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Hostility on Pennsylvania Avenue

Michelle Boorstein reports:

Things got ugly for several blocks along Pennsylvania Ave., where war supporters, held back by metal barricades, wore T-shirts, held signs and screamed things at protesters that frequently were obscene.

On the corner of 10th street, two middle-aged men wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with a soldier's photo shouted obscenities at the top of their lungs in the face of a young man wearing full camouflage and a bandana covering all of his face except his eyes.

Only a metal barrier separated them, and the young man remained silent amid the screaming, only holding a sign over his head that said "Support the troops, end the war."

By Aruna Jain |  September 15, 2007; 4:40 PM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Why is it that those demonstrating against our country and her policies love to hide behind the anonymity of a mask? That's a rhetorical. The answer is obvious. THEY ARE COWARDS!

Posted by: Robert 'Bob' Weiss | September 15, 2007 4:54 PM

Why would a soldier, who risks his life to serve our country NOT be allowed to do so without threat of losing his job, his benefits and possibly even his freedom? Our government runs a socialized military that defends Democracy but does not allow its members to participate. I know, I've been one and if I was him, I would have worn a mask too! He has the right to be there like anyone else. He has the right to express his opinion no matter who he works for and especially his opinion about his own bosses! Coward? NO! True Patriot? YES!

Posted by: Orlando Pink | September 15, 2007 5:23 PM

Orlando Pink - you do not know if this "man" was a soldier or not. For the most part, when cowards show up at anti-war demonstrations wearing a mask it's usually the punks known as Black Bloc. Also, the mask evokes the popular garb of the scum that wants to exterminate us and is killing our soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen. Of course the patriots present would have a few words to say to anyone dressed in this manner.

If this person was, indeed, active military, then no, he should not attend an anti-war demonstration. By virtue of his oath he is prepared to go to war. What did he do, just sign up to get an education, three squares, a roof over his head, medical and a VA loan?

How do you feel about Congress? Do you think it is right that Congress does not pay into Social Security, adhere to the laws we law abiding citizens have to obey, commits treasonous acts, and doesn't do a damn thing to earn the exorbitant salary they are paid?

I do agree with Bob Weiss, by the way. He hit the nail on the head - most of the antiwar people are flat out cowards. Their handlers are making themselves known - Islamic groups, communist groups and illegal immigrant groups. A bunch of sheep heading for their slaughter.

Posted by: BlueStarRider | September 15, 2007 5:43 PM

Woah. I oppose the war in Iraq but have supported what we have done in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, we have not learned much since the McCarthy era, have we? Let's just assail those with whom we do not agree with inaccurate, defaming, wide-swiping descriptions. That demonstrates a lot more ignorance and cowardice.

Posted by: BlogBunny | September 15, 2007 6:32 PM

Robert, Bluestar, are you referring to cowards like the one shown here?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2007 6:40 PM

I happened to be on on the 10th street corner, demonstrating in support of the war and our troops. The picture painted of the scene is ridiculously skewed. The metal barriers were intended to keep the protesters away from the counter-demonstrators - not (as is implied) a barrier to keep out violent veterans and war-supporters. Perhaps there was an instance of a protester being verbally assaulted, but I assure you that Ms. Boorstein conveniently left out the fact that it was the war-protesters violently shouting 99% of the obscenities. This could hardly be considered news; more like a liberal spin on reality.

Posted by: Stephanie | September 15, 2007 7:01 PM

Please site one instance of an American antiwar protester killing a military person.

Posted by: elizabeth | September 15, 2007 7:31 PM

Ok, I just visited your poorly designed website at dcprotestwarrior, and I would like to ask you what Jane Fonda has to do with any of this? Are you people living in the past a little bit? Is this why this country is in so much trouble - because there are so many people like you all who seem to have spent 30 years nursing old hatreds and clinging to dysfunctional macho attitudes that limit growth and intelligence? Is that your problem?

Posted by: not in DC | September 15, 2007 7:42 PM

I was at the protest, within the protestors, and took video of counter-protestors reaching across the barricades and grabbing signs from nearby protestors as they marched by, with the MPD doing nothing at all to stop this. Why should we be surprised by this any ways? These are people who support the war, which is (obviously) a catostrophic act of violence in itself.

Posted by: CM | September 15, 2007 8:20 PM

Yeah, talk about your livin' in the past! The counterdemonstrator comments that were hurled at me went like this:

"Take a bath!" (I replied that this was a lame insult back in '69 when I heard it for the first time -- and '69 was also the last time I in fact took a bath. Reductio ad absurdam plumb baffles these folks.)

"You damn hippies -- why don't you just take off your clothes, get in a big pile in the dirt and all have sex!" (Yow!! Soon as the rally's over, bro'!)

I heard the most profanities from a large, middle-aged woman counterprotestor with a big bullhorn. As I was passing, she suddenly lunged over the barrier and tried to smite somebody with it. She had to be restrained by her compatriots. So the person above who says the barrier was to protect the counterdemonstrators -- the facts refute your opinion.

Posted by: loco_moco | September 15, 2007 8:28 PM

I just sick of the "pro-war" side saying they are fighting for our freedom. No! they are fighting for freedom in Iraq. No one can tell us we are safer continuing this stupid war. In fact, I bet if Freedom's had to disclose to the IRS who has contributed to the "cause", you would probably find Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics, among other members of the industrial-military complex.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2007 9:36 PM

The people supporting and managing the Freedom's Watch campaign are all loyal Bushies. Ari Fleisher, the front man, is, of course, GWB's former press secretary.

And here's some info re another one: Bradley A. Blakeman is president and chief executive officer, as well as one of several prominent conservatives funding Freedom's Watch, a new White House front group which began "a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to urge members of Congress who may be wavering in their support for the war in Iraq not to 'cut and run'." Blakeman served as a member of President George W. Bush's Senior Staff as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Appointments and Scheduling.

More info here: The short answer, though, is that they are mainly Bush and/or Republican fundraisers, some of whom have been rewarded for their work w/ ambassadorships and such. This is anything buy a grass-roots campaign.

Posted by: THS | September 15, 2007 10:07 PM

Dear American Republicans:

Thanks for starting--AND LOSING--a war in our country's name for no good reason. It must burn you up that liberals, the fact, the WHOLE WORLD except you were 100% right that invading Iraq was a stupid idea.

Thanks a lot for that, and thanks on behalf of the tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children you've "liberated" to death.

Kiss your power in this country goodbye. Your asinine revolution is over.

Posted by: Eff You | September 15, 2007 10:49 PM

Man, am I ever sick of Baby Boomers fighting the cultural wars of the 1960s. The pictures of the counter-protesters and their entirely un-germane and out-of-date insults demonstrate how many of them are selfish, spoiled Boomers who can't accept the fact that they should have grown up by now. Seriously, with how little thought seems to have been put into their pro-war positions, they appear to find it easier to fight hippies than to examine whether the country's course in Iraq is at all sustainable.

Posted by: trwigg | September 15, 2007 11:46 PM

trwigg, so when the anti-war protesters, chanted 'hell no we won't go' (of course that refers to the draft) that was not an out dated chant? Also a useless chant because in the 60's it was a protesting against the draft. And of course they will not go, not unless they enlist. Very uninformed on the anti-war part. Makes me wonder just how uneducated they are.

Let see when the anti-war protesters chanted 'F*** You', you would say 'nothing violent about that or confrontational', better add 'not very educated either.'

I also heard the anti-war protester chant 'baby killer' straight from the 60's. Also very vulgar, crude, and uneducated.

Such nice people these anti-war protester.

Then when the police did not arrest them for laying down and playing dead (heck my dog does that), they deliberately jumped the barricade to get arrested. That was a real act of genius, served no purpose what so ever.

Most of the anti-war people I talked to did not even realize they were marching under a communist banner (answers).

I was not impressed by the intelligence of the anti-war people.

Posted by: ProudVet | September 19, 2007 2:50 AM

As an american who has been living overseas for almost 30 years, I find it offensive to hear when people say "the troops are fighting for our freedom"...

And no matter how you look at it, it just doesn't figure that way:

The Commander and Chief (the President) decided that after we went to Afghanistan and try as we may, we couldn't get hold of U Sama Bin Laden, but for my money, reckon he got blown up with one of those daisy know, they suck the air out of tunnels and that sort of thing.

And then, when we're told they may have cornered U Sama Bin Laden somewhere in the northwest corner of Afghanistan, suddenly we're off to Iraq....did something happen during a commericial or something?

Since then, we both invaded Iraq, posted a "Mission Accomplished" sign on a hangar ship and lost close to 4000 troops on the ground...does that pretty much cover events as they happened so far?

Now how, I ask again in all humility, can that be defined as "fighting for our freedom"?

Posted by: ZigmaNo1 | October 13, 2007 3:08 PM

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