Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Politiblogging at FL250: The West Coast Protester

Living in the Portland area, I've gotten pretty used to far-left protester types marching, chanting, blocking streets, throwing Molotov cocktails, whatever, to protest globalization, Bush, the WTO, Israel, the Iraq war - whatever their favorite bogeyman of the week is. West coast protesters - particularly San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle - have a special flair to them. They're a little angrier, with a wilder look to the eye - prone to outbursts, ever quick to the corny chant. In all seriousness, I suspect mental illness is widespread among them.

It's not that I can't sympathize. If I held their political views, I'd be horribly pissed at the world as well. Communism has fallen around the world, capitalism is so accepted that it's seldom questioned anymore, Bush and the GOP hold the White House and both houses of Congress, and all the activists' hard work has failed to bring about the collectivist utopia they were promised. This turn of events presents our lefty hero with a choice: reconsider whether their long-held views might be, in fact, wrong - or rage against the machine that's made the world this way - shut it down!

Thus they lay down in the middle of a busy street at 5PM, sending a clear message to all those sport-jacketed office dwellers on their way to home in the 'burbs: If you don't agree with us, we can create hell on earth. The ironic part is that around here, most of the yuppies whose cars are being blocked hold similar views to the protesters. But after some barking moonbat lays in front of his car with "Bush = Terrorist #1!" on one side of his sign and "Long live the Palestinian Infitada - Down with Israel!" on the other - this yuppie has got to be reexamining his political affiliations.

See, the left keeps shooting itself in the foot by recycling their tactics from 1968. Folks, times have changed! America is not going to respond to that anymore. For starters, the national acid trip ended like 30 years ago. I realize that chanting those slogans and carrying that sign makes you feel like you're out there doing something great for humanity, but feeling good and doing good are two different things. You need to find a different way to express yourself and get out the message. Lose the anger, take a shower, and ditch the ragged clothes - and then the America of 2005 might listen to what you have to say.

I have a brother, Jon, who has been in Iraq since last March with the Minnesota National Guard. His unit is attached to 1 Cav in Baghdad. He has internet access in his barracks, so it's been very interesting to get his front-line perspective on the war. He'll be home soon, and I'm very thankful that we'll be getting him back in one piece. I know there are so many military families out there that will never see their loved one again.

My own political views are pretty conservative (as an aside, pilots tend to be a rather conservative group). I feel that the war was just and warranted, and as messy as the current situation is, it is preferable to having left the middle east unchanged as the same cesspool that produced bin Laden and his ilk. I can understand the views of those who feel the war was not in America's best interests, or feel that it was sold to America in a misleading way. I don't agree with them, but there is nothing intrinsically "anti-american" in those sentiments.

What gets me, though, is people who take these positions and then turn around and say, "but I support our troops." Oh, really? What, pray tell, are you doing to support them? Not wishing them ill? That and five bucks will get me a coffee at Starbuck's. People, I don't even claim to be supporting the troops. I agree with what they're doing in Iraq, but aside from my brother I haven't written them, or sent them care packages, or comforted their families when they died in battle. How then, do you, who disagrees with their mission, who says "I told you so!" everytime one of them dies in a fiery blast, who protests their presence publicly - what, exactly, are you doing to "support the troops?"

Let us drop the empty phrases while we dish up some refreshing honesty, shall we? You don't support the troops. You don't have anything against them as people, but you are against what they are doing. You feel they are working for a bad cause. You think the insurgents are just protecting their home, and are justified in fighting our troops. You even feel a tinge of vindication every time a car bomb goes off in a GI's face. No, you do not support the troops. You are against them and what they stand for. Ok, great.. You may love your country, but want to make it a place that does not send it's young men to far-flung corners of the globe to wreak death upon other human beings. Fair enough. But to say you support the military while selling this utopian vision to the american public is dishonest. The military men, for starters, won't hesitate to call it for what it is. My brother sure doesn't.