Archive for February 10th, 2013

Last Resort?

by lizard

On February 18th, 2010, Joe Stack purposely crashed his small Piper Dakota plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, killing himself and IRS manager, Vernon Hunter.

To accompany this act of violence, Joe posted a six page suicide note, which you can read in full here.

Here is a portion of the note, with my emphasis added:

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

Joe Stack’s reason for resorting to violence centers on the use of violence by those at the top of pyramid-shaped power structure. By not acknowledging this reality earlier in his life, Joe must feel he put himself at a disadvantage.

I wrote about the importance of non-violence in the context of the OWS protests, but more broadly, I have never seen violence against other people as being an acceptable response to state violence. Violence destroys, simple as that, and if we want to build an alternative to late-stage crony/disaster capitalism, I think we must be incredibly careful about how we consider the role of violence when we express our rage at the systemic injustices that accompany our failing institutions.

The reason I bring up Joe Stack is because we are witnessing a similar situation with ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, and the war he has declared on his former employers, the Los Angeles Police Department.

His reasoning, addressed to America, has the subject title Last Resort. I’m including the entire letter because I think it should be read in full. The media will excerpt the parts to emphasize the mental instability of this former officer, and while that is probably part of what’s going on, Dorner should also be seen as a product of an institution—the LAPD—that has a long history of inflicting systemic violence on the communities they are policing.

Showing restraint (the kind I commended the Missoula PD for) is not something the LAPD are known for. In the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, the LAPD have already recklessly opened fire in two separate incidents of mistaken identity.

For more context, this piece titled American Blowback is worth reading.

Again, I in no way condone the lethal actions of Christopher Dorner. But I also don’t think simply dismissing him as crazy is all that productive either.

When you read his “manifesto” one thing that becomes clear is, the very concept of counterinsurgency is being knowledgeably expressed, and it’s absolutely chilling. Here is just one example:

Do you know why we are unsuccessful in asymmetrical and guerrilla warfare in CENTCOM theatre of operations? I’ll tell you. It’s not the inefficiency of our combatant commanders, planning, readiness or training of troops. Much like the Vietnam war, ACM, AAF, foreign fighters, Jihadist, and JAM have nothing to lose. They embrace death as it is a way of life. I simply don’t fear it. I am the walking exigent circumstance you created.

To read Dorner’s full address to America, continue reading. Continue Reading »

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