Posted by Cheetah Farhoot from ? (220.127.116.11) on Monday, March 18, 2002 at 8:56AM :
How can you promote anything if it remains an unknown...how can you grow something in the dark...how can you water something in a dessert.
The first pre-requisite for staying alive in a political minefield is having friends or at the least being known to exist. That's why PEN and Amnesty try to get the names of political prisoners out to the world quickly. Tyrants are cowards who don't fear much, unless there is the fear of discovery.
It's difficult to protect someone you never heard of or whose arrest and incarceration and torture and execution pass unnoticed.
My first order of business was to get us known...have us appear on that radar screen. Without that first step you can kiss your sweet arse good bye...your Assyrian Arse...you can survive as a Gringo or Roo.
I thought I came up with a pretty good scheme for doing that. People were not just going to hand me the money...I had to give something of value back in return, and I don't mean the monument only. The model of any public monument is a neat thing to have and you never know...it could become a valuable thing in its own right.
It worked too...it worked too well apparently. The Leeders we have are not particularly competant people...they don't stack up much (ahem) when placed out on the world's stage. These Leeders require secrecy, anonymity, Hotel basements and Garage Forums where they feel comfortable enough, like in the living rooms of their own homes...to say and do the things they do.
It didn't take too long (RIGHT!) to figure out that "public exposure" was actually the kiss of death for them...for THEM. Everything they do is for them...that's what they are used to...that's what they hear when you say..."something needs to be done". They think you mean "something has to be done FOR YOU"...that whatever is good for them personally, will be good for US or the Heritage.
We haven't the resources to do much for ourselves. The world goes to war with our people in Iraq... we hold a cake sale to collect $32.67 and are damn proud too. This sort of "self-sustenance" and relying on ourselves is ridiculous. It's true of course that something is better than nothing...but not if your only aim is to make yourself feel better. At the end of the day you haven't done a damn thing to plug the leak. If our aim is to preserve and promote our Heritage and people...then this little bit we do, including the monuments, becomes an opiate, something that allows us to go on with business essentially as usual. Or maybe it is worse, because in time the same people we keep going back to again and again for money to re-re-re-rebuild a roof or a clinic or a village, get tired of the futility of the whole thing, feel persecuted themselves.
If a body lies broken and bleeding from a hundred wounds and internally as well...a band-aid applied to ten gashes is "something"...but if the point is the survival of the person, it is not even close to enough.
As much as we wish to run around like chickens squaking for bird seed here and there...in the long run our focus is too narrow and immediate to do us any real good. If any kind of action is taken against Iraq...all that we have helped build will be gone in a second.
People in this country still don't know we even exist. The Shumirum is still in a warehouse and the Hammurabi was killed before it was even finished. These actions against us were taken by the same sort of leedership we STILL maintain must be respected because after all, it's all we have.
Nothing will change for us until the day we begin to reach out for public opinion...in whose court we stand the best chance of beginning to heal and promote this Heritage.
That's what the monuments were for...and that's why they were stopped...because in order to do ourselves any good, we have to first remove the main obstacle blocking our way...our Leedership.
-- Cheetah Farhoot
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