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A Letter From Michael Moore...
April 22, 1999
There he was, The Great Consoler, standing at the podium, biting his lip, and speaking to a nation in shock.
"We must teach our children to settle their differences through words and not weapons." Meanwhile, this same President, continues a daily slaughter of human beings. He says it's because the people he is bombing are doing their own slaughter. He has chosen to respond to their actions not with "words" but with death.
Is it any wonder some of our children -- especially those in most pain, the "outcasts," the "uncool" -- decide to turn to murder and strike out against what they perceive to be a world against them? We live in a culture in America where violence is The Way We Get Things Done. If it works for their elders, why shouldn't the kids give it a try? As the kids at the high school near Denver huddled in locked classrooms in the hopes that they would not be the next one with a bullet in the face, they turned on the classroom TVs to watch the carnage and their own potential execution on CNN. One student, "Bob," got on his cell phone and called the local Channel 9 to give the on-air anchors a live play-by-play of events inside the school.
"Bob," the anchors said after getting their precious, Emmy-winning sound bytes, "maybe you should hang up now and call 911." "Uh, oh, yeah," responded Bob, sounding a bit disappointed. His connection to the virtual world of television and cellular communication was more a part of his instinct to survive than his need to call the cops. Or maybe he trusted the people on TV more to get him out of there than the full-time armed officer who patrolled the halls of the high school. Not one gun of a well-armed force of police that showed up was able to prevent one death.
A world away, kids just a few years older than Bob are dropping bombs that are killing kids just a few years younger than Bob. We know this because we watch it on TV. We learn why we're dropping these bombs also on TV. A man from the Pentagon shows us cool video game images of point-and-click targets that go "BOOM!" Cool.
Another man in an important uniform shows us photographs from one of the Mother-of-All-Cameras, those satellites that sit thousands of miles up in space and have, I guess, REALLY long lenses.
He shows us Photo #1. Here, he says, is "unbroken, untouched ground" from a week ago. Then he shows us Photo #2 where he points to the ground being "freshly turned-over, dug up, and replaced." This, he says, is evidence of "a mass grave."
The reporters sit there like anxious pet dogs, lapping up the "revelations" and eagerly reporting them to us as "truth." But these journalists failed to ask the man in the important uniform one very important and obvious question: "Where's the middle photo?" If our satellite camera is always up there and running, capturing the before and after of a 300 foot piece of dirt, where's the "during" photo? The satellite cameras were snapping pictures the whole time, so where's the photos of the massacre itself? Where are the photos of the Serbs transporting the bodies to the "mass grave?" Where are the photos of the bodies being placed in the "mass grave" and covered with dirt? Where's just ONE photo of any of this?
Was the satellite camera on the blink during all this activity? Was it only working before the ground was dug and then only after it was covered back up? Where are those photos, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Blair? Members of our so-called free press: Where is your courage to ask the obvious questions? Why won't you? Why are we being lied to? On the night of the Denver shootings, NATO (us) bombed the building containing the three Serbian TV entertainment networks. They didn't bomb the news station putting out the nightly propaganda until two nights later. They chose to bomb the entertainment networks first, one of which was showing "Wag the Dog" with its fake Albanian atrocity scenes, on a continuous loop. Yes! Bomb the entertainment networks, 'cause it's all just one big show for a violence-deprived public forced to sit through a year of mostly-unconsummated oral sex in oval offices. We'd much prefer the gore to Gore and Bill. "The Matrix," a film about a young hero in a trenchcoat who is able to blows away everything in sight, is the number one film this week in the country.
And as the children of Denver ran from the trenchcoated killers, they were not met outside by nurturing adults who might take them into their arms to console and soothe them. No, the students were ordered to run out with their hands above their heads into the gun sights of the local S.W.A.T team who herded them up against a wall -- "KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM!" -- and frisked them with their other hand, the one not holding a gun to their backs.
You see, the killer or killers might have been amongst them, so all the children were suspects, all potential murders in the eyes of the state. Yes, it's our children who are at fault, we are told -- They watch violent movies! They listen to violent misogynist music! They play violent video games! Soon, they may be asked to die a violent death on the fresh-but-recently-disturbed soil of the Balkans. They will be well prepared.