Thomas Is a Hypocrite
by Roger Young: It's
Time for Libertarian Tolerance
video on YouTube received worldwide attention
that impressed and inspired its viewers. The video shows United
States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY berating
the police for its mistreatment of protestors at Occupy Wall Street
in New York City. Mr. Thomas claims to have spent fourteen months
in occupied Iraq. Though Mr. Thomasí analysis and remarks regarding
the policeís behavior is spot on, I believe he and his supporters
has failed to grasp the hypocrisy that those comments reveal.
Mr. Thomasí remarks a piece at a time and Iíll attempt to back up
my argument. In the interest of brevity I have purposely left out
some phrases repeatedly spoken by Mr. Thomas.
The video begins
with Mr. Thomas strutting in front of NYC police, pointing to the
ranks and ribbons on his uniform. "They donít lie, they donít
lie," he claims. By doing this he establishes that he speaks
as a willing and proud member of the US military (since retired)
and relates to listeners that his membership in such an institution
is relevant to the message he is about to deliver.
is not a war zone. Itís not a war zone. It doesnít make you tough
to hurt these people. Thereís nothing tough about it. Nothing. If
you want to go and fight, go to Iraq and Afghanistan. You donít
want to be here beating and hurting US citizens. Where is that in
the contract? Leave these people alone."
No, it is not
a "war zone." But how is this subjective classification
relevant? What defines a war zone? Why should any place be
a war zone? And why should such an arbitrary classification change
the rules of civilized behavior? The police should not have the
power to create such a designation and neither should the US military
Mr. Thomas represents. Yes, there is nothing "tough" about
what the police are doing but there is also "nothing tough
about" the US military hurting people in Iraq. And the fact
that this particular country has been declared a "war zone"
by those inflicting this violence does not justify or excuse such
Iraq and Afghanistan" if you want to fight? Fight who? Natives
acting to repel brutal aggressors? Is that somehow more honorable
or rational than attacking protestors on US streets? Why is it wrong
to hurt people in the US but quite acceptable to hurt people in
Iraq and Afghanistan? What did those people ever do to you? Why
would anyone even sarcastically suggest to hurt them if one feels
a need to "fight?"
The only "contract" existing among both the police and
military institutions is that its individual members will obey whatever
orders are issued by their controlling masters. Yes, the protestors
should be "left alone" just as the people of Iraq and
Afghanistan should be left alone. The violence committed against
them by the US military is just as unjustified.
US citizens. US CITIZENS! US! It does not make you tough to do this
to them. It doesnít. Stop hurting these people, man. Why yíall doing
this to our people? Iíve been to Iraq for fourteen months for my
people and you come over here and harm them. They donít have guns!
They donít have guns! They donít. Why are you hurting these people.
It doesnít make any sense. How do you sleep at night?"
This is a common
ploy practiced by American exceptionalists. Use the arbitrary designation
of "citizen" to shield a select group from harm and justify
violence against others who donít share that same statist designation.
Why is it wrong to hurt those enslaved under the tyranny of the
US Government (at least in this case) but not wrong to hurt those
that do not share this title, "US citizen?" How can one
justify violence against a group of people just because their feet
do not rest on the same patch of dirt as yours? If violence against
peaceful people is wrong in the US, is it not wrong everywhere?
and others may sincerely believe he was in Iraq for fourteen months
for "his people." However, this is obviously not true
since he and others do not take orders from "his people"
and the majority of "his people" did not want him and
his colleagues there in the first place. Since retiring, Iím willing
to bet he is coming to that realization.
Tens of thousands
of individuals in Iraq did "not have guns," yet they were
not just harassed and beaten like the Occupy protestors, but were
KILLED! Whether their murders were intentional or not is irrelevant.
Any arguments trying to justify such action fail miserably. They
do not "make any sense." Iíve often wondered how those
involved in such activities (and those that justify such murders)
in Iraq and other US created war zones "sleep at night."
[Please note: Mr. Thomas claims not to have harmed any Iraqi civilians
interview and in this
statement. I have no reason to doubt him.]
is no honor in this. There is no honor in this. There is no honor
in this, man. There is no honor in this shit! There is no honor
in what youíre doing. How do you do this to people? How do you do
this to people? How do you sleep at night doing this to people?
How? Youíre here to protect them. Youíre her to protect them. Protect
us. Why are you hurting US citizens?"
Where is the
"honor" in invading a country that attacked no one and
was absolutely no threat to those the US military claims to protect?
Where is the "honor" in maintaining an occupation for
eight years now, long after the lame reasons for invading have been
thoroughly discredited and proven as lies? Where is the "honor"
in invading another country (Afghanistan) that also did not attack
or threaten "US citizens" and continues to be brutally
occupied and destroyed for over ten years? Where is the "honor"
in flying drone aircraft through another countryís skies, bombing
and killing at will perceived evil doers and hundreds more innocents?
Murder is wrong
no matter who does the killing. The fact that a killing is performed
by those who wear the costume of the US or any other state does
not bestow such action with "honor." And yes, to those
directly responsible I ask, "how do you do this to people?"
is the United States of America. Why are you hurting people? If
you want to kill or hurt people, go to Iraq. Why are you hurting
US citizens? Do you get honor of this? Do you get honor by hitting
people with batons? Is that what you get?"
send people who want to hurt others to Iraq? Why is it somehow acceptable
to hurt people there, but not here? Hurting "US citizens"
is wrong. Hurting Iraqi "citizens" is wrong. Hurting any
person is wrong. How is it "honorable" to hurt people
in one context, but not another. Moral consistency requires not
playing favorites and ignoring allegiances and loyalties. How is
it "honorable" to hurt those enslaved within one political
system but not another? If there is no "honor" hitting
people with batons, how is there "honor" in blowing them
into pieces with bombs and guns?
is unbelievable that yíall doing this to people. Why yíall doing
this to people? I know that not everyone is not bad. Why are yíall
doing this to people? Yíall walk around in riot gear like this is
a war. These people donít have guns! How can I not act crazy when
yaíll hurting the people that I protected? My whole family protected
this country. Iím not out here walking around trying to hurt these
is not bad." Not all these cops are bad and not all military
slaves are bad. But what actions they often are ordered to do
is bad. The fact that they nearly
always obey these orders is bad. The
very institutions they are a part of are beyond bad they
are corrupt, tyrannical, and murderous. Why be a part of such an
institution? When it becomes obvious that an institution is found
not to be the righteous, benevolent, institution you were
indoctrinated to believe, why continue to be a part of it? Why continue
to defend it? Why exclude its historical failure and criminal actions
from accountability? Yes, these actions were initiated by superiors
in authority, but they would have not occurred if not executed by
the willing and obedient rank and file. Everyone is born with a
brain that allows them to think for themselves. No one is
does not protect "this country." The military protects
the interests of the ruling regime and its allied corporatocracy.
To anyone who believes the US military protects you, I ask this
question: From where does the US military receive its orders? From
you? From where does it receive its paychecks and who signs them?
Yes, it receives its money from you, but itís taken at the point
of the regimeís gun.
period of addressing the NYC police on the street, one officer responds
to Mr. Thomas:
was in Iraq with you."
"So why do you allow this? Why do you walk around trying to
And I canít speak. You want to shut me up. Yíall want to shut me
Mr. Thomas, for exposing the robotic attitude and moral compartmentalization
characteristic of those who wear the stateís costume be they police
or military. They resist critical thinking or rationalizing and
instead just continue to follow orders and "keep it [your brain]
moving." So many unfortunate events throughout history would
have been avoided if those involved had resisted such mindless obedience.
Yes, they want to shut you up. You are making them uncomfortable
and prodding what remains of their conscience and decency. People
need to start challenging members of the military with the
yíall walking around like this is a war zone. Nobody has guns. Why
yíall treating people like this? This is America. Why are you treating
people like this? Why are you gearing up like this is a war. This
is not war."
War is when
one people aggress against another and when there is a struggle
between opposing forces or for a particular end. In the case of
Iraq, the US is the aggressor and initiator of the conflict. They
are solely to blame. The Iraqis were no threat. So why was the US
military "treating people like this?" No, "this [the
Iraqi invasion] is not a war." It is a crime!
yíall acting like this, No one has guns. No one is trying to hurt
you guys. There are no bullets flying our here. How tough are you?
There is no honor in hurting unarmed civilians. These cops are hurting
people that I fought to protect. There is no honor in hurting unarmed
civilians and I wonít let it happen."
The US military
killed tens of thousands of Iraqis. Most did not have guns and were
"unarmed civilians." Therefore it can be asserted, by
the same argument used to defend the Occupy protestors, there is
"no honor" in this, as well.
attitude exhibited by these cops that Mr. Thomas rightly abhors
is the same exact attitude that inspired the aggression against
the people of Iraq. It is also what motivated the US rank and file
to carry out their "mission."
With all due
respect to Mr. Thomas, outrage rings hollow from someone who claims
allegiance to a state and its military institution who is responsible
for acts similar or even much worse than those committed by the
NYC police force. Militaries are not compassionate organizations
charged with the task of protecting and defending their subjects
(despite their propaganda). They are instead instruments of state
oppression, executing terrorist acts of conquest collectively referred
to as "foreign policy."
Enforcement is just the domestic projection of state power. The
military is the international version. How long before the two merge
to control their increasingly restless and economically desperate
subjects? By looking at the continuing militarization of police
forces, I would guess that time is not far off.
is not to initiate an ad hominem attack against Mr. Thomas. I just
believe that his remarks expose a blatant hypocrisy and tunnel vision
that needs to be exposed. Many others have this same perspective.
That does not make them bad people. But I will attempt to enlighten
them to facts and reasoning that may, at present, escape them.
I intend to deliver is this: If the actions by NYC Police against
US "citizens" is wrong, then so are the actions by the
US military against people throughout the world. All victims
are human beings endowed with the same inalienable rights to life
and liberty. All should be supported and defended against
unjustified and unrighteous attacks, no matter the identity of the
And to Mr.
Thomas I will direct these remarks personally: I will not
thank you for your military "service" but I will
thank and applaud you for so passionately standing up for those
who are persecuted. We dearly need those with your energy and devotion
to continue to voice these sentiments defending the sovereign rights
and individual value of people. I thank you for having the courage
to look evil in the face (represented by the stateís street warriors)
and preach the truth.
please I beg you, preach that truth for all people.
Young [send him mail]
is a freelance
photographer in Texas and has a
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