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Free Offer Of Props For The Shannon Peace Festival

category laois | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday September 16, 2005 11:21author by Mark - Teacherauthor email mark at markconroy dot netauthor address Portlaoise Report this post to the editors

Provided by the US Marines

Recently I received an email offering me abuse and props for the Shannon Peace Festival from Mark Conroy ( a retired US Marine, not me) who seems to be taking offence at me remarking the the Peace Festival will be, and must be, anti-American as well as anti-Irish government, since it is the American military with the aid of the Irish government who are occupying Iraq and Shannon. Following is his two emails and my two responses. My second response hasn't been replied to.

Recently I received an email offering me abuse and props for the Shannon Peace Festival from Mark Conroy ( a retired US Marine, not me) who seems to be taking offence at me remarking that the Peace Festival will be, and must be, anti-American as well as anti-Irish government, since it is the American military with the aid of the Irish government who are occupying Iraq and Shannon. Following is his two emails and my two responses. My second response hasn't been replied to.

Email One, from Mark Conroy, US Marines, Ret.

No Subject

My name is also Mark Conroy. I am a retired Marine. I am deeply saddend that you are anti american. I hope you are at least pro communist/socialist and I hope that your country is soon run by your wonderful Labor Party. If you it would please you I will send you an american flag (to burn) and a Quran and Mao's Little Red Book to carry on your "protest". Why don't you start a "Free Saddam" rally while you are there. Mark Andrew Conroy, Capt. USMC (Ret)

Email Two, from Mark Conroy, Teacher

Re: No Subject

Thank you, Mark, for such an informed and rational email. Could you please
furnish me with some more information for my archives on how you deduced
that I am anti american (by the way there should be a hyphen there and a
capital "a" for American) and how being anti-American would lead
you to believe that I am pro-Saddam?

Again, thanks for your interest in me.
Mark Conroy (still working, for a better world).

Email Three, from Mark Conroy, US Marines

Re: No Subject

I did not capitalize american because history is a testament that all republics destroy themselves from within. I believe we will be able to accomplish our own destruction. I do, sincerely, apologise to you and I offer this explanation. This is not an excuse. I served on active duty from 1970-91, 2 tours in Vietnam, 2 years in Beirut, The Lebanon and one year in Desert Storm. From 1992-98 I lived in Frankfurt, Germany. I know the world hates us. I never understood why we positioned Nuclear weapons in the UK. Even my own countrymen and politician hold my ilk inquiet but fervent hatred for having served in american combat units. Until I visited Ireland in 1978 I was proud of my Grandparents heritage but came away feeling sick.
I know....to my point. You want peace. How? When a bully (I KNOW AMERICA IS A BULLY) runs loose, do you honestly believe that your "protest" will do anything other than make YOU feel good. I have lived in Africa, Asia aand the middle east. The human problem that we face will not be solved by ranting against the "geart satan" as my country is so fondly known. I am opposed to our new endeavours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want the UN to leave america....HEY! maybe they can live with you guys! I want ALL US Bases overseas closed down and the troops brought home. ALL foreign investments in the US and their bank accounts should be nationalized YESTERDAY. ALL diplomatic mission, USAID, AMRedCross and foreign should cease. Close the borders, become self sufficient and let you "peace " folks solve all the problems without the "EVIL" influnce of america. I am sorry that I am an american, a combat veteran, a donater to world relief and, most of all, that my grandfather, Colin Benrnard O"Shea ( who served in the Great War in YOUR Europe, was born an Irishman. If you are a prod go kill a catholic, or, if you are a ctholic gun down a young british trooper and a few children while you are at it. My offer stands. anything american that you would like to trash I shall send you at MY expense. You have an e-mail outthere that you may have forgotten about and this is why I am bothering you (and we happen to have the same monicker). pray for all of us

Email Four, from Mark Conroy, Teacher

Subject: Hi Again

Hi Mark,

Again, thanks for having an interest in me. I really cannot make out what
your email is all about. Firstly, I replied to you to ask two things: 1)
What makes you believe that I am anti-American, and 2) How would this lead
you to believe that I am pro-Saddam? I'm not sure that you answered
either of my questions, but never-the-less I'll do my best to put
some notes together towards a reply to yours, in an effort to try to
understand your motives.

I am not sure that all republics destroy themselves from within (and I
don't think that this is a good enough reason for you not to
capitalise the word "American", but I'll give up on grammar
and punctuation with you because I think we have more pressing issues to
attend to); some regimes are taken down from the outside - for example,
President Allende's democratically elected government in Chile - to
be replaced with a more laissez-faire-sympathetic head. You are, of
course, right that your country would be able to implement its own
destruction (especially if it was in the economic interests of a small
elite of people, you know who I am talking about: you seem like an
intelligent person) - although, I would have been more sure until I saw
your government's handling of the Hurricane Katrina fiasco.

You tell me that you worked on active duty from 1970 - 1991, but I am not
sure why. Is it supposed to lend your argument legitimacy? Arguments are
arguments and can be waged by anyone, unlike force. For this reason I am
not interested in whether you served in "Active Duty" or not, I
am only interested in the validity of your arguments. (Incidentally, how
proud are you to have served in a war - the Vietnam one - given how
disgraced your nation has been for being involved in it? and was it
interesting in Iraq to try, albeit not very-seriously, to overthrow a
dictator that your government had installed? - these questions are only
marginally rhetoric. - I'm sure you are familiar with the work of
Noam Chomsky)

I don't think that the world hates you (America, not you personally),
I think the world just can't understand you. I think the world is
bemused that after all the talk of enduring freedom and bringing democracy
and restoring hope the world is flabbergasted at your nations striving for
imperial dominance in many fields - political, military, economic,
ideological, amongst many more. (I've been reading Tariq Ali's
The Clash of Fundamentalisms.)

I'm sorry Ireland made you sick. You see we have had problems with an
imperial neighbour. Perhaps it was hard for you to see a nation struggling
when it is supposed to be modern, being English when supposed to be Irish.
Perhaps you felt a lump in your throat realising that your own
grandparents could have been harshly treated under an imperialist project
- this is not how it should have been. I'm not sure why you would
choose to hate Ireland for this though - we didn't invade and occupy
our own land (we were invaded and occupied), but I'm sure you have
your own reasons for, seemingly, taking the side of the empire. You should
come back again sometime; lots has changed in Ireland.

I am not sure if protest will achieve anything. Is that a reason for
people to stop protesting? I also don't particularly like to see
myself as a protester - too much negative baggage - more I like to see
myself as an activist. Does activism make me happy? Not really, it can be
fun, but that is lessened by how saddened you feel because of what you are
activising about and against. And sometimes, just sometimes, the people
can do something that makes a difference. For example the Brittish do not
rule India anymore. (And to personalise it for you a bit: you're not
serving in Vietnam anymore.)

You are right that the human problem that we face will not be solved by
ranting against the "geart satan" - I presume you mean Great
Satan, as the Ayatollah called you - but it is a beginning. The human
problems will be partially solved, however, by some sort of change in
American policy in areas adversely affected by it - you shouldn't, to
use an economic term, externalise all problems, and say that is just how
the world works. The world does not have to work like this and America
could go a long way towards helping it run in a more
"humanitarian" fashion.

From here your email means nothing to me. I really cannot work out what is
supposed to be sarcastic (if anything) and what is not (if anything) so I
am not going to reply to that section. If you feel like explaining it in
more rational prose -don't be letting your feelings get the better of
you -do so and I'll gladly respond. One thing I will ask though is:
why would I want to kill a Brittish person or an Irish person, no matter
what my religion is? Also, just to clear things up: I am an atheist - does
this mean I have a loophole to allow me not to have to kill anyone or
would it lead you to believe that maybe I should kill more people than
just Catholics and Protestants?

I do not want anything american from you to trash. The capitalist elite
would benefit from it through direct sales too much for me to suffer. I
cannot pray for you because of my religious beliefs or lack thereof. You
are, however, in my thoughts, and I hope you find peace in your time.

From one Mark Conroy to another Mark Conroy,
Mark Conroy.

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