January 27, 2007

The Peace March.

Here's the peace march that took place today at about 1 p.m. on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. This clip shows the whole length of the parade. Note the man at the front, just behind the banners, who is holding a sign that says "Vive Saddam." (It's the third sign from the right.) The entire clip -- which I shot while walking in the opposite direction -- is about 3 minutes long. It includes a large dove puppet and a large papier maché skull.



ADDED: The march reminds James Wigderson of "the sham gunfights I saw in Tombstone, Arizona, to show off for the tourists." Oh, I don't know. If they were just acting the part, they'd have had it together for the chant a little more. The people at the front are all "Bring them home. Now." The middle is just "Peace. Now." mixed with "No more war." Behind them is the original chant, shortened to "Bring them home." And did you notice the guy who's marching while talking on his cell phone?

Anyway, let's critique the "Bring them home" chant. It's a chant that made sense for Vietnam, a war for which men were drafted. I very much understand the resistance and shock and desperation that was felt for the young men who were forced to go to Vietnam, feelings that would make many people say, quite simply, "Bring them home." But for Iraq, everyone has volunteered. Everyone who's there made a profound decision to do something. The chant "Bring them home," in that context, seems to be shouting disrespectfully in their face that they made a blunder. There are people who chose to do something and are working very hard to accomplish it. While it is true that our leaders owe them the right decisions about how to win the war, the individuals who volunteered deserve respect for the choices that they made. The chant omits the honoring of that choice.

93 comments:

Bird Dog said...

Such conspicuous virtue and caring. It breaks my heart. Just like the 60s!

And equally ignorant, naive, and ridiculous. Gotta love that Saddam sign - it says it all.

Revenant said...

Note the man at the front, just behind the banners, who is holding a sign that says "Vive Saddam."

And to think that anti-war people have the nerve to complain about Instapundit's "they're not anti-war, they're just on the other side" remark. Why was that person allowed to participate in a "peace" rally, if peace is truly the goal?

Palladian said...

The only people who lament Hussein's execution are Sunni Muslims and stupid Westerners. At least the stupid Westerners are, in the words of the late Douglas Adams, "mostly harmless".

Most of the liberals I know personally would have kicked the "Vive Saddam" sign carrier's ass. But then, they aren't the people that go to "peace" marches either.

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"The only people who lament Hussein's execution are Sunni Muslims and stupid Westerners."

Right, and there didn't seem to be many sunni muslims in that crowd...

Anonymous said...

Good thing you were there to tape this Ann. Great investigative journalism.

Me, I'd have a sign "Give War a Chance" or "War is the Answer"

Simon said...

NakedLunch - P.J. O'Rourke beat you to it by several years.

I wonder whether, in two years, these people are going to be upset when the war is still going on, Congressional Democrats having aided, abetted and even funded the war. I mean, sure, they'll still vote Democratic, but will they feel angry, upset and betrayed?

Todd said...

y'know, it must kill those people to see that big W on the football team's helmets. And everywhere else, for that matter.

Palladian said...

"...but will they feel angry, upset and betrayed?"

I think, for the sort of people who attend "peace marches", that feeling angry, upset and betrayed is a steady-state thing. I would hate to live in a country where these kind of people felt happy and optimistic

Anonymous said...

Simon
You're assuming every Democrat in Congress is for a redeployment. I wish we had few hundred Feingolds, but we don't. Instead the caucaus is full of Hillary, Hoyer, and Ellen Tauscher types, who could never risk upsetting their corporate donors.

Alternately, it's hard to find more than handful of Republicans publicy voicing their support for the surge either.

Anonymous said...

What do you make of that sign Professor?

Did you ask the man what he meant by it? Could he have been sarcastic or ironic? Do you feel he really wants a dictator in charge? Or a human rights monster like Saddam? What is the whole story Professor? Please just don't act like you folks feel the NYTimes acts and tell us only half the story.

And then, let's assume he is serious, he would be happy with Saddam Hussein's half brother Maury, also a human rights monster in charge. How representative do you feel this man is of the American people?

Newsweek reports that
70% of Americans disapprove of how Bush is handling Iraq
67% think we are losing ground in Iraq
63% disapprove of sending more troops
61% think Congress should block funds to keep from sending more troops over
60% believe that Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11
58% just wish the Bush presidency was over
55% of all adults trust Democratic leaders more than President Bush, including 14% of all Republicans.
46% think the troops should come home as soon as possible

What do you make of that sign Professor? What's your point?

SteveR said...

Naked: re: Repubs jumping ship. Never confuse being elected with anything other than being able to play politics.

I, at least, respect the ones against from the beginning, now its just opportunistic.

There's no such thing as try, you do or you don't.

Palladian said...

"Did you ask the man what he meant by it?...What do you make of that sign Professor? What's your point?"

Not to speak for Althouse, but I think the point is that no sane, non-evil person, left or right, would stand around in public with a sign that says what that sign says. Ironic or not, it's repugnant. This has nothing to do with supporting or not supporting the idea of war in Iraq. You don't ask a person with a swastika armband whether they're being "ironic" or not. You kick their ass out of your march. But they don't, either because they agree with the sentiment or they're too cowardly to do anything about it. Indifference is evil's greatest helping hand.

"Reality" needs a better spokesperson than you, darling.

Simon said...

Naked Lunch said...
"Simon - You're assuming every Democrat in Congress is for a redeployment."

Pelosi is, so why doesn't she call a vote and we'll find out. A real vote, one with consequences, not just a lazy, easy symbolic one.

"I wish we had few hundred Feingolds, but we don't."

You don't even have one when it comes to actually doing, rather than talking. Feingold and Kennedy both just voted to confirm the absolutely pro-surge Petraeus. Not a single Democrat could be found to oppose him. Don't you see that they're playing you? If you're adamant that your kid shouldn't play baseball, don't buy him a mitt and a bat!

Congressional democrats are a lot smarter than the people on these marches (although, to be fair, the people on these marches may be misguided, but unlike the CDP, they are at least honest); they understand the consequences (both for the nation and the Democratic party) of what the people on this march want, which is precisely why they're going to do everything they can do to look like they're against the war while doing nothing to actually stop it.

Anonymous said...

Positively tame by Bay Area standards. Madison marchers are sissies. Where are the SMASH THE JEWISH STATE, FREE MUMIA, and SOMOS UNA NACION DE IMIGRANTES signs? No Che posters? Most telling of all, not a bit of nudity. No serious protest lacks unsightly nudity. (OK, the Saddam sign is a step in the right direction).

Anonymous said...

Positively dull compared to the 1980s.

Anonymous said...

Well since Mr. Moral Equivalence Palladian just godwinned the thread, I win (unless Professor you want to actually state your opinion instead of just dancing around it.)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Reality Check, you did win the thread. You're a genius. And really clever. Thank goodness you brought in the heavy intellectual artillery. What does a Vive
Saddam sign mean at a Madison anti-war rally? It could have so many meanings. Full of meanings. Pregnant. What is the real point of it all? And you got in a Godwin reference. You're smarter.

Palladian said...

"Well since Mr. Moral Equivalence Palladian just godwinned the thread, I win (unless Professor you want to actually state your opinion instead of just dancing around it.)"

My God, you are even a dimwit about internet lore. Godwin's Law does not "dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided, as it robs the valid comparisons of their impact."

I think that when discussing a person holding a sign that actually supports a genocidal dictator, comparisons to persons wearing swastika armbands is extraordinarily apt.

Anonymous said...

No, no Palladian. You assume that Vive Saddam signifies support for the genocidal dictator. It's more nuanced than that. And Althouse didn't ask the guy what he really meant, so how can we know? How can we even reasonably guess? We can't. We'll never know because Althouse pulled a NYT and only gave us half the story. Many, many possible meanings in that sign.

Anonymous said...

You have no evidence that he supports the dictator. Since Ann didn't ask him, none of can know.

I suspect what he is saying is an ironic comment along the lines of Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi!, where the United States is now known to be looking for a new strong arm leader amongst the Shiites. That makes a lot more sense than your suggestion that a peacenik would support Saddam.

And so it was entirely inappropriate for you to bring up a comparison to Nazis, but then that is just what you reichtards know best.

Ross said...

I wish we could Saddam back. He always made the trains run on time.

Anonymous said...

And so it was entirely inappropriate for you to bring up a comparison to Nazis, but then that is just what you reichtards know best.

Was this supposed to be ironic? Or do you just not pay attention to when you contradict yourself? Don't believe everything you think.

Anonymous said...

Reality check:

Since you've taken us into "none of us can know" territory, I suspect you'd been harboring an unfulfilled wish to get back at Althouse for prior critical comments she'd made about the NYT's reporting. I further suspect that when you hear hoofbeats, you think of zebras.

If you doubt that so-called peaceniks would support Saddam or people or groups like him, or just carry around unpeacenik-like signs, you haven't been to enough protests.

Ann Althouse said...

"What do you make of that sign Professor? Did you ask the man what he meant by it?"

You're seeing my real-time encounter with the parade. How could I have interviewed the sign-holder? In any event, people with signs are asking to be judged by the stark words they've chosen. This is in the nature of parades.

Yet this is not a particularly puzzling sign. (For a puzzling sign, see "Plants Can't Vote", which I photographed back in '04.)

I'd say "Vive Saddam" means exactly what it seems to mean. We support the enemy of the United States, even when it is a vicious, fascist dictator. As I say in the vlog, I don't assume everyone in the march endorses that sign, but I certainly do think that anyone around that guy had the responsibility to call him on his bullshit and to refuse to let him march with that. They did not, so the sign represents more than the individual man who carried it, albeit not everyone in the parade. It is a despicable sign, and Reality Check's attempt at problematizing it is pathetic... at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Simon
As far as I know, Feingold is the only Senator that called for using their constitutional authority [last week] Whether they do I honestly don't know. As far as Petraeus, hell I don't know. I know Bush would just keep sending Yes Men to the Senate. To answer your larger question -- No, I won't support, or vote any of them in if something intelligent, and drastic doesn't happen soon. If it were any other President than Bush, I would probably feel different.

Your hypothetical [for something I don't believe you support] is akin to why in 12 years after running on pro-life, anti-gay marriage tickets, why Republicans haven't done a single thing either? If abortion is murder, and youre not stopping it, aren't you complicit in murder?

By the way, did you know our very own SecDef marched in an anti-war rally in D.C. in the early 1970s while serving as a CIA analyst?

I don't know why a 100 people in Madison freaks Althouse out [I'm assuming as she is mum on everything except voicing an opinion]. But I don't particularly like taking my young kids to the Wisc Dells, with only one [very slow] road in and out, and having to see signs with aborted fetuses, baby dolls nailed to a mock cross, and signs saying "Mommy don't kill me" either.

Why didn't Ann confront the "Viva Saddam" protestor herself? If she was so offended, it was her obligation to at least to "call him on his bullshit" just as much as other protestors. I would think. An ignorant sign nonetheless.

Meade said...

reality check said...

Newsweek reports that

...46% think the troops should come home as soon as possible


Logically leaving 56% who think the troops should not come home as soon as possible.

Wow... think of the bloc they could form by joining forces with the 42% who do not just wish the Bush presidency [were] over!

Predictably, pathetic puzzling problematic Saddam signs would pop up all over town.

Thanks Newsweek!

TM Lutas said...

Perhaps I missed something but I'm quite happy that the Stalinist International ANSWER did not seem to be in evidence. But then again, perhaps that's why the parade was so small?

Anonymous said...

You have no evidence that he supports the dictator.

...except, of course, for the sign he's holding.

<eye roll>

"reality check" (indeed), is it your honest opinion that this protestor, with just one shot at making his point, would go with "Vive Saddam" in the hopes that all observers would go through the machinations you've just gone through in order to get to that point? I'd go so far as to say that that protestor may not, in fact, support Saddam - but chose a deliberately provocative statement, in a medium that would guarantee that the statement would be taken at face value, in an effort to get somebody to interview him - but it's as repugnant to use the sentiment on his sign as it would be for me to wear an "I beat my children" t-shirt to a pro-life rally. It might well get me interviewed... but would it get the interviewer or listeners/readers to be sympathetic to my point of view, whatever it was, however ironically I'd intended my t-shirt?

Simon said...

reality check said...
"You have no evidence that he supports the dictator."

He's holding a sign saying "vive saddam" - what do you think that means? I don't know how he could make his opinion any clearer. If I see you walking down the street holding a sign that says "impeach Bush," I don't need to stop you and interview you to know what the sign means.

Naked Lunch - I think the comparison to the abortion problem is apt, although perhaps not in the way you suggest. Right now, it's easy for politicians to say that they're pro life and to vote for pro life measures, because they have no chance of passing. Thus, they get the benefit knowing that they risk nothing. Likewise, Feingold on Iraq. Feingold can make noise about how he supports such and such a move because it isn't going to happen. Presented with a vote with actual and substantive effect, he shies away.

(To be clear, I don't think your comparison is apt because Republicans can't do a whole heap about abortion until Roe, Casey and Stenberg are overturned. They have tried to do what is possible within the restraints imposed by the Supreme Court, but for the comparison to hold, Democrats would have had to have tried and failed to stop the war, or to have tried and ran into the hurdle of a Supreme Court ruling against their policies).

Do they have Constitutional authority to end the war? Yes, absolutely. They can't order the army to leave, but they can deprive Bush of the funds necessary to sustain continued operations; indeed, they could even choose to deprive Bush of funds for all discretionary purposes unless he changes his policy, but that would take courage, because it risks the public turning against you, as they did against us when we shut down the Clinton administration a decade ago.


"I don't particularly like taking my young kids to the Wisc Dells ... and having to see signs with aborted fetuses, baby dolls nailed to a mock cross, and signs saying 'Mommy don't kill me' either."

You mean your young choices. You don't like taking your young choices to the Wisc Dells and having to be reminded that that's what you think of your children.

Anonymous said...

I would like to make a request of liberals and Democrats, starting with you, "reality check," that you stop, for three weeks, using polls to make your arguments. Just swear 'em off.

Polls, especially polls done by news organizations, prove nothing. You shouldn't even believe the topline results unless you can get inside the poll and see the demographic breakdown, the wording and ordering of the questions, the dates and times the poll was taken; and you should consider yourself cheated if you can't take a look at the cross-tabulations, which is where the interesting stuff really is, if they've done them properly.

Instead we get dialogue like this, where Ann and others point out the vapidity of the antiwar movement and the antiwar pose of the Congress, and you come back with, in essence, "Oh yeah? Well 58 percent of the people agree with me, says Newsweek." First of all it's a non sequiter -- an argument is logical or it isn't -- but more importantly, it's not a fact. Even if the poll were reliable, opinions on a subject like this change with the wind.

Tell me why it makes sense to you that a non-binding resolution opposing Petraeus' strategy is a good idea. Don't cite polls, or the related cliche that "the American people voted for change." What's good about it? Talk me into it. I'm open minded.

Sloanasaurus said...

But for Iraq, everyone has volunteered

Alhouse makes a good point about the support of those who serve.

It seems ironic that so much of the war's opposition is advocated by pointing to the daily casualty count when the war is largly supported by the men and women who are fighting it and suffering the casualties (as evident in the re-enlistment of the volunteers). It's as if the American public agrees with Kerry, that the soldiers are dumb and don't know any better. Further, it could be evidence that most Americans know nothing about the war other than what they read in the liberal press.

During the Civil War, Lincoln won re-election largly from the Soldier vote (which some report he won 80% (even after the bloody spring in 1864), which he further assured by offering furloughs to those from states who only had one day voting (which the Democrats denounced).

Although, with 600,000 men of voting age under arms, the soldier vote was much more meaningful to the total election in 1864.

You rarely hear stories from the press about soldiers supporting the war because most of them do. It's not interesting news.

You only hear about the ones who don't.

Anonymous said...

Ann Althouse said...
But for Iraq, everyone has volunteered.

Close to half of our forces in Iraq are from the Reserves, or National Guard. Clever way to avoid a draft -- "One weekend a month, two weeks a year" for good reason isn't being used in advertising anymore. The only other time the protection was lifted was the 1991 Gulf War.

If you believe a Military Times poll, only 41% think we should have gone into Iraq in the first place. See here. Sorry Sloan.

CF said...

"Bring them home" is appropriate for most of these marchers who are so old they look like the geezers who used to live at the Rathskeller in the 60's when I was there.

Buddy Larsen said...

You people should quit picking on reality check. Reality is a tough, tough business, and being the one who has to check it must be very stressful. Poor guy's missed the obvious, it is some other Saddam, not the one who just got dangled. Maybe a nearby sandwich-shop owner or something. And, even, we have no evidence that the sandwich guy's first name isn't "Vive" with "Saddam" being the last, or family, name.

Buddy Larsen said...

Amen on that polls comment. Wot a racket, your newspersons sitting there with no news make up a poll, then they have some news they can report, and can report the reporting of if it's 'eye-opening' enough. What you never hear is what the unhappies are unhappy about. If 58% are unhappy with the war, maybe 29% want to surrender immediately and maybe the other 29% want to nuke the planet until it sings Skip to M'Lou.

Gandalin said...

"It's a chant that made sense for Vietnam, a war for which men were drafted."

Ann, 75% of the men who served in country in Viet Nam were volunteers.

You could look it up.

I don't know about the protest in Madison, but the protest in Washington today was organized by die-hard Marxist-Leninists, some of whom cut their political teeth supporting Castro's horrendous tyranny.

The Viet Nam draftee story was just another one of the lies with which the communists won a war politically, when they were beaten militarily.

Shame on the communists for defeating freedom and justice in Viet Nam.

Shame on us if we let the Jane Fondas do it to us a second time.

JorgXMcKie said...

Naked Lunch, if *you* believe a poll by the Military Times (which is _not_ one of the official military papers) then you've got a problem.

Besides, no one gets drafted into the Reserves or the Guard, either. Perhaps some joined up betting they wouldn't be called up, but they did it knowing the possibility, voluntarily.

I think I especially resent the constant infantilizing of the volunteer military by the Left. Of course, if your goal is an infantilized populace ruled by a centralized Stalinist regime, I guess that is the place to start.

JorgXMcKie said...

Hmmmm. If there is a protest around here (I'm near Ann Arbor, so it is likely), maybe I'll show up with a sign that says, "Bring Back Saddam and Gas Some More Shiites." Then we would see if people think it's ironic or what.

Anonymous said...

Reality Check, the Military Times poll isn't even a poll! From the article you linked to:

"The mail survey, conducted Nov. 13 through Dec. 22, is the fourth annual gauge of active-duty military subscribers to the Military Times newspapers. The results should not be read as representative of the military as a whole; the survey’s respondents are on aver age older, more experienced, more likely to be officers and more career-oriented than the overall military population."

A self-selected group of people, a subset of a magazine's subscription list is not a scientific opinion survey.

That's not to say the result isn't interesting, but as someone else said, you can't know for sure what the unhappiness is based on. A lot of military folk resented Bush dumping Rumsfeld. I don't see these people marching through Madison anytime soon.

Jack Shaftoe said...

That Military Times poll did not poll all active duty military. It polled active duty military who happen to also be subscribers to the Military Times.

That's a huge difference. Much of the active duty military sees the MT as something of a leftist rag. So the subscriber base of the MT skews to the left.

It's a self-selecting sample and not statistically valid for the universe it contends to represent.

In other words, yet another bogus poll being bandied about by anti-war advocates.

Anonymous said...

A self-selected group of people, a subset of a magazine's subscription list is not a scientific opinion survey.

From the article;
The mail survey, conducted Nov. 13 through Dec. 22, is the fourth annual gauge of active-duty military subscribers to the Military Times newspapers. The results should not be read as representa tive of the military as a whole; the survey’s respondents are on aver age older, more experienced, more likely to be officers and more ca reer-oriented than the overall mil itary population.

And to be fair, not everyone responds, but these are active duty military personnel. Just to end, I don't give a flying fuck who is in the march, and I'd probably wouldn't piss on some if they were on fire. But now I guess a survey sent and returned by actual military members indicates I have a problem.

But the fact remains:

1. There is very little support from anywhere besides punditry land, and arm-chair generals. The marchers are hardly unrepresentative going by any empirical data you want. Calling them Leninist/Marxist/Stalinist/Castroist doesn't change that fact. Even if they all are. And that's what bugs the hell out of you. Did you ever notice Ann will never post opinions of the many conservatives who are against this endless clusterfuck?

2. The same hooded goons in the Saddam hanging control the Iraq government. Sadarists. Both Bush and Cheney refuse to identify him as enemy of the U.S. Most of the mass kidnappings, abductions are inside jobs. Unless this changes, I have no clue why we are even there, let alone committ literally our last man. Indefinitely. Without a draft, of course. And don't protest. Just shut the hell up, and listen to the same exact group of cheerleaders that got us into this mess for further guidance.

Anonymous said...

NL,

Do yourself a favor, don't discuss the military.

You only show your ignorance.

Anonymous said...

btw, the Military Times poll had a total of 954 respondents, 480 of which had not served in Iraq.

Greyhawk has the raw data and the breakdown here

Buddy Larsen said...

Tink, I would agree with NL all the way if USA was as he implies just over there dickin around, spending blood & treasure where there's nothing much really at stake and nothing important in play that has any bearing on the world's future.

but none, not one, of the angry anti-war will ever, ever, discuss that question in any real way.

It's as if the specifics of the pro-war case do not exist, have never been spelled out, and as such have left the only people with any moral sense nothing else to do but trivialize, ridicule, and mischaracterize the reasons we're there as "...listen(ing) to the same exact group of cheerleaders that got us into this mess...."

Well, grain of truth, it is after all the same case that it has been, ever since 911 gave us the vision of the ease with which we could be hurt very very badly, and changed forever.

Buddy Larsen said...

We also get tired of listening to the same old warnings about drunk-driving, falling off cliffs, shooting heroin, playing with rattlesnakes, and setting our hair on fire--so hell, let's go DO it.

Buddy Larsen said...

"...listen(ing) to the same exact group of cheerleaders that got us into this mess...."

Yes, we are--the Jihadis, we've been listening to them, and burying their victims, ever since 1979.

And they're still swearing to wipe the West--especially USA & Israel--off the map.

So, what do YOU know, NL, that tells you to stop listening to them, that after 30 years of making war on us, they're suddenly gonna stop murdering en mass whomever whenever however they want?

Do you reckon with them, too, it's always all about Bush?

They even hated him back in 1979, when they took our embassy in Tehran?

Or during the Clinton administration, when they kept blowing us up because they hated the governer of Texas?

Buddy Larsen said...

Should we pull out, and gamble that, because we're bored, they are too?

Pyrrhocorax said...

NL:
Clever way to avoid a draft
Gott in Himmell!
Were you even alive the last time anyone was drafted in this country?

TW: ikkhh
That's how I now feel about you.

Ben Masel said...

TM Lutas said...
Perhaps I missed something but I'm quite happy that the Stalinist International ANSWER did not seem to be in evidence.

Every time they send an oorganizer to Madison, they start smokjing pot, which gets you kicked out of the Party....

Ijoined the march just after Ann's vid. My sign, YOUR BLUNDERWAR IS SHOWING.

Never saw the guy w the Saddam sign. What's Donald Segretti up to these days?

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
But for Iraq, everyone has volunteered

Alhouse makes a good point about the support of those who serve."

That is both a bullshit observation and a particularly shortsighted argument.

Let's just tear the onion apart layer by layer ok?

1. do you mean that everyone who volunteers or enlists or has been caught up in service commitments PRIOR to the Bush/McCain Doctrine did so as an affirmation of the Iraq excursion?

2. do you mean that persons who opted for national guard duty AS OPPOSED TO regular army/marine enlistments did so with the same expectations of tours in Iraq?

3. Do you mean that of the 70 some million military aged men and women in the US, the 140,000 in theater constitute the "true believers" (thats 0.3% or so) and then the true merit of the enterprise is shown by only this minor percentage who have managed to believe to such an extent that they found their may, hook or crook, to Iraq?

4. and what about the polls taken of service personnel in Iraq that show that, whatever the numbers truly are, the support for the mission, for staying, for "the plan" etc., clearly are a divided issue.

The trouble and I mean that kindly, with you right wing clowns is the same trouble you demonstrate throughout this thread. Because some nitwit carries a sign in a parade that is just plain silly you generalize the sign to the entire parade. Further, you mistake a demonstration parade as something other than free speech and a form of assembly. But we can't have free speech here can we? We can send our treasure over there to fight for freedoms like speech and to protect our way of life - including free speech - but we can't practice it? is that the point?

Sure the sign carrier is a chucklehead. But he is observing his right to be a chucklehead in print (much like Simon and Pogo for that matter) and that is protected last I heard (much like Simon and Pogo) and as much as I don't like it I understand that 1. that is the "price" for my enlistment in the American Enterprise and 2. I have NO RIGHTS concerning the free speech of others.

I'll kindly thank you to remember that.

Ann Althouse said...

Ben: "Never saw the guy w the Saddam sign. What's Donald Segretti up to these days?"

This suggestion is something I thought about, and it might mean something if the man were further back, but he is directly behind the folks holding the banners that mark the beginning.

Anonymous said...

What does Vive Saddam mean? I don't have a clue as to what the sign holder intended it to mean.

I don't think it means what Ann thinks it means -- this guy supports the enemies of the US even when they are brutal fascist dictators.

I don't think it means what Ann thinks it means that she can dismiss what 70% of America thinks because of one would be crackpot.

If I were holding the sign it would probably mean something like how we all pretend to be upset with Hussein to the point of military conflict, but apparently we are okay with Kim Jong-Il, King Abdullah, Than Shwe, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Pervez Musharraf, Alexander Lukashenko, and even Ali Khamenei since we are not marching to overthrow these guys. Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! Plus ca change....

It might mean something like the war was a terrible mistake and has set us back and while I do not support Saddam, I wish we were off fighting Al Qaeda and rebuilding Afghanistan.

It might mean something like even now, Bush is looking for a new strong arm dictator for Iraq and contemplating taking the side of the Shiites.

I don't have a clue as to what it means but I highly doubt this peacenik was voicing his support for Saddam, and I do know his protest sign does not mean I can dismiss the march itself.

Ann who didn't participate in the march, who wasn't going to let herself be persuaded by the march, who critiques the marchers and their chants, who doesn't appear to know squat about the troops in the Vietnam war or the Iraq war, who dismisses the peace movement due to one sign is saying she can set the rules the marchers need to follow.

Ann always has a reason why she doesn't have to pay attention to the war, the incompetence, the corruption, the torture, the civil rights violations at home, ... If it wasn't for the sign it would have been for the short pants.

mote eye beam log!

Anonymous said...

You said: "There are people who chose to do something and are working very hard to accomplish it. While it is true that our leaders owe them the right decisions about how to win the war, the individuals who volunteered deserve respect for the choices that they made. The chant omits the honoring of that choice."

This totally ignores one of the largest Madison Peace groups--Military Families for Peace--all of whom are speaking out in the name of their family members who can not speak out themselves. No
one volunteered to be sent three times to get in the middle of a sectarian civil war in which the US has no logical role. Do you want the
Shiite death squads in charge, the fools who chanted for their hero as they executed Saddam. Why do I want them to "win"? Why do you? That peek behind the Wizard of Oz curtain of this phony government told us a lot. People like you who supported this war have to reckon with the unstable mess it has left in its wake. "Slow failure," as Bush described it, indeed.

FP

Anonymous said...

Here's a link: Military Families for Peace

The Madison group is led by a retired psychologist--her son is a Blackhawk pilot. He lost a superior officer in that Blackhawk crash this week.

This is not just another ideological argument to these family members!

Peace,
FP

Anonymous said...

Did the protester with the 'Vive Saddam' banner look like someone from erento.com?

Might have been a bit tricky to explain in German the intended subtle post-modernist irony imputed by some of these comments.

I am willing to bet a dollar to a dime that sooner or later one of the dead tyrant's body-doubles will emerge in, say, Libya proclaiming himself alive and well, and available for speaking engagements or ruthless dictatorship as the market requires.

red said...

......Your hypothetical [for something I don't believe you support] is akin to why in 12 years after running on pro-life, anti-gay marriage tickets, why Republicans haven't done a single thing either? .....

This comment is ill-informed. The partial birth abortion law was passed and signed into law in 2003.

red said...

Sure the sign carrier is a chucklehead. But he is observing his right to be a chucklehead in print (much like Simon and Pogo for that matter) and that is protected last I heard (much like Simon and Pogo) and as much as I don't like it I understand that 1. that is the "price" for my enlistment in the American Enterprise and 2. I have NO RIGHTS concerning the free speech of others.


Ding, Ding, Ding.... The free speach arguement. The most vapid post of the day.

The topic is the melding of anti-war motivation with the love of socialist murderers. I believe in free speach for murder worshipping leftists, the more the better.

oseaghdha said...

The Madison group is led by a retired psychologist.....
Enough said.
Anything from the yooper division of Berkley Inc. is an amusing side show at best.
The "message" as usual is diluted by the inclusion of virtually every idiot and wacko who wants to participate. The fact that these '60s wannabees and admittedly actual '60s rabble(retire to Florida already) are willing to embrace any and everything "anti" just makes the point that they are not to be taken seriously. Although, I must admit the paper mache is always a crowd pleaser.

Stace said...

Faighful Progressive, this statement of yours is completely false: "No one volunteered to be sent three times to get in the middle of a sectarian civil war in which the US has no logical role."

The reenlistment rate of for people who have served in Iraq is high. Here's one example:

http://sempergratus.com/2006/10/18/hooah-army-sets-record-re-enlistment/

This is your cue to say something like, "They're too stupid to know any better" or, "These poor guys can't find any other jobs." Or, "What do you expect from mercenaries who enjoy killing for a living?"

You may not think that way, but it's disgusting how many lefties do.

Anonymous said...

Stace:

You are simply in error on this point:

Poll of troops in Iraq sees 72% support for withdrawal within a year

By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, March 1, 2006

WASHINGTON — Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year, according to a Zogby poll released Tuesday.

The survey of 944 troops, conducted in Iraq between Jan. 18 and Feb. 14, said that only 23 percent of servicemembers thought U.S. forces should stay “as long as they are needed.”

Of the 72 percent, 22 percent said troops should leave within the next six months, and 29 percent said they should withdraw “immediately.” Twenty-one percent said the U.S. military presence should end within a year; 5 percent weren’t sure.
_____
Do you really think the people who chant Muqtada Muqtada Muqtada will ever be pro-Western? You are simply far more gullible than the majority of Americans or of US troops. We have no business taking sides in this sectarian civil war--neither side is worth the lives of our troops. The Iraqi government is a sham--many of its members live in London and Amman. Why should our troops die for them?

Back later off to church.

FP

Pogo said...

The 'Peace' march, in which we see the voctorious Democrats proclaim their true desires:

*That the US should lose this war and be chastised, and bow to our Superiors (i.e the rest of the world).
*That some lefties favor a mass murdering genocidal human shredder (Saddam) to an elected government.
*That the portion of the Left (maybe they can do a poll) who think the 'Vive Saddam' sign was stupid were too chickenshit to do or say anything about it.
*That Jane Fonda is a coward, too fearful to voice her opinion until she's pretty damn sure it'll be lauded. Too bad she couldn't get photographed sitting with an Iranian RPG launcher pointed at some of today's soldiers. *And here's John Kerry, meeting with our enemy again, agreeing with them, again.

Won't the sixties liberals ever go the hell away? Makes me want to support National Health Care just so we can start the usual age restrictions to surgery and medical care as soon as they retire.

Buddy Larsen said...

FP, I'd think it would more like 100% would want to be through with war within the year.

Did the survey question allude to the terms of the departure? Was the question conditional, or contingent, in any way?

I ask, because I know you would not want to over-reduce, and thereby err.

monkeyboy said...

Close to half of our forces in Iraq are from the Reserves, or National Guard. Clever way to avoid a draft -- "One weekend a month, two weeks a year" for good reason isn't being used in advertising anymore.

I've worn my county's uniform for 17 years, the last seven as a reservist. Anyone who was just in it to sit around all weekend reading the paper is out the reserves by now.


Why should our troops die for them?
Back later off to church.


Perhaps you will pray for the least among us? Not actually do anything for them of course, wogs not being worth the effort and all.

Stace said...

See johnstodder's comment on polls above.

I put much more stock in what people actually do than how they answer a media survey, especially if I can't see all the internals for the survey.

I'd say that the reenlistment rate is a better indicator.

Buddy Larsen said...

Exactly. People intuitively believe that polls per se are for getting at the truth. It follows that a poll which does not do that must be simply a poorly-done poll.

Few of us ever really internalize that the intent can just as easily be to hide the truth (aka "lie")--and that our love of vox populi makes it all the easier to do just that.

Once again, critique is antidote. The poll is only half--the other half is you.

Anonymous said...

I don't assume everyone in the march endorses that sign, but I certainly do think that anyone around that guy had the responsibility to call him on his bullshit and to refuse to let him march with that. They did not, so the sign represents more than the individual man who carried it, albeit not everyone in the parade. It is a despicable sign, and Reality Check's attempt at problematizing it is pathetic... at the very least.

I'm glad you said that. It certainly says that unless you, Professor Althouse, decry the divisive, sexist, bigoted talk in your comments that you must approve of those comments. I am speaking of comments that Democrats are traitors, that leftists are idiots AND traitors, that leftists are fascists, etc., and the various day to day anti-muslim, anti-gay posts that pollute your comments.

Unless you start actively calling the bullshit in your comments, we have no choice but to take at face value that they represent your beliefs.

(It's pretty funny to see all you wingnuts getting all huffy about polls. Might coincidental you guys hate polls at a time when your Pretzeldent is at his lowest, and significant majorities in the US says we are doing the wrong thing.)

Anonymous said...

Actually, Reality Check, I'd say that several people "around you" in this thread, including Althouse, have done a very good job of calling you on your convoluted bullshit.

Buddy Larsen said...

Several paras upset about divisive name-calling, followed by a summary para divisively calling names. Wot intellect.

Simon said...

Naked Lunch said...
"If you believe a Military Times poll, only 41% think we should have gone into Iraq in the first place."

Even if that poll were valid (which other commenters have refuted), I remain bemused why the left continues to push this argument that x% of Americans now believe that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. What use is that argument? For what purpose is it advanced? It tells us nothing about what to do next. Four heart surgeons have a patient open on the table, and all four of them conclude they shouldn't have gone in - do they down tools and walk away? I'll stipulate that a majority now thinks it was a mistake to go into Iraq - what does that tell us about whether the surge, for example, is the right military strategy? Concluding that Iraq was a mistake is worthless for the purposes of assesing what we do next.


reality check said...
"I don't think it means what Ann thinks it means that she can dismiss what 70% of America thinks because of one would be crackpot."

A couple of years ago, 70% of Americans supported banning partial-birth abortion, and I'll bet that number's only gone up since. I wonder what percentage of white southerners supported Brown or the Civil Rights Act. I bet you're not so keen on majority rule where that's concerned, right? 70% of the American people can be induced to say a lot of things to a push poll. A majority has the power to do a lot of things in this country, including the wrong thing, but amajority doesn't ipso facto make something the right decision. How many more seasons of American Idol do we have to endure before that point becomes clear? ;)

Simon said...

red said...
"The partial birth abortion law was passed and signed into law in 2003."

Yes, but as admirable as its intentions may have been, it is also unconstitutional, and will only survive if a majority of the Supreme Court decide to take the modest route of answering the narrow question presented in the litigation presently at bar: "no, FPBAA is not unconstitutional for the reasons the litigants assert" is not the same as "yet, it is within the power of Congress," an argument neither side wants to push.

Buddy Larsen said...

A majority has the power to do a lot of things in this country, including the wrong thing, but a majority doesn't ipso facto make something the right decision

This from a person who a few inches upthread is claiming that poll numbers are the ultimate arbiter of right vs wrong re Iraq?

Simon said...

Buddy, where did I claim -- in this thread or any other -- "that poll numbers are the ultimate arbiter of right vs wrong re Iraq?"

Buddy Larsen said...

I'm sorry, Simon--I goofed. Misread, thought that had come from 'reality check'. Gotta quit listening to Hillary while I read, destroys concentration. Apologies to rc, too.

Buddy Larsen said...

I mean, if I had known, when I listened to her this morning, that she would misuse my listening to her in order to make me mess up that post, I would NEVER have listened to her.

a woman for peace said...

How dare people in Madison and across the U.S. take to the streets to oppose the Iraq war and pressure Congress to take action!

Good thing there was one objectionable sign (among hundreds) for you all to blather on about. Otherwise you might be tempted to address the real issues.

Buddy Larsen said...

Are any of these "real issues", one wonders?

Sloanasaurus said...

Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year, according to a Zogby poll released Tuesday.

Thank goodness Zogby wasn't around in the spring of 1864 - we would still have slavery.

hdhouse said...

tcSloanasaurus said...
Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should get out ..Thank goodness Zogby wasn't around in the spring of 1864 - we would still have slavery."

Does this really make sense to you? If Lincoln was forced to sue for peace (or McClellan got the presidency) there would be two nations here. You also know that the preservation of the union was Lincoln's primary goal and the Emmancipation Proclamation was very specific as to slave freedom - who and where but it was not and would never be the paramount rational for the continuation of the war. But more than anything it was OUR civil war and thankfully other nations by in large kept their distance.

Now if you can tell me WHAT that has to do with a Zogby poll of US feelings about Iraq and other polls of the military there which are discounted with not so much as a by your leave by both this administration and the koolaide loyalists, ... well good god man, have you no decency?

Pogo said...

Really, hdhouse, does anyone -even the left- actually believe a Zogby poll anymore, as opposed to finding it merely politically useful?

Zogby (and most polls) are manufactured news, not unlike corporate press releases.

Same Content, Brand New Box
44% Brighter!!!

Sloanasaurus said...

If Lincoln was forced to sue for peace (or McClellan got the presidency) there would be two nations here.

Your probably right about the slavery issue. I think it is more likely that slavery would have been abolished even in the south if there would have been a southern victory.

The most probable outcome of a southern victory would have been more wars between the states. North and South would have remained bitter rivals. The western European Powers (Britain/France) would have remained allies to the South (their source of raw materials). The North would have embraced Germany as a natural ally. History would have been quite different (an interesting historical what if).

Buddy Larsen said...

Had the 1864 election gone the other way, and two nations formed, the process would likely have continued a bit further. We would probably be a dozen countries by now--the forces of balkanization having become legal & legit.

Anonymous said...

Madison, believe it or not, was not the center of the antiwar movement on Saturday.

The DC marchers, probably 25 abreast on Constitution Avenue, took two hours to pass the starting point of the march.

This woman seemed to think that "Bring the troops home" was an appropriate thing to ask:

From the Washington Post coverage of the march:

Oriana Futrell, 21, of Spokane, Wash., came with a sign that said: "Bring my husband home now." She said her husband, Dan, an Army lieutenant, was in Baghdad. They were married in April. She said she was weary of attending military funerals.

"My husband deployed last June to Iraq," she said. "He is an Army infantry officer currently patrolling the streets of Baghdad. And I just have to say I'm sick of attending the funerals of my friends. I have seen the weeping majors. I have seen the weeping colonels. I am sick of the death."

"I don't know what else to say, other than: 'Bring them home,' " she said. "It is time. We need to bring them home where they can be safe."

George Roberts said...

Your arrogance is so typically Madisonian, Althouse. The war would look a lot different if you were not teaching at a campus of students who can afford college without having to sign up for the Guard or reserves.

At other UW campuses more connected to reality, we have been suffering the loss of students -- and the lives of our students -- for years.

And you bet we want to bring them home. That they won't be coming home to your campus doesn't make the lives of our students more expendable than the lives of yours.

At least the students in your video get it. You might try learning from them -- they apparently have more to teach you than you have to teach them.

Pogo said...

Re: "At least the students in your video get it."

Don't be such a pedantic twit.
By your definition, only those who agree with you want to 'save lives' by 'bringing them home'.
It's a false choice, of course, and it is mere self-righteous preening to frame it thus.

George Roberts said...

Pedantic, Pogo? Look up the term.

As for self-righteousness, it's your post that reeks of it . . . and of illogic -- as just how are you going to save our soldiers' lives by keeping them in Iraq?

Pogo said...

Re: "how are you going to save our soldiers' lives by keeping them in Iraq"

It's an old story. WW2 lost millions of lives because of the errors ending WW1. Failing to understand that means you cannot be trusted with the lives of the troops. And if that is also what you mean those marchers "get", they're idiots.

P.S. It's nonresponsive and juvenile for you simply to say "I'm not self-righteous, you are. Nyaah nyahh nyahh."

Pogo said...

Pedantic
pe·dan·tic /pə dænt ihk/
–adjective 1. ostentatious in one's learning.

—Synonyms 2. didactic, doctrinaire.


You know, you coulda just looked it up yourself, but glad to oblige.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Bring 'em Home Now" is so insufferable because it assumes that anyone who disagrees (which inexplicably includes the vast majority of those over there doing the fighting) has no reason for doing so other than a whimsical disregard of human life, and, since something positive is needed for the model to justify, war-profiteering and perhaps a touch of homicidal racist pathology.

Unless you go all the way out to there, then you have to accept that a great many smart people are worried sick about another total world war, and are turning to history for a guide as to how to stop same, at minimum cost to all--including erstwhile and potential enemy populations.

George, as an MD your advice would be, on the grounds that immediate pain is the only problem, to simply never vaccinate, disinfect a wound, lance a boil, or perform surgery, regardless of the needs of the patient, regardless of the odds that in the breach he will be worse tomorrow.

Maybe it's that 'tomorrow' thing--maybe it's too delayed a gratification. A cognitive problem of some sort for sure, because it sure ain't rocket science.

Buddy Larsen said...

george, big war is not just ramped up small war--it's a whole different animal. "Total" vs "limited". There's a difference--has to do with an institutional and bureacratic mobilization that has a terrible corpse-multiplying momentum once a nation says "go".

OIF is a limited war, one that the military can fight and win if the rest of us would just STFU and let them DO it.

Otherwise we are almost sure to get the other, if history is any guide.

Hitler could've been stopped ten years earlier with a maybe 6,000 KIA loss rather than a 60,000,000. This is not agitprop, this is the facts, man, no matter what crappola word-salad anyone might throw at it.

Anonymous said...

reality check wrote: "Unless you start actively calling the bullshit in your comments, we have no choice but to take at face value that they represent your beliefs."

We? Who is we? Who do you claim to speak for?

Trey

mrgumby2u said...

A lot of commentors here have suggested that his fellow marchers should have called the Vive Saddam sign holder on his bullshit, which I haven't a problem with, but others say he should have been kicked out of the parade. How does one do that? And if one could, should one? If I show up to a parade because I am opposed to the handling, or even the existence of a war, does that give me a right to determine who else gets to participate in the protest? I can sit out the protest, in protest of those in the protest holding views I oppose, and perhaps I should, but then I'm silencing myself.

The problem with joining these marches is that you're going to end up being associated with those in the march with extreme views that catch the media's attention (as clearly happened here). Of course, you can sit it out, but then because you hold anti-Iraq-war views, you're going to be grouped with those people anyway. A protest march is a blunt instrument for communication. There's not much room for subtlety. Unfortunately, you and, it seems, the most vocal of your readers, seem incapable of noting that. If there are 99 marchers without signs and one with a Vive Saddam sign, you believe the one represents the 99. That would be fine if you also believed that each of the 100 marchers who showed up also represented another 99 who stayed home, but you don't, do you?

Buddy said...

mr gumby, how do you know that the anti-war marchers who didn't show up outnumber the pro-war marchers who didn't show up?

People stayed away in droves, you know. Worldwide, over six billion.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.