- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2002

The half-wits who oppose the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are returning to the scene of their previous crimes against the city this weekend.

They bring a lot of passion, rhetoric and flying bottles to their protests, ostensibly to make the world a more equitable place.

Unfortunately, wherever they gather, the world is not usually a more equitable place. This world is messy, lawless and dangerous.

The half-wits sometimes feel inclined to damage the property in their vicinity, because sometimes you have to impose your views on others to be heard. They have right on their side, after all, and if a few windows and teeth are sacrificed along the way, that is a small price.

Most shop owners have insurance, anyway, health as well as property insurance, and the half-wits thank them for their unwitting participation in making the world an equitable place.

The half-wits have all the answers when it comes to the global economy. A few of them even might have taken an economics class in their haze-filled college days.

They do not like capitalism and the economic principles of Western countries. In this respect, they can relate to the Taliban.

They feel the Third World's pain. They feel it with all their heart. They want the debt of the Third World to be relieved, as surely as they relieve the debt of those who owe them.

The last time the half-wits made a fuss in town, in April 2000, a number of them ended up in jail after roughly 1,200 arrests were made.

They complained about their accommodations in jail, the fact that Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey apparently failed to leave a mint chocolate on each of their pillows.

They have rights, too, even the Black Bloc anarchists who profess to be committed revolutionaries.

No, they don't really mean it. They don't really want a complete breakdown in the First World.

How would they travel to the next protest if there were no planes, trains and automobiles? How would they eat? Would they forage for food each day in the countryside? Do they like nuts and berries?

It is so much more convenient to stop at a Starbucks and leave with a latte and bagel. Revolutionaries can't live on pepper spray alone. It is bad for the digestive tract.

No, they don't really want anarchy. In such a world, they would be just as likely to be lined up against a wall as the next group. But this is their game, not unlike kids who play army, and they feel a sense of validation after receiving 30 seconds on the nightly news and a story and photograph in the daily newspapers.

Washington barely notices their message, mostly because Washington has been through a zillion marches, rallies, demonstrations and the like. They all start to blend together, despite their incredible importance to the participants.

Washington spends the weekend at Home Depot, doing yardwork, attending their children's activities and catching up on things that get shoved aside during the work week.

If someone's idea of a good time is braving the elements, taking a stick to the head, inhaling pepper spray, spending the night in jail and hiring an attorney, well, God bless the person. It takes all kinds. To save time and money, the half-wits probably would be better off hiring a dominatrix to fulfill their needs.

Their efforts also could be more productive if they left Washington out of it and moved to the places that concern them. Cuba, for instance, could use a few more strong backs to harvest its crops. If that didn't help, the revolutionaries always could protest Cuba's inefficiency and see where it leads them.

You never know. Fidel Castro might be amenable to a bottle being thrown through the window of a state-run store with empty shelves. He might see the clarity of it, the persuasive power of it, as one revolutionary to the other.

It is just a thought. Otherwise, you do what you have to do in our city this weekend. Pack your rain gear. Rain is in the forecast, and we need it.

Don't let the bed bugs in jail bite, or the rodents in the streets.

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