Republican Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, flanked by outspoken troop supporters like Melanie Morgan, Michelle Malkin, and the families of dozens of Americans who were killed fighting terrorism, stood tall on the National Mall Saturday, speaking on behalf of our troops and the magnificent job they are doing in the War on Terror and the Battle for Iraq.
The third installment of a Gathering of Eagles again saw thousands of patriotic Americans stand their ground in support of our country, backing the offensive currently underway in Iraq, backing Gen. David Petraeus, and making a solid point that the only real way out of Iraq is through the victory that is within our grasp.
Opposing them were tens of thousands of mostly very young, very loud and incredibly unclean terrorism supporters chanting the usual Democratic talking points and espousing the virtues of Hillary Clinton. They were there courtesy of ANSWER a coalition of pro-communist, pro-socialist, pro-terrorist organizations that are working together to bring down capitalism and our democratic form of government.
The level of courage shown by Melanie Morgan, Michelle Malkin, Deborah Johns, whose Marine son has spent three tours in Iraq, Debbie Lee whose son was killed there, and dozens of other family members is a welcome counterpoint to the silence by many in the conservative community, including the rest of the GOP presidential field.
As one veteran said when we were facing off against the ANSWER forces across the barricades on Pennsylvania Avenue, "Can you imagine what the response would have been if McCain, Giuliani, or Fred Thompson showed up here."
True, they are the marquee stars of the GOP primary race. But Duncan Hunter's family has a tradition of serving our country, and the only break is that Hunter served in the Army, while both his dad and son served in the Marines.
Hunter knows his facts about terrorists and how to defeat them. He made that very clear when he spoke to the Eagles.
Those who went to Washington to stand up for our troops and our president were very appreciative of Congressman Hunter's visit. They were just as aware of the absence of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, Tancredo, Huckabee and the rest of the field.
Why is it, once again, that the people who count on the votes of the veteran community, take us for granted? We didn't expect Congressman Hunter to man the barricades with us - we understand the dangers. His presence at the Gathering of Eagles rally site more than a mile from the ANSWER rally site was welcome and sufficient.
It will be very hard in the coming months to take seriously the claims of any presidential candidate who says he supports the troops and the veterans, but couldn't give even a passing nod to those of us who are taking so much time out of our lives to show America that the ANSWER position on the war is not the ONLY position.
McCain was in South Carolina, on his No Surrender tour, of all things, playing to crowds of a couple hundred, when just a few hours north he could have been speaking to a crowd of thousands. Someone made a significant miscalculation there.
Unfortunately for America, the pro-terrorism forces understand the significance of their appearance in D.C., and pulled out all the stops to get a massive crowd there, although an analysis of the participants reveals a significant weakness in their support.
First, there were NO Democratic presidential candidates marching with the Great Unwashed, although signs and even a near life-sized puppet of Hillary Clinton showed she was the odds on favorite of the pro-communist crowd.
After I had yelled myself hoarse at the moonbats and anarchists, and mugged for the truckload of degenerates who were taking pictures of the patriots on the march route - as though we care - I spent time just observing the marchers. I noted that the crowd was made up overwhelmingly of very young people, some of whom appeared to be of high school age, many of early college age.
Noticeable for their absence were the late twenty-somethings and middle-aged Mom and Dad voter blocs.
Elections aren't decided by too-young-to-vote, impressionable kids who are just mouthing what they have been told by manipulative adults.
What I saw in D.C. on Sept. 15 was that ANSWER brought a collection of children and useful idiots to town, in a noisy, smelly, but ultimately failed effort to make a point. Even the much ballyhooed "die-in" that was supposed to take place on the Capitol steps was a bust.
The steps to our Capitol were off limits this time, after ANSWER affiliates defaced them in a rally last January. So a bunch of kids prostrated themselves on the lawn, holding small and unidentifiable photos, ostensibly of fallen warriors.
When that stunt was ignored, some of the anarchists in the crowd jumped the barriers to confront the Capitol police, who were in no mood for anarchy and promptly arrested about 200 of the little dears.
Wow! Are you as impressed as I am? Good, I didn't want to keep this all to myself.
No, the kids were cute and well rehearsed, but man when that big block of some 10,000 or so went between 10th and 11th streets and were all in one spot at one time, the stench was overwhelming. I was talking to a couple who appeared to be in their 50s or so, who weren't counter-demonstrating, just watching, and the gentleman referred to them as "The Unwashed Majority."
I liked that line. Even the cops remarked on the stench of unwashed human bodies. People were even checking their shoes to see if they had stepped in something foul on the sidewalks.
I understand that these are brainwashed tools, but what happened to personal hygiene?
A couple of other points need review, first, the numbers of participants on both sides.
During the GOE rally I walked off the area in front of the stage. I was there with a group of vets from Connecticut, just as I was in March, but I didn't speak on the formal program this time.
My friends John, an Army Vietnam vet and former Military Policeman, and Danny, a Navy Vietnam vet and 3rd degree black belt in karate, and I, were having a blast ejecting moonbats who kept coming to our area to start trouble. (They had to walk more than a mile from their rally point to ours to try to start fights, so you know it wasn't just incidental. And it went on for over two hours.)
Anyway, the area in front of the stage was was jam packed with people. I calculated that area to be 105 feet (approx.) by 240 feet (approx.) = 25,200 square feet. (This is not the total square footage of that grassy area, just the part where the people were standing.)
I took an arbitrary figure of 6 square feet per person, and divided that into the total square footage. That gave us 4200 people right in front of the stage.
As the program progressed a dividing path between grassy sections on the mall filled up (roughly 10ft by 240) as did about half of the next grassy section that was of the same size as the section where the stage was located, but of course without the stage.
The crowd was of approximately the same size as that in the original section I measured, perhaps a bit less, so overall, I estimated about 7500 maybe 8000 people at the stage during the formal program.
BUT - not everyone went to the program. Pennsylvania Avenue was already barricaded and many people went straight to the barricades, especially in front of and across from the Lone Sailor statute. (The statue was defaced, allegedly by ANSWER supporters in January and people made sure to protect it this time.)
When the formal program was over people migrated to the barricades, and more continued to come who hadn't gotten there for the rally. At the height of the demonstration I estimate, and I believe this is a very reasonable ball park figure, that there were up to 10,000 pro-troop supporters lining the barricades.
We were lined up solidly along a three block section, both sides, in some cases four and five deep.
BUT, the ANSWER crowd outnumbered us four or five to one. There were lots of them. Lots, but no where near the 100,000 they claimed. Perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 in all.
The news reporting on the numbers on both sides has been dismal. Fox News Sunday reported "several thousand" ANSWER protesters, and "a small but vocal" group of counter-demonstrators who FOX said rallied several blocks away. They showed a very narrow picture of about eight pro-troop folks who actually were among the thousands on Pennsylvania Avenue waiting for ANSWER.
That was just plain inaccurate, on both sides of the issue.
More important than their numbers was who was missing from the ANSWER crowd. Notable due to their near-absence, compared to the group ANSWER put together in March, were the droves of anarchists, at least those in their black "uniforms" with the Palestinian terrorist headdress. Several were there, but not hundreds.
Only about a dozen had the checkered towellette over their faces, and another few had them wrapped around their necks, but not tight enough for me. And I guess ANSWER's people took too much heat over the Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and anti-capitalism signs from last time because they were gone too - although there still was plenty of profanity in writing.
Code Pink had eight 'ladies' and I use that term loosely, and the Iraq Vets Against the War had about 12 although there was no way to confirm if they really were vets, or just guys wearing cammies. Many in the vet community believe the IVAW has only a couple traitors as front people and the rest are posers similar to John Kerry's Vietnam vets against the war.
One of the many very bright spots in the day was the presence of a contingent of College Republicans from George Washington University. I came across them at the intersection of 11th Street and Pennsylvania where they would be the first to encounter the ANSWER marchers. I met a young man named Brand Kroeger who was there with several of his friends, all wearing sharp blue shirts with a logo identifying them.
Aside from the fact they were on the scene, which is significant seeing as how so many older Republicans were nowhere to be found, they also were clean cut, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Brand thought it was great that we came from Connecticut to oppose ANSWER while his group had only had to travel a few blocks.
But in many ways, considering the attitudes on many college campuses, it may have been much more difficult for our young Republicans to stand up and be counted, than it was for some of us veterans.
Nonetheless it was a really pleasant surprise to see them there, ready and capable of opposing the people who are bent on destroying America. I liked that a lot and I hope it is the beginning of things to come. Maybe next time some older Republicans will join the Young Republicans.
One last point. In addition to the snubbing by most GOP presidential candidates, a big issue at the GOE rally was the deafening silence from the top tier of conservative talk show hosts.
There were many who mentioned us this time including Morgan, Malkin and G. Gordon Liddy. But they were out there in March too. I may have missed a couple others and if so it wasn't intentional. But the big names again were silent.
Perhaps they didn't jump on the bandwagon in March because a gathering of this nature hadn't happened in recent memory and they may not have wanted to commit themselves until we proved ourselves, which is a reversal in roles.
But we were peaceful last time and peaceful this time. Most vets believe it was ANSWER anarchists who defaced the Vietnam Memorial last week, and it sure as hell was the ANSWER kids who were arrested at the Capitol on Saturday.
But some in the conservative community who are living high on the support of people like those who were in DC Saturday. I hope they have invested well. Because they may not think they need us anymore, but their ratings can drop as precipitously as Air America's did, and their broadcast futures can end as sharply as Al Franken's.
This issue deserves more discussion so I'll get to it later this week. For now, it is sufficient to repeat that the absence of the big names in American Conservative politics was noticed in a negative way, every bit as much as the positive response Duncan Hunter received from standing up and standing tall for America.
Sunday, September 16, 2007