Thursday, January 17, 2008
IVAW Bus, Possible Arson
Initially, I wasn't going to post about this, given the fact that it's been posted all over the place and seemed to be an accepted fact, but since TSO decided to be a bit of a jackass, I will in fact take it on. Briefly, because I'm still feeling like hell.
Also, while checking this out, I found yet again, traces of the mysterious ArmySGT commenting on this. ArmySGT, please identify yourself to me! I know I'm far from the only active sergeant in IVAW, but I'd like to know who else is out there.
Anyway, to the point of the post, starting with things which are hard facts and personal observances. You're smart people, I bet you can figure out which is which.
Jim Goodnow has been running the Yellow Rose, also known as the IVAW bus, for a few years now. As someone else pointed out in another forum, it is his baby, it is his home. It wasn't simply a bus-it had multiple fold-out beds and could easily house twenty five on a moment's notice. Jim is a good man, who has put his resources at IVAW's hand several times, often on a moment's notice. He's a conscientious man, well aware of minutae about laws about his bus, and also the proper care of items on his bus. He's never let anyone else be careless in it, and I severely doubt he would ever be so himself.
Jim states that he pulled over at a rest stop to take a nap, and awoke to find that he was inside a bus on fire, about twenty minutes after her parked it, at around 9:30 pm, Friday night, 1/11/08.
Now, TSO, and the Vets For Freedom writer who submitted this to Portland indymedia with precisely the same language (which may be a key to the fact that the two are the same, or may simply mean that one of them was lazy) believe this was criminal stupidity.
I, obviously, disagree, for a lot of reasons. Yes, indeed. Let us use Occam's Razor. Is the simplest explanation the one wherein a cold engine bearing no previous signs of trouble magically turns fiery? Or is the simplest explanation that other agents may in fact have been at work?
I have no trouble believing that someone gave Jim's bus trouble precisely because of what it was. Do I think it was part of a planned, organized, effort? I don't know, and to be honest, I doubt it. I rather suspect this took place as a result of a couple people of violent political persuasions, who happened to see the target, said "That Ain't Right" and decided to do something about it. Spontaneity explains why the fire was able to be put out, and why Jim was able to escape. I don't think there was a deliberate attempt to murder Jim, but I suspect that the culprits, if in fact my theory is correct, likely didn't give a thought to his presence either way.
As someone who's done a lot of long driving, I have to say, I'd have fallen asleep a lot less at rest stops if I had known there was a reasonable and fair chance my engine might magically catch fire and trap me in a flaming heap. In fact, if the theory of 'natural failure' were the case, I should perhaps be lucky. I've been taking my life into my hands all too long! Here I thought that cooling the engine off would make it less likely to catch fire. How little did I in fact know.
As is usually the case, I strongly suspect that the answer lies in between the two competing and highly polarized schools of thought. No, Jim is not a careless and 'criminally stupid' owner/operator simply because he happens to have long hair and support IVAW. No, he probably wasn't followed down the highway by a ninja squad of right-wing Blackwater operatives, hell-bent on his murder. Again, it was most likely a cruel and violent act, perpetrated on the spur of the moment by ignorant people. I think if people looked at it from the other side, they might see that. If it had been a bus decked out with pro-war regalia, and had magically burst into flames, I have no doubt some of the more right-wing blogs would be shouting about those damn property-destroying radicals.
And you know what? I suspect that once again, it's going to be the polarizing people making a huge deal out of things that is going to spoil the investigation. On both sides.
Can you all please kindly stop now? Whether these people had devious and dastardly plans or not, they still deserve to be found and charged.
Edited to add: Apparently, I am crazy. I saw 'Veterans for Peace' and read 'Veterans for Freedom'. That's a very weird story up at indymedia, but TSO seems to have accidentally mimicked the odd story rather than having written them both. Quotes next time! They're your friend!