The pictures above have been floating around the internet all week. They were proudly posted - along with a hundred others - at Indymedia following the protests. If you wish to see all of them they are at portland - dot - indymedia - dot - org/en/2007/03/355964.shtml - sorry, you'll have to type it in, I refuse to post a link to this ___ (put whatever expletive in you would like to - obviously, you couldn't possibly offend them.)
This march took place in Portland, Oregon - the 'crown jewel' of Oregon - a beautiful city near the Willamette and Columbia rivers with Mt Hood standing proudly above it. It has become the home to the liberal elite, and through numbers controls the politics of the entire state. The majority of the colleges are private and incredibly expensive - did you know that this is what your tuition money was paying for, parents?
At the anti-war protests, these people decided to prove once and for all, that they really don't support the troops. To do so, they burned an American Soldier and an American Flag in effigy. In case you think this was folly, look at the face of the man in the black shirt in the top picture - pure glee. This is representative of their desire to see the government of the United States overthrown. Many of them are anarchists. The city government pretty much allows them to do what they want to do in the guise of "Free Speech." I find it hard to believe that advocating the overthrow of the government is what the founders had in mind. We have lost a sense of decency when we defend these types of actions. They may be free to say and do reprehensible and disgusting things, but I have a right to call them by those names.
To top off their day, they broke out the windows of the recruiting station. Again, free speech. Free to destroy private property. This recruiting office has been beseiged by the Code Pink Grandmas for years. And, it is free speech, don't you know?
Prior to the protests, I was interviewed by the major paper in the state, the Oregonian. the article was titled "War Supporters Feel Adrift as Tide Turns" - if they had told me the title, I would not have done the interview. My interview was distilled into a few sentences - http://gazingattheflag.blogspot.com/2007/03/gathering-of-eagles-we-each-did-what-we.html For that I received some rather vile email - "You should be stoned for this!" "You're working for the devil if you believe that our mission in Iraq is moral." It went on and on. As a follow-up the paper printed the letters to the editor condemning us. They were especially hard on Gold Star Mother Elfriede Pulmondore. They believe she is deluded because of her grief over the loss of her son. By that rationale, doesn't it prove that Cindy is deluded?
Then, we have our local activists. I wrote about them here - http://gazingattheflag.blogspot.com/2007/03/peace-protestors-prove-they-are-not.html
This week, they got extra creative. The Code Pink Grandmas took over US Representative Greg Walden's office. Here they are singing John Lennon's 'Give Peace a Chance" - how creative. They stayed for 12 hours demanding that he defund the troops. During this time, they are said to have sang, prayed (what? - don't they know anything about Code Pink?) and read the names of the US service members who have been killed in Iraq. Rep. Walden tried to speak with them via conference call from Washington, DC, but they refused. After the office's closing time, they wanted to leave to use the restroom, but wanted to come back in. When they were told that if they left, they could not return, they chose to urinate in bottles. They were arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.
In the meantime, Code Pink has been picketing Nancy Pelosi's home in San Francisco. Even Pelosi is not liberal enough for them. Perhaps that is why she was really so gleeful over the disgusting pork bill that the House passed today - Code Pink might go away.
Protest, Free Speech - yes, valuable rights that we enjoy every day. But, everything can be misused and over done. I think these people have lost the value of these things and make a mockery of it all.
To top it off, the Oregon state legislature has wasted untold amounts of time and money holding hearings and debating their non-binding Iraq War Resolution. No one in Oregon voted for these people to do anything but pay attention to Oregon - oh, yeah, that's right, we have zero crime, perfect roads, the best educational system in the country - I think not. I wrote to my representatives and told them to get back to work, that this was not in their job description. They did not bother to reply to me. They did pass their bill demanding withdrawal from Iraq.
Like I said, some days, it is hard to be from Oregon.
Postscript - Currently 950 Oregon National Guard are serving in Afghanistan. Additionally, thousands of fine Oregonians serve in all branches of the military. They have given up time with their families, bled and died (see the sidebar) for us. They deserve more respect and admiration than they get here.
UPDATE: For Video of the Effigy Burning go to: http://www.nicedoggie.net/2007/?p=364
It is incredibly disturbing, but it is a true portait of who these people are.