Iraq war veteran Geoff Millard, 26, of Columbia Heights wore fatigues and clutched an American flag as he lay on the ground before he was arrested. "It's time for the peace movement to take the next step past protest and to resistance," said Millard, president of the D.C. chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.Supporters of the war also marched, showing their opposition to the anti-war marchers and showering the anti-war crowd with obscenities and insults.
The march opposing the war was led by about 50 veterans who served in Iraq, according to Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Organizers of the antiwar event said tens of thousands turned out. A law enforcement official, who declined to be identified because authorities no longer provide crowd counts, estimated the gathering at closer to 10,000; the march permit obtained in advance by ANSWER had projected that number.
Juan Torres Sr., 52, of Chicago held a large photo of his son, Juan Torres Jr., in Army uniform. Torres said his 25-year old son died while serving in the war in 2004. Military officials, he said, told him that his son committed suicide, but Torres said he doesn't believe it. "I continue to fight for justice," he said. "I don't want to see other families [lose a son] like mine."
The pro-war group was
organized by Gathering of Eagles -- a group of Vietnam veterans -- and the D.C. chapter of the conservative group Free Republic.Despite covering only three blocks along the route, the pro-war people insisted they represented the majority of America.
"We just want a chance to show America we don't agree with the vocal minority," said Deborah King-Lile, 55, of St. Augustine, Fla.It's been a long time since any independent poll showed a majority of Americans supporting the president or his war, so it is entirely fitting for the pro-war marchers to call the opponents of the war a "minority". Like the administration they so fervently support, they have nothing to offer but lies and abuse., as amply documented in the same WaPo article:
Their message: The Iraq war can be and is being won, and the troops need unqualified support.Some people never learn. In polite company, such people are known as "conservatives".
"I've seen how leftist politicians hate the military. It's disgusting. We're fighting a war not in Iraq but with them," said Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, a retired Air Force pilot.
A neurobiological study recently reported by the LA Times showed that people who identify themselves as conservatives tend to suffer from a mental defect which caused them to respond inappropriately during the study. The Times tried to spin it differently, but there's no arguing with the data. I hope to have more on this shortly.
The study may help to explain why Lt. Col. Patterson thinks it's the leftist politicians who hate the military, despite the years of abuse heaped on the military by the Bush administration, which has sent troops into battle with insufficient equipment, forced injured soldiers back to active duty, cut the training periods of new recruits, extended their tours of duty and cut their leave, armed them with depleted uranium even though its gruesome health effects are well-understood, deprived injured vets of medical treatment, and on and on. No leftist politician has been responsible for any of these abusive policies, but conservatives such as Lt. Col. Patterson are not about to let the facts get in the way of their stories.
This obstinate refusal to admit facts, and the reliance on talking points that goes with it, may also explain why Patterson denies that we're fighting a war in Iraq, and why he imagines we're fighting a war at home.
So let's recap:
This is the peace we are bringing to Iraq.
This is the democracy we are establishing in the Middle East.
This is the war we are "winning".