Troofer is no Gandhi

I subscribe to a lot of blogs and news feeds and read a lot in a day.

Out of all of these words that cross my eyes, some are worth sharing, and appear on my Google+ or Facebook streams. Some annoy me a bit more and I feel like writing about them. Sometimes I have the time and wit to feel like I can contribute, other times it sits as an open tab on my desktop for a week until it embarrasses me by not being written, and I close it.

And then there are the stories that I almost want to avoid because I don’t really want to add any voice to their absurdity. It’s a fine line between my need to spout opinions about these topics and my desire to see them go away. Some claims need to be addressed and dissected, others are barely deserving of ridicule.

I still can’t decide where this story fits, because it has several angles that are both intriguing and worthy of that derision.

A week ago Dick Cheney came to Vancouver to a backdrop of protesters and NDP MPs calling for the federal government to arrest him as a war criminal. The protests seem to go over well, with only one significant clash between the protesters and police who ensured the security of the event.

On the one hand, I strongly agree with the protesters. There is strong evidence that Cheney knowingly ordered American soldiers to torture Iraqis. While I don’t believe we should silence those who disagree with us, I would argue that our federal government at least ought to be consistent – considering it banned controversial British MP George Galloway from entering Canada in 2009 for his support of Palestine.

On the other hand, I am reticent to associate with some of these protesters

Pearson [charged with assaulting a police officer at the protest] is a founding member of the Vancouver 9/11 Truth Society, an organization that questions the U.S. government’s official version of the events of September 11, 2001.

Pearson even dropped by the Georgia Straight yesterday, who was more than happy to give him more space for his story

Pressed if he ever has been accused of being a government provocateur or agent himself, Pearson responded: “I’m a little too radical for most people to think that way, I think. One thing I will emphasize is that I’m an activist, not a pacifist. You might want to write that down.”

Asked what that means, Pearson replied: “Exactly. What does that mean? I’m an activist. I’m not a pacifist. I’m not Gandhi. No. When somebody assaults me, I will stand up. I won’t just turn my cheek and take the other slap. That’s the difference. A pacifist would just take the slap. I won’t.”

A little part of me just wants to point and laugh at Pearson, the rebel with a broken cause. Ridiculing him as a way to discredit his faulty conspiracy theory. The best line I see in that quote is that the Straight actually quoted him saying “You might want to write that down.”

But it’s hard for me to disagree with Pearson’s protest here. Cheney is evil (remember, Cheney shot a man) and has faced no consequences for his actions.

Although, unlike Pearson, I see no evidence that Cheney ordered the Twin Towers destroyed through some extravagant cover-up.