Matthew 7:16-17 says, "Ye shall know them by their fruits... Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." Even though various groups gathered in Washington, DC to express their positions regarding a number of issues facing the nation ranging from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to support (or lack thereof) for the war on terror, these rallies may have proven more instructive in providing the American people with insight into the deportment of these respective activists and how their respective ideologies might manifest themselves in a concrete social situation.
Common themes supposing to link the various leftist demonstrators descending on the nation's Capital included peace, acceptance, and toleration. You wouldn't have known it from the tone of the rhetoric employed and the behavior displayed at the most prominent protests.
The proverbial center ring of the protests was no doubt the march held in support of the Palestinians, advertised as a stand against war and racism. Someone should have let the participants in on the day's theme.
Had one closed their eyes and merely listened to the ramblings, one would barely been able to distinguish between Klansmen cloaked in white sheets and the unscrubbed beatnik rabble that came to infest some of the nation's most solemn sites during this occasion in terms of the animosity expressed against both Israel and the United States.
According to WorldNetDaily.com, malcontents decried the nation of Israel for "brutalizing" the Palestinian people and even accused the United States of "aiding and abetting Israel to kill Palestinian children." But don't think this crowd was taking a stand against wayward acts of collateral violence or the tangled webs that result from undue foreign involvement. This crowd certainly had little problem with maiming or killing.
This charge cannot be denied by deflecting attention away by labeling the good people at WorldNetDaily as Zionist operatives or whatever the catchy epithet being bantered about this week is to discredit that news organization's tireless efforts in exposing the assorted threats arrayed against the United States. The unflinching eye of C-SPAN was also their to dispassionately catalog the unfolding events. Nor have words been but in the mouths of these rabid orators, each instead being incriminated by the content of their own speech.
Sentiments of the assembled were particularly typified by the following chant repeated like a refrain from an irritating chorus: "Long live Palestine! Long live Palestine! We don't care what you say! Intifada all the way!" So much for taking a stand for peace. Apparently the only ones not allowed to protect themselves against violence by a show of force are Israel and the United States.
This alacrity for terrorism was not the result of some naive idealism failing to appreciate the world's current strategic situation. Terrorists, or at least their pompous acolytes, took center stage at the festivities.
Sami Al Arian, a known supporter of Hamas who Bill O'Reilly urged the U.S. intelligence establishment to keep an eye on, told the audience that Israel ought to be given the finger. Others of like mind urged that the entire Holy Land ought to be surrendered to the Palestinians. So much for eventual coexistence; not one word was raised in opposition to the acts of violence and terror by Islamic extremists more blatantly directed at innocent civilian targets than actions taken by Israeli authorities.
On a lighter note, at least those involved with this demonstration weren't the brightest light bulbs around. One high schooler, who apparently had too much time on her hands and not enough homework since she had organized an activist cell, said the war on terrorism was diverting resources away from education; never mind that defense is a federal matter and education a local concern.
According to WorldNetDaily, Dr. Helen Caldicott --- a Nobel Prize nominee no less --- likened the Washington Monument to a "phallic symbol" representing the United States as a rogue nation for possessing nuclear weapons. Methinks the caliber of the Nobel pool tis not what it use to be, if it was ever all that to begin with.
And speaking of private bodily organs, that provides a quasi-humorous segway to an equally outrageous display of infantile behavior that occurred at another rally underway at the very same time. Though it did not receive the same amount of attention from the media as those convened by the more obnoxious rabble-rousers, the beleaguered Patriot Rally organized by the upstanding citizens of the Washington, DC chapter of FreeRepublic.com served as a counter-demonstration taking a stand against this confusion and nonsense by supporting both the armed forces of the United States and wholesome American values. As noble as this effort was, its significance did not so much lie in what this group said as in what was done to them.
According to the FreeRepublic account of the event, those opposed to the traditional values expressed by the Patriot Rally did not approach their antagonists in a spirit of dialogue. Instead, these incredibly mature dissidents expressed their disagreement by urinating all over the toilets and bathroom tissue graciously provided by the magnanimous organizers of the Patriot rally.
Park Police also uncovered and foiled a plot by insurgents to overrun these proceedings and to harass the participants engaged in the orderly execution of their Constitutional rights. Park Police also commended the Freepers as to their orderly conduct in comparison to the leftists who had to be handcuffed and escorted from the premises. But since these hooligans have nothing but contempt for duly constituted authority, I don't imagine those carted off much cared what law enforcement thought.
These situations spawn an interesting array of paradoxes, don't they? On the one hand, these global gadabouts rampage, conniption fit, and destroy property whenever they don't get their way in terms of being allowed to picket anyway they please. Yet on the other, they have no problem with preventing their opponents from exercising the most basic of rights spelled out in America's founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
This was particularly evident at the so-called "Die-In", held the Monday after the confabulation honoring Palestinian extremism. At the "Die-In", malcontents ticked-off over U.S. policy in Columbia blocked rush hour traffic by rolling over and playing dead in the middle of the street like a pack of family dogs posturing for attention.
Some might say that these protestors have a right to free expression unhindered by the impositions of decorum and propriety. But what about my right to get to work unimpeded by this hooliganism? Isn't it at least as important? The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech, not the requirement that others have to pay attention to you. Bet these same ruffians would writhe in disgust if this same tactic was employed by pro-lifers blocking access to an abortion clinic.
Organizers of the "Die-In" told WTOP News Radio that the point of this civil disobedience and social disruption was "to educate commuters and others on how their tax dollars are being used in Colombia. " What if I don't care? And what if I don't want to be educated? Employing rhetoric similar to that used by the friends of these people in the abortion movement: my mind, my choice.
But you see, in the mindset of deconstructionist radicalism from which these revolutionary nihilists draw inspiration, fabled rights such as speech, conscience, assembly, and personal determination flow only in one direction. New Left theoretician Herbert Marcuse endorsed this approach through his notion of "repressive tolerance".
The concept of repressive tolerance refuses to grant recognition to the expression of all viewpoints. Rather, this variety of radical tolerance discriminates and excludes, in Marcuse's own words, "movements which are obviously aggressive and destructive", in other words opinions expressed by those with whom Marcuse and like minded associates happen to disagree. That's why these brainless hippies have no problem hooting-down and shouting-out any conservative daring to set foot on campus while crying foul bloody-murder whenever college administrators fail to thank these hellions for looting offices and smashing windows in the name of enlightenment and progressivism.
Under the American political system, these radical protest movements have every right to use the protections of the First Amendment to promote their message. However, they have gone too far when they traverse beyond the boundaries of speech and engage in acts of social disruption or prevent their counterparts from articulating an alternative perspective.
Copyright 2002 by Frederick B. Meekins
For additional commentary by this author and links to stories around the Internet, please check out the following: The American WorldView Dispatch.