Friday, August 26, 2005

Counter Protest?

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Lamb, the founder of CSPAN, once. If you've met him, he likes to tell the story about the moment that inspired his network. During the Vietnam war he observed an anti-war protest at the pentagon where the protesters picketed while the cameras were present then stopped picketing as soon as the tv crews took a break or left, making it less of a "sit in" than a "camera in". I'm a big fan of CSPAN, but I'm not sure agree with him that "media savvy" protesting is necesarily a form of cheating. Still, I have to wonder at times. Take this Melanie Morgan counter-protest of Cindy Sheehan headed to Crawford.

My first question is what the heck are they counter-porotesting?

1) Are they saying that the President shouldn't meet with grieving mothers who disagree with him? Is this a protest to make sure the president doesn't show compassion?

2) Are they saying they don't want to know why we have 140,000 men and women in Iraq?
If they have a satisfactory answer for Cindy Sheehan's question, why not just articulate it so the President doesn't have to? that's an interesting paradox.

3) Are they expecting the President to meet with them instead? And if he doesn't, doesn't that make for an odd photo opportunity indeed. Two fields or ditches filled with family members of the dead who the president can't meet with for some reason?
If he does, talk about being president of all Americans....not.

It does present one significant problem. There's been a lot of folk criticizing Cindy Sheehan as a publicity seeker using her son to make a political point. I happen to disagree about that. Assuminbg arguendo though that these folks have a point about Cindy Sheehan using the media, what the heck are these counter protesters doing then if they plan to say they have children in Iraq and suport the war? How else can I characterize their counter-protest unless it's to say that they too want to exploit the media? Besides how do you counter protest a bunch of white crosses? I saw one attempt with a black pickup truck. If this turns into these are our dead kids vs. your dead kids, what exactly are the counter protesters saying about America?

Won't their presence just further expose the fact that the President lacks the guts to just hop on his mountain bike and face Cindy Sheehan himself with or without his yellow jersey for always leading the Tour De Crawford It's bad enough that he spent last week in Idaho finding families to meet with. Certain kinds of counter-protests don't make sense. Thinking back to Rosa Parks, would it have made sense for all those in favor of Jim Crow to start jumping on busses and taking seats from black people in the back of the bus?

And if all these folk feel the need to hop on a bus to occupy the right side of the ditches by the road in Crawford, what's it tell you about how effective Cindy Sheehan and other Gold Star Mothers for Peace like Karen Meredith, Celeste Zappala, and Sue Niederer have been?

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi


At 8/26/2005 07:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, chance, for the perfect Gandhi quote which I may get tattooed on my forehead -- though there may not be room after I get militant pacifist tattooed on it.

Maybe I'll open up more of myself for Tattoo Protest!!

People can read all of Gold Star Mom Karen Meredith's 5 terrific Letters from Crawford here.

Having Chief Commander Shrub wearing a yellow jersey for Tour de Crawford is just too cheesy. And isn't it a tad French for their usual freedom fries prejudi?

What's the over/under on them allowing/arranging a new terrorist attack to get them pesky poll numbers back up? To punish us for criticizing Him and wrecking His vacation? I say after Labor Day. But then maybe it would be better for us to have a long weekend to stay glued to Fox News?


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