Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Political and analytical statement on John Huddy's "Storming Las Vegas"

A conventional review of John Huddy’s book would no doubt stay within the acceptable bounds of debate/discourse that are common to the Western world. From the beginning the stereotypes and assumptions begin. Our protagonist is immediately branded (even on the cover) as a Cuban-born Marxist and a Soviet-trained mercenary. Obviously this is to strike fear, terror and disdain into the heart of the Western reader, along with the idea that we are dealing with a very evil person.

Jose Vigoa is a criminal unlike any that Las Vegas has seen before. This is true at least of the small time criminals. Vegas always has and always will be about large scale crime that is either above the law or within the boundaries of the law. These large-scale criminals of Vegas take the form of casinos, of nightclubs and of 24 hour liquor service establishments. The powers of Las Vegas also are capable of providing the technically illegal, such as room-service prostitution and the purest drugs known to man. All of this I personally have witnessed and in many cases experienced first hand during my decade in this self and soul-destructive city.

Make no mistake; I do not defend the actions of men like Vigoa. However, I condemn to a greater degree the establishments with which he attacked for the amount of lives that they have destroyed financially, morally and far too many times physically. It was stated that Vigoa believed justice to be manipulated by the powerful. It was stated that he believed that “politics-twisted, corrupt, and perverse politics-ruled all.” During his 2 year crime spree he didn’t believe that he was attacking anyone who didn’t deserve it. He believed (despite the fact that he committed murder), that he was merely taking the money from the Capitalist pigs that wouldn’t miss it anyway. Outside of his twisted mental state on the taking of human life, there is a certain “Robin Hood” aspect to his actions.

As to the background of Vigoa, he WAS a military trained mercenary who ended up fighting for the Russians during their time in Afghanistan in the 80’s. For those not up on history, that entire affair had a remarkable similarity to the now 8 year old U.S. occupation of the same country. The law enforcement agencies who tracked Vigoa on this murderous spree comprised former military men who knew from the start that they were dealing with a highly trained professional. This fact alone is an indictment against war, private contractors and Special Forces highly trained for assassinations. If Vigoa can use these skills in civilian robbery incidents, what kind of damage is being done to civilians by over-zealous soldiers in foreign countries who have been trained with these same skills?

The book further plays on the fear-mongering common in our current Western world. It does so by making a point to show law enforcement questioning whether the robberies initially had any ties to “Arabs” or “Muslim/Islamic” extremists. This is all typical U.S. hubris and ignorance.

Perhaps the brainwashing of American Capitalistic society is no more evident than in a book such as this. The prosecution is ecstatic. Once again, the streets of Las Vegas are “safe”. No worries now that they know they have it within their power to capture criminals the caliber of Vigoa. “We have protected the good citizens of Nevada from this man”. However, the giant, excessive, drug-infested, alcoholic, family-destroying, immoral gambling mecca of 2 million people supporting the vices of the world still stands. In the final analysis this is what led to my ultimate political radicalization. I never had a complete sense of satisfaction in Las Vegas. Were there good times? Of course there were. The city wouldn’t attract with no promise of pleasure. However the emptiness and destruction that Las Vegas will do to an individual is intense and extremely dangerous if you allow it. I personally had to move away to preserve my own integrity and to find myself once again. To people like Vigoa, the city carried the promise of riches and taking down the mighty stronghold of Capitalism. His actions were certainly immoral, but in the end the city is an even mightier and more powerful criminal backed by the largest crime syndicates in the world, those located on Wall Street.

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