[On August 20, the pro-Venezuelan website V Headline published “I want Ruppert to realize this as he sits in Caracas, Venezuela safe and sound”, by Mary Mac Elveen. FTW is linking to this article and publishing Mike Ruppert’s response, not only because we support our founder, but because the discourse reveals the unique perspective that FTW has given its readers for eight years and will continue offering. Moreover, we will be publishing many more fresh and relevant articles by Mike in the days ahead. Readers should also note that we cannot make Mike Ruppert’s new email address available to anyone.—CB]
SOY GRINGO, SOY AMERICANO: RESPONDING TO THE CRITICISM OF A U.S. ACTIVIST,
By, Michael C. Ruppert
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.
August 23rd 2006, 11:11 [PST] - I don´t think Mary read the same article that I wrote.
When I say that America is dead, I mean ¨brain dead¨. And -- with all due respect -- Mary is showing some of the exact same thinking I am talking about. But before I respond to that, let me say that I am not safe and happy in Caracas. I cannot discuss the details of information I have, but I have been advised to keep a very low profile here because of US agents in this country. I am very low on funds and am hardly having a vacation. I left with one suitcase, a backpack and my laptop. My company is close to failing for lack of funds, and I am not at all sure how I am going to support myself yet. I need a safe place to live that doesn´t cost me $70 a day.
On another point not related to what Mary wrote, I am perfectly aware of the distinction between American (with an accent over the e), Estado Unidense, gringo, and Norte Americano. My article was written for a US audience in terms that they understand. This is how all good writers write. In conversation and correspondence with Venezuelans and Latin Americans, I use the proper terms for this culture.
Soy gringo. Pero, no soy gringo estupido, gracias. Estoy, en este momento, un Americano.
Now as to what Mary wrote.
Anyone who can claim that helping victims of the World Trade Center catastrophe is offsetting the crimes of the US government is not speaking a language or a logic with which I am familiar. I did not say that Estado Unidenses weren´t capable of being kind. Of course they are and have been. What I am saying is that Estado Unidenses are absolutely and totally impotent (because of their own conceptual thinking and failure to take real risks) to change the US government. Mary makes the common plea made by most gringo/a activists when she says that she´s struggling so hard to support a family that she can´t do more. Yet, I´ll wager that she still banks in a major US bank, spends her money with major US corporations, expects her vote to count, has money in a retirement plan that invests in Wall Street and obediently serves the corporatocracy that is the US.
This is how US tyranny is funded.
As people here in Latin America understand, revolutions are made by people who cannot afford to feed their families. She´s obviously not poor enough yet. I am.
And anyone who thinks that Michael Moore and Arianna Huffington are some kind of noble warriors, suffering for their courage, should sit down with me and have a Polar Ice while Moore flies around on private Gulfstream jets and gets choice seats at the Republican convention by invitation. Moore and Huffington are protectors of the empire posing as activists. Michael Moore firmly believes that there was no US government involvement in 9-11 and calls anyone who thinks so an idiot. Michael Moore is about making money for Michael Moore and not changing the US at all. It has made him wealthy. And as long as he remains an icon for US activists he is the best friend of the neocons and neolibs, George Bush and Hillary Clinton alike. People who follow him will accomplish nothing.
Actually, Arianna Huffington may be doing a little better job of economic truth- telling, but in other respects she still serves and protects the empire. We do not need to comment on how wealthy she is.
Mary exemplifies a line from Gilbert and Sullivan which said that ¨The guilty flee where no one pursueth.¨ I think she sees and recognizes her own responsibility. Where she errs is in thinking that I am demanding of her that she do the same things I do. Mary is not Mike Ruppert. Mary has not felt 30 years of oppression from the US government, nor has she had her offices invaded and computers smashed. She hasn´t been shot at, infiltrated, sabotaged and vilified.
I consider these to be medals for the effectiveness of my work. (Although I don´t need any more medals at the moment, thank you.)
What she could do that would help is to completely disengage from the corporate financial system and get out of debt. She can move her money to a small locally-owned bank. She can stop spending any money with TIME-Warner, Coca-Cola, AOL, Citibank, GM, McDonald´s etc. She can stop telling people that Michael Moore is a good guy.
All Mary has to do to prove my position totally incorrect is to point to one -- just one -- example where gringo activism has changed a damn thing in the world for over the last thirty years. And please don´t tell me that a few dolphins and whales have been saved, or that a few more blacks got Mcjobs. These ridiculous claims of success fall on deaf ears in a world which is groaning under the death and suffering caused by the United States today. For all the effort made by US activists over the last three decades, the world has only gotten worse.
The success story Mary offers must satisfy the people of Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Balkans, Mexico, and Bolivia.
So why am I a bad guy for pointing this out? For holding US activists responsible for showing some results? In the 60s and 70s gringo activists got results. They ended the Vietnam War. Native Americans got more rights and economic access. Civil rights took giant leaps forward. Women got greater access to the economy. The Church-Pike Committees resulted in serious restrictions for US intelligence (which have since been neutered) and the release of thousands of documents showing how the US really operates at home and in the world.
But on the whole, the world and the US is a far more repressive place today than it was then.
Mary is exactly the kind of gringo I came to Venezuela to get away from, the kind of gringo who, instead of expressing outrage that an authentic journalist could be harassed, have his computers smashed, threatened, intimidated, financially targeted and driven out of his country, chooses to punish the victim instead. So much for her defense of free speech.
As for me, I am no longer a gringo. Soy Americano.
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