
away the very heart of this country. The good news is that
word of Moore's courage to speak up is spreading like a wildfire
throughout the land, which brings me to the second fact I
learned that night. On our way to Moore's rally, we heard
a radio interview with a man responsible for conducting some
of the recent polls that I find so disturbing. For the most
part, the man being interviewed reiterated all of the dreary
numbers that seem to indicate that my countrymen and women
have gone collectively mad. But then he let out one little
fact that gave me great hope.
As the world
already knows, the Bush-leaguers in Washington have signaled
their intentions to escalate our current wars to include a
full-scale invasion of the nation of Iraq. They say they intend
to do this "with or without" allied support. Something
startling came up in recent polls, however, which isn't being
reported. Without the support of our allies, the power
elite in Washington do not have the backing of the American
public to attack Iraq unilaterally. You heard that
right. This time the American people are looking outside themselves
for approval. If none of our usual allies are willing to support
our invasion of Iraq, the American government is going to
find it next to impossible to retain the support of the American
people for their foolhardy wars. And then this house of cards
will begin to fall.
Far too many
Americans have temporarily lost their courage to speak what
is in their hearts. Michael Moore is beginning to change that.
Millions of people will soon have read his book. (This book
should be required reading in every history class being taught
in U.S. schools today.) Things are stirring. People are beginning
to come together once again to search for peace. Courage is
returning. What we need now is a single CAUSE upon which to
focus. Expanding the war in Iraq may be such a cause. But
time is short, and we need all the help we can get.
This is where
our friends in the International Community can provide help
that is valuable beyond measure. Right now, today!,
we need every peace-loving member of the human family to petition
their government to think long and hard about supporting an
expansion of the war on Iraq. This is a far too dangerous
move to make without the fully informed consent of every citizen
of every nation on Earth. There is no end-game for such a
war. There is no plan for what to do if the leadership of
Iraq is killed. This is nothing more than two rich oilmen,
father and son, seeking revenge and more oil.
of September 11th has become a permanent dull pain for most
Americans. Large numbers of us are now ready to begin, once
again, our search for ways to make this world a place where
all forms of life can live together in peace and harmony.
We Americans are far from perfect, and we know we don't have
all the answers. At least, We the People know that. And now,
We the People are asking for the help of our friends all around
the world. Please speak-up. Petition your governments. Rally
for Peace. And for the sake of all humanity, would some of
you please remind Tony Blair that he is not running for office
in the United States. If Blair withdraws his support for Team
Bush, we might be able to get the attention of enough people
over here to turn the tide. England, America now desperately
needs your help. We know you will not let us down.
[Postscript: After Michael Moore had been
autographing books for over an hour, in a move reminiscent
of their jack-booted role models, San
Diego police stormed into the auditorium shouting threats
of arrest to the people waiting quietly in line to have their
books autographed. It is becoming ever more obvious that fascism
is on the rise in the U.S. and that our Constitutional right
of peaceable assembly is about to end. And, of course, the
next day's newspaper made no mention of Moore's appearance
or of the heavy-handed police tactics that are now being used
to stifle dissent in this country.]
England We Need Your Help Copyright © 2002
by Lawrence Hagerty
Verbatim copying and redistribution are permitted in any medium
provided this notice is preserved.