The following letter to the editor was originally printed in the Planet JH Weekly, July 27, 2005:
Vive la difference!
My personal vehicle sports a “Boycott France” bumper sticker which has elicited strong opinions with varying degrees of civility from all sides of the political spec- trum. However, this evening [July 18] when an enthusiastic Francophile and apparent supporter of the pre-war regime in Iraq placed an anonymous message on the windshield of my parked and empty vehicle, every person has expressed their opinion proudly, face to face or by name.
My first inclination was to write an open letter quoting Iraqi friends of mine, etc., in an effort to sway this anonymous person. The slim likelihood of being able to achieve this end then occurred to me, as did the realization of why this person may have favored pre-war Iraq.
In pre-war Iraq, diverse political opinions have to be expressed secretly and clandestinely. In this county and especially in this great freedom-loving country where people proudly express their views, this person chose to express him/herself anonymously. Interesting.
Alas, are we not blessed to live in a place at a time where no matter how outrageous our opinions, we may express them openly? Or even anonymously. May the whole world one day be blessed with this same freedom. Long live our differences!
[Wilson, WY Resident], Wilson
[The following letter was in response to [Wilson, WY Resident]’s letter, “Vive la difference,” of our Aug. 10 issue. — Ed.]
Greetings [Wilson, WY Resident]
I’ve reread your letter many times and I feel that your words, along with your “Boycott France” sticker, are regressive and delusional. The person who responded to your sticker anonymously did so, because people like you are scary and they probably didn’t feel comfortable about an NRA supporting Retardican/Republican:[your choice] knowing who they are, particularly in the microcosm of Wilson.
It’s awkward enough bumping into an “ex” at the bagel shop, but especially uncomfortable dealing with someone you “literally” accosted for political reasons. This “freedom loving” community also contains individuals who throw rocks through the living room window of the sponsors of a Holocaust presentation, a local peace activist regularly receives anonymous death threats via email and of course, mischievous streakers get electrocuted. I honestly think that the author of your note was rather wise to leave it unsigned.
The reason why your bumper sticker is so disturbing, and why it elicited an anonymous response which you chose not to share with us, is because by saying “Boycott France” you are essentially saying “Boycott Peace”. The French can be rather pretentious at times, but at least they have the courage to stand up to the corporately controlled American Empire and its dark and greedy ways.
9/11 was nothing more than an eerily well timed excuse to launch an invasion on a nation that had nothing to do with the Saudi Arabian airplane hijackers, but everything to do with the world’s second largest oil supply which they have been drooling over for the last 80 yrs. Clueless people like you, [Wilson, WY Resident], are easily swayed by the Orwellian methods of our mainstream media. 1984 is now.
The French realized the American Empire was using 9/11 as rallying cry for war, but not a “just” war, just an excuse for war. The French pleaded with the American Empire to wait a couple more weeks, just to make sure that there was in fact a horrible stockpile of “WMDs”. We now know what “WMD” really stands for: Weapons of Mass Delusion.
If Bush and his Oil boys had listened to France and allowed the weapons inspectors to finish their search, then we would have never gone to war. Impatience, fueled by greed, is the cause of the Iraqi conflict. People are dying everyday, just so we can fill up our “personal vehicle”s and just out of curiosity…what sort of gas mileage does your “personal vehicle” get?
We have the technology to create a sustainable global culture. Our planet is home to billions of brilliant minds and bodies that can envision and create a place of peace, harmony and prosperity. Our Government is not interested in these concepts.
Bush and the greedy, white men who dangle his puppet strings want power and control. Right now, on earth, the people with the most money and power are the one’s who have control of the lifeblood of our industrialized world. We cringe at the drug dealers in the ghettos and their uncivilized and savage “turf” wars to control narcotic distribution, but isn’t the Iraqi “liberation” just the same thing, but on a much grander scale, utilizing more sophisticated weaponry and costing taxpayers billions? Distribution of crack or heroine; distribution of oil, its all about the same thing: ca$h, lots and lots of ca$h.
The USA is not promoting Democracy, but attempting forced Capitalism.
In your letter you mention the possibility of quoting you Iraqi friends, but fail to present their words. I would very much like to read them. I feel that the reason you chose not to present their views is that they would say that the American effort has not made things better than life living under Saddam Hussein, but actually much worse.
The “liberation” of Iraq is not going to work. How many more beheadings, assassinations, and suicide bombings do you need to figure that out? The true irony is that the USA was founded through the development and implementation of guerrilla warfare techniques against England. Now, the Iraqi insurgents are taking it to a whole new level against US.
Boycott France, boycott great wine, amazing food, yummy Parisian sidewalk chocolate crepes, overhanging pocketed limestone rock climbs and technical snow descents above Chamonix…and of course, Boycott Peace, cause that’s what your bumper sticker really says to the rationale members of this community.
“Long live our differences”, those were your words, [Wilson, WY Resident]. Our differences, however, may very well lead to our nation’s demise.
Far East Jackson
Photos/ Joshua Kristal: