Sam Coates, a British journalist on loan to the Washington Post as the annual Laurence Stern fellow, ends up with the assignment of puffing up Cindy Sheehan's forces over the weekend. His story today (typically touting how protests "expand in the heat") has one particularly annoying habit, comparing "pro-war" and "pro-Bush" protesters against "anti-war" ones. Ever notice how liberals like the Posties won't use "pro-life" too much, because that would be calling the liberals "anti-life"? Or they use "anti-abortion," but almost never "pro-abortion"? They would say well, I don't support every abortion, just the right to have one in trying circumstances. Well, the "pro-war" advocates can say exactly the same thing. I'm not for every proposed war that comes along, just the right ones in trying circumstances. Here are the Coates sentences that spur discussion:
Her [Cindy's] protest snowballed, with the arrival of Sheehan sympathizers and then pro-war demonstrators... At the pro-war rally in the center of Crawford, victims of terrorist attacks spoke about the importance of continuing the military campaigns abroad...Saturday's pro-Bush rally congregated alongside the community center, with a tent and a blue castle for children... [Nowhere in the story is the word "anti-Bush."] The pro-war activists held signs such as "You've made your protest, now it's time to MOVE ON" and "Cindy supports Osama," while antiwar activists displayed "Make sandwiches not war" and "America stands with Cindy."
I'm sure Coates could argue that "anti-war" is a good label because the anti-war crowd pretty much oppose any American military action no matter where it occurs (just as Cindy Sheehan opposed war in Afghanistan after 9/11). I debated Medea Benjamin of Code Pink (one of the Sheehan-groupie outfits) on the local radio station about this war a couple of years ago, and asked her if there was a single, solitary American military action she has ever supported. Her answer, comically, was: "Haiti," the Clinton administration's aim to reinstall Marxist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide in power. But since the anti-Aristide forces were negotiated out of power, there never really was a Haiti war to protest.