History was made in Washington, DC, on March 17, 2007. Tens of thousands of veterans gathered from near and far to stand united in opposition to anarchists and vandals who had threatened to deface the Vietnam War Memorial and other national monuments during a pro-terrorism march on the Pentagon.
We stood up to them, we stood up for our troops, and we successfully defended our monuments, our sacred ground, and the very ideals on which this country was founded - again.
There were no major incidents of violence although a group of pro-terror anarchists was arrested after hitting a veteran in a wheelchair, incurring the wrath of other vets nearby and the police who reacted immediately and decisively. The worst commentaries the American Terrorist Media could come up with from the pro-terrorist marchers were complaints about losing their anti-American signs and getting their feelings hurt.
American flags vastly outnumbered the flags of foreign nations, veterans and supporters vastly outnumbered pro-terrorism forces, signs supporting America and the troops vastly outnumbered signs promoting socialism, communism, and terrorism. It was a politician's dream. What a photo op!
Get your picture taken with veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the War On Terror and countless operations in between. Chests full of medals. Flags and pro-America signs everywhere for a backdrop. Can't you just see it on your brochures during the next election campaign?
Well, apparently not. Because the most endangered species on the National Mall in Washington DC on Saturday, March 17, 2007, during the Gathering Of Eagles vigil was the American politician. We had one, California Congressman John Doolittle, who not only voiced support, but appeared with us and spoke on our behalf.
But everyone else was AWOL - UA for the Naval services. Where were the politicians who always show up at the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars conventions, mugging for the photographers with the National Commanders and vowing to make life immeasurably better for the vets?
Where was John McCain of all people? The Gathering of Eagles was strongly supported by the National Order of the Purple Heart which should have been close to McCain's heart!
Where was Joe Lieberman? I was there in Eastern Connecticut last September when veterans confronted Lieberman's opponent, Democrat Ned Lamont. I wrote about it when Lamont scurried away, afraid to face or even speak with the vets, many from his own party who had questions about his lack of support for the troops and the War on Terror
Lieberman made out big time on that encounter and Connecticut's vets turned out for him in droves to give him another term in the Senate. So where was he Saturday? Religious reasons keep him away? OK, I can accept that. Did religious reasons keep him from writing a letter of support for us to be read at the GOE rally?
Where was Rudy Giuliani?
Where were Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama? They all say they support the troops and are pro-America. They say they just disagree with George Bush's leadership style but really do support the troops and veterans. If you believe that I'll let you use it for a bed time story next time you can't go to sleep.
Are we to believe, that on a Saturday morning on the National Mall, within sight of our nation's Capitol, adjacent to the Vietnam Memorial, within a stone's throw of the Korean War and World War II memorials, that not one single US Congressman or Senator was in town? Not one was in a position to drop by for a few minutes and give their support to the very people who have sacrificed, bled and died so they can have a country to govern?
Here's what I think, in addition to the general belief that Congress is peopled by craven cowards and lackeys. I believe that no matter what they have said over the years, our politicians really believed all that media garbage that has been said about veterans in general and Vietnam Veterans in particular for 40 years now. Remember? Walking Time Bombs! Baby Killers! Murderers! Yeah, that crap.
I think they stayed away because they believed our gathering would either falter, or degenerate into a blood fest. I think they are so uninformed, and so spineless, so jellyfish-like in their lack of backbones, and their inability to make a stand on anything without consulting the prevailing currents of public opinion first, that they were afraid to stand up for the very people who stood up for them.
Jellyfish. Spineless, floating jellyfish, moving along at the whims of the currents. Unfortunately, while jellyfish have no spines, no willpower, and little in the way of form, they can sting and can harm if you end up in the middle of them.
Had any politicians made an effort to actually visit the GOE rally site on Saturday they would have seen some pretty tough guys, no doubt about it. Some could even be accurately referred to as intimidating.
But here is a secret. We are supposed to be intimidating. We are war veterans! We fight the bad guys. You don't win against the bad guys by sending people to fight who look and act like jelly doughnuts.
Here is another secret. For every hard ass in motorcycle leathers there were two dozen veterans in ski jackets and winter coats, who are just as tough and just as intimidating, but who would have been indistinguishable from anyone else in another location, absent their medals, badges and military patches.
Vets are representative of the military which is a microcosm of American society. They are big, small, short, tall, men and women of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, social status, economic situations and educational levels. OK, that last one is not quite accurate. Veterans as a demographic in American society are far better educated than the rest of America, despite what geniuses like John Kerry and John Murtha say about us.
So if any of the big talkers in Congress, or on the state level for that matter, had bothered to come to the GOE vigil, they would have encountered - America! But no, that couldn't happen. They were all too busy feathering their own nests, insuring their uninterrupted attendance in the halls of power and talking big, while walking small.
Talking about talking, did you notice the other element of American society that was noticeably absent from the GOE? I mean American conservative talk radio and TV commentators. Where were Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly or any of the other pretty boys of the American right who make millions off the sacrifices of the veterans and our real supporters?
They didn't cover the event beforehand, they didn't cover it during, and they didn't cover it after. Period. Big talk, no substance. You people claim to be all seeing, all knowing, all powerful but you didn't have the good sense to put your mouths where your money comes from. You didn't support the vets. You weren't there, you didn't mention us, and you have shown yourselves to be no go showboats.
Shame on the lot of you.
One exception to the above. Syndicated columnist and commentator Michelle Malkin gave us great coverage, and she showed up! Vets were only too happy to shake Michelle's hand, thank her for the coverage, and pose for pictures and videos with her.
Let me tell you other gas bags something about vets that you obviously have overlooked. We are far smarter than the average demographic, we are acutely aware of what is going on around us, and we don't forget our friends - or our enemies.
We also don't like bulls!*t throwers, and we know instinctively who they are. Michelle Malkin's stock has rocketed upward in the veteran community and she will benefit from it. I hope the rest of you wisely invested the millions that you made claiming to represent mainstream America and the vets. Your stock is plummeting.
Taking on Arnold Schwarzenegger in a phone conversation might sound like a big deal, but showing up to support the Gathering Of Eagles, in word and deed, would have been a real big deal.
Unfortunately, most of America's conservative commentators now must be relegated to a position right alongside most of America's gas bag politicians. Yeah, over there by the wall, under the sign that says Big Talking, No Substance, Cream Puffs.
Thursday, March 22, 2007