By Any Means Necessary
The Washington Post describes how the anti-war protests held last Saturday ran into an unexpectedly large contingent of anti-antiwar protesters.
As war protesters marched toward Arlington Memorial Bridge en route to the Pentagon yesterday, they were flanked by long lines of military veterans and others who stood in solidarity with U.S. troops and the Bush administration's cause in Iraq. Many booed loudly as the protesters passed, turned their backs to them or yelled, "If you don't like America, get out!"
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 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."
This was not supposed to happen, but it did. So the search for "why?" begins. The Washington Post thinks it is because anti-war protesters went "too far".
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. Word of those incidents ricocheted around the Internet.
But was it a simple case of backlash against a few misguided extremists? That's the media theory so far.