Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Chuck Hagel was correct in comparing the situation on the ground in Iraq to Vietnam, but there's another parallel that is only going to grow in the months ahead - civil unrest and Kent State-like police tactics.

In Pittsburgh last week, a group of protestors who were attempting to shut down a military recruitment office were tasered, pepper-sprayed, and attacked by police dogs.

Meieran claimed some protesters were pepper sprayed and Tasered; he said a 68-year-old woman who was not resisting was bitten by a police dog.

Police spokeswoman Tammy Ewin initially said no pepper spray was used on protesters, but Sgt. Clint Winkler, a supervisor on duty, told The Associated Press he tried to use pepper spray on one woman who would not leave, but it hit her glasses. She was then subdued with a Taser, Winkler said.

The Taser victim and the dog bite victim were being treated at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Winkler confirmed that the older woman was bitten in the leg by a police dog when she refused a police order to disperse.

In Sacramento, a group of protestors confronted the obnoxious "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy!" neocon bus tour.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Supporters of President Bush clashed with anti-war activists as they wound their way through California after rallying in the hometown of Cindy Sheehan, the mother who started a protest camp outside Bush's Texas ranch.

Conservative activists and military families embarked on the tour Monday, calling it "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" A verbal confrontation erupted when the caravan arrived in Sacramento and was met by anti-war protesters chanting for Bush to bring home the troops.

Some caravan members called the anti-war protesters communists and said they were "aiding and abetting the enemy." Those comments enraged Sheehan supporter Dee Ann Heath, who said she has two sons serving in Iraq and another preparing to leave.

Readers might want to check the itinerary for this pro-war, pro-death bus jaunt and let the right-wing organizers know your feelings when it zips through your town en route to Crawford.

Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, thousands of citizens protested our Chimperor while he was mouthing the same inane platitudes for continuing the occupation.

Bush spoke to more than 6,000 people at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, while three blocks away about 2,000 people gathered to protest Bush administration policies and the war in Iraq.

...Salt Lake resident Hugh Musser, 74, said he was a Korean War veteran who came to the protest because of ``the lies about this war and the reasons we went into it.''

``I'm so opposed to our administration. I'm not politically motivated, I'm an independent. I think we have really lost our democracy,'' Musser said.

...Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, who called for a strong showing from Utahns at the protest in an e-mail he sent last week to local activists, addressed both the VFW convention and the protest.

Anderson was booed in his speech to the veterans at the Salt Palace Convention Center about two hours before Bush's speech. After, he said challenging political leaders is being supportive of the troops.

``The message we want to send is that we are behind our troops, we care very much about our troops. That if their lives are going to be put on the line, they are going to be put in harm's way, that we're told the truth and our nation hasn't been told the truth,'' Anderson said.

Chants of ``Rocky!'' followed Anderson as he took the podium at the anti-war rally.

``Those who take a stand ... who stand up to deceit by our government. Those are true patriots. You are true patriots,'' Anderson said.

The quiet unease phase of this war is over. Cindy Sheehan has gotten people involved, in the streets, and active. The right wing nutters can hold all of the silly bus tours they want, but we have the numbers - overwhelmingly so - and we're on the right side of this issue.

Bush has divided this country in many ways apart from the war in Iraq, but it's the war that is providing the final fracture. There is no neutral ground.


Blogger Richard said...

Great post, simpchimp. A heartwarming one, too.

The more people who learn they're not alone, the more people will want to stand shoulder to shoulder against their real enemy - the enemy within.

The last thing anyone wants is another 'Kent' .. no, change that ... the last thing anyone wants is another Nam.

I think the tide is turning and the winds of change are begining to blow.

( Please let it be true.)

9:48 AM  
Blogger -simpchimp said...

I think the tide is changing, too. Pittsburgh and Sacramento and Salt Lake City are hardly hotbeds of radicalism, yet they're on the streets demanding change.

People are waking up - I just hope it isn't too late.

6:19 AM  

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