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Opening Arguments

Protest chic

Protesting can be an act of bravery. Taking to the streets in South Africa against apartheid when that position was frowned upon. Standing in front of a tank in Tienanmen Square. But it's little more than street theater when people come out to protest something 70 percent of the country is already against:

Convinced this is their moment, tens of thousands marched Saturday in an anti-war demonstration linking military families, ordinary people and an icon of the Vietnam protest movement in a spirited call to get out of Iraq.

Celebrities, a half-dozen lawmakers and protesters from distant states rallied in the capital under a sunny sky, seizing an opportunity to press their cause with a Congress restive on the war and a country that has turned against the conflict.

It's their time; how special. At least such protest is honorable, made evident by the presence of a celebrity protester from the past who does not grasp the concept. Jane Fonda has more in common with certain legislators today, without the guts to cut off funding but falling all over themselves to vote for resolutions that make our soldiers much more vulnerable and, most despicable of all, taking to the microphones overseas to badmouth their country. Hanoi Jane was just ahead of her time.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Mon, 01/29/2007 - 7:11am

Oh, enough will all this specious claptrap about emboldening the enemy and harming our soldiers. The enemy is our incompetent president. He's the one needlessly putting American troops in harm's way and the blood's on his hands, not Hanoi Jane's.

Kenn Gividen
Mon, 01/29/2007 - 9:00am

No sympathies here for Jane Fonda.

But I wonder ... 100 years from today, what will historians remember as the most damaging to our nation: Liberals in Washington attending a one-day anti-war protest? Or Republicans in Washington propping up $8.6 trillion national debt that increases by $1.5 billion PER DAY???

brian stouder
Mon, 01/29/2007 - 11:29am

I think, 100 years from today, President Bush may well be more or less forgotten, like President Benjamin Harrison of Indianapolis (grandson of the William Henry Harrison, who was elected president and then died one month later).

The harshest criticisms of Bush will fade, as will the most fawning apologists. As was once said about the executives at Coca Cola who conjured up the New Coke debacle (in answer to the charge that it was a preplanned marketing ploy to revitalize Classic Coke),

(Bush) ain't that smart, and ain't that stupid

Jeff Pruitt
Mon, 01/29/2007 - 11:35am

Ah yes, perhaps they should've dedicated their time to writing snarky posts on their blog. THAT will teach those hard-headed politicians.

At the end of this war, they will most likely be able to say they did everything they could to bring this ridiculous campaign to a close. What will you say? Perhaps you'll be one of the "dead-enders" still claiming we can "win" and we just need to stay the course...

tim zank
Mon, 01/29/2007 - 3:48pm

Alex, maybe you aren't old enough to remember Viet Nam, but I do and there were two things that lost us that war, the news media and the democratic party. The age of "instant information" gave the democrats a tool more powerful than they could ever have imagined.

Kenn, One hundred years from now, historians will probably remember the most damaging to our nation (allah willing) was the liberal blindness that will change everything we know about America. Deficits are peanuts, you can always work your way out of debt, but working out of Islam won't be as easy.

Brian, I think more than likely he'll be looked upon as the only guy that had a backbone at the turn of this century and didn't hold his finger in the wind to pacify critics. It's totally unclear to a multitude of people, but he's trying to do the right thing while all those around him are trying to save their seats or get re-elected. None of these guys (politicians) are stupid, just some are more selfish or greedy than others.

Jeff, We could have won this war 3 years ago if not for the two things I mentioned at the beginning of this post, The news media and the democratic party. These are the two groups in America that would show up to a knife fight with a plastic power rangers sword.

Absolutely pathetic.

Steve Towsley
Mon, 01/29/2007 - 7:00pm

Tim has it down cold, untrendy though the logic may be.

President Bush, Republican loose cannon or not, has done essentially vital things in terms of defusing the post-9/11 threat to America in the Middle East.

By dropping American smart bombs and armed forces into the head of a Mid-East boil about to pop, and lancing it in Baghdad and adjacent territories, we have not only shifted the war theater (the location where the average radical Muslim is content to meet oblivion) from New York to Arabian deserts, but we have reduced the most intractable of Islamist groups -- who all claim to hate the West -- into self-anointed militia factions, now fighting one another over their real-world issues -- which are their own violent disagreements over ancient competing Islam-born ideologies.

I think Bush's record in the history books will turn out much better than most are willing to grant right now. We said we would drain the swamp, but I don't know a liberal who understood what that meant.

We may have outed a lot more Islamist hawks, but if we do no more in Iraq than leave them in the chaos which was probably their inevitable fate as soon as tyrants like Saddam & Sons were overthrown, we have severely reduced or eliminated Iraq's unified threat to any nation outside its borders, created a hot spot for other Mid-East nations to contend for (which will prevent Iraqi unification under some other despotic regime for quite a while), and we have consequently put the Middle East to work handling its real internal concerns rather than freely and contentedly sabre-rattling against theoretical and dogma-based adversaries like Israel and the U.S.

Other threats will have to be put down by the USA, of course, but in terms of deflating the outward pressure of the Mid-East's over-stuffed tigers and giving their unending supply of militants handfuls of their own realities to finally deal with before moving outward, we have actually improved our position several-fold -- to be able to neutralize specific threats as needed without being seen as the one and only great satan, or exploding the whole Asian continent into the liberal alarmists' partisan predictions of seas of blood and a million dead.

We now have many more friends there than we did before we removed widely despised despots and super-radical reactionaries. The bulk of our Islamist enemies were already dedicated enemies, before we arrived. A lot of them are dead since then.

Jeff Pruitt
Mon, 01/29/2007 - 9:36pm

"We now have many more friends there than we did before we removed widely despised despots and super-radical reactionaries. The bulk of our Islamist enemies were already dedicated enemies, before we arrived. A lot of them are dead since then."

This is absolutely not true. I challenge you to present ANY evidence to support this claim...

Tue, 01/30/2007 - 5:57am

Well, Tim and Steve, I must confess that I knew absolutely none of this before. Seriously.

Obviously I need to quit watching Charlie Rose and tune into the 700 Club so I can keep up with you on public affairs.

Steve Towsley
Tue, 01/30/2007 - 2:56pm

Jeff --
Afghanis are largely delighted to be rid of the Taliban overlords. Only Taliban and their sympathizers try to re-conquer the country.

Similarly, only Saddam's sympathizers and Bath party secularists want to re-conquer Iraq. Most average Iraqis appreciate being rid of the murderous tyrant and his sons, and many of them have by now experienced random and routine acts of kindness from our troops as they attempt to secure the country from violent militants and help rebuild the infrastructure. Even the Iraqis who don't currently feel safe do not hope for Saddam's return. They hope for a peaceful new Iraq after things settle down.

alex --
Don't get your news from either Charlie Rose or the 700 Club. You are mistaking partisan analysis for news and information. Try absorbing the news from as many nearly objective sources as you can, as I do, and see if you can't piece together your own clearer view of a much spun topic.

Jeff Pruitt
Tue, 01/30/2007 - 8:08pm

Please cite some source to back up this claim:

"We now have many more friends there than we did before we removed widely despised despots and super-radical reactionaries."

Every single poll I've seen has shown Iraqi support for the American occupation declining. And beyond that, every single poll I've seen has shown that the US "popularity" (for lack of a better term) has declined throughout the entire region.

Steve Towsley
Wed, 01/31/2007 - 9:34am

Jeff --
While I am usually loathe to do other people's homework for them, I'll make an effort to post some report that you may find really persuasive, though I wonder if that is possible.

In the meantime, keep in mind all of the reports that American troops don't feel their contributions are being fairly reported back home. Keep in mind Katie Couric's obsessive harping on anything to do with wounded Americans. Keep in mind the fact that liberals have so hated Republicans during the years that they were shoved aside from the majority that they have tried to use every detail, every atom of minutiae to further their partisan case that war is always wrong and discussions and resolutions are always right -- ineffective though they may be. Keep in mind that we continually get reports of positive results for individual citizens and towns in Iraq that are swept off the front pages by doom-and-gloom partisan stories claiming that the United States of America is not only wrong, but evil, and as bad as Saddam Hussein.

If you can stomach that, you are among the enemies of American principles. Don't forget the obvious -- we have no aspirations to conquer, and we have no intentions to enslave. We are as we say we are -- trying to help, and to promote basic guarantees like freedom and authentic human rights.

If that were not the truth, we'd see our troops, our sons and daughters, rebelling against evil generals. They aren't. The mission is clean, the hope is a positive.

Every time we hear that the re-establishment of resources like electricity are under-reported, some liberal shuts down and prepares the next day's story about a maimed American being the reason to cut and run.

As I said, I'll look into re-publishing some wire report that you might consider more persuasive than little ol' me. But review my comment to alex, and consider that drawing conclusions from one's own assimilation of objective reporting may be a better plan than subscribing to some national mouthpiece's syndicated spin on these heavy matters.

Jeff Pruitt
Wed, 01/31/2007 - 12:00pm

Just as I thought.

You might want to heed your own advice...

tim zank
Thu, 02/01/2007 - 4:49pm

Alex, you don't need to stop relying on Charlie Rose for your information. However I would suggest you elevate your television screen so as to make it easier to see the screen while looking down your nose.