Saint Patrick was best known, in legend, for driving the snakes out of Ireland. His saint’s day, as virtually every green beer drinker and corned-beef-and-cabbage diner knows, was this past Saturday.
But not everybody gathering for weekend festivities was celebrating Padraig’s life. In cities all around the country, people gathered to make their own statements in advance of the 19th of March, the fourth anniversary of the date our troops began their march on Baghdad. There were anti-war protests in most major cities -- and there were, unreported by the mainstream media, counter-protests, as well.
One protest in particular, in Washington, D.C., outnumbered their opposition at least 3 to 1. National Park Service estimated this group to number roughly 30,000, positioned at three locations, while their opponents on the issue garnered no more than 10,000 at peak, and tapered off to less than 1,000 within the first two hours of the all-afternoon event. What the media doesn’t tell you is that the larger group was called “A Gathering of Eagles,” and they were there to show their respect for the troops, to show support for their efforts, and to protect the people’s property. The anti-war, anti-America,
hate-Bush-and-all-things-not-leftwing crowd straggled in and straggled out. Some had, in advance of their event, announced plans to bring cans of paint with which to vandalize the Vietnam War Veteran’s Memorial (the Wall). Some of them had already demonstrated a willingness and ability to do such harm, having just two weeks ago spray-painted the steps to the Capitol building.
The antiwar crowd and their fellow travelers came with pre-printed, prepackaged signs, t-shirts, puppets, pre-recorded music programs, and a carefully scheduled day’s events. Much of what they carried was clearly professionally done, of a high quality indicative of a substantial amount of money having been invested in their gathering. Much of their support came from the overtly anti-American socialist organization, International ANSWER and George Soros’ bottomless pit of hate-Bush funding. They came selling t-shirts and buttons bearing the likeness of mass-murderer Che Guevara and shouting threats, profanities and vulgarities.
A Gathering of Eagles was a genuine grassroots event. Only a little over a month ago, the internet began to see discussions at “milblogs” -- blog sites run by and devoted to members (both active and retired) of the military -- concerning the upcoming leftist promises to claim the day and the sites for themselves. It would seem that quite a few Vietnam veterans were displeased with the prospect of the left once more gaining the stage and driving public opinion away from a potential victory. Discussions became plans, and, Voila! Not only did a few hundred Vietnam vets show to protect the Wall from vandalism and to remind the nation of their message, they managed to gather momentum and collect people from all over the country, to rally to their side. They carried handmade signs, American flags, and, on occasion, each other. While some resorted to shouting and taunting -- and booing a certain speaker from the other side -- most were polite, considerate, and even cleaned up after themselves, leaving no litter on the ground when they went home and giving aid to an antiwar protester who cut his hand. They were rock-solid in their support for the troops and the nation.
It seems to me that the Gathering of Eagles’ turnout is indicative of something the Democratic leadership in Congress has missed, in their cock-suredness that their scant majority was a mandate to cut and run from Iraq: some of us actually have learned a thing or two from history. Soldiers and their loved ones will not allow this nation to be sold out again by the self-ambitious -- not while they still have a say in things. As one attendee at the Gathering said to Michelle Malkin and Hot Air Video, “Someone should have done this a long time ago, and we’re not going to let that happen again.”
This crowd foresees a short political life for any copperheads on or around the mall, and sees no need to call for a saint to help clear the snakes out. They can clear them out, on their own. Among them are natural enemies of snakes. Those who gathered there last weekend were, after all, Eagles.
At Flopping Aces, Curt offers The Gathering of Eagles - Report and
Wordsmith has March 17th was a Great Day for the Real Peace Activists...
Michelle Malkin has What they didn't show you on TV (which embeds the video, just under 9 minutes long), and Gathering of Eagles -- 30,000 strong "blogburst" with many links worthy of following.
Gateway Pundit offers something on the damage "Peace protesters" did in St. Louis, MO, Portland OR & other towns.
Smash has a little background on some of the organizations who funded the Left's protests, in Marching with Moonbats, part I and on the Eagles and friends, part II, Eagles up! (for starters).
Mackubin Thomas Owens: on Copperheads, Then and Now (HT: Jim Hoft)