By nightfall, protesters had become defiant, and with every drum beat tensions mounted between protesters and L.A. county sheriff's deputies. A few hours into the protest, a section of Wilshire Boulevard was shut down. Since they refused to get up, the protesters were taken into custody by the deputies.
This pisses me off so much... flames... on the sides of my face.... I have to wonder what these protesters think they're accomplishing. I think they relish in their antics... perhaps they are feeling guilt for some childhood trauma. I don't know. But as far as strategy is concerned, these people are M-O-R-O-N-S with a capital "MO".
There are valid reasons to protest. Rosa Parks was a hero. Her civil disobedience had a point. What are these buffoons hoping to accomplish by lying in the street? Are they protecting the streets from being harmed by the heavy cars about to trample the innocent blacktop? Is Bush going to say, "omg. There are people lying down on Wilshire Blvd. Stop the war!" No, they're just causing a ruckus, much like a 5-year old throwing a tantrum. They accomplish nothing other than pushing people farther away from their cause and making themselves feel self-important. Do they honestly think that the thousands of motorists they held up, and the freeway exits that got shut down because of their stupidity endears anyone to their cause
"No blood for oil". Sorry, but I'm not quite that naive to think this issue can be wrapped up in their tired old mantra. I'm willing to listen to them if they can give me something more. I want to understand their points, but they don't have any. It's just "war is bad" and "no blood for oil". It's like trying to argue with the anti-abortion crowd. Maybe if I yell louder or get more obnoxious, I'll be more right.
They've helped me reach the decision I've reached today. For the first time, I solidly think we're doing the right thing. Bush was right, even if I think he could have approached in a way so as to not piss off the whole world. But it wasn't just the self-aggrandizing actions of the protesters that got me here.
I had a long talk today with a friend and co-worker. She and I have had a few scraps over our opinions on the war (she's been more solidly behind it for some time); but her perspective is a little different from mine. Being from Romania, she relates to the Iraqi people and what they're going through. To her, this has nothing to do with oil, or Bush, or money, or politics or diplomacy; it has to do with living under constant fear and tyranny. She conceded today that watching the bombing she almost did feel as if the U.S. was the big bully on the block. After all, Iraq doesn't have a chance against our superior fire power. But a quick call to her mom put things in perspective. Her mom told her, "You know if that were you back in Romania and the Americans responded as they are to Iraq now, you'd be kissing their feet."
I think in our zeal to find some hidden political motivation or agenda, we forget there really are people suffering there. It's easy to do with our full bellies from our climate controlled homes. I lend more credibility to the Iraqi-Americans and Iraqi-nationals interviewed who candidly admit that while they are afraid for the lives of their families during this war, they're more afraid of what Hussein could do. I see striking images of the Iraqi people in the recently liberated parts of the country shaking hands and welcoming the troops. Contrast that to images of protesters here lying on the ground. It's no contest anymore as to who I believe.
Now before you break out the American Flag and pull up your mp3 techno remix of the National Anthem, we share some of the culpability for getting here. He's largely there because of the West, and we didn't exactly finish the job last time we were there.
If the protesters really want to make a difference, they'd focus on that. They'd focus on making sure that we do right by the Iraqi people this time. But that wouldn't serve their personal agenda, and it would make sense... not to mention that it wouldn't be nearly as exciting and attention-provoking as lying down in the middle of a busy street with their "No blood for oil" shirts. I can't explain it, but they really do seem to get off on it. But I guess if it makes them feel better about themselves, who cares about the people being persecuted and killed under Hussein's regime, right?