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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Everybody look what's goin' down

If you want to see what today's peace rally in Portland was like, without it coming through a mainstream media lens, Michelle Neumann has what you are looking for. Her photos are here and here.

Comments (33)

Bill McDonald also has some shots up, here.

Kudos to the organizers and participants, but let us not forget how weak a showing this is as a general statement of our collective determination to end this thing. 10,000 people would be lousy attendance for an average Blazer game. Sad that we can't do better to show how we feel about a 4-year old disaster of a war.

Agreed. It's probably important, for mental health reasons, to start understanding that while many Americans want the U.S. out of Iraq, it's mostly due to the slanted media coverage rather than any strong anti-war feelings. There is no "collective determination" to end the war immediately, except in the minds of a few thousands kooks and a handful of crazy Democrat Congressmen. Americans may not be able to stand a loser, as General Patton said, but one thing they've come to hate more is protestors.

What rubbish. The vast majority of Americans want the war over now. But they are also smart enough to know that marching isn't going to change the "policies" of the Chimp one bit.

Gee....these protests are getting lamer by the year. They barely got over 10,000 people for this event - even though they promised it would be much larger than last year's showing.
And, of course, a few nutjobs and hotheads got arrested as well. Oh well, that's Portland for you.

When you say "nutjob," do you also play "Hail to the Chief"?

Dear John Fairplay,

If America doesn't want W's silly little oil war to end, how come no Republicans, NONE, beat a sitting Democrat in office in the past election?

The anti-war tsunami wiped out the Greedy Old People, Scooter's going to prison, Mehlman is picking out new drapes for his condo and the mental midget Gone-zalez is slowly treading water in the Gulf of Mexico, as W and Deadeye Dick withhold the lifesaver.

Nah, no anti-war sentiment here!

Some of us strongly opposed the Iraq invasion well before it happened. Just didn't seem like a prudent course of action at all. As always, prevention is the best cure. Where were these outcries then, when our representatives on both sides of the aisle were in the process of rubber stamping this mission to hell?

Cutting off funding and pulling a sudden full scale withdrawal might seem like the simplest, most peaceful, feel-good solution, but such a move would be no less reckless and irresponsible than going in in the first place. We chose to blow the lid off that thing and did a lot of damage. We have a moral obligation to clean up the mess and provide security while the owners of that country begin the painful, bloody task of giving birth to a new nation. The U.S. will pay a steep price in the process, but we assumed full responsibility for the outcome when we chose to topple the existing government 4 years ago.

On another note, is it just me, or would many of these large scale "peace" protests staged across the country hold far more credibility if they were not organized in large part by communist front groups? I'm just sayin' is all.

I myself haven't had the opportunity to ask the vast majority of American's how they feel about the war. It seems to me these rallies are a more accurate gauge then the CNN polls. Most of the people I've talked to about the war feel that we've started something we shouldn't have, but need to finish it. I'm really surprised how many people don't think about all the negative repercussion of a 'cut & run' policy.

Although most of the anti-war people seem to be against the troop surge I don't understand how they can say it's not working after looking at the statistics that show how much violence has dropped in the area. It makes perfect sense to me, from a tactical and strategic standpoint, that if once you secure and area you don't have the manpower to hold and defend that area you're just going to have to re-secure it again - perhaps with more lives lost. It's much more difficult and much more deadly for us to keep retaking positions we've already had.

Who doesn't understand that logic?

I myself haven't had the opportunity to ask the vast majority of American's how they feel about the war.

Don't worry. That was done for you last November.

Don't worry. That was done for you last November.

That's great, but I don't see the folks I voted for last November doing much to bring this thing to a halt. I think Dems would be surprised at the support they would receive if they cut funding for the war off today and brought the troops home. Republicans probably even more so.

So what I am getting here...if you think some of the protesters are nuts, you are just some W-worshipping neocon?

Interesting. So what does someone do, who doesnt agree with how the administration is handling things, but also doesnt agree with how some protesters act like unruly children? Just asking.

You know, it would be nice if we could dispense with the party politics. Because none of this is going anywhere until then.

But hey, lets pull out today. Everything. Bring all the troops home. It would be nice having my brother back in the states again. Then lets sit back and watch the show. But I guarantee that the same people who bitched about us being there, will bitch because we "pulled out too early, and didnt finish the job."

What rubbish. The vast majority of Americans want the war over now. But they are also smart enough to know that marching isn't going to change the "policies" of the Chimp one bit.

And I bet those same people want us to Win as well. I cannot adhere to the idea that they want our soldiers to fail. But maybe the right-wing talkers are right. Maybe they do.

Joe12Pack: "We have a moral obligation to clean up the mess and provide security..."

Joey Link: "Most of the people I've talked to about the war feel that we've started something we shouldn't have, but need to finish it."

The problem is, we CAN'T provide security, and we CAN'T finish it, with U.S. troops. As long as our troops are physically present in Iraq, the violence will continue. We are the very irritant that keeps the wound from healing.

Sure, we need to help the Iraqis rebuild - with money, with diplomacy, maybe even with U.N. troops - but we can't do it as long as our own army is there.

"On another note, is it just me, or would many of these large scale "peace" protests staged across the country hold far more credibility if they were not organized in large part by communist front groups? I'm just sayin' is all."

I hear you brother we have to keep those damn labor unions out of national poliltics.

"If America doesn't want W's silly little oil war to end, how come no Republicans, NONE, beat a sitting Democrat in office in the past election?"

You must feel totally betrayed, Daphne. Dems ran on ending the war -- now it seems they've completely reneged. Save for some non-binding baloney, Dems don't have the cajones to cut funding and bring troops home like they promised.

Boy, this two-party system is wonderful, ain't it?

I cannot adhere to the idea that they want our soldiers to fail.

Fail at what exactly? Our soldiers have done every last thing asked of them by their leadership up to and including the president himself. What has been asked of our soldiers that they have failed to do? If anyone has failed it's our leaders. The administration was given everything they asked for for over five years and squandered every last bit of it. Our soldiers have not failed and shame on you for suggesting withdrawal would mean they have.

We've done everything we set out to do in 2003. We deposed Saddam. We rid the place of WMD. We installed a democratically elected government. Mission accomplished. It's time to come home.

I gave up on peace rallies and marches around, oh, 1970, but I went to the rally yesterday. I dunno, I was hoping a really massive presence might wake up some Democrats who are trying to straddle the fence on the war.

Some observations first hand: almost everyone was well behaved and on their best Portland niceness (like, in the midst of the crowd in front of the stage, there was an ad hoc clearing so people could walk through). and the organizers were very diverse, including religious organizations and labor unions. There was a Socialist booth, but also one for Libertarians.

This is not a liberal or conservative issue, unless you consider Chuck Hagel and Sam Brownback to be pinkos.

My own feeling is that Congress is being too timid on setting a timetable for withdrawal. All is has to do is tell Bush that it is funding the war up to a certain date and no further, and it's up to Bush to get the troops out by that date.

I don't think the American people give a rat's ass about what happens to the Iraqis if we pull out. The worst that could happen is that they will go on killing each other just as they are now, only without American casualties. My plan would be to offer Iraq about a third as much in aid as we currently are spending on the war, for a three-year period, as long as they have a stable government and no sectarian violence. If they can pull that off, they get some serious money. If they can't, tough.

Initially, I was a skeptic about the invasion of Iraq, and then I visited the Holocaust Museum in D.C. and saw what happens when good people turn their heads in the face of evil as personified by Saddam. So toppling his regime and finding him and executing him was a good thing. Unfortunately, while trying to mimic U.S. jurisprudence, the whole process took way too long.

The problem is that Iraq is a fiction, not a country. The Brit's imposed minority Sunni rule following World War I, and fought the efforts of the Shiites and Kurds to secede. There's a reason why the Sunnis have been the dominant force in the region for centuries: they're the meanest SOB's around. That's why and how Saddam came to power.

I knew we were in trouble when we started imposing our view of democracy by mandating women voting and insisting on gender quotas in the Iraqi parliament, in a culture that isn't exactly female friendly. What if they had their druthers, and the Shiites became part of Iran, the Sunnis became part of Syria, and the Kurds helped form a new Kurdistan? Oh, no, that might make the Turks uncomfortable, and strengthen Iran's already troubling role in the region. But democracy isn't about what we think they should want, it's about what they want.

Until we recognize the cultural reality that these groups don't like each other and will fight over next to nothing, our efforts, however well intentioned, will be futile. Joe Biden, alone among the current crop of presidential hopefuls, understands this and has been proposing partition for years. Until that happens, surge or no surge, withdraw or stay the course, the place is going to be a mess.

I don't think the Congress can manage the war, and they know that. What to do? Getting Bush and Cheney out through impeachment seems to be an option, but not a very practical one. Turning over rocks through investigations and subpoenas may gradually lead in that direction, but "gradually" seems unacceptable with daily atrocities and fatalities.

Three cheers to Chris Snethen for succinctly formulating the current status and the best available approach.

The one truly untested idea is that (parts of) Iraq will devolve into chaos when we leave. (After all, it's pretty much chaos now, with our troops part of the provocation for violence.) One data point: there seem to be essentially no US troops in kurdish Iraq, and there one finds law and order and economic development.

By the way, to Joe12pack (or is it Joel2Pack?) above: Ron Wyden, our Senator from Greenwich Village, was one of the seventeen who voted against the authorization for use of force in 2002. Let's try to keep that in mind.

"We are the very irritant that keeps the wound from healing"
Boy that's a whopper.
If it were true why hasn't the Iraqi parliment voted to ask us to leave?
Iraq has it's own government. No Rove isn't controlling it.
But according to most leftisit here we are an invading, occupying, murdering force and that all deaths from the sunni-shiite bombings are our fault.

So why hasn't Iraq asked us to leave?

In one of the pics,
"Peace is possible"
Is it?
Sort of like ending crime is possible if we would simply stop locking people up?

Why don't you show these pictures from the "peace" rally too, like the one that says "F*** The Troops"?

I guess that would show how mean-spirited the whole thing was. Duh.

Duh yourself. Those anarchist goons show up for everything. It's like 60 people out of 10,000.

The majority of Americans now realize, quite rightly, that George W. Bush was a major mistake. Deal with it.

"The majority of Americans now realize, quite rightly, that George W. Bush was a major mistake. Deal with it."

If the majority of Americans are against the war, then why doesn't congress cut funding and end this thing?

The majority of Americans reelected George Bush (by a 4 million vote margin of victory) in the last election.

Just because Bush hatred passes for mainstream thought in Portland doesn't make it true for "\most Americans.

"The majority of Americans reelected George Bush (by a 4 million vote margin of victory) in the last election."

Someone should take a closer look at the Ohio election in 2004 to see if that is in fact the case.

Oh okay Allan, if the Bush Admin is so powerful as to completely manipulate elections, then why aren't the most vocal and influential anti-war pundits mysteriously disappearing? You'd think the evil Bush admin would have taken out the likes of Al Franken and Keith Olberman by now.

The bottom line is, the majority of Americans want this war to end (no one likes war), but they don't want us to lose. Hence the reason Dems on the hill lied to their constituents and are backpedaling on their promises to immediately bring troops home.

...but they don't want us to lose

I'm still hazy on how we lose if we bring the troops home today. We've checked everything off the list we were given in March 2003. We deposed Saddam. We rid the place of WMD. We installed a democratically elected government complete with purple fingers. That sure looks like victory to me.

What makes you believe we lose by leaving?

Nicely said, Chris.

We win by leaving.

We lose by staying as they bleed us dry.

Personally and finacially.

Surely we didn't think there was going to be peace in Iraq -- it isn't a country so much as a religious battlefield. The only to maintain peace would be through an iron-fisted dictator. And funny thing, none of the candidates for that job want anything to do with America.

If it weren't for the oil, we'd have the same attitude toward these people as we have toward the Africans. Frankly, my dear, Bush wouldn't give a damn.

"What makes you believe we lose by leaving?"

Because our President has not received a proper expression of gratitude for all our trouble. I don't recall that even Kuwait sent a proper thank you note to Bush Sr. and he is probably still steamed about it.

Well, images of protesters burning an American soldier in effigy in Portland, Oregon are now all over the internet. Way to go Portland! That's the image we want.

here I sit in sunny Mexico on vacation and I check out the local news to see photos of PDX folks holding signs saying
"F%$# the Troops " and burning the US flag and an effigy of a US Soldier....way to go Portland....I don't want the war in Iraq any more than anyone else....but that type of protest and behavior really makes me angry. Try doing that in Mexico with the Mexican flag and an effigy of a Mexican soldier and see what happens.


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