Yesterday in Washington D.C. about 100,000 "anti-war" protesters converged to state their case yet again. Saturday was probably not a very good time for them to do it, as Hurricane Rita was about to bear down on the gulf states. Not only was it in bad taste that they decided to protest on a day that would (but by all accounts appears to not have) resulted in another natural disaster of epic proportions, but it also inevitably led to little to no coverage of their collective jeremiad, as all the networks were covering the hurricane and not their protest. Oh well.
Whilst on the subject, another thing has struck me: the protests aren't growing. Contrary to the 60's (the heyday of people like those that protested Saturday), it seems as if it is the same 100,000 people that show up for these rallies. I'm fairly certain that I am right, too. These same 100,000 people were in New York for the Republican National Convention, in all likelihood the same people (albeit a smaller group) were in Crawford, Texas this August with now-certified loon Cindy Sheehan, and probably were at every other protest since the beginning of the Iraq war, and in all likelihood were protesting the Afghan war as well. Why are they not growing if this war is so unpopular with the majority of the American public, as the "anti-war" radicals claim?
The answer is quite simple: there's no draft. And as we're fighting with an all-volunteer armed services, the people that are doing the fighting and dying are doing it on a voluntary basis. The massive protests of the 1960's were less altruistic than some historians will have you believe they were. Lost in the glee of the radical left's recounting of the story is the fact that the college kids involved in those protests were doing it because they didn't want to get drafted and go to Vietnam! More self-interest than anything else was at work. That is not the case at the moment, which is why people like Congressman Charlie Rangel cynically drew up a bill with the expressed purpose of re-imposing the draft. The "anti-war" left knows that the only way they'll be able to foment enough protest for this war in the streets of America is by threatening the kids of America with falsehoods about the re-instatement of the draft, trying to scare them into joining their movement. It's not happening.
When Cindy Sheehan first turned up in Crawford, I thought that she could really do some damage to Bush and the war effort. Here she was, an aggrieved mother who lost her son in a war she felt was unjustified. If she hadn't allied herself with the most radical elements of the American left (International ANSWER, Code Pink, Win Without War, etc.), she might've had a substantial impact. But it was not to be. Instead of sticking to the matter at hand (Iraq), she started saying ugly things like, "This country isn't worth dying for!", proclaiming radical lawyer and convicted terrorist enabler Lynne Stewart her "Atticus Finch", and coming out about actions in Afghanistan, which most people in this country, whatever their feelings are about Iraq, overwhelmingly support. Her impact was nullified by her idiocy. I'm sorry that she lost her son, but he signed up for the Marine Corps on his own volition. And contrary to her contention that he was lied to by his recruiter to get him to join, the kid signed up voluntarily for a second tour of duty. Who is this woman kidding?
The left is now crowing that 58% of the American public is against the war in Iraq; it's probably closer to 50%, as per the Rasmussen poll, but it matters not. I would venture to say that the reason the opposition numbers are so high is not because they disagree with the war, but rather they've grown impatient with the bad news. And the only reason there is bad news is because any good news out there is being quashed by the mainstream media, which its collective leftist bent. I'm not sure how this Iraq endeavor is going to go, but I would imagine it is going better than the news would have you think.