Thursday, March 22, 2007

Anti-war protester complains about D.C. march

A local democrat anti-war activist wrote a letter to the editor in today's Staunton News Leader about the war rally in D.C. over the weekend. She is one of those protesters we regularly go up against on the streets of Staunton but she was participating in the ANSWER and MoveOn.org protests on Saturday.

In the letter she said:

At the start of the rally, the Virginia group was forced to proceed down a narrow sidewalk surrounded on both sides by war supporters who screamed epithets, spit, tried to knock down the banner bearers, attempted to tip over my wheelchair, and succeeded in grabbing a peace banner from one woman, shredding it and knocking her around in the presence of her two children. They continually shouted "traitor" at us.

Sounds as if she's describing her side ... the ones who proclaim to "support the troops" but have no understanding at all what it means to our military to be halfway around the world and see people protesting their mission. What is it that makes this letter writer and others like her think they are helping our soldiers and Marines by marching like that? Why are they deaf to the pleas of those soldiers who tell us they turn off the news because they don't want to see what the liberals/democrats are doing nor how the media represent and push the liberal agenda? Why do they not understand how the military families feel about it?

Read the entire letter here:
http://www.newsleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070322/OPINION03/703220303/1014/OPINION

I suppose as long as there is war there will be those who feel it is not just or right to go to war. The sad truth is ... there is no peace without war. What I cannot understand is why our own people are against their own country for trying to keep peace (successfully) here on the homeland. If we had not responded to 9/11 by entering Afghanistan and Iraq would we have continued to have bombings here in America?

I think so. I believe it would have emboldened bin Laden and others to go up against the most powerful nation in the world and have no response. To have no response from us would have given them bragging rights to the terrorist world: "Hit America! She won't fight back because she's soft and weak."

Our country is at war. To march against our government during a time of war is, in my opinion, treason. We are so politically correct in allowing free speech that we let the morale of our country be drained by these people.

This ain't Vietnam. The left-over hippies of the 1960s are trying to use the same page out of the same playbook they used during Vietnam by demoralizing and losing the war on the home front.
But it's different this time.

There are those of us who grew up during Vietnam who remember the hate-filled protesters of that day ... and we're not sitting back silently watching as they do it again.

There are the Vietnam veterans who were at the receiving end of those hippies' actions during Vietnam, who were treated disrespectfully and threatened by protesters. Their government told them not to wear their uniforms when traveling home on leave in America because it was too dangerous. What was wrong with that picture? Where were honorable Americans to stand up to that?

We are standing up to it now. The letter writer and others can march and write ... but I'm going to be out there to stand up to them because I'm doing this for my husband who is a Vietnam-era veteran and for my children who have to live in the world we leave behind.

I'm doing it for every young man and woman who enlists because they love this country and believe in the mission.

And I'm doing it for those who have given the supreme sacrifice because I don't want their families to feel that they died in vain. They died to keep me free. They died to provide safe streets so I can drive without worrying about a bomb going off under my vehicle. They died to keep homicide bombers out of our malls so I can shop in safety.

They did not die in vain.

To protest is, in my opinion, a slap in the face to every red-blooded American who fights for us, who dies for us, who is trying to do the right thing for us.

Sure. You have the right to protest -- it's guaranteed in the Constitution. But I find it hard to believe you have the conscience to do it.

Peace. We all want it. But some are nieve enough to think it doesn't come with a price. Others know better. And when those of us who know better speak up, the Left tries to silence us by calling names and with personal attacks ... but we can't let them silence us. We can't allow them to cower us.

We have to stand up for our country and against the anti-war protesters ... stand up against the leftists and socialists ... stand up for our future. We must stand in unity.

Freedom isn't free.

18 comments:

Steve Harkonnen said...

A big part of the problem is, this war shouldn't be about politics and the bickering.

The vast difference of this war from Vietnam is that Vietnam's cause was to help save a foreign nation from becoming Communist. This is why the hippies took sides with the North Vietnamese on this war, because they were (and, rightfully so) so vehemently angry over the huge number of losses we took during that war. But what was NOT right about their actions was that they took sides and chose the side of the Communists. This explains their support of people like Che Guevara. They view this Commie as a hero (strangely enough because Guevara was also actively engaged in torturing people).

In contrast, it saddens me about THIS war because the administration has not yet come forth and told the truth over the real mission of this war. Plus, there is too much pandering and appeasement going on.

True, part of it is to save Iraq from falling to the insurgency and granting it a democracy, but there are big problems with that alone.

Islam itself, being a political ideology more than just a religion, would have a very difficult time assimilating into a democracy for the simple fact that Islam is a theocracy embodied into itself. In Islam, the people aren't allowed to speak out. Women's rights are undermined, and Islam, overall, has a huge intolerance over political ideologies because it is so unique.

But on with why this war is different from 'Nam:

This war is also a major front against Islamic Jihad. Our enemy is not afraid of dying. They want all of us dead, and it matters not if we're liberals or conservatives. if Bush is actually practicing dissimilation toward our enemy, he needs to cease this practice immediately, cut to the chase and stop worrying about what others say about him and his administration.

Don't get me wrong here. Bush has done some good for the nation, but he's seriously made some drastic errors in foreign affairs. If he would only come clean, and identify this war as being a war between civilizations (it's actually been going on for centuries) then maybe the world might start to see what is happening. Meanwhile, we're all brain dead, and taking political sides, getting nowhere and gaining no real moral ground.

Look at what is happening in Europe. While the MSM does a deplorable job in reporting the truth, about the mass riots caused by radical Muslim youth (which is being backed by major terrorist groups), and while Dutch media officials are being stabbed in the streets of Amsterdam, including the assassination of Pim Fortuyn, who happened to be one of the biggest critics against radical Islam, we're not being fed the truth.

That needs to change - and quickly.

This is why I can't understand why left and right cannot come together on a forum on this, discuss the real facts and dangers at hand, and come to an agreement that we're all in this together. It's a war between civilizations, and if you compare the demographics and the idealisms of our enemies, you will see that we are losing ground. Western nations are currently having more deaths than births, while the Islamic countries have it the other way around.

When the big picture finally opens up (I wish our government would open up and tell the REAL reasons why we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan) maybe then we can all work this out together and find a solution to the problems at hand here.

There are MORE problems - like appeasement being a big one - but until we get a tougher government that is willing to tell the facts to the people that they are seriously under danger from our enemies, the better off we will all be.

If anyone ever says "we're a lot more safer than before" will eat their words, because an attack can come at any time. I blame that on our poor border situation. It would be remarkably easy to sneak in a baseball-sized chunk of plutonium over our borders if it were sealed properly. That amount, if a bomb is built around it, could level Manhattan.

Cargosquid said...

I don't believe her. The press was focused on the surrender, um peace marchers. If this had happened, it would have been reported. The story of the woman losing her peace sign has been all over the web, but, she did not metion any additional problems other than someone tearing up her sign.

Jeremy said...

The letter writer and others can march and write ... but I'm going to be out there to stand up to them because I'm doing this for my husband who is a Vietnam-era veteran and for my children who have to live in the world we leave behind.

Well, I'll be standing up to you (without the violence your side deals in), and I'll be organizing others to stand up to your fellow thugs who deal in intimidation instead of honest discourse. I have a brother who served in Iraq, and all through his deployment I spoke out against the war with not a single complaint from him - in fact, he wrote a friendly comment on my blog. We don't agree on everything but we respect one another, a trait that apparently hasn't been adopted by the supposedly "pro-military" right wing. If the human beings you casually lump together as "the troops" are demoralized about their ambiguous, open-ended mission, perhaps the cause has less to do with people who care enough to have a position on the issues of the day and more to do with the people who seem not to care much at all. At least you don't fall in that latter group.

But what you don't seem to understand is that the Iraq debate is bigger, and has to do with more fundamental issues, than simply the troops. As you point out, your family's future is at stake. Well, what makes you think a war protester doesn't carry the same burden when speaking out about *his* view of the war? What makes you think an honest war critic doesn't deserve the same respect you'd ask for if you were the outnumbered party?

Oh wait - weren't you and like 3 other people at the recent Bush visit to the Science Museum, where you were provided with a level of police protection that the D.C. antiwar protesters did not receive? I mean, heck, there's always been goodies involved with supporting the status quo, and with Republicans in power it must be hard to portray yourself as a perpetual victim of "teh liberals".

You could apply the same standard to yourself as you do to others, but that kind of perspective would require a bit of reflection, and there's no time for that when you have to whip your fellow travelers up in a mean-spirited hysteria. And since you nowhere condemn the intimidation tactics of your fellow right-wing protestors, I assume that you want to be treated the same.

And just because I don't want to see you treated that way doesn't mean you wouldn't deserve it.

SWAC Girl said...

Jeremy, THANKS for reminding folks that three of us stood against the angry anti-war protesters in Richmond to represent the Silent Majority of America. Three!

I urge folks to re-read what I wrote about that day....

http://swacgirl.blogspot.com/2006/10/angry-left.html

Jeremy said...

I urge everybody to reread your post as well, because you're ignoring my question: why is YOUR side entitled to respect and safety when protesting, including police protection, but not MY side? Isn't that hypocritical? Why don't you denounce those counter-protestors who threatened, assaulted, and spat on anti-war protesters?

You're fighting for your family - I'm fighting for mine. Since this an issue of the utmost importance to us both, can't we agree that we should leave intimidation, threats, and assault out of the picture? Or do you think you deserve special privileges? I guess there's always been goodies for those who will support the right politicians, after all.

The problem is not counter-protesting - nobody, least of all me, has a problem with that. But until you reverse your tacit support for thuggish tactics demonstrated at the Pentagon protest - tactics you claimed were uncalled for when they were directed at YOU - your "it's for my family" shtick is fake Republican PR.

Thanks for having the decency to post my comment. I'll be profiling your hypocrisy later today on my blog.

SWAC Girl said...

I've asked a number of "Gathering of Eagles" participants about incidents like that and they said it didn't happen. Period.

jeremy said...

Another account of police indifference to counter-protestor violence and initmidation. You can say your friends claim it didn't happen, but the Left is documenting these incidents and there's a pattern. I find it much more likely that the people you talked to didn't see what happened (it was, after all, a large protest).

To simply write the incidents off without even an explanation is typical right-wing "see no evil" politics.

There's one other issue here: GOE set out to defend war memorials from alleged lefists desecration plans. But isn't that the police's job - since they're the only ones on scene who are authorized to use force to secure the peace? If GOE members were allowed to "defend" these sites, weren't the police working hand in glove with them to favor their activities over the free speech rights of anti-war activists (who, BTW, attempted no vandalism as alleged)?

Admit it - GOE went to D.C. prepared to pick a fight and kick some hippy ass. The violent screeds and bloodthirsty rants are all over the forums. It is a documented fact that GOE obstructed the protest route of anti-war marchers to hurl insults at best and physically assault even wheelchair-bound grandmas at worst.

If you want to deny those things happened, fine. It would just be an example of more Right wing fact ignoring - the same fact-ignoring that got us caught up in Iraq in the first place.

jeremy said...

From a G.O.E.-affiliated site:

"The group defending the Wall will be wearing armbands to identify themselves. Those who are unable to stand with the defenders are being asked to wear armbands with small U.S. flags to show their own communities that they abhor the Fonda-Sheehan tactics.

"We'll be there to act as a countervailing force against the Cindy Sheehan-Jane Fond march from the Vietnam Memorial to the Pentagon," retired Navy Capt. Larry Bailey said. "We will protect the Vietnam Memorial. If they try to deface it, there will be some violence, I guarantee you."

As I stated earlier, your side was looking for a fight. Your "see no evil" approach to thuggery on the part of your allies rings hollow.

Steve Harkonnen said...

Jeremy,

I attended the GOE function in DC and noticed some from your side coming at us in very threatening postures. One of the leftists tried to attack me from behind at the bridge, as they crossed it on their way to the pentagon. I rightfully responded and down he went. No one grabs me from behind and gets away with it. I only hope he managed to get the wood chips from his sign post removed from his tongue and throat area, because he ended up nearly swallowing that post.

That Navy Captain was right. Now, speaking on my very own behalf here, and this may not be the opinion of SWAC girl, the blogger here, but if I had witnessed any of your ilk trying to deface the memorial, I probably would have killed them outright with my own hands.

While the protest in DC raised a lot of hate from both sides, the lines were clearly defined. Therefore, divided we may fall, but if I do, I will be dragging some from the other side down with me by the scruff of their necks.

I cannot work with destructive attitudes like that. No one touches the memorial. Period.

We're not looking for a fight, but woe betide anyone that tried to fuck up our wall.

Jeremy said...

Now, speaking on my very own behalf here, and this may not be the opinion of SWAC girl, the blogger here, but if I had witnessed any of your ilk trying to deface the memorial, I probably would have killed them outright with my own hands.

I see - an inanimate object is more valuable than a human life. That must be that compassionate conservatism I keep hearing about!

Frankly, speaking only for myself, your "wall" doesn't really mean much to me. I don't owe you or any of those people anything, no matter how much muscle you flex. Like most victims of war, those memorialized by the wall lost their life in a senseless, inhuman catastrophe that changed nothing and only benefited political interests. The people your precious memorial honors are dead, and the memorial does more to help politicians and people like you profit from their memory than it does to honor them and their families.

Maybe I don't understand what it's like to be in the military. Maybe I don't understand what it's like to sacrifice for your country (though I distinguish between the country and the government - something conservatives used to be able to manage). However, I for one wouldn't stand by and watch you hurt somebody to protect your pet wall. There are things that are more valuable than your inflated sense of self-importance - things like the sanctity of human life and free speech.

You don't get a free pass just because you wore a uniform. Get over yourself.

jeremy said...

I attended the GOE function in DC and noticed some from your side coming at us in very threatening postures.

Perhaps because you were standing in the predesignated protest march route?

You guys always have an answer, just not a straight one.

jeremy said...

We're not looking for a fight, but woe betide anyone that tried to fuck up our wall.

I see: so you consider yourself above the law?

Jeremy said...

One more thing: if an anti-war protester did indeed try to attack you, then I condemn that and want nothing to do with him/her. You were completely within your rights to defend yourself if the situation occurred as you described it, and I have no reason to doubt your account.

Academician said...

...but if I had witnessed any of your ilk trying to deface the memorial, I probably would have killed them outright with my own hands.

Wow. You just declared yourself to be a danger to others. Perhaps the protestors should kill you first to protect their freedom. A pre-emptive strike, as it were.

Threats of lethal violence - over inanimate objects, no less - is what makes people afraid of you, sir. It is primitive and animalistic, and no better than the human filth in the Middle East who will kill a woman for not wearing a hijab. If you were fighting to defend yourself, your friends, your family, or any other living human beings, that would be one thing. But to defend a wall? Even one with great meaning to you? That is the worst sort of vile collectivism and superstition. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Steve Harkonnen said...

I see - an inanimate object is more valuable than a human life.

Put it this way, Jeremy: The wall is more valuable to me than the life of anyone that chooses to deface it.

Frankly, speaking only for myself, your "wall" doesn't really mean much to me.

Well, that's understandable. It doesn't mean much to Communists and anti-Americans as well.

I don't owe you or any of those people anything, no matter how much muscle you flex.

No, you don't. Since you owe nothing to "those people" then perhaps you may not have been there because of "those people" that help defend your rights and freedoms here in America. And, I am not flexing muscles, just letting you know where I stand.

Like most victims of war, those memorialized by the wall lost their life in a senseless, inhuman catastrophe that changed nothing and only benefited political interests.

I totally agree with you, considering that this war was brought to us by a Democrat. History revisionists might call him a great man. So great, as a matter of fact, that he ordered a shitload of Cuban cigars before he declared the blockade against Cuba and declared their cigars illegal.

The people your precious memorial honors are dead, and the memorial does more to help politicians and people like you profit from their memory than it does to honor them and their families.

I profit only in tears when I visit the memorial, friend - even though I know no one on that wall.

Maybe I don't understand what it's like to be in the military.

Well, that is blissfully obvious.

Maybe I don't understand what it's like to sacrifice for your country (though I distinguish between the country and the government - something conservatives used to be able to manage).

I hate to be the harbinger of doom, but if you've ever seen the film, "Children of Men," I consider it a prophecy of our future. Well, YOUR future. I may be dead before it gets to that state of affairs.


However, I for one wouldn't stand by and watch you hurt somebody to protect your pet wall.

Really, oh, ok.

There are things that are more valuable than your inflated sense of self-importance - things like the sanctity of human life and free speech.

What's more important to me than my inflated sense of self-importance is to see America move on and upward. I wasn't even born in this country and yet I cherish the freedoms - the same freedoms that brought you and myself the ability to speak freely as we do now.

You don't get a free pass just because you wore a uniform. Get over yourself.

Your free pass, Jeremy, is as equal as my own - even though I worked harder for that free pass.

After all, isn't that what is so great about the USA?

Steve Harkonnen said...

Perhaps because you were standing in the predesignated protest march route?

No. We were standing on the sidewalk of the bridge. The protesters were permitted to the street only. We were not allowed on the street as we never had the permit there. However, some of the anti-US protesters took to the sidewalks. We gladly helped to enforce that with the park police. I spoke with three different park police, and they were dead set against the protest to begin with. They cited the leftists as a bunch of hippies and they were right about that.

Policy has not, and will not change.

That's the end result of that little protest. In other words, it accomplished nothing.

Steve Harkonnen said...

I see: so you consider yourself above the law?

If I told you I was Jesus Christ the almighty, you wouldn't believe me.

Millions don't, remarkably.

Jeremy said...

What's more important to me than my inflated sense of self-importance is to see America move on and upward.

But here's the thing: do you not see that there is more than one apprehension of that goal?

It's hard to speak about the past with any authority, but during my life there has never been a war fought that defended my security in any sense. If you feel Iraq was called for, fine - but you're using my tax money to wage it.

After all, isn't that what is so great about the USA?

I want to believe that you're sincere about this, but you're talking about killing people. It leads me to think you and I have very different views about what makes the USA great.

We gladly helped to enforce that with the park police. I spoke with three different park police, and they were dead set against the protest to begin with.

What does that have to do with anything? The police are there to do their job, not to give people their political opinions. They didn't do their job well if they were pulling people off the street to help them keep order, solely on the basis of professed political opinions.

That's the end result of that little protest. In other words, it accomplished nothing.

I sadly agree. We're probably going to have to cause more of a disturbance to get people's attention. More people are going to have to get arrested, more monkey-wrenching of the corporate-state complex, more sabotage of the military machine.

It's just not human nature to take a shit deal without doing anything about it, even if it seems like our "something" doesn't amount to much.

If I told you I was Jesus Christ the almighty, you wouldn't believe me.

That's not true - I took your word for it about the "leftist attack from behind". If you say it happened, so be it. And if you weren't part of the counter-protester aggressive mob, great. But it was a large protest and I don't expect you to be able to speak authoritatively about the entire incident.