Sunday, March 18, 2007

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.


Blogger Meme chose said...

I believe word had got around that the protesters were planning to desecrate the Vietnam war memorial.

It's interesting how the cultural 'debate' in the US and in Europe is now starting to take place less in academic forums and in the media than on the streets, in skirmishes over what rules apply in practice in public spaces. Much of the public isn't engaged in the chattering of the chattering classes, perhaps because it's typically entirely unclear whether any practical consequences flow from any particular utterance. On the street, though, on any given day, at demonstrations in Washington and Trafalgar Square, in airports and taxi cabs and at supermarket checkout counters, it becomes evident whose rules apply and whose have been blown away.

This illuminates starkly, at least for me, yet another aspect of life in 1930's Europe.

3/18/2007 02:56:00 AM  
Blogger R C Dean said...

I was in Washington while some high-profile "peace" marches were happening a couple of years ago. We went to the WWII memorial, which was right next to one of the main staging areas for the marchers.

There was an informal(?) "No protesting, no signs" rule at the memorial, enforced by volunteer proctors. They would ask people to leave their signs outside. Nobody gave them any crap that I could see, probably because they obviously had the backing of the vast majority.

3/18/2007 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

I was at the event yesterday. I stood with the veterans near the Lincoln Memorial, across the street from the anti-war protesters. As I looked across their sea of yellow signs (appropriate color for them), I was struck by the complete absence of American flags. Well, one man held a small flag, but the rest of the anti-war protesters seemed to be a collection of malcontents.

I saw, for example, a young man holding a "Queer Radicals for Peace" sign while sporting a lovely lavender bandana that hid his face. Many others carried signs that said, "Bush worse than Osama" or "All war is terrorism."

Such people cannot be reasoned with. They clearly are in the final stages of BDS. All war is terrorism? I doubt that sane African-Americans would agree since it took the Civil War to free their ancestors. I doubt that sane Jews would agree since it took WWII to save what European Jews remained after Hitler was defeated.

I honestly wonder what world most of those anti-war protesters inhabit. What do they think will happen to Iraq were we to leave immediately? Would they feel any responsibility for the bloodbath that would follow our departure? I also wonder if any of these unfortunate souls support efforts in Darfur to stop the killing. I doubt they would feel any hypocrisy at all.

3/18/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger StargazerA5 said...

I believe that the swing in public opinion was not due to the public turning against the war, but turning from the handling of the war. All the PC crap after Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo; not to mention "catch and release" and ignoring the Shia militias made it seem like our leadership wasn't really serious. I think many were saying to themselves, "If we're going to fight, lets fight and get it over with. Playing PC games will just cause us to lose." Now that it looks like we're getting serious, support is returning fairly quickly.

In short, people want the gloves off.


3/18/2007 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

To my intense chagrin, a post-blizzard Saint Patrick's Day trip to Washington, leaving family and long-planned events, was just not possible. Only hope that the opportunity to seal defeatism's moral cesspool will recur, come Summer or in Fall.

To Eagles all: Our hopes and prayers are with you, and We the People do not stand alone.

3/18/2007 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Thanks for this heartening report! I went to rallies like this at the beginning of OIF, but there were no surrenderists there - this sounds like much more fun, though I might leave the wife at home for this kind of 'rally.'

I believe part of what is stirring up the Eagles is that the Democrats are now saying exactly what they mean - they really want America to surrender in Iraq, and in general, become pacifist and weak. If surrender were such a great idea, surely the peaceniks and Democrats would have reams of historical examples where such surrender-based "peace" turned out to be a good thing. Vietnam would be the perfect starting point for these aged hippies and their weak-minded offspring - what happened there when we surrendered, how did our enemies react, not just in Southeast Asia, but in Africa, Afghanistan, Iran, Central America? Anyone remember the late 70's?

If these peace-lovers who consider themselves so morally superior to the rest of us were truly out to weaken America - what would they be doing differently than they are now?

This is why I had deeply hoped Howard Dean had been the Democrat candidate in '04, instead of the military-denouncing "war hero" Kerry. I wish they had come out with their true colors back then, it would have brought this argument to the surface sooner, would have swelled the ranks of the Eagles earlier.

Now you have Pelosi and Reid refusing their lying eyes, and openly advocating surrender. This is a good thing for us Eagles.

3/18/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Harrywr2 said...

I'm against taxes...but I like paved roads, schools for my children and a local police force that keeps the criminals locked up.

The dicussion as to "consequences" of a premature withdrawl from Iraq is just beginning.

I'd like the troops home by tommorrow morning at 9...I'm pretty certain I am not going to like the consequences of the troops being brought home tomorrow morning at 9.

3/18/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soldier's Dad: I'd like the troops home by tommorrow morning at 9...I'm pretty certain I am not going to like the consequences of the troops being brought home tomorrow morning at 9.

Yeah, Saddam Hussein might feel free to develop weapons of mass destruction again. And God knows the only thing stopping Al-Zarqawi from ramming a jet into the Sears Tower is the 30,000 personnel (up from 21,500) we're sending over there now to stand up where the Iraqi Army is falling down.

3/18/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's always a question of perspective. From my perspective, human society is like a colony of bacteria, going thru set familiar phases.

Some thinks they see things clearly. But I think they need to reset their white balance setting and lose the rose colored lenses. What's typical with authority, is the fakery. And what's typical with the rejection of authority, is also the fakery. It's like an extended mad house. But some think that as long as the dialogue goes on that there's a chance of rationality. I don't agree.

I would argue that "the criminal" and "the mad" are the real heroes. Why not, in a corrupt world? Why not, in a pointless and vicious society? In a reasonable society there are no criminals. One criminal act turns a reasonable society into an unreasonable one. And back again. And back again. And back again. So what to do about it? It's obvious that our contract with society is not total.

3/18/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Message 8: "Yeah, Saddam Hussein might feel free to develop weapons of mass destruction again. And God knows the only thing stopping Al-Zarqawi from ramming a jet into the Sears Tower is the 30,000 personnel (up from 21,500) we're sending over there now to stand up where the Iraqi Army is falling down." - Teresita

Given how generic people like Saddam and Al Zarqawi are that's probably truer than we realize. It's occasionally disturbing how the human race throws up the same archetypes over and over and over again. But do you think that Iran would be shyer about her current quest for nuclear boombooms if we didn't have troops next door? o_O

Also worth noting that the last I heard the Iraqi *army* was doing OK, it was the Iraqi *police* who were falling down on the job.

3/18/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"So the search for "why?" begins."

The "why":

"Your television is lying to you." quote an old bumpersticker.

3/18/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger pelted said...

This crop of anti-war protesters are fake and unserious as can be. They remind me of Woodstock 1999.

3/18/2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...


Al Quaeda declared war on us. The Al Quaeda guys attacking us in Iraq would be attacking us somewhere else if we were not Iraq. The places those attacks would occur include Afghanistan, Turkey, our bases in Europe, our bases not in Europe, our embassies. Wait, scratch that last one, our embassies. That could never happen. The embassies have diplomatic immunity, I forgot.

3/18/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Towering Barbarian: Also worth noting that the last I heard the Iraqi *army* was doing OK, it was the Iraqi *police* who were falling down on the job.

The only function of the Iraqi Army, since the US Army provides security from outside threats, is to reduce the insurgency to a level that can be handled by normal police forces.


"One Iraqi soldier in the alley pointed his rifle at an American reporter and pulled the trigger. There was only a click: the weapon had no ammunition. The soldier laughed at his joke."

"When the Iraqi units finally did show up, it was with the air of a class outing, cheering and laughing as the Americans blew locks off doors with shotguns...Many of the Iraqi units that showed up late never seemed to take the task seriously," and when it came time to search apartments for insurgent activity, the Timesmen write that the Iraqis were "searching haphazardly, breaking dishes and rifling through personal CD collections in the apartments. Eventually the Americans realized that the Iraqis were searching no more than half of the apartments; at one point the Iraqis completely disappeared, leaving the American unit working with them flabbergasted."

3/18/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

al reasin - Ia am so glad that you are here.

I am a Vietnam-era vet, and I, too, feel that it is time to make our voices heard.

We have been silent for far too long.

3/18/2007 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

E. Almost all of the above.

3/18/2007 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I was delighted to hear that the protest was much smaller than planned and the counter protets almost as large, but I heard a quote that leaves me flabergasted.

Cindy Sheehan was heard saying that 40 years ago they were there protesting the Vietnam War and now here they are again protesting this one.

How could anyone proudly say they were a modern version of a Vietnam War protestor? With all we know now about Vietnam and communism, how could anyone dare to claim that legacy? To do so is to wish aloud for an alternate universe with a U.S. defeat in the Cold War. Other than MP Galloway and President Putin, who dares to wish aloud for that?

With what we know about what our Vietnam Veterans endured over there and at home, who wishes to associate with those who spat on them and hurled red paint (to provide a personal example)? Who can be proud of that abusive cowardance?

If these people were even the least bit non-delusional they would run away from the Vietnam Protestor crowd as fast as they could. That they do not says it all.

3/18/2007 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger John Hinds said...

GOE could be an example of the "Swift Boat Vets". On steroids. Remember them? My personal experience in the buildup to this event is that there is definitely a need here. The PGR, VFW, VVFW, American Legion, one would think, would mobilize their members in such instances but the stated position of their leadership was either negative, tepid, or non-existent. There was almost a revolt over at the PGR forums over the tepid response of the so called board of directors. Some threads were shut down. People got very angry at this.
A year ago I did the "run for the wall" and met and observed people across the breadth of this country. I was on the road for a total of 21 days. What I witnessed is beginning to resonate among the punditocracy, among my fellow lovers of liberty, and that is this country is desperately in need of leadership that will articulate the challenges we face and the actions we must take in this the latest existential challenge to our nation and the eternal verities which the genius of our forebears promulgated into our constitution.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. If people demand leadership by marching in the street in sufficient numbers at sufficient frequency, leaders WILL emerge, and this kernel of freedom's rejuvenation will blossom and grow and sweep the nation and eventually the world.
There is a buzz now about "300". King Leonidas knew that he would die defending freedom and he knew with the same certitude that the valor of his men would give him and the ideas for which they fought an immortality that would stretch into the future for as long as men walked the face of the earth. It is time to renew that commitment. Gathering of the Eagles can be a beginning for liberties new spring.

3/18/2007 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Wretchard, can you tell from news reports overseas that the moonbats are NOT in charge and never have been, November elections to the contrary?

That there are just as many Bush supporters as there are anti-war peaceniks ... and always have been?

I know the media message will focus on the anti-war parades, and since the one in DC didn't go down too well, they're focusing on "parades around the country". Will Europe, and Australia and the Middle East know, see and understand that there are many many large, calm, stern warriors walking out to the middle of the street now to face down both our internal traitors, as well as organizations like the EU and the UN that want to defang us?

3/18/2007 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I wish DC would happen in LA.

Then I could be there.

And destroy a peace-protestor's sign. Or two. (Some of them are beginning to look REALLY raggedy.)

(The signs look raggedy, although the peaceniks don't look all that healthy, either.)

3/18/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Elwood Russell said...

The Jacksonian reaction begins. $71 million opening for "300." A Gathering of Eagles.

Americans do not want to lose a war because of appeasers.

3/18/2007 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elwood Russell: The Jacksonian reaction begins. $71 million opening for "300." A Gathering of Eagles. Americans do not want to lose a war because of appeasers.

This is Hollywood we're talking about here. You've got it exactly bass ackwards. The "surging" arrogant Persian army with their overwhelming numbers represents imperialist America, the 300 noble Spartans who fight to the death to cast out the occupiers represent the Religion of Peace.

3/19/2007 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Terista, I know what you mean relative to the Hollywood viewpoint - but I have seen some things of late that make me wonder about it.

Just this past week, on TV there was "24" which has a story line featuring Islamic Terrroists cooperating with Russians to attack the USA with nukes.

That same night there was a show on the Discovery Channel called "Our Childrens' Childrens' War" which made the point that the war has been going on for over a decade and that it would last for generations. It gave a very positive view of US operations in Africa, building hospitals, digging wells, training local troops. It could have been a DoD production given the overall tone and message - but featured Peter Jennings!

Then there was a remarkable episode of "Crimminal Minds" featuring the interrogation of a terrorist mastermind incarcerated in GITMO, and who was depicted in the most negative terms imaginable. The character said that the 4 billion non-Muslims of the world offend him by their mere existance. And this was at same the time in which the news of the results of the real guy at GITMO came out. The show followed "Jehrico" which shows Americans trying to survive after a nuclear attack. And this all was on the Communist Broadcasting System!

Saturday night I heard a radio program which played an interview with a typical liberal reporter on her recent trip to Iraq - who went there to "find the truth and not just drink the Bush Kool Aide.". She cried quite a bit - but they were tears of joy over what she saw our troops doing there. One story that brought her to tears was when she described how a US Army Captain told her "Every day here I feel like I get up and push a little girl out of the way of a speeding bus."

So is Something Happening in public perception and Hollywood's reaction? I don't know, but the last time I saw this happening was 1979. And we got Ronald Reagan and the end of the USSR out of that.

3/19/2007 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Here's an interesting link about how jihadists attack our will to fight by spreading sob stories in web forums.

Defeatism and the Electronic Jihad

3/19/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

This veteran was at the March on the Pentagon (on the march end of things, not the counter-protester end) and offers the following observations:

* Despite some heckling and catcalls, by and large the interplay between the two groups was most respectful.

* A fair number of veterans marched to the Pentagon. These included vets from Vietnam, Korea and WW2.

* While I understand the concern of the counter-protesters regarding rumors that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial might be defaced by protesters, the vast majority of the marchers were respectful and rather somber. In fact, it was the most tucked in protest/march in the capital of my experience.

* VA Gamer needs to have his eyes checked. There were many American flags being carried by and adorned on the marchers, few of whom were stereotypical radicals and most of whom were "ordinary" people. There were a substantial number of suburban moms and dads with their kids (and sometimes their dogs), as well as church ladies and gray hairs.

I also attended the 1967 march on the Pentagon and have put up a post at my blog comparing the two:

3/19/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Frilo said...

I am very happy about this protests. Only if violence will be not answered by more violence there will come a chance to have less wars in this world.
Greetings sends
Eckbert Heinenberg

3/19/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Shaun, you're a reporter that covered the Vietnam war and you were at the 1967 march on the pentagon. Is that where you get your veteran status?

3/19/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four More Years!

MARCH 19, 2003: Bush launches invasion of Iraq

APRIL 9, 2003: Saddam Statue Toppled

MAY 1, 2003: Mission Accomplished

JULY 2, 2003: BUSH: "There are some who feel like — that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on."

DECEMBER 14, 2003: Saddam is captured

MARCH 24, 2004: Bush jokes at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere."

APRIL 28, 2004: Images of torture at Abu Ghraib are revealed

SEPTEMBER 7, 2004: Death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq reaches 1,000

JANUARY 30, 2005: U.S. loses track of nearly $9 billion in Iraqi funds

MAY 30, 2005: CHENEY: "I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." [CNN Larry King Live]

OCTOBER 26, 2005: American military death toll reaches 2,000

DECEMBER 30, 2006: Saddam executed by hanging.

JANUARY 3, 2007: Death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq reaches 3,000

JANUARY 19, 2007: $8.4 billion: The cost of the Iraq war per month. "It rose from a monthly 'burn rate' of about $4.4 billion during the first year of fighting in fiscal 2003." [LA Times]

MARCH 10, 2007: Senior Administration Official: "Right now there is no trend" that escalation is working. [Washington Post]

3/19/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Mike H:

I was assigned to Pacific Stars & Stripes with headquarters in Tokyo. It was an oddball unit in that although I was technically under USARPAC (as opposed to MACV), our ultimate commanding officer was Admiral McCain at Pearl Harbor.

3/19/2007 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

The "surging" arrogant Persian army with their overwhelming numbers represents imperialist America, the 300 noble Spartans who fight to the death to cast out the occupiers represent the Religion of Peace. -Teresita

Wait, I thought that we hadn't provided ENOUGH troops for the job. Now it's an overwhelming force? I'm getting mixed memes here. I never realized that beheading and car bombing civilians were noble acts. Who knew Hamas and Fatah were the very paragons of nobility?

3/19/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Shaun Mullen,

Thanks for your report on the peace march. May I please ask you a question, sir?

Since you believe fervently that American withdrawal will be a good thing, can you explain what you expect to happen? There must be some precedent for this policy, I would think.

It seems that this would finally make Iraq the next Vietnam, the last time we re-deployed from a 15 year war. That seemed to produce some negative consequences.

I was traveling a lot in the late 70's, and in addition to the millions dead in SE Asia, and the million boat people, our foreign policy had other effects. The Russians and Cubans sent tens of thousands of troops to Angola and fought our allies in the RSA (until we pulled the plug on them, too). The mullahs took over Iran, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and caused a lot of mischief in Central America.

In sum, our effort to re-deploy to peace led to more and wider conflict. What do you think will happen this time?

Perhaps this re-deployment from Iraq is a completely new concept, like cold fusion or carbon credits?

These are sincere questions, I can't help it if it sounds rhetorical.

Ps. Welcome to the Belmont Club, the chili is especially good, if you like hot stuff.

3/19/2007 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

I get upset everytime I hear someone blame the Iraq war situation for the lack of conservative support in the '06 election. That's what the media would like us all to think.

The fact is, the conservative base is fed up with the lack of backbone being displayed by the RINO's on the hill and occupying the White house. It's really unfortunate but it has gotten to the point that my son's retort about "one's just as bad as the other" is starting to ring true. One being a sin of commission and the other being a sin of omission.

Hat's off & salute to the vets who once again lead by their quiet strenghth & most excellent example.

3/19/2007 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...


A fair question. I support an accelerated withdrawal timetable pegged to benchmarks, few of which I expect the Iraqi government to achieve.

C'est le guerre.

What will happen? I don't know.

C'est le guerre.

By the by, I have been stopping by the Belmont Club for a couple of years because Wretchard runs such a great show. I cannot say the same for some of his regular commenters, who are among the most racist, foul-mouthed, vile-thinking, knuckle-dragging people in the entire blogosphere.

3/20/2007 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Sean, thanks so much for your kind reply.

When I ask my old school chums, they usually tell me I have no right to an opinion about Iraq unless I go over there right now, or at least send my kids to die there. (Of course, they're not over there and their kids aren't over there, but their opinion would trump the freakin' Dalai Lama's.)

Speaking of the Dalai Lama, since you don't know what our redeployment might bring, perhaps pure Compassion is your motivation?

If it's pure Compassion for American kids dying needlessly, why is the compassion so focused, and only in the past few years, on Iraq?

In 2006, 265 Americans were killed in Baghdad.

In 2006, 406 Americans were killed in Philadelphia.

Since the war started, 845 Americans have been killed in Baghdad.

Since the war started, approx. 1,460 Americans have been killed in Philadelphia.

Every 3.625 years, the American murder rate equals the American deaths in the Vietnam War.

I honestly don't understand why all these suddenly, ardently Compassionate folks don't feel the same way about our own civil war.

Where's the love?

Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Philadelphia Police Crime Statistics

Ps. As for the knuckle-dragging and so forth, perhaps it was just a student in the writing club here doing a Faulkner accent, or doing a little Mark Twain.

3/20/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Jeez, I just love it when sparks fly here.

By The Way..It seems that the MSM accomplished it's mission re the DC protest.

They managed to keep it low in the news, managed to misrepresent the anti-war protesters as having many thousands and the poor unwashed veterans as having a few hundred there.

Actually according to the U.S. Park Service, the Vets had over 30,000 peons there and the shining anti-war citizens at about 10,000. Many of the peaceniks left early (and left their trash) because it was too cold for their sensibilities, while the Vets patroled all of the monuments and cleaned up their trash and took it with them, long after the last socialist liberal left.

Papa Ray
West Texas

3/20/2007 08:31:00 PM  

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