Usually, something makes "news" because it is an event that is an uncommon occurrence. If it were common, it would be ordinary and not raise an eyebrow or be worthy of a second glance. That’s in part, why tragedies and sensationalized stories occupy the headlines and frontpage news.
One guess as to whether the ones in this photo are pro-victory conservative patriots or pro-surrender liberal hippies:
The anti-war demonstrations that took place all over the globe last Saturday to "commemorate" the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War and the 40th anniversary of a march against the Vietnam War, is certainly newsworthy. After all, it’s not like they take place on a regular basis. But the frequency with which liberals and moonbat Democrats, "peaceful terrorists" and peace fascists, make spectacles of themselves is huge. In a sense, we are all a bit desensitized by their antics, because we’ve seen them all before: The outlandish costumes, the peripheral agendas and liberal causes that have nothing to do with the war, the over-the-top signs… These are commonplace. Therefore, what should have been the real story- the shock and awe of the March 17th protests- should have been, and should yet be, the sizeable turnout of those who vociferously opposed the moonbat brigade.
No one has the exact figures; perhaps 10,000?….and with pro-war and anti-war supporters mixing and mingling, no accurate estimates to distinguish the numbers on both sides will likely be possible.
I concede that it is probably the case that the anti-war contingent outnumbered the gathering of eagles, Patriot Riders, Rolling Thunder, Vets, and all those other pro-victory Americans who came from all across the country to make their presence felt. After all, this was an event organized by A.N.S.W.E.R., as highlighted by the numerous orange, black, and yellow carbon-copied cut-out signs. But as the NYTimes notes,
As they gathered before the march, the protesters met what several veterans of the antiwar movement described as an unusually large contingent of several hundred counterdemonstrators.
The Washington Post also doesn’t dismiss the pro-war supporters, and calls their presence smaller than that of the anti-war crowd, but "sizeable":
Much of the passion yesterday was supplied by thousands of counter-demonstrators, many of them veterans who mobilized from across the country to gather around the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Some said they came in response to appeals on the Internet to protect the Wall against what they feared would be acts of vandalism; no such acts were reported.
Others said they were tired of war protesters claiming to speak for the country. "I’m here because I think we need to commit to our troops in the field," said Guy Rocca, 63, a veteran who drove nine hours from Detroit.
With C-SPAN refusing to televise any coverage at all of the counter protesters, and much of the mainstream also seemingly silent in providing detailed coverage of the pro-war supporters and those who came to protect the Memorial Wall, the Washington Post apparently could not ignore the presence of those who support the troops, the war, and our President:
It was quickly apparent that the weather had not prevented counter-demonstrators, many in black leather motorcycle jackets, from showing up in force and surrounding all sides of the Wall.
At one point before the march started, counter-demonstrators formed a gauntlet along an asphalt walkway on Constitution Avenue and heaped verbal abuse at protesters who walked through on their way to the assembly area. One Vietnam veteran in a wheelchair yelled obscenities at demonstrators, including some with children.
Some demonstrators supporting the war effort engaged in good-natured banter with war protesters. But others blocked paths and prevented marchers from getting near the Wall, particularly anyone carrying a sign. District resident Eric Anderson, 47, had his sign ripped from his hands and thrown in the mud.
I’m glad that the Washington Post at least saw fit to provide an acknowledgment of the sizable presence of those who came to protest the protesters. Even if someone at the Post saw fit to describe the event in a headline caption that clearly slants the readers’ impression:
The "heckling" label appears in quite a number of Reuters photos. Many of the photos seem eager to highlight any anti-war vet, giving the impression that the majority of those who have served or who currently serve are turning against our presence in Iraq (of course, not all of these vets might in fact be who they say they are); and curiously, none of the captions that accompanied the Reuters photos seemed to mention that many of the pro-war supporters were vets themselves, both former and current.
The Washington Post, to its credit, devoted a whole article to the counter-protestors:
Several thousand vets, some of whom came by bus from New Jersey, car caravans from California or flights from Seattle or Michigan, lined the route from the bridge and down 23rd Street, waving signs such as "War There Or War Here." Their lines snaked around the corner and down several blocks of Constitution Avenue in what organizers called the largest gathering of pro-administration counter-demonstrators since the war began four years ago.
The vets turned both sides of Constitution into a bitter, charged gantlet for the war protesters. "Jihadists!" some vets screamed. "You’re brain-dead!" Others chanted, "Workers World traitors must hang!" — a reference to the Communist newspaper. Some broke into "The Star-Spangled Banner" as war protesters sought to hand out pamphlets.
"Bunch of hooligans in motorcycle jackets!" one war protester shot back.
The large turnout surprised even some counter demonstrators. Polls show public opinion turning against the war in Iraq, and the November election was widely seen as a repudiation of the administration’s policy.
"I’ve never been to a war rally. I hoped I’d never have to," said Jim Wilson, 62, a Vietnam vet from New Hampshire. "We’re like what they used to call the silent majority."
In some past antiwar rallies, the number of counter demonstrators has ranged from a handful to a few hundred. "Our side got apathetic," said Debby Lee, whose son Marc, a Navy SEAL, was killed in Iraq and who came to the rally from Phoenix in a caravan organized by MoveAmericaForward.org.
But the war protesters have gone too far, Lee and others said. At a Jan. 27 antiwar rally, some protesters spray-painted the pavement on a Capitol terrace. Others crowned the Lone Sailor statue at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue with a pink tiara that had "Women for Peace" written across it.
Why is the counter-protest news-worthy? Why should it upstage the anti-war demonstrators, even if the ANSWER Coalition and its allies were able to rally a much larger turnout? Because conservatives and pro-war / pro-victory supporters are the silent majority that rarely chooses to make a spectacle of themselves the way liberal activists do. Usually, while the moonbats are out smoking weed and beating on their bongo "peace" drums (like those 21st century hippies are doing in the top photo), your ordinary, normal patriotic American is too busy at work, making an actual difference.
The anti-war movement of the 60’s give themselves far too much credit for effectiveness; much of it, undeserved, not to mention shameful for what did result from our withdrawal of all support for our South Vietnamese allies. And now, Congressional career politicians, many of them from the 60’s baby-boom generation, want to repeat that exit strategy?!
I haven’t spoken at an anti-war rally in 34 years, because I’ve been afraid that because of the lies that have, and continue to be spread about me and that war, that they would be used to hurt this new anti-war movement. But silence is no longer an option. I’m so sad that we still have to do this, that we did not learn the lessons from the Vietnam War.
That’s what Jihad Jane said, for the previous anti-war rally from a month ago. It had a larger turnout than the March 17th rally, but not nearly so much as they conflated to have had. The biggest anti-war demonstrations in history, by the way, occurred just before the Iraq War. Jane Fonda, like so many anti-war liberals of her era, learned all the wrong lessons of Vietnam. To this day, they refuse to grasp the extent of suffering that resulted from their getting what they demonstrated for: a cut-and-run exit strategy out of Vietnam. And they cheer and applaud themselves for their sickening "victory".
Jonah Goldberg writes in USA Today,
"I heard the same kinds of suggestions at the time of the end of the Vietnam War," Kennedy told NBC’s Tim Russert, mocking the notion that we’d have a "great bloodbath" with more than 100,000 dead. "And for those of us that were strongly opposed to the war, (we) heard those same kinds of arguments."
Yes, but those arguments were right. Our withdrawal from Vietnam did contribute to a great bloodbath. More than a half-million Vietnamese died at sea fleeing the grand peace Kennedy and his colleagues orchestrated. And more than 1.2 million Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, thanks to the power vacuum created by our "humanitarian" withdrawal. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a presidential candidate, insists that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq can’t make things any worse. In 1975 he took a similar line: "The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is peace, not guns. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now." Someone rent Dodd a DVD of The Killing Fields.
The "compassion" of anti-war "peace" movements is cruelty to the world. As I quoted in an earlier post from Dorothy Thompson,
"They have not wanted peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war- as though the absence of war was the same as peace."
Which is why the kumbaya lambs to the slaughter living among us will get us killed. In a world filled with wolves and sheep, thank God for the sheepdogs!
Going back to something I touched upon earlier in this post, I think it’s important to observe that many of those who showed up for the anti-war protest come with a variety of liberal agendas to push; the facts of the war are peripheral and they only protest the war as a default. CJ observes this. The ANSWER Coalition organized the rally, and the NYTimes describes them as
Saturday’s march was organized by the Answer Coalition — named for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism — an organization that was initially associated with the Workers World Party and now affiliated with a breakaway faction of that party called the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Judging by the speeches and placards, the marchers on Saturday set their sights on sweeping goals, including not only ending the war but also impeaching President Bush and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Many carried Answer Coalition signs bearing the image of the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara.
Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the Answer Coalition and a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, said the group held out little hope of influencing either the president or Congress. “It is about radicalizing people,” Mr. Becker said in an interview. “You hook into a movement that exists — in this case the antiwar movement — and channel people who care about that movement and bring them into political life, the life of political activism.”
The anti-war left will always be hamstrung by these fringe organizations, peripheral to the purposes of the anti-war movement. NYTimes again:
Many in the crowd said they were unfamiliar with the Answer Coalition and puzzled by the many signs about socialism. Several said they had come from across the country for a chance to voice their dismay at the war.
The anti-war left is populated and accompanied by 9/11 truthers, socialists and communists, pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel protesters piggying a ride, eco-terrorists, radical Islamic apologists, MeCHa and other ethnic activist groups, and countless other Leftist groups, each to promote its own agendas. And then of course, you have the ones who are related to the conspiracy nutjobs, in that they have a loose screw in their noggin. From the LA Times coverage of the Hollywood version of Saturday:
The protest had a Hollywood feel. Marchers snapped photos of a Glendale couple wearing grim reaper costumes—"I’m Bush, she’s Cheney," said husband Norm Wheeler. Actress Athena Demos rose above the crowdon orange stilts, with 8-foot cloth wings. "I’m dressed like the dove of peace," she said.
March 17th was a great day for pro-victory "peace" activists; that is, those who advocate for peace through military strength. The true peacekeepers are the brave men and women who serve and sacrifice for something greater than themselves. They are the ones who make peace and prosperity possible. What have pacifists ever done to end fascism? End totalitarian states? End Nazism? All they have done is to enable more of the same suffering and oppression. God bless the troops, and those who support them!
I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I would never do that. But as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there. – Mother Theresa (1910-1997)
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.