Date: Thu, 08 Apr 93 07:15:40 EST Subject: Waco protests To: Bob Leone +lt;firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thu, 08 Apr 93 07:15:40 EST
From: Donald Silberger
Subject: Waco protests
To: Bob Leone
I am enormously heartened by your report of favorable media coverage
in Texas concerning the protests against the BATF assault on the Branch
Davidians at Mount Carmel. That travesty of brute governmental force
struck me in the gut from Day One, and recalled to me my reaction to the
Vietnam conflict already in the mid-1960's. (It is obvious that a little
country in which those favoring majority rule as opposed to oligarchy
does not need foreign troops to man weaponry in favor of the majority
rule faction. If the United States government had been honest about its
aims in Vietnam then its claimed objectives would have been gained
merely as a consequence of promiscuously air-dropping arms and ammo on
the Vietnamese countryside. All of the palaver to the contrary was just
hype and smoke.)
Your communique states (or quotes somebody as saying) that Waco is
BATF's Vietnam. I certainly do hope so. But let us review the actual
reaction sequence of the American public to Vietnam. I believe that
sequence is being reproduced with respect to Waco if your reporting is
not overly optimistic.
Initial reaction: Nobody seems to know about Vietnam (Waco) events
or to care. When the media first mentions the events then the public
reflexly favors official policy and begins to caricature as villains
the people our government is attacking.
Secondary reaction: A small group shouts unheard against the
atrocious character and basis of the government's attack. At the same
time the media begins to question the "efficiency" with which the
attacking government agency is "doing its job". On one extreme there
is an unheard outcry against the entire idea of the attack. On the
other extreme there are the people who advocate bombing into rubble
and death those whose "disrespect" for the purportedly legitimate
authority of the government induces them to resist its armed force.
Tertiary reaction: The voices of moral outrage begin to be heard.
The supporters of the government become very hostile towards "those
traitors" who fail to "back our boys" in a tough spot. (If I read
your report correctly, Bob, then at least in Texas we are witnessing
the beginning of this Tertiary stage. I should tell you, however,
that here in New York I have heard or read absolutely none of this
public outcry against BATF and FBI actions. I very much want to
believe that it is beginning to happen in our country, but I do not
want to beguile myself with wish fulfillment fantasies. What you
report the news media in Texas as saying; this is exactly what I
have been praying for. Am I being induced by you to visualize the
Virgin Mary in cloud formations?)
Quartary reaction: This is what I am writing you to discuss.
The Quartary reaction, or final outcome, of the present Waco
conflict is uncertain. Its most likely outcome is an increase in
governmental oppression, proportional to the degree that the
government feels its authority to be threatened. If this gloomy
scenario is destined to dominate the situation then there will be
increased gun control, diminished respect for the remaining civil
rights, blacklists of Waco-Whacko-lovers, accumulating FBI and NSA
files, and a great deal of desperately hypocritical and blind
media piousity directed against we who would want to disturb the
"public order". That's the beginning of the gloomy picture. If the
economy continues to falter then we might wind up in a bloodbath
of concentration camps et al which rivals what was seen in Europe
earlier this century. But, played right, the gloomy picture might
be pushed aside by a somewhat rosier one, which I now outline:
If we, who have begun our protest against Waco, play our game
correctly then some of the basic issues will be addressed, like:
Why a SEALED warrant? Fear of destruction of "evidence"?
Presumably the BATF is not moving against Koresh because the
Fundamentalists dislike his presumption as the Second Coming(?).
Is it because Koresh gets to screw a larger number of young
and pretty girls than most of the rest of us, and therefore has
to be put in his place?
Does somebody have any real evidence that Koresh and his crew
are practicing psychological intimidation and coercion more than
is normal for people selling a product or an ideology in our
society. (Surely, trying to convince people that Hell awaits them
if they don't surrender to Christ is already a very weighty sort
of psychological intimidation, and our society puts up with it...
as indeed I believe our society SHOULD put up with it, however
repugnant and unhealthy it might appear to the more secular among
our citizenry.) No. So scratch "brainwashing". Brainwashing is
obviously not against any reasonable law.
Ah, the nitty gritty, then: The Branch Davidians were filing
off some metal pieces in their semiautomatic firearms, thus
converting them into automatic firearms. Somehow it has gotten to
be illegal in this country to file or to take a hacksaw to one's
own metal property. THIS is the issue that must be set forth in
salient and simple detail.
That is: How did it get to be legitimate for the government to
dictate by force of arms what shapes of metal a person is allowed
to possess? Is it because in 1929 some Chicago business people
(i.e., mobsters) were competing over turf in a war which was
created by an artificially inflated market for ethyl alcohol
during the nation's earlier efforts at Prohibition?! Is THAT why
you and I and all of you folks out there are not permitted to
own a machinegun, not even one of your own fabrication?!
It needs to be pointed out lucidly that THIS is where any sort
of Prohibition and Gun Control gets one: into outright Fascism as
amply manifested in Waco.
Peeled down to the bone, the skeleton of the matter is simple.
When people are induced to stare at that simplicity then they can
have only one reaction to it... if they feel they are supported
by sufficient numbers of their fellow citizens to ensure them a
modicum of safety.
We need a libertarian society of the sort that this nation was
founded upon, and Waco is the sticking point: We must get this
sort of nation back again now, or we may lose the chance forever.
One last remark. "Liberals", "Conservatives", "Leftists",
"Rightists"? Not every word has a well defined referent, not even
when it is used repeatedly and by everybody. Until recently I
would have classified myself as a "Leftist Liberal". My values
have not changed, but my perception of language has changed. How
many Americans like me are there lost in the crowd, voting for
whom they are told is "Liberal" or for whom they are told is
"Conservative", and never catching an inkling even of what it
would MEAN to speak clearly about political values? I submit that
there are millions of such people, with values inherently like
mine, but lacking (as I did until a couple of years ago) any
political organization embodying and focussing those values which
they already hold almost without daring to articulate them.
In this light, Waco is an enormous opportunity, as Vietnam was
an opportunity, to focus the decent impulses of people into the
promise of united action.
It is claimed that the United States was sickened by Vietnam.
I claim the opposite: that it was largely cured by Vietnam of its
disease of chauvanistic kneejerk "patriotism" manifested, in its
most extreme form, in the goose step that crossed Europe in the
late 1930's and early 1940's.
The Gulf War was deliberately engineered to recreate that
goosestepping mentality which the "American defeat" in Vietnam
had begun to undermine. We must capitalize on Waco! We must use
Waco as the lens to point out to the American people all of the
excesses, the looting, and the violence attributable largely to
the Drug War and to the bureaucrats and thugs who want to build
their empires on our backs, speciously justified by that Drug
War... by the late-Twentieth-Century Prohibitionism which has
exactly the same consequences as the early-Twentieth-Century
If you believe that other people with whom you are in
communication might be interested in reading and sharing the
ideas I have expressed here, then please broadcast what I have
written you on any networks and/or "bulletin boards" that you
choose. My hand has already been shown. I might as well play
it out. God knows: There may be many who will agree with me.
Thank you. --Donald Silberger
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