Winter Patriot has an important post up at his place, with eyewitness accounts of the treatment doled out to anti-war protestors in Washington on Saturday by bellicose"counter-protestors," who were sometimes backed by the authorities on the scene in their attacks and attempts to block legitimate, patriotic dissent.
Of course, it's not surprising that a group of pro-war marchers came out in opposition to the anti-war rally. That's a good thing; it represents freedom of speech, politics in action, etc. What is disturbing, however, is that many of counter-demonstrators were spurred to action -- and anger -- by patently false reports disseminated by the right-wing propaganda network: ludicrous charges that the anti-war protestors planned to deface the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. As one of WP's correspondents put it:
Somehow they felt a bunch of peace activists were going to damage the national monument which bears the names of over 55,000 dead soldiers who gave their lives in the illegal, immoral war for profit of 40 years ago...To me, it was nothing less than astonishing to see that a number of people have been so brainwashed to believe that we are anti-troop, don’t know the value of freedom and are “anti-democracy”. What was more astonishing were those that were completely ignorant of the Bill of Rights, that they challenged and acted physically aggressive to the peace activists, minding their own business, trying to get to the march.
The baseless call to "defend" the Memorial was almost certainly a deliberate "psy-ops" action designed to foment rage and disrupt the protest. No doubt its designers hoped that the anti-war protestors would react with violence to the often extreme provocations they faced from the stirred-up pro-war packs. They failed in this aim, but the response they drew from the false and virulent propaganda could well serve as a template for further, larger actions along the same lines.
Whether this plan emerged directly from the clotted bowels of the Bush Administration itself or sprang from one of the many private right-wing hate factories makes little difference; the official and non-official wings of the extremist Right have long since merged. The Limbaughs, Malkins, Savages, Coulters, Becks and other vicious little toadies peddling eliminationist rhetoric and poisonous lies are merely the outsourced, private contractors -- the Blackwater mercenaries -- of Bush's war on American democracy. We will surely see an escalation -- a "surge" -- of this manufactured outrage, growing ever more militant, toward physical action, as the extremists in the White House face more and more threats to their thuggish rule.
UPDATE: Sadly, No gives us "The Anatomy of a Con Job," detailing just how the Malkinite toadies hyped the imaginary "threat" to the Memorial -- and how they are now busily constructing an alternate reality trumpeting the success of their "Eagles" in preventing an imaginary threat by showing up in imaginary numbers. (The wingnut wire universally claims that 30,000 pro-war whoopers came out on the march, offering non-existent estimates by government agencies as "proof" of their fantasizing.)
S/N's conclusion says it all:
Say guys, I heard some hippies are threatening to desecrate various locations in and around Baghdad. Why don’t the 30,000 of y’all surge on over?***
…Hey wait, where did everybody go?
…Hey wait, where did everybody go?