Sunday, September 16, 2007

You call this a war protest?

Apparently there was a protest against the war in Washington D.C. on Saturday, along with the requisite counter-protest.

USA Today (AP):
"Several thousand anti-war demonstrators marched through downtown Washington on Saturday, clashing with police at the foot of the Capitol steps where more than 190 protesters were arrested.The group marched from the White House to the Capitol to demand an end to the Iraq war. Their numbers stretched for blocks along Pennsylvania Avenue, and they held banners and signs and chanted, "What do we want? Troops out. When do we want it? Now."
DoorFrame took a few pictures of the event and posted them at RumorsDaily.com :



Whatever. Now I know I am going to sound like an old fart reminiscing about the good old days ( which frankly were not all that good), but a paraphrased line from Crocodile Dundee seems apropos - "That's not a war protest... this is a war protest:"

Peter Wilson posted these pictures from the November 16,1969 Washington War Mobilization protest at his website emystic.com:


Some perspective from the BBC:
"One month after the 'Moratorium', on 15 November, 1969, the 'Mobilization' peace demonstration in Washington DC had a crowd estimated at from 250,000 to 500,000. This event remains the largest single anti-war protest in US history."
You've got to admit that, by comparison, Saturday's protest was rather pathetic.

There are a lot of angles we could examine comparing and contrasting these 1969 and 2007 events. Everything from crowd size, to generational attitudes, fashions, weather conditions or even comparing digital vs. film snapshot photography. I'll leave it to others to sort it all out.

Apparently, these days we prefer to do our protesting from the comfort of our homes, in front of a glowing screen, and with a cold beer in reach. I know I do.

Mark Fisher at the Washington Post:
"Anti- or pro-war, journalist, blogger or reader, we can probably agree that news coverage of events such as yesterday's rallies along the Mall routinely reveals a strong media bias toward covering crowds of people doing stuff outdoors, especially on a day featuring crisp air and brilliant sunshine... People at the pro-war, pro-surge Gathering of Eagles rally on the Mall and at the much larger antiwar, anti-Bush march from Lafayette Square to the Capitol had one thing in common: They were frustrated, both by smaller-than-expected crowds and by their inability to get their messages across, either in the media or to their elected officials."
UPDATE:
Jonn at "It Ain't Hell, but you can see it from here" attended and has more pictures. It looks like everybody on both sides had a really good time in the bright sunshine, and why not, it was a perfect day for a picnic and a walk in the park war protest. Jonn thinks DWSUWF is a "leftist" pining for the "good ol' days." I was unaware I had become a leftist, but I guess if you are sitting way up in the far right bleachers, everybody on the field looks like a leftist to you. Just sayin' Jonn. For our final words of wisdom on the protest, we'll defer to the sage Yogi Berra who may or may not have said - "Everything looks the same, only different. Of course, things in the past are never as they used to be."

Special note to Jonn:
I see you also got to meet your "secret love." Between you and me, I don't get it. You can do better.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.
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10 comments:

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Oh, stop demanding that protests have substance! I mean, throw in a nice merlot and that protest looks like a perfect first date!

Also, why is that protesters are always "taking to the streets" and "clashing with police"? How come soccer moms never "take to the streets" and you never hear about war protesters doing things like helping the poor or elderly?

mw said...

"I mean, throw in a nice merlot and that protest looks like a perfect first date!" QoDys

You reminded me of a scene from a forgettable 1970 movie - "Getting Straight" starring Elliot Gould and a very young Candace Bergen (she was quite the hottie). The only scene I recall, they are in bed after their "first date" immediately following a campus war protest where they are tear gassed by the National Guard.

Jan: How can you be so cavalier? Did you see what was going on out there? It was ugly!
Harry Bailey: No. That protest... was sexy.
Jan: Sexy?
Harry Bailey: Do you think you're the only one who got laid tonight?


I expect a lot of the D.C. protesters on both sides got laid Saturday night.

Jonn Lilyea said...

Well, i was going to leave a snarky comment, but this is your house so I'll be kind. I just figured you were a leftist because;

1. San Francisco - geography speaks volumes in this instance

2. An economic conservative + a social liberal (from your profile) = Limosine Liberal.

I'm sure you're a very nice and kind person - you certainly write well, and you have an excellent eye for good looking men (your MM comment) but I'm somewhat suspicious of the politics of people who got "theirs" but is willing to give away "ours" to assuage their own guilt about "theirs".

Thank you for allowing me to explain. Enjoy your sunsets.

mw said...

Jonn,
Snark is always welcome here. However, I am kind of a stickler for accuracy. so I need to make a few corrections to your comment.

You've got the wrong definition for Limousine Liberals:
n 1. a wealthy or well-to-do person of liberal political inclination. It is sometimes used as a term of contempt for those espousing the cause of poor people, without having to endure the discomfort that their policies may inflict on others, such as the lower middle class.

This pejorative is aimed at classic liberals who happen to be wealthy. Economic conservatives (like myself) who oppose huge spending increases, massive new bureaucracies, deficit spending, and huge new entitlement programs (as we have seen with six years of George -LBJ- Bush's compassionate conservatism) just don't qualify for the term.

I think we need a new pejorative to describe those who pretend to be conservative, but have abandoned all principles of traditional economic and foreign policy conservatism. For these "FauxCons" the only issue that matters is supporting the war. It does not matter how many civil liberties are sacrificed, it does not matter if the constitution is trampled, it does not matter if spending is out of control and deficits explode. The only thing that matters to the FauxCons, is continuing a failed war policy in Iraq. The unfortunate side-effect of the FauxCons hijacking the Republican party bus, is that it is now careening at high speed down a highway to the hell of a single party Democratic controlled government in 2009. Single party Democratic control of the federal government will be every bit as corrupt and dangerous to our freedoms as the last six years of single party Republican control have been - just different lobbyists. There will be no skid marks as the FauxCons drive the Republican bus off the cliff.

Anyway, thanks for the comment and thanks for the link. I think your link may have been the one that put me over triple digits on the Technorati authority rank. So you get a free comment pass here.

One more correction. I actually think of myself as more of a connoisseur of attractive women and MM doesn't qualify. But I am sure you are just in love with her mind. I just don't find that too compelling either.

Anonymous said...

you are missing the biggest difference between the two protests. This years war protest is by those against the war.
1969 there was a draft in place.
If there was a draft in place now, i wager the crowd would be huge.

there is a reason Bush doesnt start the draft.... he has learned from past mistakes.

mw said...

"If there was a draft in place now, i wager the crowd would be huge." - anon

Anon,
Certainly true. I was going to note this fact in the post, but decided to just make a few observations and hold off on the analysis (thereby getting it posted in a few hours instead of a few days).

Another factor, which is less obvious, may be emergence of the internet and political blogging. In 1969, vehicles for personal expression of political views was limited: You could stand on a soapbox in Central Park, write a letter to the editor, or participate in a demonstration/protest.

There was no way to do what I am doing here, express my views and frustrations with this war and administration and actually have it read, or at least available to be read. There are more outlets for political expression today, than there was in 1969. It is easier to sit at home, blog, and still feel like you are participating in a politcal process and dialog.

fairlane said...

People are afraid to put their money where their mouths are. It's much safer to "blog" anonymously.

The Gestapo is leaving us alone, at least for the time being.

There are no more "real" Republicans. If there are, they are relegated to irrelevance in much the same way as the rational Christians.

Speaking of Technorati. Your link to me never showed up on my rank.

mw said...

Ford,
You are in the blogroll, so I don't know what is going on with technorati. But since nothing is too good for for a Pissy Award Winner, I've updated that post with an embedded link:

UPDATE 4: September 18, 2007
Fairlane at Jonestown (see comments) is bitching that my blogroll link is not showing up on his technorati rankings. Well that's just not right. I can't do anything about what technorati finds or doesn't find, but I'll add his acceptance quote above and another link here and if that doesn't work, I just can't help you dude."


As long as we are on the subject of whining about each other's posts/links - In your "acceptance" post, you link to my rss feed and not my blog, and you quote somebody else's description of the award saying it's mine.

Other than that, great to hear from you.

And there is at least one real conservative still left.

Eric H said...

This pejorative is aimed at classic liberals who happen to be wealthy

No, it's aimed at modern liberals who happen to be wealthy. Classic liberals are usually called libertarians, and this pejorative is almost never aimed at us.

qofd said...

Suddenly I don't feel nearly pissy enough for this blog. My Technorati stuff is screwy, but then again it's a free service and has a right to be screwy so long as it's screwy at no cost to me.

Other than that... I can't believe I have a Limousine Liberal on my blogroll. And I had the blog bug-bombed and everything. Dammit.