Saturday, January 27, 2007

UFPJ March on Washington, Jan 27, 2007

Today's rally has been the first jumbo anti-war rally for fifteen months, since September 2005. 2006 was the year the anti-war movement did the Dead Bug, mainly because the peace groups were at war with each other.

Until now, Act Now to End War & End Racism (ANSWER) ran all the super-sized anti-war rallies and many of the mid-sized marches, too. ANSWER is a front group for the Stalinist Workers World Party ("Hands Off North Korea!"), which is a Trotskyite splinter group of the Socialist Workers Party. The ANSWER commies are control freaks who have the talent for organizing gargantuan rallies and the cash to pay for the permits, stages, generators, giant speakers, and port-a-johns. It probably cost about $50,000 to pitch a giant protest. ANSWER's sugar daddy is probably Kim Jung Il. ANSWER leaders fly to Pyongyang to hobnob with their comrades there and extoll the North Korean workers' paradise.

So the ANSWER goons would set the protest up and call on United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) to provide the bodies for the rally, which they happily did. Lefties love protesting and they are none too picky about their targets. Whatever ya got, they're good to go to march against it. It's like a big party for them.

Unfortunately, commies being commies, ANSWER didn't deal with UFPJ in good faith: double-dealing them on this, shafting them on that, and reneging on the other. They also supported dictators that embarassed UFPJ, like Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, Hezbollah, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq. If you are a ratbag dictator, ANSWER is rooting for you. It's the kind of thing that gave Stalinism a bad name. Fingers were pointed, accusations made and hotly returned. The bad blood forced a divorce between ANSWER and UFPJ. Anti-war activity bogged down to a standstill. A quagmire, some might say. So 2006 passed quietly in the protest world with only the sound of crickets chirping.

UFPJ finally collected itself enough to organize its own jumbo rally, without ANSWER, on the National Mall on DC. President Bush's surge of 20,000 troops to Iraq provided the theme. The opposition to the war was expressed in socialist arguments such as "Who Profits From Carnage?" It's the tired old socialist canard that capitalist countries go to war to benefit the munitions companies. It dodges the real reasons we're in Iraq while providing a reason that appeals to the simple-minded. Emma's Revolution sang the kernel of the propaganda to the appreciative crowd: "Who lies? Who dies? Who profits?" These pinheads think this war is about American capitalist oppression, not defeating a dictator who was a danger to the world and reforming his country into a democracy.

I was shocked, shocked to discover that Bush was unpopular with the radical crowd. Well, actually, more than unpopular. Hated, really. Demonized, as you can see here. Note the button: "Is It Fascism Yet?" Lefties are fond of wailing that they are living in a fascist state, though, oddly, the American fascists never seem to actually mind their protests or send their minions to arrest them all. America must have the laziest fascist state in history to let these giant protests happen and not lift one oppressive finger to stop 'em.

Protest rallies can never have enough commies and drums. Lefties LOVE drums. Here a protestor beats on his bongo drum which accomplishes, well, nothing, except for perhaps a tingly feeling in his naughty parts. Maybe he thinks his profound bongo message will reach the President's ears and make him slap his head and say, "DAMN! I've been wrong all along. I shoulda listened to the drums more instead of you, Rove!"

This mope from the War Resisters Support Campaign helps US military guys desert to Canada where they have offices that lobby the Canadian government to provide sanctuary for them. It's probably not a hard sell to convince the Canucks to poke a finger in Uncle Sam's eye by giving deserters a safe place to smoke their dope and laugh at the guys who actually serve their commitment.

This sign sums up the attitude of the self-loathing lefties: "US Is The Problem, Not The Solution" They see America as the source of all evil. However, for Iraq, Saddam was the problem and America is the solution. A dictator like Saddam, who was ready to jail or kill anyone on a whim, is not likely to be overthrown by his terrorized subjects. Nor could Iraq expect any help from its neighbors. Arabs don't do liberation, only wars of conquest.

The lefty protestors reject all that. As one old man speaking from the stage croaked, "Our greatest enemy is not foreign, it's domestic!" He went on to chant "Hey, Hey, Uncle Sam; Do you remember Vietnam?" For the Left, Iraq is Vietnam, their last victory. The many differences between Vietnam and Iraq don't matter. They're stuck on Vietnam, which is to say, they're stuck on stupid.

Normally, Tantor observes anti-war marches with a detached amusement but the Truthers, who are a feature of the wacky Left, disturb the usual imperturbable Tantoric calm with their wacky rants that America attacked itself on Sep 11. Most of all, it sets the genial Tantor, Air Force veteran, off considerably when the Truthers claim the Air Force was part of a conspiracy to attack the United States. It's one thing to be a hammerhead, it's another to be a hammerhead conspiracy nut, and yet another to be a hammerhead conspiracy nut traitor.

I challenged one brain-damaged Truther, "You claim that the government laid demolition charges in both World Trade Centers for months and nobody noticed? And they synchronized those charges so that they would be set off at the exact floors where the jets hit?" The Truther smiled, looked me in the eye, and said, "Yeah." That's why Home Depot sells those big rubber mallets: to tune Truther skulls.

Another Truther disputed that an airliner hit the Pentagon. I told him I knew three people who saw the jet hit. There are thousands of witnesses. He scoffed and demanded to know how that jet could fly over the road next to the Pentagon at fifty feet, clipping lampposts, without blowing a single car off of it. I told him he didn't know what he was talking about. I've landed many times at Patrick AFB, just south of Cape Canaveral in Florida, where the end of the runway is just a few yards from the highway. Often, during rush hour, the highway will jam up with cars as you descend over them at fifty feet, fighter jet after fighter jet, to land. I've also been in a car on that road as the jets landed overhead. Cars are not blown off the highway. Not even close. The Truthers live in a cartoon world with cartoon physics where they see Wiley Coyote blowing the Road Runner off the road in his Acme Jumbo Jet. The Truther advantage is that they can lie faster than the rest of us can tell the truth.

Another Truther was offended when I said his conspiracy theory was stupid and he was stupid for believing it. He wasn't stupid, he roared. He was a DOUBLE major in business and international relations. "You're a stupid f*g college kid who doesn't know s* from shinola," replied the Tantor, sending him into an apoplectic rage. Sure, it's a bit harsh in this politically correct age when the conventional wisdom holds that everyone has the right not to be offended. However, I, the Tantor, believe it is not said enough nowadays nor with appropriate firmness. Idiocy flourishes when intelligent people say nothing and the Truthers are Sasquatch-hunting, UFO abductee, Grassy Knoll level Idiots.

Another whiny Truther told me to leave, that I was interfering with their free speech. A Tantoric lecture on the First Ammendment ensued in which I informed him that Truthers do not have a monopoly on free speech on the National Mall, that free speech doesn't mean only wacked out Truthers get to talk, and that as long as they are spouting their nonsense in public expect to have it vigorously debunked in the glorious tradition of free speech right here in public. The little fascist scurried away.

I was surprised to find the crowd behind me laughing in support during the conversation. Evidently, there are things so stupid that even liberals won't believe them. Whodathunkit?

The banner of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade. I saw at least half a dozen different commie groups there. Anytime you got a big rally slamming America, count the commies in. They can't get enough of that.

This commie chick holding up the banner of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade was shouting, "BUSH IS EVIL!" Let us take a moment here to meditate on that. First, you should not take foreign policy advice from anyone with purple hair and a pierced lip.

Second, Communism killed a hundred million people in the 20th century, yet its advocates bring their banners to an antiwar demonstration without challenge from the witless liberal herd. When it comes to evil, Communism is King. Whoever the commies are against, you probably should be for them. The irony of so-called "peace" marches like this is that they are full of commies toting their banners, handing out their literature, and denouncing Amerikkka. "Peace" marches supported by killer commies are festivals of Irony.

Bush Derangement Syndrome was displayed everywhere.

What time does the 1:00 PM march start? If you thought one o'clock, well, that's just crazy talk. Jesse Jackson was still bloviating to the crowd at 1 PM, doing his MLK impression. Of course, Dr. King actually read and thought while Jesse boasts that he never reads at all and nobody is accusing him of deep thinking. And King didn't make his living extorting money from corporations with bogus charges of racism, as Jackson does. Nevertheless, Jesse Jackson is a moral and intellectual leader to the anti-war crowd, who roared their approval.

The rally started at 1:47 PM, led by the police, the agents of the government the dopey protestors claim is imposing a fascist oppression on them. The police were so negligent in their fascist oppressor duties that not a single person was arrested in the entire demonstration. I don't know how we can look other fascist oppressors in the eye with this kind of dismal performance. We can only hang our heads in shame. Stalin is laughing at us from the grave.

Those crazy lefties were waterboarding each other every ten minutes on the northeast corner of Third Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW as the marchers shuffled by. This was the best idea of the whole day: lefties waterboarding themselves. I'm just hoping it will catch on, perhaps become a fad among the revolutionary set. This could be the new Twister for lefties.

The thin crowd trudged up two lanes of Constitution Avenue to the Capitol.

The protestors were met on the high ground of the Capitol by Freeper counter-protestors, just to remind America that the anti-war and anti-American protestors do not speak for everyone.

The Freepers noted the disinclination of the Left to pursue terrorists, notably Clinton's disinterest in pursuing the sponsor of the first attack on the World Trade Center, which only stored trouble up for the future. What the Left doesn't get is that such negligent pacifism provokes predators like Bin Laden and the Islamists.

A Freeper poses a provocative question: Where is the protest against violent jihad? Where indeed?

When Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were revealed as the perpetrators of the Sep 11 attacks, when the Wahhabi doctrine of jihad was revealed as the ideology, and when Saudi Arabia was revealed as the source of the $500,000 that paid for the attack, there were no angry protests by the Left against the people whose religious hate vaporized 2973 people in America. There were no protests against Afghanistan nor Saudi Arabia. The only protests the Left made were against any American military retaliation. They openly argued that Americans deserved to die. We had it coming.

There were no peace protests when Saddam violated UN resolutions seventeen times. There were no protests when Saddam attempted to assassinate ex-President Bush the elder with a car bomb in Kuwait. Nobody on the Left protested when Iraq fired hundreds of surface-to-air missiles at our jets patrolling the UN-mandated no-fly zone. And nobody, but nobody, on the Left protests the world-wide jihad propagated by Saudi Arabia.

I've been to all the big anti-war protests here and I have yet to see the name "Saddam" on a protest sign. You won't see these names either: Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia. I'll buy a hat and eat it if I ever see a protest sign in one of these marches that says "Down With Jihad!" However, I have seen plenty of signs calling for a revolution, for the overthrow of the US government. I've even seen a sign that called for the destruction of the United States.

The bottom line is that the protestors are not for peace. Obeying their calls to pull out of Iraq would not bring peace but leave the country to the Baathists and jihadis to do their head-cutting worst. They are not for peace; they are for the other side in this war. They want America to lose, just like in Vietnam, and the Iraqis be damned.

Joining the Freeper counter-protest was Army PFC Joshua Sparling, a wounded veteran of Iraq who was the subject of a flurry of publicity a year ago when he was recovering at Walter Reed and received a Christmas card from an unhinged lefty hoping he would die.

The anti-war marchers stopped to heckle the Freepers and Josh. Said one, "FUCK THE WAR LOVERS!"

Josh was there with his girlfriend. Cute, isn't she? Josh spoke his mind about the protest march:

"This march here? I think these are basically people that just don't really understand what's going on. These are what I like to call TV liberals. All they do is watch television and get all their information off of there. If they had any real world experience and actually could see what was going on. They're walking here because of people like me who fight for their freedom and the people that have sacrificed their lives are the real heroes.

If they were in Iraq right now they would be wishing that they could have somebody come in and save them so they could have the same freedoms that we do. They really don't understand that. That's the whole reason I joined because of my nephews and nieces who I loved to grow up in freedom. They can do whatever they want. They can be whatever they want. People in Iraq are taken from their homes. They're captured if they don't agree with their dictatorship. All I'm saying is they're people, too and they deserve the same rights that we as Americans deserve.

They say fighting doesn't solve anything but we would not be here unless the Revolutionary war happenned, World War I, World War II. We'd be speaking German right now. It needs the soldiers They don't understand. They're ignorant and ignorance is bliss, they say. They're caught up in their cause and that's all they see. They're blind."

"My story is not too much. I am a regular infantryman. I was over there [Iraq] patrolling the streets. We were taking some cover from some fire and I was looking for a position to defend against and on the way I saw a little hole in the ground with an IED and I warned my troops to get back, back away as fast as possible. They knew they couldn't get a bunch of us. There was a trigger man hiding there in the field. They'd rather get somebody than nobody so he blew me up. That's my story. I'm here a year later. I got amputated a year after my injury and now I'm just recovering, getting better so I can get back out there.

If you want to support the soldiers, you need to support the war because we're all volunteers."

Meanwhile, back in the march, a close look at a foot soldier marching for the anti-war Left. Stoned or sober? You be the judge.

The march rolled on past the Russell Senate Office Building.

"Abort Our Troops" An expression of hatred for the military. It's their way of supporting the troops.

Code Pink confuses foreign policy with their sex lives. It's almost a maxim of the Left that anything worth saying is worth saying in a vulgar way. These are silly people.

The giant puppets were back, the strongest arguments the anti-war crowd can muster. This may be the devil god they worship.

To the hammerheads of the Left, Bush and America are the real threat to world peace, not Bin Laden nor Al Qaeda nor Saddam. It's as if the more vile the enemies of America become, the more the Left blames America. These guys were in front of the Supreme Court.

The Australians have a phrase for anything especially foolish, which they call "nonsense on stilts." Those Aussies have a point. Stilts were the "in" thing at this rally, with perhaps a dozen lefties perched on them. The lefties would rather learn circus tricks than think.

More commies, finishing up the march.

OK, there were a few protest babes. I can not help but notice. I am only flesh and blood, you know. And easily distracted by feminine charms. Where was I?

Insert Brain Here. One of the lefty geniuses who think they're smarter than the Right. This is why you shouldn't do drugs.

And the sun sets on another day of anti-war protesting, a protest pitched by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

UFPJ claims that 500,000 people showed up for their rally. Let's examine that, shall we? The march started at 1:47 PM on a route 1.7 miles long. I'll be generous and say that took an hour to walk, though the marchers probably were slower than that. So let's say the vanguard of the march reached the end at 2:47 PM. The last big chunks of marchers reached the end of the route around 4:15 PM, with some stragglers after that. So that's an hour and a half of marchers walking at about 1.5 mph. 1.5 hours times 1.5 mph gives a body of marchers 2.25 miles long. That means the first marchers arrived at the end before the last marchers left the beginning.

Constitution Avenue was restricted to two lanes. A lane of traffice is 11 feet across so two lanes are 22 feet multiplied by 5280 feet in a mile is 116,160 square feet in a two lane mile of road. People were spread out over most of the climb up Capitol Hill, but let's assume they were packed tight, one person per 3 foot by 3 foot square or 9 sq ft/person. 116,160 sq ft divided by 9 sq ft/person gives you 12,907 people per two lane mile. 12,907 people/mile times 2.25 miles equals 29,041 people, the absolute maximum number of marchers.

Now the march was not packed that tight, so 29,041 is a high figure. However, let's assume that a good fraction of the people who came to the rally sat out the march. Let's call the resting protestors to be as much as a third of the marching protestors. Had that third been marching, they would have packed those two lanes tight to reach that nine square foot per person density. So I estimate that the total number of the protest crowd was 30,000.

The UFPJ inflated the number of protestors, as usual, by sixteen times to reach their wacky 500,000 figure. A march of 500,000 people would fill a two lane road up for 38.7 miles and would take 26 hours to march by at 1.5 mph. In other words, such a march that departed at 2 PM Saturday would have marched all day and through the night into the next day to finish late afternoon of Sunday. The half a million UFPJ figure is not just a lie, not just a bad lie, but a whopping big clumsy lie badly told and easily undone by simple math, the bane of liberals everywhere.


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to view my post covering the September 2005 march which was bigger, freakier, and more unhinged than this rally.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Azzam The American

The remarkable descent of Adam Gadahn from California farm boy to an Al Qaeda member is described by Raffi Khatchadourian in the New Yorker article, "Azzam the American." Gadahn's story is more pathetic than malicious. However, forensic psychiatrist and former CIA case officer Marc Sageman finds Gadahn's case fits a well-established pattern for radicalization.

Sageman discovered that most Al Qaeda operatives had been radicalized in the West and were from caring, intact families that had solidly middle- or upper-class economic backgrounds. Their families were religious but generally mainstream. The vast majority of the men did not have criminal records or any history of mental disorders. Moreover, there was little evidence of coördinated recruitment, coercion, or brainwashing. Al Qaeda’s leaders waited for aspiring jihadists to come to them—and then accepted only a small percentage. Joining the jihad, Sageman realized, was like trying to get into a highly selective college: many apply, but only a few are accepted.

Perhaps his most unexpected conclusion was that ideology and political grievances played a minimal role during the initial stages of enlistment. “The only significant finding was that the future terrorists felt isolated, lonely, and emotionally alienated,” Sageman told the September 11th Commission in 2003, during a debriefing about his research. These lost men would congregate at mosques and find others like them. Eventually, they would move into apartments near their mosques and build friendships around their faith and its obligations. He has called his model the “halal theory of terrorism”—since bonds were often formed while sharing halal meals—or the “bunch of guys” theory. The bunch of guys constituted a closed society that provided a sense of meaning that did not exist in the larger world.


Within the “bunch of guys,” Sageman found, men often became radicalized through a process akin to oneupmanship, in which members try to outdo one another in demonstrations of religious zeal. (Gregory Saathoff, a research psychiatrist at the University of Virginia and a consultant to the F.B.I., told me, “We’re seeing in some of the casework that once they get the fever they are white-hot to move forward.”) Generally, the distinction between converts and men with mainstream Islamic backgrounds is less meaningful than it might seem, Sageman said, since “they all become born again.” Many Muslims who accept radical Salafist beliefs consider themselves “reverts.” They typically renounce their former lives and friends—and often their families.

Sageman’s model provides clues to how radicalization unfolds, but it cannot explain why one person embraces extremism and another does not. (As a former senior intelligence analyst told me, “It’s not something you can plot on a graph and study.”) Two of Gadahn’s siblings are in college, and the third is an aesthetician; why was Adam the one to join Al Qaeda? After Gadahn’s indictment for treason, his father told a reporter, “Adam has gone against everything our family believes in.” Indeed, some of Gadahn’s most pointed rhetoric as an Al Qaeda operative appears to be directed toward those who were closest to him. “The way to paradise is not a multi-lane highway,” Gadahn declares in “An Invitation to Islam,” and one can’t help but think that he has in mind his father’s pliant spirituality. Gadahn admonishes those who embraced, “without hesitation, every obscure and foreign religion, philosophy, and ideology,” or who searched for happiness in a “cultist-style withdrawal from the world.” In the video’s final moments, Gadahn turns to the subject of family, and his message is chilling. “Allah warns the parents, siblings, offspring, and other relatives of the Muslim that their relation to him will be of no use to them on the day of judgment, if they have not themselves died as true believers,” he says. “So don’t be complacent, or let the Devil deceive you into thinking that your connections will intercede for you on that terrible day.”