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March 17, 2007

A Gathering of Patriots

It was a historic day in Washington DC today when thousands and thousands of American war veterans and other patriots gathered to show their support for the troops currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as counter the moonbats of International ANSWER and other sumilar groups.

Months ago when they set this up, ANSWER no doubt thought they'd have the day largely to themselves. But not this time. First, the incident on Jan 27 at the UPJ protest where anarchists spray-painted the capital made a lot of people mad. Second, ANSWER decided to start their march at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. That torqued off Vietnam veterans, who remember well how they were stabbed in the back by leftist protesters and said they're not going to use our memorial extremist agenda.

A grassroots organization called a Gathering of Eagles sprang up to take action. Melanie Morgan led a caravan across America called "These Colors Don't Run", making her final stop the Mall in Washington DC. Sgt. Artie Muller, Founder and Executive Director of Rolling Thunder, put out a call to all chapters to show up at the Wall on March 17, because "we do not want, nor will we tolerate a repeat of what happened at the U.S. Capitol." Veterans for Victory and Free Republic also put forth a full-press efforts.

The result was that although it was a cold, windy and muddy day on the Mall in Washington DC, thousands of Vietnam veterans and other patriots showed up to show their support for our troops currently serving and to make sure the moonbats knew that their message was not appreciated and that if you got right down to it, they were a bunch of traitorous idiots.

And if you don't believe me when I say these things about ANSWER, check out David Horowitz entry on them at DiscoverTheNetwork, and if that's not enough for you take it from David Corn himself, a writer for the leftist magazing The Nation. His October 2002 article on them tells it all.

I got uptown at about 8:30m, and made my way to 21st and Constitution, across from which on the Mall was the Gathering of Patriots sponsored by the aforementioned groups. People continued to show up all morning, but there were several hundred there when I arrived. Our space (all reserved by permit) was maybe 200 yards from the Vietnam Memorial(more on it later). ANSWER and other traitors had permits for other areas. In between the permit areas hundreds roamed freely. Perhaps it was my perception from where I was, but it seemed like the vast majority of them were on our side.

As you'll see from the photos below, there were a huge number of Vietnam vets there

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American flags were at the patriot rally by the hundreds. I saw not one among the leftists.


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In this one you can see the stage and other tents in the background. Behind that is Constitution Avenue, where later that morning we countered some moonbats on the march, including the odious Code Pink.


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I thought this next sign was especially good


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After awhile we decided to pay our respects to the Vietnam Memorial itself. I've been there before, but it seemed like a good thing to do today. Before today's event there was a lot of talk on blogs by lefties about how "we're going to the wall and what are you going to do about it? (I even had one such comment). Veterans and other patriots were understandable nervous, given the episode in January where the Capitol steps were defaced, and because of how in general leftists tend to act at their protests.

Fortunately the Park Police had the situation well under control. They fenced off the memorial, and limited access to a single point where they used metal detectors to search everybody. All liquids and aerosols were banned, as you might imagine. There was a line of a few hundred waiting to get in, and it took us maybe 1/2 hour to make it to security.

While waiting in line we could hear the ANSWER rally getting underway a few hundred yards away by the Lincoln Memorial. I can't be certain but I think we heard the disgraceful Cindy Sheehan parroting whatever latest talking points were handed to her. We heard a few other speakers rant and rave about the usual stuff. We also heard them play Calypso music, which we thought odd.

If you click to enlarge the below photo, you'll notice that the lady at lower right talking on her cell phone has on a Dennis Kucinich sweatshirt.


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The First Moonbats Arrive!

After visiting the memorial we headed back to the Gathering of Eagles where we were earlier. No sooner had we arrived when we noticed a crowd of leftists marching down the sidewalk on Constitution Avenue. They were headed to the area by the Lincoln Memorial where ANSWER was holding their pre-march rally.

A crowd of patriots quickly gathered to see the sight and express their wonder. It was my impression that most of the patriots had not been to a leftist "anti-war" protest before, so had never seen real moonbats in the flesh. I say this because the general attitude of most of them, especially I think of the Vietnam vets from Rolling Thunder, was more one of amused contempt than anything else.

The leftists had to weed their way through a crowd of patriots that lined both sides of the sidewalk. Note to any leftists reading this: Don't get your panties in a wad, the moonbats were allowed to pass peacefully. Most of what the crowd of patriots did was chant "USA! USA! USA!" again and again. We were quite loud and drowned out even one leftist who had a megaphone


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Do I even need to say that all of the American flags were in the hands of the patriots?

I got closer and mixed it up with the crowd. It was quite a mob scene there for awhile, but everyone was totally self-controlled.

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Next came the nutjobs of Code Pink (exposed here at DiscoverTheNetwork). This bunch has the bad-taste to hold "anti-war" protests outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center every Friday night(Details here, here, and here. In January 2005 we got them moved down the street so that they're no longer at the main entrance, but of course they shouldn't be there at all. Everyone has a right to protest, but it is disgraceful that they choose to do it in front of a military hospital. Over my year and a half of countering them there, I've spoken with hundreds of veterans and their families, and can tell you that whatever they think about President Bush or the war, they despise Code Pink.

This one with the megaphone was completely drowned out by the crowd of patriots who were shouting "USA! USA! USA!" over and over.

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Here's Code Pink Nutjob-in-Chief Media Benjamin. Last year I and some other Freepers had a run-in with her and co-nutjob Gail Murphy in front of Walter Reed when they came up to confront us. Big mistake. Gail was actually beside Media but they went by so fast I wasn't able to get them both.


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The ANSWER March

After all this we decided to head over to the Lincoln Memorial to see the moonbats as they marched from their gathering spot across the Memorial Bridge to get closer to the Pentagon. We brought with us several Free Republic American flags, as well as few banners. It was too windy to fly the banners, so we set up the flags and carried them.

Much to my delight there were hundreds if not thousands of Rolling Thunder Vietnam veterans and other patriots lining the march route ( From my vantage point I could not be sure how many people there where. Patriots were lined up on both sides of the Lincoln Memorial and across the bridge as well).

The ANSWER people are marching from right to left in these photos. The Lincoln Memorial is behind me, and in this first photo you can see the marchers start to make their way across the bridge. You can also see red Che Guevara flags carried by the moonbats. See why I called them communists in my earlier post rallying people to join us for this day?


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In addition to the patriots on the street below lining the march route, many hundreds more stood atop the wall around the Lincoln Memorial.

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Lots of flags among the patriots, none that I saw among the leftists. Update: Actually, a few photos below there are some leftists carrying an American flag. Of course, it's upside down, so it doesn't really count. Ever notice how leftists can't just fly the American flag straight? They have to jazz it up with a peace symbol in place of the stars or fly it upside down or something.


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Of course the "9-11 Truthers" were there. I saw a few dozen signs like this one


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More idiots


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But lots and lots of patriots


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A large group of patriotic war veterans just turned their backs on the protesters


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Update: :

Initially I posted an estimate that there were 30,000 patriots in attendance. Since I cannot confirm that, I have removed that section and added this next paragraph:

Estimates are all over the place with regard to how many people were in attendance. Whatever the figures, the bottom line is that the leftists were successfully challenged by large numbers of patriots. The leftists expected to have the public square to themselves. The hard-core leftists may have liked a challenge, but the average person who just thought they'd show up for a "peace" march wasn't expecting to be challenged by thousands of Vietnam veterans. These leftists did not have a good time, and for that I am pleased.

The reaction of the patriots ranged from angry words, to shouted but not-angry words, to bemused contempt. Most of the older veterans just stood there shaking their heads. Most of the yelling, I think, was by the younger people (in this case under 50!), which isn't really surprising. My first few counter-protests I joined in some of the hollering, but these past few I've more just observed. Maybe I'm jaded or the novelty has just gone out of it for me.

So the ANSWER people made their way across the Memorial Bridge into Arlington where they held another rally and I'm sure railed against BushCo some more. But we were done, victims of both an early morning rise and hours out in the cold wind. The communists could have their fun in Arlington without us, for we had made our point.

It was certainly an historic day to remember.


Other Coverage

Michelle Malkin was there, and has photos and commentary. She says that they'll have video on Hot Air Monday.

BlogmeisterUSA was there and has photos and commentary.

7.62mm Justice was there and says he'll post pictures later.

Age of Hooper has one video up and I would expect more tomorrow or shortly thereafter. Update: Hooper now has another video and two photo essays up. One is of the Moonbats and the other of the Gathering of Eagles.

I saw Tantor of Conservative Propaganda there, but he was too far away for me to get his attention. Look for a post from him soon. Update: Tantor's first post is up. Part II is now up as well, and he promises a Part III. Lots of good photos and commentary. Update II: Part III and even a Part IV (the last I think) is up. Definately worth a visit.

This Ain't Hell has excellent photos and commentary.

Mary Katharine Ham was there and has video of the speakers at the Gathering of Eagles.

Semper Gratus has good pics from the area around the Lincoln Memorial and Memorial Bridge.

This post on Free Republic has several good photos.

Michelle Malkin has her own photo essay up as well as links to many other blogs, including this one (Thank you Michelle!)

Update: Hot Air has three new videos up: Here is their main show on the Gathering of Eagles. If you don't follow any other links, make sure you go see this one. It's one of their best. In this one Bryan has posted a photo essay, and at bottom is a video of Kristinn Taylor of Free Republic being interviewed on Fox News. And here you can see Move America Forward's TV commercial which will be shown on national TV starting Monday. Be sure to watch all of them.

Media Accounts

The Washington Post's headline was "4 Years After Start of War, Anger Reigns:
Demonstrators Brave Cold to Carry Message to Pentagon, as Counter-Protesters Battle Back". A bit overly dramatic, I think. Maybe I'm a bit jaded after having been to several of these, but I think that between the story and accompanying photo essay they tried to make it sound a whole lot "angrier" than it really was. Read the blogs for comparison

The Washington Times, on the other hand, headlined their shorter story "Anti-war protesters echo Vietnam", which was more accurate, I thought. Not as much detail, but they avoid the hyperbole of the Post.

Final Update

SMASH (who is also an occasional visitor to our Walter Reed FReeps) was uptown and filed a report on his site. What's interesting is that he goes into the history of ANSWER and the 2004 split within the Workers World Party which I did not know about. The ones who left the WWF formed the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and they now control ANSWER. The WWP formed a front group called the Troops Out Now Coalition. The odious Brian Becker has switched his membership from the WWF to the PSL as evidenced by this article he wrote which was recently published in the magazine of the PSL titled "Why We Are Marching on the Pentagon".

Posted by Tom at March 17, 2007 6:55 PM

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» Blogburst: Gathering of Eagles from Michelle Malkin
It was a breath-taking, historic, and emotional day in Washington, D.C. You won't know it if you tune in to the usual MSM channels. But new media--bloggers, conservative documentarians, Internet activists, FReepers (giant thread here), citizen journali... [Read More]

Tracked on March 18, 2007 12:11 AM

» Saturday Showdown In D.C.: Wingnuts Vs. Moonbats from ChenZhen's Chamber
A big ‘moonbat’ event has been spotted by ‘moonbat watch’….and it has trouble written all over it… A collection of various anti-war groups have banded together and decided to mark the 4th anniversary of the Iraq wa... [Read More]

Tracked on March 18, 2007 2:43 PM

» Gathering Of Eagles; Delta & Roxy from "7.62mm Justice" ™
Well, Gathering Of Eagles was today, and I’d say it was a success. I estimate that we out numbered the other side by 2 to 1. However, that is just my gut talking, and based on my experience, and not on an actual head count. Overall, this weekend ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 18, 2007 7:04 PM

» Michelle Malkin to travel to Arlington to confirm existence of 30,00 war supporters from August J. Pollak - xoverboard.com
Sadly!No's analysis of this weekend's counter-protest in D.C. is truly a bright spotlight on how deranged the right-wing bloggers are getting. Basically, tons of right-wing bloggers are trumpeting a claim that 30,000 pro-war demonstrators showed up in ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 19, 2007 8:35 PM

» The Gathering Of Eagles - Report from Flopping Aces
From all accounts it appears the Gathering of Eagles was a HUGE success.  With many reports coming that the Eagles either matched the nimrod protestor numbers or outnumbered them.  Many bloggers were lucky enough to attend the Gathering and h... [Read More]

Tracked on March 20, 2007 9:36 PM

Comments

People who oppose the war are the real patriots. People who support slaughter are sick, godless individuals.

Posted by: Frank at March 17, 2007 10:32 PM

Frank is an idiot, first class. Go get your treat from Media & Cindy now, brainless tool of evil...

Good show, men, good show! Wish I could have stood with you this AM in opposition to the America-haters like ANSWER and Code Pink. Praying that they all may have a premature demise (and this could mean a change of heart, not death, necessarily...)

Posted by: Brass Bald Bastard at March 17, 2007 11:11 PM

Thanks for that. I had family obligations in California so I couldn't attend. I glad so many brave men and women were able to represent me and the rest of America.

Frank, I agree with you completely, isn't it great that the Marines and Soldiers are opposing the terrorist's war, and their sick, godless slaughtering?

Posted by: tyree at March 18, 2007 12:55 AM

While some of the people protesting were probably extremists or just there for the party, I think it's comical all the vets had to get together to "show support," which means "shout down the protesters." I'm all for each side having their freedom of speech, but all this seems very silly and a giant waste of time...it's like it's a big game.

The one thing that bugs me is the fact that these protesters make it seem like all liberals are kooks or "traitors" for not supporting the war. I am against it...I have been for a long time. For MANY, MANY reasons, I do not support the admin's decisions. However, that does not mean I have ANY negative opinion of the soliders doing their job. Do I think they are heroes? No, I don't. They have to go, they have to obey or they get locked up. That's what they signed up for... That does not mean that heroic deeds aren't happening, but you're not automatically a heroe for following orders, NOR are you guilty of crimes if you are following orders to kill a whole lot of innocent people by accident.

This war is a mess. So far, I have not seen any good come out of it. Terrorists are still around...numbers haven't gone down...they still hate us...that will never change. But thankfully (to about 70% of the US now), the current admin WILL. Wow, not a minute too soon, either.

Posted by: anon at March 18, 2007 2:30 AM

I'm curious Tom, what WOULD it take for you to "NOT stand behind the President?" I'm not joking or being facetious or anything here, I'm very serious. Is there any point in which you would lose support or do you think it's your "duty" to support?

That may be the difference in many conservatives versus liberals. Liberals feel it is their duty to QUESTION authority, while conservatives seem to want to support authority.

We all may bitch and gripe about it, but it is probably the balance between these two opposing sides that make the country great. (Yes, while questioning things, liberals also can think the country is great, always needing improvement, but great.)

Posted by: anon at March 18, 2007 2:33 AM

Wish I was there to help

Posted by: winston at March 18, 2007 2:56 AM

Anon 2:56, I fondly remember when liberals thought the country was great, and always needed improvement. Unfortunately, that was during the fluoride debate. People who think the country "needs improvement" do not refer to their President as "Chimpy McBushitler" and ally themselves with a vestigial workers-of-the-world movement. We have taverns, civic clubs, and letters to the editor (NTM blogs) for improving the country. Theatre protesters on the Mall never considered improving their country, or convincing the opposition. They are stroking off their impotent rage in a mutual admiration society--in short, recruiting. Certain widely-distributed news sources report this as a majority opinion, and now it follows, as the night the day, that they must perforce have it shoved up their pampered ying-yangs. Sad, isn't it? Would that it could be otherwise, but, face it, that's they system we've got.

Posted by: comatus at March 18, 2007 12:47 PM

Do I even need to say that all of the American flags were in the hands of the patriots?

Thanks for the coverage - however I know you are wrong about the statement above.

I was there, and I did see one moonbat holding an American flag in his hand. Of course he was flipping off the Proud Veterans and GOE members with his other hand.


Posted by: Anonymous at March 18, 2007 3:43 PM

Umm...again?

I'm curious Tom, what WOULD it take for you to "NOT stand behind the President?" I'm not joking or being facetious or anything here, I'm very serious. Is there any point in which you would lose support or do you think it's your "duty" to support?

Posted by: anon at March 18, 2007 5:44 PM

Words fail me... Thank you so much for all you have done. And to the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice:

We have not forgotten. We will NEVER forget!

Posted by: CavMom at March 18, 2007 6:08 PM

Pictures are up thanks for the link, I'll link back!

Posted by: Sniper One at March 18, 2007 7:03 PM

If you'd like to ask an intelligent question, anon, I'll consider answering it.

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at March 18, 2007 9:33 PM

I'll answer...the president would be Hillary or Obama and ordering our forces to withdraw from Iraq.

Then I'd have to reconsider the idea of "standing behind the president".

The "marked for death" picture said it all.

any more questions?

Tom...you're famous and I bask in your light (ride on your coat tails...LOL)

Posted by: Kat-Missouri/USA Author Profile Page at March 18, 2007 11:04 PM

I don't support the slaughter of human beings. That's why I support the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who are getting rid of terrorist scum. Unlike Rosie O'Donnell, I don't think that terrorists are being robbed of their humanity. You have to have humanity to begin with in order to be robbed of it!

Real patriots don't align themselves with organizations like A.N.S.W.E.R., and real patriots don't revere Ernesto Guevara. For a group of so-called patriots, I sure didn't see a lot of American flags or pro-United States sentiment from the protestors.

Posted by: Sheila at March 18, 2007 11:50 PM

Tom

Great commentary on the day's events. I thought it was great when at long last our Vietnam Veteran brothers were able to use their First Amendment rights (that they have preserved for all of us) to give these communist vermin and their useful idiot friends a taste of the same treatment that they received upon their return from the battlefields of Southeast Asia. As long as I live those sweet words will echo in my ears! TRAITORS, TRAITORS, TRAITORS...

Did you notice those little "anarchist" shits, Tom? They ran away annoyed when I advised them that the Waffen SS wore black also. I don't know why they ran. Maybe they sensed that I'd like to have helped them remove some of the sludge between their ears.

I took up position at the gates of Arlington. I have a high school friend who is buried there. Marine Corporal Steven J. Crowley was shot in the head by an Islamist sniper defending our embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1979. I know you know who the President was back then. Jimmy "the peanut" Carter. Tom, why, o why, o why did Carter allow my friend to get killed. I guess he just didn't care about Steve. Possibly Steve must not have had the right equipment for his job. Was he informed that these nut job Islamists hated him for being alive and not Muslim?

Carter. Lousy farmer. Lousy President.

Patriots: we need more participation from the silent majority. It's really fun watching these moonbats.

Yours with the Republic,

Jim

Posted by: Jim from Occupied NY at March 19, 2007 8:48 AM

After the march, the patriots side of the streetin front of the Lincoln Memorial was clean.
The war protestor side of the street was littered and filthy.
The Socialists were selling newspapers (the Social newspaper) on the sidewalk on the anti-war side of the street.They were somewhat dumfounded when we called them capitalists.
Unlike back in 1967, I did not have my trusty
M-14; instead we brought the Irish flag, after all
God made beer and whiskey to keep the Irish from fighting all the time. St Patricks day has always been a high Holyday for us light-hearted revelers.

Posted by: R Murto at March 19, 2007 1:33 PM

To tyree:
Yes the millitary do as they are told. When they enlist they know what is expected of them. Casey Sheehan was a young man who made his own decision and volunteered for military service. Cindy Sheehan is all about herself and shows no respect for anything including her son and his decisions. Her wallowing in her media attention and fame comes before any self control which young military people do have.If she cozys up to communists, she needs to get off the gravey train provided by a capitalist organization like she whines about.In a socialist/communist country she'd be on foot rather than millionaires like Soros flying her around to make an ass of herself.
If communists had their way in this country, people like you would have no right to protest anything without landing in jail. Che worked with castro to take over Cuba. Cuban protesters sit in prison. How can you honor a man like that and parade with his picture?

Posted by: Dee at March 19, 2007 3:41 PM

"It was certainly an historic day to remember. "

You bet. Oh man. Tom, there was a whole page dedicated to the "anti-war protests" on that day - globally! There were protests from Brussels over Budapest till Kuala Lumpur!

OF COURSE, I say OF COURSE, there was also a color photograph of the protests in Washington DC. Guess who were on the photograph? The ANSWER guys of course. I'm getting sick by the so obvious misinformation here.

Apart from that, great post as usual Tom. Keep on keeping on.

I have a last question which has not directly to do with this demo. I read a high-ranking Pentagon (?) official had to resign after it came out the wounded at Walter Reed are sometimes treated in scandalous manner. I mean, the circumstances there. You have spoken to many of the wounded. What's your take?

Posted by: Outlaw Mike at March 19, 2007 6:57 PM

i was at that march, one of the idiots as you said so eloquently.
there were more veterans against the war marching with us then there were against. those pictures in which you say "as you can see there are many more patriots" its obvious that there are a handful at best.

those "patriots" as you call them were vulger and crude, telling me i was going to hell because i dont believe in war, saying i was godless because i dont want our troops to die. its my faith that brought me there. i am a devout catholic who feels its not just my right as allowed by the first amendment, but my duty as demanded by my god to protest senseless killing.

dissent is patriotic. thomas jefferson said that there should be a revolution every seven years. that doesnt sound like a man that would blindly follow as you do.

Posted by: alan at March 19, 2007 7:39 PM

Excellent recap-thoughts and those pictures are wonderful Tom. I could not attend because my son was sick again - darn school keeps passing around a flu bug.

I noted the "peace" sign that the left had -- do they even know what that meant? What a bunch of moonbats and kool-aid drinkers.

I am glad you made it and could share this with those of us not able to be there.

Thanks much Tom!

Posted by: Layla at March 19, 2007 7:44 PM

By the looks of the shadows the woman on the cell phone was down at The Wall a couple of hours after I was. Good thing for her or she would still be trying to find all of the pieces. I silence mine and never talk on it when I'm in a church. What made her think that it was okay to do so in mine? No sense of decency or propriety. Probably calling one of friends to say she was down among the barbarians and have a little giggle.

Good job with the write-up and pictures. Thanks.

Posted by: TPG at March 20, 2007 1:33 AM

To alan:
Why are you not protesting THIS:

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=070320203409.spj83omw&show_article=1

If you want to protest the killing of innocents, I suggest you go protest these folks in the article above.
R/ TC2

Posted by: Anonymous at March 20, 2007 10:04 PM

Tom, Great re-cap. It was a great day. I guess the people who posted on this site that have a problem with Americans gathering to support the military will be cowering in a corner when we are attacked by their friends the Islamo Fascits, praying for the Marines to save their sorry souls.
The left does NOT support freedom ,peace or the troops.View the photos ,see the truth!
Excellent work!

Posted by: Linda B. at March 22, 2007 8:01 PM

I'm totally inspired by both sides of this gathering. It's great to see that in this country, we can still, 1.) gather like this and not live in fear of government reprisal and punishment, and 2.) to polarized sides of the political spectrum can get together without mass violence breaking out.

Also, please define "patriot" as opposed to "leftist".

Posted by: Matt at March 27, 2007 3:42 PM

Ok Matt, I'm not going to get into a big discussion with you, but if you want to pretend like you don't know what it's all about, a patriot is someone who loves his country. Patriots would defend their country no matter what party was in charge. Most leftists I know do not love their country but rather hate it. Certainly anyone who would march with ANSWER is an America-hater. Note that I said leftist not liberal.

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at March 29, 2007 9:08 PM

Frank: "People who oppose the war are the real patriots. People who support slaughter are sick, godless individuals."

Frank, that puts you squarely on the side of evil by opposing a war against the Baathist mass murderers and the Al Qaeda head-cutters. By demanding the US pull out of Iraq, you are begging for victory by insurgents who wish to rule by violence. If you had your way, Al Qaeda would be running a snuff video channel in Iraq. Your implicit support for the sick and amoral forces of violence in Iraq is shameful.

Posted by: Tantor at April 1, 2007 2:07 PM

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