Friday, September 14, 2007
It has been a brutally hectic two weeks, hence the absence of timely updates to this blog. In this time I have been handling press for the Eagles Landing group, headed by Col. Harry Riley, US Army retired, who was one of the primary organizers of the original Gathering of Eagles.
If you recall back to last March, tens of thousands of veterans flocked to DC on March 17, the date of a pro-terrorism march and protest by the likes of Jane Fonda, Ed Asner, Cindy Sheehan and others who want the United States taken over by communists or Islamo-fascist terrorists. Only Sheehan and a relative handful of similar minded nut cases showed up.
Our purpose then was not to prevent these useful idiots from making fools of themselves once again by acting as puppets for worldwide communist and terrorist leaders, but to prevent them from desecrating the Vietnam Memorial and other monuments as they had threatened.
We were successful then, but unfortunately, last Friday, a person who we can reasonably regard as a member or sympathizer of the ANSWER organization spread some form of substance on the memorial that as of late Wednesday was still not cleaned off. National Park officials said they hadn't identified the substance, but were working diligently to clean it up. They still are reviewing video tapes to see if they can spot the perpetrator.
By this time tomorrow I'll again be in DC with thousands of veterans. Although we can't prevent what already occurred in the dark of night, the act of a coward, we can pay back those who stooped to desecrating the memories of our war dead. So payback will be the order of the day. This time the ANSWER forces are promising nearly a hundred thousand protesters to make up for their poor showing in March.
In my absence this past week I have sent out hundreds of press releases, most of which were ignored by the mainstream media, and have written four major articles, one of which made it to the pages of Human Events.
I will share it with you. Below is my unedited article for Human Events.
Damaged Vietnam Memorial Has Park Service Walking on Eggshells
By Ronald Winter
Washington, D.C. - It would be hard to find a better example of the tenuous relationship between the U.S. Park Service and groups using National Parks to protest or support our government than that resulting from the recent defacement of the Vietnam War Memorial.
Last Friday evening an oily substance that has proved extremely difficult to remove was splattered along an approximately 60 foot section of the wall, defacing panels bearing the names of the deceased as well as ornamental stones along the base. Mainstream media coverage has been sparse.
Veterans immediately attributed the defacement to anti-war groups that have threatened the memorial in past months, have defaced monuments and memorials nationwide, and are gathering in Washington this weekend to protest the War on Terror.
The outrage in the veteran community is palpable to the point that some who sympathize with the anti-war group ANSWER that is coordinating this weekend's protests, have issued bogus news releases stating that there was no damage to The Wall. This led many veterans to speculate that ANSWER is hoping to convince veterans to avoid Washington this weekend.
Nonetheless, the Park Service has stopped short of labeling the incident as vandalism.
"The United States Park Police is investigating the matter. Until this investigation is completed, it is premature to speculate whether any intentional act was committed," is the official statement.
Bill Line, NPS Communications & Tourism Officer for the National Capital Region adds that although crews have been working since Saturday to remove the substance, they don't even know what it is, much less who splattered it on the memorial.
But one thing is certain. Despite the claims that were later retracted when discrepancies were noted, the incident most certainly does NOT appear to have been caused by an accidental spill of cleaning fluid by a park ranger. Park rangers are not involved in cleaning or maintenance of the memorial, Line confirmed.
The Park Service is hopeful, but not certain, that when the material is finally removed it will not have left any permanent damage.
Line says The Wall is constantly monitored by video cameras, and the tapes are being reviewed for evidence. He adds that the Park Service legally can't claim vandalism or terrorism without all the facts at hand, thus it is proceeding cautiously.
But there is another issue at work behind the scenes that seems to be keeping the issue under wraps - the perceived reaction of the veteran community.
When we went to DC in March to confront ANSWER and its communist, Islamo-fascist organizations head on, neither the mainstream media, nor the top tier conservative talk shows made note of our vigil.
Even after a huge showing of veterans and supporters that far outnumbered the ANSWER forces, the conservative talk circuit was nearly mum. The primary exceptions were Melanie Morgan, chairman of Move America Forward and co-host of the morning drive time show on KSFO in San Francisco, and national columnist Michelle Malkin who participated in and filmed the March Gathering of Eagles vigil.
Many vets speculated that the media blackout was caused by a lack of trust and confidence in us by the very people who are supposed to be our staunchest supporters. Fearing an outbreak of violence for which we, and thus they, would be blamed, they were silent.
But no violence occurred in March, and we showed we were more than equal to the ANSWER forces, which were arrested in droves as a result of physical confrontations with police.
Now we are wondering why the conservative talk circuit is mum once again, with only a few speaking of the next Gathering of Eagles on Sept. 15, or of the incident involving The Wall.
Malkin and Morgan again are at the forefront and providing steady coverage of Gathering of Eagles III. Morgan's Move America Forward again is hosting a nationwide caravan that will arrive in DC to join the Gathering of Eagles Saturday, and which is experiencing an outpouring of support from mainstream Americans as it crosses the country.
"The crowds and especially the passion of those along the route have been exceptional," Morgan said. "People have opened their hearts to the message that our troops are winning."
Being ignored by the mainstream media is not new. Being ignored by the conservative media is baffling.
Vets are justifiably outraged over the defacement of the Vietnam Memorial and concerned that other memorials will be in for similar treatment by ANSWER this weekend. But to consider that we will automatically resort to the violence we eschewed in March is to be grossly uninformed about our capabilities and our beliefs.
The surest way to prevent further defacement to our memorials is to expose the deeds of those who defaced the Vietnam Memorial. Ignoring such incidents will only insure that further acts of desecration will follow.
Line declined to say whether the National Park Service is taking any extra precautions to protect the war memorials this weekend, noting the ANSWER protests are scheduled to take place between the White House and the Capitol several blocks away.
That may be a consideration. On the other hand, we should also consider that there were no protests planned in D.C., on the night of Sept. 7 when someone slipped up to the Vietnam Memorial unnoticed and spread a caustic fluid along 60 feet of its panels, disparaging the service and memories of those who died in that war.
And even if the Park Service is ultimately successful in cleaning the surface of the memorial, it is unlikely that the substance which has seeped into the unpolished surfaces of the wall will ever be totally removed, much as yet another scar on the hearts of more than two million Vietnam veterans will ever fully heal.