Michael Prysner Speaks at UC Irvine (Who Cares?)

Gary Fouse

Michael Prysner is a young Iraqi war vet who has turned against not only that war, but apparently against his own country as well. He is against the US, Israel, the government, the corporations, capitalism and I suppose apple pie too. Thursday, the Muslim Student Union once again embarrassed itself by bringing in a speaker who despises his own country.

During his speech, Prysner went from A to Z, but not according to any plan. First it was A-then F-then X, then P and so on. I won't recount everything he said, but here are some highlights.

The US "murdered an unarmed Usama bin Laden in cold blood in front of his family". "The US wants to bomb Iran". (That was said after the speech in the Q and A.) In referring to the Zionists in the crowd, he contrasted them to the younger and more diverse MSU folks and added that "fortunately" the former were disappearing (translation- Those old white folks who support Israel are dying off and being replaced with younger, more diverse folks who oppose Israel. I am paraphrasing.) When he made that last statement, I turned and looked at several of the MSU males because I was sitting right next to them. They applauded the statement and a couple of them looked directly back at me with that knowing smile on their faces.

During the Q and A, the moderator reluctantly called on me with a remark, "Sure, why not?" as the MSU students laughed. I joined in the humor, and before I made my statement (not a question), I looked at them and said, "This is going to be good. You're going to like this."

I told Prysner that I was also an army vet, but unlike him, I had not served in combat, and that I respected his military experience. However, I did not respect the things he had said after leaving the service. I told him that he had defamed the military and his fellow soldiers by accusing them of terrible crimes. I told him that I had worn the uniform with pride, but that he had brought disgrace and dishonor to the uniform since he left the service. Finally, I said that I had seen many despicable speakers brought to campus by the MSU, but that he took the cake.

Later as he was walking up the steps and being asked questions by several people, I had a chance to take another shot at him face to face. I told him that I did appreciate his service in Iraq but that I took exception to something he had been quoted as having said previously about the first Gulf war, a war he had no part in. That concerned the so-called "highway of death" incident, when US aerial forces destroyed a convoy of Iraqi troops fleeing Kuwait City. Prysner had described the dead as "innocent families fleeing the violence." I told him that this incident was not from his war and that the dead were Iraqi troops fleeing Kuwait, many in commandeered cars and many carrying loot. He replied that certain investigating commissions, which he never identified had gone over to the site and seen dead and burned children. I asked him which commissions he was referring to and mentioned Amnesty International. He asked if I would discredit AI, to which I said they have done some good things and some not so good. I stated that every report I had ever seen on this incident identified the dead as Iraqi soldiers and that retreating soldiers are a legitimate target. At this point, other people began asking questions.

Final comment: The MSU made a serious blunder in bringing this guy as a speaker. Not only does Prysner hate Israel, he clearly has no love for his own country. That is hardly the message the MSU should be sending out.

Side note: I had planned to go to the Thursday evening event and give the what for to Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, but it had been a long week and I had better plans for the evening than listen to his tired old sob story, which I had heard all week.

"Take a break, Fousesquawk."

Don't mind if I do.

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