Friday, March 21, 2003

Here's an interesting email from andrewsullivan.com. It's from one of Mr. Sullivan's readers, who described what he saw at an Anti-War rally yesterday. I suspect this sums up the low-down on the rest of the rallies, too.

As I walked among the crowd, I saw the protesters were very benign. From observing about 150 of them, I saw that most were very young- about 17 or so. There were some 50-something people leading the rest, but they were a minority. I saw signs and slogans, nearly all were ad hominem attacks on Bush. Their appearance ranged from dregs-of-life scraps to Tommy Hilfiger. Females outnumbered the males, but not by much. By the time I got there, the energy was gone. Whatever brought them together had vanished, and the entire atmosphere was like an 8th grade dance after the lights came on. Lots of milling about. The boys were trying to get the phone numbers of the girls, who were giggling and acting shy.

My righteous indignation melted. Initially, I took them seriously and wanted to jab a finger in their collective chest and ask where they were when Clinton hit the Sudan, or bombed the former Yugoslavia, or when Saddam gassed, tortured, and raped his own people. I wanted to challenge them. Did they think that after 9/11 we could ignore states that could aid and abet terrorists? Did any of their friends or relatives die on September 11th? But these kids were jokes. There was no serious thought here. To call this event a protest is to misguide the public. This was a social gathering... an interactive parade of America-hating. I wasn't angry. I was sad. All the clich├ęs floated up to me: what a shame these kids are being raised to hate their country. How can they try to bite the hand that feeds them? What has gone wrong with these people to energize them to act this way?

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