August 26, 2006
Keeping Walter Reed Pinko-Free
Once again last night I was at the main entrance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, helping to encourage and greet our troops as well as keep Code Pink as far away as possible.
I didn't get a count, but we must have had 35-40 people on our side, taking up positions on all four corners outside the main entrance. Code Pink had maybe 10-15 at most, halfway down the street. Our pro-troop rally is sponsored by FreeRepublic, and any true supporter of the troops who wants to join us is welcome! We call ourselves "FReepers", and the event is a "FReep", so now you know the lingo.
Last night also marks my one-year anniversary for Walter Reed. Click on Rallies and Protests at right under Categories for a complete history of my activities in support of the troops at Walter Reed and elsewhere. How we got to this situation between FreeRepublic and Code Pink would take some time to explain, so follow the link and scroll down, and at the beginning of several of the posts I review the history of the event.
We gather at 6;30 or so, and bring a large assortment of flags, banners, and signs. Sometime after 9:00, a bus with wounded troops returns to the hospital from a restaurant in Washington DC. Every Friday night a busload of the troops are treated to an evening at an upscale restaurant, courtesy of various charities. They used to go to a restaurant called Fran O'Briens, but since the lost their lease some months ago they rotate it around other restaurants in the area.
When the bus arrives we wave and holler and the troops and their families on the bus wave back. From talking to them about it later I know for a fact that it's a morale booster. But more on that later.
Here's the corner on which we have our largest banner. It is directly opposite the entrance to Walter Reed.
But what I wanted to get to in this post was that most often some of the troops come out to meet us. Last night we met three of them.
I didn't get a chance to speak with them in detail, but did get that one of them was wounded in Iraq and another in Afghanistan. Fortunately, none of their injuries were as bad as many I've seen, and they were all able to get around without any trouble. But what they really wanted was to go see the Pinkos. Unlike some troopers, who want to "give them a piece of my mind", these guys seemed to view them more as a curiousity than anything else. They wanted an argument, but I could tell they wouldn't let it get out of hand.
So several of us walked with them a few hundred feet down to where the Pinkos were gathered. We usually maintain a sort of "block" three-quarters of then way down the sidewalk between us and them, and sometimes one of our number brings his boombox and a recording of Rush Limbaugh on his iPod to play to them. Anything to annoy the Pinkos. But no Rush tonight.
Here you can see two of the soldiers, at right in the photo, have gone down to talk to the Pinkos. Notice also that all of the Pinkos save one are ignoring them. For a group who's signs typically say "Support the Troops, Oppose the War", they sure didn't seem to want to meet any actual soldiers.
Shortly thereafter, a Pinko we call "Bruce" did go talk to the soldiers. Another Pinko we call "large Marge", took up a position inbetween them and us, holding a sign that said "Love the Troops, Hate the War". In this photo she is flanked by two others. For some reason she seemed to think it important that she block our view of the conversation between the soldiers and Bruce.
Here we are, maybe 30 feet from the Pinkos. Shortly after I took this, the soldier on the crutches joined his buddies in their debate.
Later, we asked them what the Pinkos said. They told us that their main argument was along the lines that various terrorist groups were only making threats against the US, and that we were overreacting. "They were only threats, not actions", was what they said according to the troops. It's an argument so dumb I'm not going to waste space refuting it. From what I heard, the troops did quite well in taking care of the Pinkos.
The highlight of the evening, and the reason we're all there - here comes the bus!
(the photo above is actually from last week, I didn't get a good shot last night. But no matter)
An Amazing Bunch
In the year that I've done this, I've met quite a few of the wounded warriors and their families, and they are an amazing bunch.
There was the double amputee who, on a Segway, happened along our counter-protest of the big A.N.S.W.E.R.-sponsored anti-war protest last September 24. Leaning over the fence which separated us from the anti-war hippies, he took off one of his legs and waved it at them, daring them to say anything to him. They didn't.
There were the two wives who brought us hot chocolate and donuts late one night last winter, "to show our appreciation for what you're doing". Although we graciously accepted, it was somewhat embarassing. We were there for them, and there they were thanking us.
There is Mike Sparling(at right in this photo), father of Joshua Sparling, the soldier at Walter Reed who received the "hate mail" letter which sparked national attention. In the aftermath of the incident, Joshua received hundreds of letters from around the country. Mike wanted to send thank-you's to the people who sent them, but couldn't do so himself. He came out of the hospital one night and asked us if we could help him, and of course we said yes. Each of us took maybe 40-50 letters and sent a return thank you for each of them.
As we stand there during the hours before the bus arrives, we wave at the motorists passing by, which prompts lots of friendly waving and horn-blowing from them. All this has generated some discussion among our group.
First, we can establish absolutely no profile to determine who might wave and honk and who won't. It cuts across all age, racial and sex lines. You can never tell.
Second, as Washington DC is a majority black city, the vast majority of motorists passing by are also black. We get a honk or a wave from as many as 1 in 5 motorists or one of their passengers. Yet all surveys show that the vast majority of them neither voted for George W Bush or support the war. What gives?
My guess is that they honk or wave for one or more of several reasons. First, our signs are pretty non-partisan. They mostly say something like "Support the Troops" with maybe a "and the mission too", but at bottom. Our large banner (called the MOAB; Mother Of All Banners) simply says "God Bless Our Troops: Defenders of Freedom: American Heroes". Who but a Pinko could disagree with that?
Second, they wave because we wave at them. I've noticed that it's somewhat of a natural tendancy for people to wave back in these circumstances.
Also, many of the honks are done by motorists "because that's what they want", and they know that when they do it they'll get more waves and shouted "Thank you!'s from us. Once one car does it, others follow suit. It becomes "the thing to do".
In addition, given that we've been doing this for well over a year, and most people drive the same route every day coming home from work or whatever, it's gotten to the point where most of these motorists expect us. They've gotten used to us, and know the drill. It's all kind a festive event at this point.
Every now and then someone will stop and shout insults at us. Everyone responds differently to this sort of provocation. Some of us will just say "Have a nice day!" Others get animated themselves and shout insults back. Myself, I just holler something like "LOSER!" and point at them. Whatever works.
Regulars and Visitors
As you may suspect, most of us are regulars who do this every week. As time goes on, we add more to our number. Some come for a few months, and then drift off.
We also get many who just come by once or twice. These might be people on vacation, who during their visit to Washington DC decide to make our FReep one of their stops. One time we got a bunch of Young Republicans who were in town for a series of training meetings. We 've had people from a whole variety of conservative groups stop by while they were in town.
In addition, some people drive down from various places on the east coast just to participate. Earlier this summer some friends of mine drove down from New Jersey to be with us.
SMASH was here: These past few weeks we have been honored to have blogger SMASH join us for several nights outside Walter Reed. He interviewed several of us, and more importantly, several of the Pinkos. Visit his posts here, here, and, here, for pictures, audio, and transcripts.
Bottom line: If there's any way you can join us we'd love to have you! Send me email if you want more information.
Lastly, you can go here for a list of all Walter Reed after-action reports posted on the Free Republic site.
August 12, 2006
Countering the A.N.S.W.E.R. "Stop the US-Israeli War" Protest
Yesterday I went into Washington DC to join my fellow Free Republic and Protest Warrior friends to counter International A.N.S.W.E.R.'s "Stop the US-Israeli War" protest rally and march. It was a very interesting day as these things go, and a complete report and photographs follow.
In case you are not aware, A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a front group for the Workers World Party. We know it is a front group because many of A.N.S.W.E.R.'s organizers, and many speakers at it's rallies, are WWP members. David Horowitz has a complete profile of them at his DiscoverTheNetwork site.
Among The Commies
A.N.S.W.E.R.'s plan was to hold a rally at Lafayette Park, which is right next to the White House, and then march down Pennsylvania Avenue, which is again next to the White House. They would continue down 15th Street, make a few turns and essentially circle the White House, ending up in Lafayette Park again where they would close out. Their rally at the park was scheduled to start at noon.
The plan for Free Republic was that we were going to meet in the south corner of Lafayette Park where it is separated by a fence from the White House. We would use our "HUMAN SHIELD" signs, just as we did when we "shielded" the Danish Embassy from a radical muslim group this past February.
I got their early, at about 10:15 or so, where I ran into three other "Freepers" (Free Republic) Maybe 200 leftists had already gathered in the park and were milling about. Since the people with our signs had not arrived yet, I decided to have a look about while my frields waited under a tree.
He showed me a copy of his newspaper, The Militant. One of the articles as about Iran, so I asked him his position on it. He told me that we needed to leave them alone, because all they wanted was nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. I asked him if it was ok then if we had nuclear energy here in the US, and, perhaps realizing the trap, quickly said that he wasn't judging what they were doing but that it was their decision and we should leave them alone. After a few minutes of this I thanked him and moved on.
Here are some books that another guy had laid out for sale
Here's the stage they had set up, and then some of the commies as they milled about. Among all this were some tourists, who had a what in the world did I wanter into? look on their faces.
The organizers had their signs stacked and ready to go. They even had a big "check in" station for the volunteers. They were nothing if not organized, I'll give them that.
After wandering around for a bit, I rejoined my group. However, the police had noticed us. One of our group was carrying an American flag and wearing an NRA hat. Those people don't belong here. "Sorrry, but A.N.S.W.E.R. has a permit for the entire park" they told us, "you'll have to leave." They escorded us out.
Reorganization and The 2nd Boot
I made a few phone calls to the Freepers who hadn't shown up yet and we decided on a new strategy. My group would try and meet up with the Protest Warriors, while Kristinn (the Free Republic leader and guy with our signs) and his group would try and enter Lafayette Park from the other side.
We circled south, making our way around the White House. We met up with some of the Protest Warrors and found out where they were setting up. We then went back up to Lafayette Park to see if we could find Kristinn and his group.
As it was, we got there just as they were being booted. No big deal, he said, "we had some good debate with the leftists". That there were plenty of police around while this was going on was not doubt reassuring to him, I thought.
Getting Ready for the March
We rejoined the Protest Warriors at 15th and Pennsylvania, where they had the permit for our counter-demonstration. The police officers were already there, and after "checking in" with them we set up camp. There were just over 30 of us. As is the usual practice at these events, the police set up a tape that we had to stand behind. They made sure the marchers kept on the street and we had to stay behind the tape. Which was all very fair.
Here are some of the commie signs that one of our number obtained from one of the stacks in the photos at top.
Here I am, ready for action. Behind me you can see several flags, at left the American, middle Israeli, and at right a Christian one. "These'll drive them crazy" the guy who set them up said with a grin. He was right about that.
"Hezbos", btw, is how Rush Limbaugh refers to Hezbollah.
While we waited, tourists and other people wandered about, looking around at us and some of the commie protesters who were just arriving and making their way to Lafayette Park. Most eyed each group and just walked on, not giving any clue as to their sympathies. But we got quite a few "thumbs up", or other indications that we're on your side. It was also obvious who got the "Hezbos" reference.
But in all this I did meet and briefly speak to a few of the tourists.
The most interesting were two young Israeli men, maybe 25 or 30 yrs old. They had thick accents but I could understand them fine. "They don't know, they are ignorant", one of them said, referring to the A.N.S.W.E.R. people. They were from Haifa, one of the northern cities under rocket attack. "How are things there?" I asked. About 20% of the people in the city had left their homes, they said. How about the war, I asked. "We will win", on of them said with a confident look and smile before they were on their way.
I also met an Australian couple, another from Italy, and even a lady from France, all of whom expressed support for our side and thanked us for what we were doing. In turn, I thanked them for their country's support in the war on terror (I thanked the French lady for their help in Afghanistan, which has been considerable).
The Marchers Arrive
At about 2:00 the marchers came down the street and walked past us. Many were decidedly unhappy with our presence, evidenly surprised that they would not have the day to themselves. Which was the whole point of our presence.
The flag with two red stripes and a cypress tree in the middle is the flag of Lebanon. The one with a black, white and green stripe and red arrow near the flagpole is that of the Palestinian Authority.
"No Justice No Peace", a fairly standard slogan and leftist marches
As I mentioned, some of them got very angry with us
Note the "Hands off Cuba" sign. Leftists are great for their mixed messages at these events
Because it was too loud for any one voice to be heard, we would all chant in unison something at them as they went by:
Free Lebanon from Hezbollah!
USA! USA! USA!
Please, Don't, Blow Us Up!
No More Hezbollah!
Shame, Shame, Shame On You!
Iran, Syria, Out of Lebanon!
I coundn't understand most of their chants as most seemed partially in Arabic or something. But I did get a few
Stop Bombing Lebanon!
Long Live Hezbollah!
ConcreteBob, the leader of the Protest Warriors, had the foresight to bring a bullhorn, which he used to great effect
As you can tell, many of the marchers were Arabic in appearance. This guy had on a shirt with the flag of Hezbollah on it
The march ended at about 2:45. I may not have the start time of 2:00 exactly right, as I forgot to check my watch when they first came by and so had to ask someone what time it all started.
After it was all over and we had cleaned up our area, I walked back up 15th to a metro stop. This took us past Lafayette Park again, where I could see that they had reassembled.
We walked up another block or so, where to my left I saw this
This was a favorite of the hard left. Code Pink did this once ourside Walter Reed Army Medical Center, before the arrival of Free Republic shamed them into adopting less obnoxious tactics.
Around the next corner we took a left towards the subway station. We caught the end of their procession. I estimate that they had maybe 15-20 coffins in all
They were taking them to a small park across the street where they were evidently going to carry out their own separate event. I took a photo, but as they were under trees it came out too dark to be useful. I still had my small Israeli flag with me, and the last guy in their procession spoke to me as I took these photos
"Why are you taking pictures?!" he said to me in a fairly confrontational tone. He had an accent, I'm guessing it was Arabic. Then he said something about my camera being a "blunt instrument" or something like that. I decided discretion was the better part of valor and we made our way into the subway station.
This is not the place to discuss the morality or politics of the Middle East. I've done that at my personal site, The Redhunter, many times, so please visit it if you want the full story.
I've also been present at many other protests, so while you're at The Redhunter click on Rallies and Protests under "Categories" at right, for photos and reports of many events that have occured in and around Washington DC in the past year.
However, for a quick view of the Middle East from someone who's opinions I share, David Horowitz has an excellent Guide to the Middle East at DiscoverThe Network.org.
The police did an outstanding job,and my hat is off to them. All of us thanked them once the event was over. They have a good sense of humor about the whole thing. "Another day, another protest, huh?" I said to one. He just laughed.
As for the marchers, the Israelis I met where too polite when they called them ignorant. They were marching under the banner of communism, and in a cause which supports terrorists. I call that evil.
Zombietime also has great photos of the "Stop the U.S.-Israeli War" rally they held in San Francisco on August 12 also that you won't want to miss.
I briefly met Tantor of Conservative Propaganda, but so far he has not posted anything about the event.
The Washington Times has a short story on the march. As with most media coverage, the story tells nothing of who A.N.S.W.E.R. is, and ignores the vast number of communist and socialist signs. The only signs in our counter-protest they mention are the most inflamitory ones, however.
The Washington Post did slightly better, describing A.N.S.W.E.R. as "a left-wing group that has sponsored numerous antiwar rallies that often attract socialists and anarchists." They also have a few photos and a short video. But they still ignored the communist and socialist messages so prevalent among the marchers. And the only thing they say about our counter protest is this
"There is no other God but Jesus!" shouted one of the counter-protesters. He held a megaphone in one hand, a Bible in the other.I don't remember this at all, but don't rule it out. It's entirely possible that the person saying this was not with our group. But it wasn't typical at all of our message. Our objection to the marchers was not religious, but policical.
This Associated Press this story posted on CNN also whitewashes the A.N.S.W.E.R. crowd.
Marc of USS Neverdock catches Reuters in some pretty blatant bias.
July 17, 2006
No More Excuses!
I'ms sure that most of you reading this do something for the troops. Maybe you send letters or packages regularly, or maybe you've donated to a program at work or through your church. Maybe you've even visited VA hospitals, or worked there as a volunteer. Perhaps you've participated in pro-troops rallies, which in my book count also.
But maybe for whatever reason you haven't done anything yet. Maybe you're used the excuse that "I just don't have a lot of time or money, and if I only do something small it won't matter." Well, that's just not true. As Chris Missick, former soldier stationed in Iraq, "I hear that from people and I tell them it's just not true. Anything, no matter how small, means a lot to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So without further ado, here it is: this post at FreeRepublic.com is full of links to organizations that specialize in helping our troops in one way or another. Head over there now to see how you can contribute!
July 3, 2006
Cindy Sheehan Goes on a Hunger Strike
Note: This post is still under construction, and it taking longer than it should due to technical difficulties with either Moveable Type or Hosting Matters. You can find the completed post with photos at my other site, Conserva-Puppies. Thank you.
In a blatant attempt to gain media attention, Cindy Sheehan ate her "last supper" today in front of the White House before she goes on a hunger strike to call attention to the war (or her, which is more the truth). Yours truely, along with about a dozen other intrepid FreeRepublic patriots, was there to counter-demonstrate and record the whole thing.
At about 3pm today the leftists arrived at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial outside of the Embassy of India on Massachusetts Avenue in northwest Washington DC. Unlucky for them, we were positioned across the street to greet them.
Here we are on the other side of the street. We had maybe a dozen people on our side. I estimated the lefties across the street to be about 100, maybe more.
In case the photo isn't clear it the banner says "Cindy Sheehan: Starving for Attention"
The point of the affair is that Cindy Sheehan, idol of the radical anti-war left and media whore, has decided to go on a hunger strike along with several other fellow moonbats.
Code Pink Women for Peace orgainzed this affair and the day's events. In an interview on their website, Dc Code Pinker Carrie Biggs-Adams says that it will last "a month or two." Asked why she is fasting, she replies that she is
...committed to fast during this hunger strike because it's time to raise the visibility and the ante. While I spend every day with pink fingernails and a button to publicize my opposition to this war and my call for peace, it's essential that we get more serious and raise the ante and the visibility, and get more people participating in our opposition to the war.
There were plenty of police around, but by their relaxed attitude they obviously did not expect any trouble. Their job was to keep the lefties on their side of the street and us on ours. A couple of times a leftie or two tried to come over and try to debate us, and there were a few shouting matches, but nothing serious.
These guys are having trouble with their dates, or are too lazy to change their sign. Operation Iraqi Freedom started on April 2003, so it's more than 4 years and 1 day. We hollered that they were desacrating the flab, but of course they didn't care. That's one thing I've noticed about leftist demonstrators; they either don't have American flags at all, or they're all jazzed up with something. Rarely do they just have straight American flags.
Reporters were all over the place. They started out across the street with the lefties, but once they realized there was a counter-demonstration they swarmed over to our side to photograph and interview us. Here one from the Associated Press interviews Kristinn Taylor, the president of the DC chapter of FreeRepublic.com, and the organizer of our rally
Good Reporters and Bad Reporters
Many times during the rallys and protests that I've taken part in, I have been interviewed by reporters. I've come to notice that there are two types; the mainstream media, and independents.
By "mainstream media" I mean repoters from newspapers, radio stations, or the like, and I've been interviewed by reporters from the Washington Post, The Associated Press, Dutch Public Television, even "alternative" outlets like the Afro-American (who interviewed me during the big Sept 25 2005 protests). During these street interviews I have received nothing but straight and fair interviews from these reporters. They ask questions like "What is the message you are trying to get out?" and "What brings you to this rally?" They don't try to nitpick or catch you up, either, but just ask the question, accept whatever you say and move on.
Then there are the independents. You never know what you are going to get with them. Sometimes they do it straight, and then sometimes they have an obvious agenda and the "interview" turns into more of a debate.
This happened today with two guys who came to our side. One did the camera and mic, the other asked the questions (I didn't get a photo of them). He only asked me one or two fairly straight questions, then moved on. Settling on a lady in our group, he started in with "I've interviewed Iraq war veterans who say that they've received orders to shoot women and children. What do you say to that?" and "Female American soldiers are afraid to walk across American bases at night for fear that they will be raped (by American male soldiers. What do you say to that?" He went on like this, obviously looking for a reaction and an argument. We eventually told him to get the hell away from us.
On to Lafayette Park
After about 45 minutes or so of this nonsense the lefties gathered their things and marched down Massachusetts Avenue to Lafayette Park, which was about a mile away, maybe less. Lafayette Park is across the street from the north face of the White House. As the street is is only a short distance from the White House itself (maybe just over 100 ft?), for security reasons the street has been blocked off and is essentially now part of the park. This park is the traditional center of anti-government protests, and there is always one leftist group or another holding some sort of protest or vigil. Check it out the next time you're in Washington DC.
We too gathered our things, but instead of following the leftists we got in our cars and drove down. Once we saw where they were set up in the park we again organized our counter-demonstration.
After getting their crowd together, the lefties all went up to the White House fence where they chanted various slogans. Unfortunately I did not think to get a photo with the White House actuall in it. It is just off screen to the right.
Notice the big UN flag. Yeah, they'll solve the world's problems. Just like they did in Rwanda
I almost forgot to have someone take my picture. This time I decided to go with a "pro" message rather than an "anti" one. The Freeper under her sign at my left doesn't want her photo on the Internet (if she can help it), something about her work, I think.
The lefties then walked back about a hundred feet and set up camp on the other side of the street. We walked back to about where they had been, and I took this photo with us in the forground and them in the background. The White House is to my right.
"Thank You For Doing This"
During all this tourists passed by, wondering I suppose if they'd wandered into an alternate universe. Must just snapped photos of the two groups and went on their way, but several times people came up to us, shook all of our hands, and said "thank you for doing this!" At least three were Iraqi war veterans home on leave.
Again, a few times a leftie or two would come over and try to engage us, but the police kept them away. Both at the Gandhi Memorial and at Lafayette Park we spoke with several of the officers, most of them seemed either bored or amused by the entire spectacle. No doubt they've seen hundreds of these sorts of things, and unlike during the '60s, rarely does violence or trouble break out at the smaller ones (the big ones are another story. I've seen the DC police in action, like at the big Sept 25 1005 anti-war protests, and they are out in force and are dead serious in their work.
All of this went on for about an hour. They had a portable loudspeaker system and several of them gave fierly yet boringly predictable speaches. I've heard it all before.
The Main Event
Code Pink had set down a long pink cloth maybe three feet wide and 50 feet long on which they would hold their last supper before the fast (everything is pink at their events, it seems).
They had a food preparation table nearby, and most of them then sat down to have their last meal. At this point I left my post and went forward to take some photos.
Here's Cindy, you can see her sitting down in the middle of the photo. I think that the woman standing right above her in a pink shirt is Medea Benjamin, one of the leaders of Code Pink and a commie if there ever was one.
Here you can see a cameraman in the forground. Right across from Cindy were a whole bunch of photographers from the media, which you'll see in the second and third photos
At about 6:30 I decided enough was enough and headed for home.
All in all, I find it hard to take these people seriously. Yes Cindy Sheehan will garner some media attention with her stunt. But her and Code Pink are so whacked out of their minds that rational discourse with them is impossible. Their arguments, such as they are, are not to be taken seriously.
What is of concern is how more mainstream leftist groups like Moveon.org and the Daily Kos are affecting the Democrat Party. That is a subject for another post, but suffice it to say for now that I think these things run downhill: Code Pink/Cindy Sheehan affects Moveon.org and the Daily Kos, and they in turn affect the Democrat Party. None of this can be good for our country, because we have a war to win, and the lefties of Code Pink are rooting for our enemies.
Here is the account of the day's events at FreeRepublic.com Be sure to check it out, as Albion recorded what we and the moonbats said and reports some of it verbatum.
February 23, 2006
Activism in the UK - A Lesson
Yesterday I received an email from a friend in the UK Mary Martini, who detailed what she and some others did that she gave me permission to share with you.
There are many lessons in what follows, so read carefully. The biggest two are 1) That the Saudis are not to be trusted, and are guilty of egregious human rights abuses, and 2) average people can get out and do something about it.
What Mary and some others did was to confront Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, during his visit to Manchester a few weeks ago. Their purpose was to force him to confront the reality of torture of innocent victims in Saudi Arabia, and to raise public awareness of an incident that involved several Britons and Canadians a few years ago.
The short version is that in 2001 the Saudi government unjustly arrested several Britons, including her ex husband, and tortured them into making false confessions on Saudi TV. Details are below, but first, let's get on with the confrontation.
Here is Mary's description of what happened:
The Saudi delegation was in Manchester at the town hall, it was trade and investment, Saudi has $676 billion to invest in telecoms petrochemicals ect. I made a banner 6ft high and in big A4 size letter I had on it,SAUDI ARABIAAt 08 30 the Saudi delegation came walking toward us lead by Nawaf the new ambassador they were all so embarrassed they thought we were greeting them until they read what was written, there was myself James cottle and Bill Sampson and les walker turned up, the TV and radio came, as I live in Manchester I thought it was an insult and an opprtunity to get him. The TV were good and went into the meeting on the pretence of talking about trade but hit the ambassador with the torture, his answer was it is safe in Saudi, the trade minister (UK) was a bubbling mess he didnt know what to say when caught on the hop, we are planning to do one at the saudi embassy but they wont know when. I also made up leaflets (below) to hand out to everyone going in, some of the business men didnt want to know and one pushed me when I confronted them with the human rights issue.
ARE GUILTY OF TORTUREHUMAN RIGHTS
Here is what she had on the leaflets
SAUDI ARABIA TORTURES THE INNOCENT
You may not know what it is like to live in perpetual fear but several British men did when they were framed and tortured into making confessions. Imagine you are working in Saudi and you are arrested for no reason, you may have a family in the UK. you are thrown in prison and made to confess to crimes you know nothing about, you will not have contact with the embassy or anyone civilised you will not see a Lawyer for over a year. You will be deprived of sleep and beaten daily, you are unable to walk as your feet are black and blue and full of lumps from the falanga
(beating of feet) you want to die and think of ways of killing yourself.
You will be taken to a kangaroo court and sentenced, you are not told of your sentence and constantly goaded by the guards, so you wait and wait hoping the UK Government have a plan to get you out, NO they have no plan and left you to rot for over 2 years.
Weakness has set in and your skin becomes dry hangs from your bones,
depression sets in and when you finally see the British consul you are not free to speak.
If you are released, you will have no job no life and suffer from medical problems, Saudi Arabia will keep saying you are guilty and you get no redress for what has been done to you.
The only thing you can do is to warn others of the human rights abuses and advise no Brits to work in the Kingdom.
Lots of lessons here
1) Know where your target will be. Do your homework
2) Have a big sign or signs that no one can miss
4) Use the element of surprise
3) Educate passers by with leaflets so that they get your message
Mary and I "met" on the Internet through the comments section on a blog. As I recall it she told the story of the tortured Britons in comments on a blog somewhere and I sent her an email asking for details. She sent me many articles, and I wrote several posts about what happened.
Here's a summary of what happened, from my first post on this:
In June of 2001, James Cottle, 51, traveled to Saudia Arabia to work on construction contracts. Within a few short months he found himself falsely imprisoned, regularly beaten, and forced to "confess", live on Saudi television, in the style of the Moscow show trials of the late 1930's.
The Saudis claim that he and seven other Europeans were behind a series of terrorist bombings that occured in the "Magic Kingdom" during November of 2000. The charge was that western bootleggers were engaged in a turf war, and that Cottle and the others were participants. However, in typical Stalinist fashion, they never presented any evidence this claim other than the confessions.
After being arrested in June of 2001 Cottle and the others were subjected to Saudi-style interrogation. The first day they yelled at him and slapped him around. Things got worse very quickly. The second night they started beating his feet. Cottle says that he was beaten six to eigtht hours every night. He spent 11 months in solitary confinement while the interrogations and beatings continued. Eventually he was allowed to share a cell with one of the other Britons accused of the bombings.
British consular officials were able to secure visits to him in jail. Although the questioned the Saudi authorities, the Saudis didn't show them any evidence that he was involved in any bombings.
During all this, his ex-wife, Mary Martini, attempted to secure his freedom through the Foreign Office (the UK equivalent of the U.S. Department of State). She says that she didn't receive much help from them. Initially she followed their request to "stay silent" and not create a public stir. However, after more than a year with no results, she grew impatient.
That James Cottle, William Sampson, Ron Jones, Les Walker and the others are innocent is not disputed by anyone in the West. All of the relevant human rights groups, and I believe even the British government itself, have said flat out that there is no way that these men were responsible for planting bombs in Saudi Arabia (which continued to go off while they were detained).
After a year of confinement, James Cottle and the others realized that their only way out was to confess on Saudi TV, which they did.
Finally, on August 8 2003, Cottle and six others were released. Some were a royal pardon, but their convictions were not overturned. Cottle refused to sign the pardon paper so was granted a clemency, the latter not stating that he was sorry "for what he did." Their treatment at the hands of the Saudis had been so bad that Ms Martini said that "I really couldn't recognise the men at first, obviously because the picture of James they have shown was from when he was about 17 stone,"
Even though James Cottle is now a free man, Martini says that he still bears the scars of his imprisonment. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and relies on heavy medication and counselors. As quoted in the Guardian, Martini said that "James has been very affected by what he has been through. He gets tired from even from normal things like just walking. Making decisions also seems hard, even deciding what he wants to eat, simple things like that."
To the suprise of no one, the arrest and torture of Cottle and the others is typical of Saudia Arabia. Said Amnesty International, "Secrecy, torture and unfair trials are the hallmarks of Saudi justice."
You can find all of my articles on this situation and Saudi Arabia here.
The city of Manchster issued this press release on the visit, which Mary forwarded to me:
Manchester shows Saudi delegation why it's a great place to do business
A delegation of leading Saudi Arabian officials will be hearing about opportunities to do business in and with Manchester.
Delegates including Saudi ambassador to the UK Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf and Princess Loulwah Al Faisal are visiting the city on January 26 to highlight trade and investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia in a special forum at Manchester Town Hall.
But they will also be shown how much Manchester has to offer as a major international business and investment location.
The ambassador will host a private lunch on January 25, joined by Lord Mayor of Manchester Mohammed Afzal Khan, Sir Howard Bernstein, City Council chief executive and leading companies and partners. The ambassador will also meet local Muslim leaders and visit a number of key development sites in Manchester.
In the evening a reception will take place at the City of Manchester Stadium for the Saudi delegation, hosted by City Council leader Richard Leese and attended by 50 leading figures from Manchester's business community.
Lord Mayor of Manchester Mohammed Afzal Khan said: "I am delighted our great city has been chosen for this important event. I think it is fitting because Manchester has a long and proud history in world trade and is a major international business and investment location.
And yes you read that right. Apparently the mayor of Manchester is a Muslim from Pakistan. Here's his bio.
When released, Ron Jones filed a lawsuit against the individuals in Saudi Arabia responsible for his arrest and torture. Mr Jones has won the first round, obtaining the right to sue the Saudis. However, the Saudis have appealed, and the case will be heard this April. The British government has been of no help in this entire process, wishing it all to be swept under the rug so as not to interfere with "good relations".
Several of the others also have lawsuits pending.
I havent't seen much in the US press about this, although this article appeared in The Washington Times last June, (it is still available and is an excellent summary and background)
Of those arrested, James Cottle, Sandy Mitchell, Bill Sampson, Les Walker, Peter Brandon, and Ron Jones have all been to the Parker Institute in Denmark and have proof of torture.
Glenn Ballard, Jimmy Lee, and Raf Shyvens were also unjustly arrested but they were not tortured.
Jim Cottle has written a long account of his ordeal which you can download here: Download file
February 18, 2006
At the Danish Embassy in Washington DC
Expanded Post - Monday February 20
I spent the earlier part of today at the Embassy of Denmark in Washington DC.
The New Black Panther Party held a protest in front of the embassy as part of the ongoing Cartoon Jihad. I was part of a group of Freepers and other people who stood in between them and the embassy as part of a "Human Shield". The Embassy of Denmark is in the background
From the New Black Panther Party press release:
Speakers Include: Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, Imam Akbar Bilal, Imam Abdul Alim Musa, Imam Mohammed Asi, Hodari Abdul Ali, and other community and Muslim leaders who will speak in solidarity with the worldwide Muslim Ummah (Community) that is fighting against the intentional debased attack by the Danish and western peoples against Islam. The participants recognize this as an escalation in the American-European War against Islam and the Muslims.
Sponsored by a coalition of Muslim groups and the New Black Panther Party.
Michelle Malkin was there, taking pictures and interviewing people. Here's her pre-post on the event. Check it out, because she's got some background on the speakers and their hate-filled agenda. When she puts up her report I'll link to it.
Countering the Panthers - Why We Do It
Organizing the counter to the Panthers was the DC chapter of Free Republic. These are the folks who organize the Walter Reed demonstrations against Code Pink every Friday night.
The reason we do these things is that we're not going to let these people have the streets to themselves anymore. They're not going to be the only ones in the public square. We learned our lesson in the 1960s and are not going to let that happen again.
It was also a show of solidarity with Denmark. That tiny nation has been the victim of many hateful attacks these past few weeks, and all because of some cartoons about Mohammed published in one of their newspapers. This is all part of the War on Terror and clash of civilizations, and when one of our fellow western nations is under attack, we have an obligation to go to their defense.
We've also seen what has happened at other Danish embassies and consulates, like this one in New York City, where yesterday protesting Muslims held signs like "Responsible Editors Must Be Punished".
Freedom needs to be defended.
The Royal Danish Embassy is at the end of Whitehaven street in northwestern Washington DC. Whitehaven is maybe a quarter-mile long and slopes somewhat uphill. The area is surrounded by trees, all of which make it seem somewhat secluded from the rest of the city. Whitehaven is attached to Massachusetts Avenue, which is known as "embassy row", and as you drive up it you see the flags of many nations. I was told that Hillary Clinton lives in the house across the street from the Danish Embasssy but have no way to confirm that.
The New Black Panther Party and their "other community and Muslim leaders" gathered at the Islamic Center, which is on Massachusetts Avenue not far from where it intersects with Whitehaven. As I was driving on Massachussetts to the Danish Embassy I saw them out front. Or rather, I could hear them, as Malik Zulu Shabazz was ranting into a rather loud PA system.
When I got to the embassy at maybe 12:30 the Panthers were still at the bottom of the hill at the Islamic Center. Maybe a dozen of our people were there at that point. We set up our "human shield" and waited.
(NOTE: As you'll notice the dates on the pictures are wrong. Somehow the stupid camera reset the date and I can't figure out how to change it on the photos. If you know please shoot me an email)
Update: If you enlarge the photo above you'll see that Kristinn is holding a "Durka Durka" sign. At left is one that reads "Bakala, Bakala, Bakalakalaka" I didn't know this, but they are from the movie Team America, which I've never seen. Sorry for my ignorance, readers, but I'm not much of a movie or TV guy. Kristinn says on the FreeRepublic post that "We weren't trying to be antagonistic or incite a riot, but considering the seriousness of the situation and the possibility of violence, we figured we'd get in a few laughs before getting our heads smashed in."
Directly across the street from the Danish Embassy is this house where Hillary Clinton lives. During the event I did not see anyone come or leave it, nor did I see anyone at the windows. I'm sure she was forwarned and wisely stayed away that day.
After a few minutes Michelle Malkin showed up. She greeted us and took some pictures. However, she did not join our group, as she was there in the role of reporter rather than participant. It was a thrill to have her there, as I am a huge fan. Her blog is a daily must-read.
(note; you should be able to enlarge any of the pictures by simply clicking on them. I'm keeping them a bit smaller in this post so that they load quicker for people without broadband)
There were also plenty of police and media. The cops didn't look very worried. They had a strong enough presence, and of course being in Washington DC they have plenty of experience with rallies and protests. We asked some of the reporters who they were with and I remember hearing the Washington Post and Associated Press.
Here is a view down the street from the embassy
Here they come. They brought a pretty decent PA system, with portable generator and all
The Excitement Begins
As the Muslims organized, one of their member began to speak to us. Or rather, like all of them, he ranted. I'm not quite sure who this guy is, but I'll going to do some research tomorrow, so if you come back Sunday evening I'll have more
These next two photos are of Malik Zulu Shabazz, their leader and main speaker. He sounded very much like Louis Farrakhan, and watching him reminded me of films of Benito Mussolini.
I'll have more on him tomorrow. In the meantime, the Anti-Defamation League has a page on the New Black Panther Party that as expected is very good. They also have a page on him, titled "Malik Zulu Shabazz in His Own Words". It's pretty scary stuff. Here's a quick sample
What we have against Jews and others is [sic] simple facts of history: that the Jews have been involved in the African holocaust and that the Zionists are causing problems, you know, for people of color around the world … The State of Israel. The Zionist entity there. It's a problem. It's a problem for our brothers and sisters in that particular area and it's causing problems all over the earth.
Also, here's an interview I found that I found pretty interesting, though not for reasons he'd appreciate.
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin was doing something I wish I'd been doing; writing down what these guys were saying. In my hurry to leave the house that morning I hadn't thought to bring an notepad. As I'm sure she'll have details on her blog tomorrow, I'll revise this post by including her observations, so be sure and check back.
The Numbers Grow
For the first hour we had maybe a dozen on our side, and the Panthers/Muslims about twice that number. By the time they left at 3:00 they had about 50 people and I counted about 25 on our side.
Here's a view from the top of the street down along our line. I'm the guy in the green jacket holding the Danish flag and the "S" in our "HUMAN SHIELDS" sign
Here's another view along our line
You can see the amusement on many faces. It was hard to take these people seriously. This was not like the protests in European cities, where you had thousands of Muslims of Arabic heritage protest, with their posters threatening violence. While to be sure Malik Zulu Shabazz and his ilk are hateful people preaching racist bile, that they could only attract 50 followers in Washington DC is telling. Most of the time we just laughed at their insanities.
Sometimes Shabazz and the other speakers would try to cajole us into joining them, and at other times they would do all but threaten us with violence (threats on other embassies were a common theme). Sometimes they looked as if they actually expected us to fall on our knees and worship Allah, and looked disappointed when we didn't. They went from speaker to speaker, almost as a baseball team calls in a new pitcher when the old one is no longer effective. It was if they were trying new speakers to find one that would get through to us. Very weird.
At one point one of their speakers was complaining that two Muslims were imprisoned in Europe for questioning whether the holocaust had occured. I and others shouted at him asking if he questioned whether the holocaust had occured. He paused at this, but would never answer us directy.
A few times Shabazz or one of the others mentioned "the Jews". At this we all hooted and hollered and cried "racist!" Sensing that this was a mistake, they changed to railing against the "Zionists".
Michelle pulled several of their speakers aside for interviews. In this next photo she is speaking with Shabazz himself
During all this two guys came out from the Danish Embassy to observe the goings on. They looked more amused than anything.
Here are a few more of their speakers. I don't know who they are but will try to get IDs tomorrow, so check back Sunday evening.
What It all Meant
One of my favorite bloggers, Kat of The Middle Ground, posted this comment on my blog a few months ago
We no longer cede our voice and the public square to only those who "dissent". Something that was necessary at our founding and which we had ceded since the Vietnam days. (see, it's not Vietnam redux...;)
She was responding to one of my posts in which we went to Lafayette Park in Washington DC for a pro-Iraq rally.
I hadn't quite made that connection until she made that comment. And she's right, too, we're not going to let the other side have the streets or the public square to themselves anymore. Freedom must be defended, and it that means standing in front of the Royal Danish Embassy symbolically protecting it from Muslim radicals, then so be it. There are many fronts in the War on Terror, and today I was at one of them.
Update: Media Reaction and other Bloggers
The Washington Post has a short story up on the event. I'm actually in the photo, the guy holding the Danish flag at left.
Kristinn ofFreeRepublic has a great write-up and photos. Check it out. Money quotes:
Shabazz also was quite menacing--in a cartoonish manner. I was reminded of a Twilight Zone episode with a young Dennis Hopper as a Hitler wannabe who is mentored by the ghost of the Fuhrer, himself.
Shabazz gave racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American, Islamofascist diatribes, in between other speakers who gave, well, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American, Islamofascist diatribes.
Two of their speakers started out sounding reasonable, but pretty soon they veered off into cloud cuckooland soon after. For some reason, they kept blaming the Jews for their problems. What wasn't the Jews' fault was white people's fault, and America's fault, and George Bush's fault, and Dick Cheney's fault, and Halliburton's fault, and oh yes, the Danes' fault.
They started out complaining about the cartoons, but more often than not, the cartoons were an afterthought.
Shabazz came very close to losing his temper with us. When we pulled "Kumbaya" from our repertoire, he started ranting about how lucky we were the police were present. He pointed his hand at one of us and cocked his hand like a pistol and dropped his thumb down like he was 'firing'.
He did loosen up later though and cracked a Holocaust joke.
Joking about the holocaust. That about says it all, doesn't it?
Several of the people who author Smashing Left-Wing Scum were there, and they a great write-up and photos too.
B. Preston, author of Junkyard Blog, was at the event with Michelle Malkin. His initial post on the event is here and he's got a good close up photo of whacko-in-chief Malik Zulu Shabazz. I saw him there taking video and pictures, and yesterday he wrote that he "had hoped to have them edited for your entertainment tonight, but technical problems got in the way. Stay tuned to the JYB and Michelle’s blog—we plan to have an edited video of the protest posted soon."
You can count on it.
December 17, 2005
Today I went up to Washington DC to see off a young Iraqi man who is going back to visit the country of his birth. I forget exactly how long he said he would be gone, but I seem to recall it as a month or so.
He is today an American citizen, and has one of the most amazing life stories that I have ever heard. He is also a very impressive person in his own right, someone that I predict will make a name for himself.
His name is Jesse Kaveh, and here is his story, as told to Jamie Glazov of FrontPage Magazine:
Under Saddam Hussein, my family witnessed more atrocities than are reported or even imagined by any human rights group. After the gassing of Halabja, my home town, things had never been brought back to any sense of normalcy. There were constant raids upon the town as well as surrounding areas in which Saddam's Fedayheen would randomly storm peoples’ homes and find males between the ages of 16-35 and label them as rebels. Several family members disappeared but no one would say anything.
There were soldiers stationed everywhere and no one knew where Saddam's secret service was. He had agents in what appeared to be every market place and cafe and so people were always looking over their shoulder and would try to avoid large gatherings. Everyone watched what they said and kept conversations to very general terms and people were rarely close.
One night in particular stands out above all other nights. On May 16, 1989 (I only know the date because of what happened), I remember it was raining really hard. My mother had me in her arms and we were over at my uncle’s home -- which was right down the road from where he had a small farm.
A large group of soldiers kicked in the door and started shouting. We all were put on the ground, noses touching the floor, while family members were kicked and one of my cousins I later found out was raped. They had an order from a Baath party official that my uncle was supplying the Iranians with food and he was a traitor. They grabbed him and bound him along with his three sons. Everyone knew what would happen but at the same time we knew there was nothing we could do to stop it.
Raids in my part of Halabja continued until the night my mother and father were murdered. This happened on December 13, 1990. It was dark outside and my mother, father and I were huddled next to the fire. The soldiers in black, as well as several others, came banging on the door that night. They came to round up what they deemed as more rebels. This time it was my father. My father was never a rebel; he was a farmer. Nonetheless, it was Saddam's orders and his personal militia from Tikrit that came and dragged him out of the home. Before they opened the door, my mother told me to go run and hide. I hid in a crawl space in my parents’ room by the stairs. I heard my mother screaming and pleading with the soldiers and a father's deep voice also saying something. After a very short time, BANG, and the deep voice stopped and my mother replaced that voice with screams. Then, BANG, the screams stopped and all that was heard was the jeep leaving.
I didn't know what was going on and then another small group of men entered the home. I thought the men in black had come to get me too and they had found me. The difference was these men in black were U.S. soldiers operating in the area at the time. They came to see what had happened and rescued me and another person.
My family personally witnessed one-third of their relatives dragged away never to be seen again.
The "U.S. Soldiers" Kaveh refers to were Special Forces guys operating in the area. Keep in mind that this was before the Gulf War. In other words, they were on a "black" mission, in a country that we were not officially fighting.
They could have just left the young Jesse there. If they took him back there was no guarantee they could get him into the United States. The State Department might have considered their action kidnapping a foreign national.
But they took Jesse, and a young girl that they found, back with them to their base in Turkey. After some wrangling, they were granted entry into the United States, and both were adopted by families. Jesse found a home in the Washington DC suburbs.
So much for John Kerry's view that American soldiers are "terrorizing" Iraqi women and children.
And, as you might imagine, Jesse is an enthusiastic supporter of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I first met Jesse at the counter rally to the the anti-war protests in Washington DC on September 24 of this year. He has since been a regular at our Friday night rallies outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center as we counter Code Pink and their ilk (select "Rallies and Protests" at right).
Soon he will take a trip back to the Kurdish region of Iraq, where he will spend a few weeks with relatives. When he gets back I will try and find out about the trip, and if he is going to post anything about it.
Lafayette Park, Washington DC
Early this afternoon a handful of us went uptown to give Jesse a goodbye.
Lafayette Park is just north of the White House, which you will see in the background of these photos. It is the site of daily protests by groups ranging across the spectrum from right to left. Today I could see at least two other groups besides ourselves.
One of our party had a portable podium and sound system, and for a few hours people spoke about freedom and the war. Jesse was just finishing up as I arrived, and I did not get a good photo of him.
I'm the guy in the red hat in this next one. Jesse is in the white shirt and skullcap.
In the background of this next photo you can clearly see the White House. To the left of our speaker, Kristinn, you can see some people with bright pink and yellow signs. They are members of Code Pink, a radical leftist group that also protests outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center every Friday night. We counter them each Friday night with a rally of our own. Small world, we meet again at Lafayette Park.
Passers by sometimes stopped and listened. Some took photos, and we got a few thumbs up. Others debated us for a bit.
After the rally ended, I walked closer to the White House so I could get better photos of the leftists.
Lo and Behold, one of the leftists I ran into was none other than "Squeeje Man", a regular Pinko at the Friday night anti-war protests. He is so named because during the summer he would go into traffic when cars were stopped at the light and try to hand the drivers literature.
He no doubt recognized me, and was obliging enough to pose for a photo
I don't know who the group was behind this display.
What a country.
November 12, 2005
Leftist Whacko Update
The folks at Code Pink at least know the origin of Veterans Day.
This was the biggest sign that the Pinkos had as they held their anti-war protest (er, "vigil") outside of Walter Reed Army Medical center yesterday evening. They've been doing this every Friday night for over 30 weeks now. Across the street, countering and out-numbering them, are real pro-troop, pro-Iraq, and pro-democracy people. For complete background, including many photos, on these events go here.
"Armistice", of course, is just another way of saying, "We want to cut-and-run" in Iraq. You'd have to be either hopelessly naive or very evil to believe that the terrorists would honor any armistice we signed with them (assuming they even agreed to one). But we see this attitude thoughout the leftist media.
The Nation magazine, the liberal equivalent to National Review, wants us to pull out immediately:
We will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq a major issue of his or her campaign. We urge all voters to join us in adopting this position. Many worry that the aftermath of withdrawal will be ugly, but we can now see that the consequences of staying will be uglier still. Fear of facing the consequences of Bush's disaster should not be permitted to excuse the creation of a worse disaster by continuing the occupation
That anyone can actually believe that Iraq under the rule of Al Qaeda and/or a resurgent Ba'athist regime could be no worse than the current situation is truely amazing. Reasoning with such people is simply not possible. To justify themselves, they dredge out the same old "Bush lied" nonsense that we are starting to see from mainstream Democrats.
On the Nation's site today we also find Medea Benjamin & Gayle Brandeis. Benjamin is a founder of Code Pink. I'm not familiar with Brandeis. They offer their suggestions for supporting the troops:
Send care packages to Iraq: books and snacks and toiletries to mitigate some of the harshness of the desert war zone. Donate to organizations, like the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, that provide help for returning soldiers struggling to put their lives together after war. Stand on street corners with candles and signs that spotlight the injustices our troops face. Support groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War, made up of courageous soldiers speaking out against the war. Urge elected officials to end this misbegotten military adventure. Support clean, green energy programs and lifestyles that move us off our dependence on other countries' oil.
I'll certainly agree with sending care packages. I send weekly letters (with half the sports section of the paper detailing the Sunday football games stuffed inside), and bi-monthly packages through Adopt-a-Platoon. But the rest of what they suggest is just the usual leftist tripe.
They're also sending "Friendship Delegation" to Cuba December 27-January 2, 2006. This, too, is on their website.
One anti-American latin dictator not being enough, on January 23- Feburary 4th they'll be in Venezuela attending the World Socialist Forum. You guessed it, this is on their website too.
The President Strikes Back
Yesterday, during a Veteran's Day speech, President Bush stuck back at his antagonists:
While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. (Applause.) Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.
They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. And many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: "When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security." That's why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate — who had access to the same intelligence — voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.
The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory.
Peter Fleming, writing on my other blog site, says "About Time!", to which I say, "Amen!"
Meanwhile, Norman Podhoretz has a devastaging critique of those who persist in "Bush lied!" nonsense. His conclusion is that
...so long as we are hunting for liars in this area, let me suggest that we begin with the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped, and that we then broaden out to all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq—the policy of making the Middle East safe for America by making it safe for democracy—have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation, and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise and to brand as an ignominious defeat what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals.
October 26, 2005
Here they are, holding their fake vigil in my own home town
What these people claim to be doing is holding a vigil to "mark the death of the 2,000th reported U.S. military death in Iraq and to say that the country’s pro-peace majority wants Congress to stop the deaths by stopping the dollars that are funding the war."
What they're really doing is exploiting war dead to push an insane agenda that at the least would result in more, not less, bloodshed in Iraq, and at worst an al-Qaeda run caliphate throughout the Middle East. AFPS thinks that we should end the war in Iraq immediately, regardless of the consequences. It's on their website here, check it out.
The organizers of this "vigil" are members of a group called the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and they're a far left group that has been agitating for unilateral US disarmament for decades.
This time they're holding a series of parties (er, "vigils") to celebrate (I mean "mark") the death of 2,000 American soldiers (and I mean to include sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guard) in the liberation of Iraq. Acording to their website, there were 606 such "vigils" scheduled to be held today.
Why Do I Call them Fake?
I call them fake because their purpose is to demoralize the American people so that we pull our troops out of Iraq immediately, regardless of the conseqences. In it's entire history this organization has not shown a whit of concern for the welfare of American soldiers.
Let me make this clear: If you simply think we should not have gone into Iraq, that is fine. We can disagree on this. Further, if you think that President Bush and co have made a mess of matters, then fine, too, we can debate these points. But decent opponents of the administration believe that since we are there we must win. If you believe that we should pull out without winning, you are a "useful idiot" and I have no sympathy for you.
And yes, it matters who is organizing the protest or rally. The excuse "I'm just here to show my support/opposition to X but don't support the organizers" doesn't cut it. People have an obligation to check out the organization holding an event if they plan on attending. If you don't think so, imagine if a front group for the Klan held an anti-affirmative action protest. If it then became commonly known that the organizers were Klan members, would you accept that excuse from people who attended? I sure wouldn't.
You can read my post yesterday on the AFSC or simply go to DiscovertheNetwork.org and read all about them .
Unfortunately, they're not alone in exploiting our soldiers.
They're Not Alone
The disgusting group Code Pink is also calling for "action" today. Did I tell you where they're going to celebrate New Years? Here's a hint; it's an island to the south of the US run buy a guy who wears old army uniforms and has a beard. If you miss that one you can go with them to Venezuela in late January.
Of course, Code Pink has a lot of experience at holding fake vigils. They hold one every Friday night outside the main entrance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.
And as I'm sure you all know by now, mother Sheehan says that she'll tie herself to the White House Fence "to protest the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq."
Much of the media is playing the game too. Check out this picture posted on MSNBC.
The Right Side
The US military doesn't think much of all this, either. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, spokesman for the coalition in Iraq, has this to say in an email to the press
I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives.
The Col is right on all counts.
LGF has about a dozen posts on all this. Be sure to check them out.
And last, but most of all, go here to find out all about American heroes in Iraq.