Smart v. Stupid

Just to show I’m not against protesting, here are some of my amateur photos of a peace march held recently in New Rochelle, New York. It was a very cold day, which kept the crowd small, but a righteous time was had by all.

On the other hand, some people need to learn the difference between righteous protesting and stupid protesting. From The Olympian:

The United States continues to wage an unwinnable war in Iraq. In a misguided attempt to end that war, protesters have taken to the streets of Olympia this week to block the shipment of military equipment COMING HOME from that war.

See, dears, bringing stuff home is what we want. This is not what you should be protesting.

This newspaper has taken a strong stand against the war in Iraq. On the Fourth of July, we called for an end to the hostilities and an immediate withdrawal of troops. We asked how many more Americans will forfeit their lives on the battlefield and how many more tax dollars will be spent to stall America’s inevitable departure? We said, “It’s time to end the American bloodshed. It’s time to bring the troops home.”

While we are firmly against President Bush’s war and while we fully support protesters’ right to peaceably assemble, we condemn the tactics that have played out on the streets of the capital city this week. When protesters resorted to blocking roads, dragging debris into the middle of downtown streets, breaking windows, destroying public property, damaging police cars and hurling rocks at police, they clearly crossed the line. Their peaceful assembly evolved into lawbreaking and they must be held individually accountable.

This is the kind of crap that helped get Richard Nixon re-elected in 1972.

Proving she’s just as juvenile as the protesters, Little Lulu is shrieking about “sedition” and posting photographs and videos of alleged lawbreakers, no doubt hoping some West Coast wingnut will find them and do them bodily injury.

I realize you can argue that if you’ve touched off Malkin’s ire, you must be doing something right. But Malkin lives in perpetual snit mode, 24/7. She can no doubt be sent into a flying rage over the color of toothpaste. Her opinion is irrelevant.

And, at this point, it appears the opinion of the American people is irrelevant, also. But it wouldn’t hurt for us to reach some of the 40 percent of American citizens who still think victory is possible.

And how would that be done? Here’s a clue: Start by not being stupid.

8 thoughts on “Smart v. Stupid

  1. Pingback: Insurgency in Olympia, WA

  2. Lordy, that sort of protesting-for-protesting’s-sake and acting like jerks approach to political advocacy has made me crazy since I was a youngster first starting to pay attention to politics over 20 years ago. It pained me to see people being rude, destructive, and combative in the service of peace and love.

    I always referred to the perpetrators as “Asshole Activists” and told them “do me a favor and don’t be on my side.”

  3. Protesting military equipment that’s coming home is so asshat stupid that ya gotta wonder if it isn’t intentional.

    IIRC there was plenty of agent-provacateuring in the runup to the ’72 election, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it’s happening again.

    The boneheaded choice of target is something only a moron or a conservabot could come up with. (But I repeat myself.)

  4. Protesting military equipment that’s coming home is so asshat stupid that ya gotta wonder if it isn’t intentional.

    You’re right, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility. So far, though, I think that this sort of thing can be adequately explained by stupidity, or at least really poorly thought-out zeal. I have a hard time crediting modern “conservatives” with this level of subtlety.

  5. At first I thought this was just stupid as well – and I usually support my local protesters! But once I asked someone I know who had been involved just what the heck were they thinking it all made sense. They are not protesting equipment or soldiers coming back. They are protesting the use of our local port for anything to do with Bush’s Iraqi occupation. Coming, going, doesn’t matter. They want our port and our town to be off limits for this type of profiting from illegal war. Period. They are attempting to make the Port of Olympia a costly and media negative avenue for Ft. Lewis to use. I can tell you Olympia proper (extremely left) is fully behind them. The surrounding areas east (heavy with Ft. Lewis families) not so much. (Tacoma has ports that could serve as well.)

    A good point was made on a local blog that we recently had elections for Port Commissioner. What did the activist crowd do to ensure an anti-occupation Commissioner was put in place? Someone who could fight to keep this crap out of our community. No one had even thought of it. I guarantee that is going to be hottest local race going in a few years if this occupation continues.

    Sometimes things seem inexplicable until you really look at what’s happening on the ground, and suddenly it makes sense. Instead of looking at what the media is saying about the protesters, check what they are saying to the community.

  6. Rev. Mike — I question the point of protesting the military as opposed to the politicians, because the military didn’t get us into this mess and is helpless to get us out of it. They’re hostages, and they are paying the highest price for Bush’s folly.

    Further, the Olympian staff certainly is on the ground, and they’ve reported considerable mindless vandalism, plus some physical intimidation of reporters and photographers by the “protesters.” The Olympian is on our side on this issue, but even if it weren’t there’s no excuse for that.

  7. I totally agree with you that there is no excuse for some of what happened, but the vandalism was not that extensive, and was heavily and repeatedly denounced by the organizers of the protest. A couple of small instances over two nights should not overshadow that weeks of protest happened without any vandalism.

    The Olympian is on the ground, but they are not as unbiased a source as you might think, and have failed to report on alot of the over the top use of violence against the protesters by police. Some of the protesters have made alot of mistakes and are not by any means all innocent bystanders, but the majority are exercising peaceful, if obstructionist means, as is their right. It’s a difficult situation here. The politicians are out of reach and on the other side of the country from us. Interrupting the flow of materials into and out of Ft. Lewis is the only local means of making this occupation more socially and financially costly to them.

    I don’t know how effective they are being, and I certainly am not condoning any of the violence or intimidation – on either side of the lines – but having watched four years of a country sitting on its butt doing nothing about this horrendous occupation it is refreshing to see someone somewhere standing in the middle of it putting themselves physically on the line to say ‘this has to stop’.

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