Tyler Hahn: War protesters: al-Qaida or the American Left?

Like the locusts of a biblical plague, tens of thousands of ultra-liberals descended upon Washington this past weekend.

Anarchists, anti-Semites, communists, feminists, aspiring terrorists and every other bastard breed spawned of the Left came to our nation’s capital, ostensibly to advocate peace and protest the war in Iraq.

Yeah, right.

The first thing I noticed as I waded through the throngs of protesters who reeked of marijuana smoke and moral decadence was the virulent, almost palpable anti-Americanism that pulsed through them. The signs they waved and the vicious chants they screamed didn’t advocate peace and love like those of their 1960s counterparts. Instead, they deplored America, our troops, democracy, capitalism and seemingly everything else we God-fearing Americans hold dear. One man had his young child walk up to our group of College Republicans and Iraq war veterans and shove an upside down American flag in our faces. At first, I was too shocked and angry to even respond.

As our group neared the epicenter of the protest, the shouts and verbal attacks grew louder and more vitriolic. We amassed at a curbside near the Washington Monument with our signs and wits, supporting the troops and their mission. Immediately, protesters confronted us with profanity and screamed in the fullest sense of the word. The group of approximately 100 facing us deplored us as bigots, racists and murderers. One man in a Ch? Guevara shirt, particularly enraged by our presence, put his face within mere inches of mine and screamed, “F*** America, and f*** the God-damned troops. They deserve to f****** die!” Out of pure astonishment, and a deep feeling of sadness, I asked “F*** the troops?” The man responded, “Yeah! F*** ’em. You wanna fight motherf*****? Come on, touch me! Touch me, bitch!” I chose not to touch him. I simply asked those screaming at me, “You are the pacifists, demanding peace and an end to war?”

The mob continued to grow, and began to surround the group. I had become detached from the group, and saw that the protesters had literally encircled the counter-protesters and began to push them into the street, forcibly holding them together. I took a picture of this, these people who claim to hold so dear the First Amendment. A large and tattooed protestor in the group glared at me. He stormed up to me and warned me that if I took another picture he would, “smash (my) f****** camera and then (my) f****** skull.”

Men and women with Kerry-Edwards T-shirts on and other obvious Democrats were no exception to this type of violence and anti-American, anti-troop sentiment. On stage with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, leader of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, the group that organized the protest, said that she and the protesters were there to “express solidarity” with those people fighting “in Iraq, and in Palestine.” She was not speaking of American soldiers. Rather, she referred to the militants and terrorist jihadists. Expressing similar feelings, a woman in a Kerry-Edwards T-shirt argued, “The insurgents are killing off the fools and idiots of America. They’re doing us a favor.” By idiots, she was referring to the patriotic, selfless young men and women who have lost their lives defending their country and this woman’s freedom.

As the left seem lately so fond of doing, protesters and their signs deplored Israeli and Jewish control over American foreign policy. Cindy Sheehan, who has become liberals’ poster-child after losing her son in Iraq (who strongly supported the war) and a leading anti-war voice, once said, “My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel!” Indeed, in every protester we encountered, numerous conspiracy theories (mostly involving Jews and corporations) abounded. Incredibly, it seems the far-left and the far-right have melded into a monstrous, anti-American, neo-fascist amalgam. When a CR snidely asked a protester why he hadn’t yet joined al-Qaida, he replied, “Because I don’t have money for the flight.”

Let there be no confusion: a great many of the protesters who came to Washington this weekend do not support the troops, America or peace – they told me that much. These liberals came to express their outrage at America, at “U.S. imperialism,” and at the president and the Republican Party. Sadly, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the extremist lefties and today’s Democratic Party. Sheehan and her leftist cronies refer to the Islamo-fascist terrorists in Iraq as “freedom fighters,” and to those who support the troops and their mission (including the troops themselves) as “Nazis,” “bigots,” “racists” and “war criminals”.

These extremists have gone too far. It is time they are called for what they are – enemy-combatants or this generation’s Hanoi Janes.

-The writer is a sophomore majoring in Middle Eastern studies.

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