CBS Stretches to Find Anti-War Protestors in the South

Sharyn Alfonsi was at it again on the “CBS Evening News.” In her ongoing tour of the country seeking poignant war stories, tonight she found a great one – twelve people protesting against the Iraq war in Birmingham, Alabama. She spoke with Vietnam war veteran, David Waters:

Alfonsi: Today at 59, Waters wants the U.S. out of Iraq and says he is not the only one.

Waters: Opposition to the war is definitely growing, yes.

Alfonsi: Even in the south?

Waters: Even in the south, yes.

Alfonsi: So we stopped by a weekly anti-war protest in Birmingham today, where we met Susan Mims, another Vietnam vet. But there's only about a dozen people here.

Alfonsi finished her report by saying, “The anti-war movement here is really nothing more than a murmur.”

Actually, with a population of 242,820, I’m not sure that twelve qualifies as a murmur.

What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.

Alfonsi: Bob, Birmingham, Alabama is proud of its soldiers. I'm standing in front of a memorial to its war veterans, but now some of those veterans are speaking out against the war. They are unlikely protestors from an unlikely place. Today, we drove into historic Birmingham, Alabama. A city remembered for it's civil rights marches in the '60s and its response to those protests.

David Waters: It's not totally foreign to take to the streets in Birmingham. It's happened before.

Alfonsi: David Waters is leading a small anti-war movement here. He’s an easy-going southern gentleman, and a decorated veteran.

Waters: I wanted to go to the war and I wanted to be part of it.

Alfonsi: Today at 59, Waters wants the U.S. out of Iraq and says he is not the only one.

Waters: Opposition to the war is definitely growing, yes.

Alfonsi: Even in the south?

Waters: Even in the south, yes.

Alfonsi: So we stopped by a weekly anti-war protest in Birmingham today, where we met Susan Mims, another Vietnam vet. But there's only about a dozen people here.

Mims: That's correct and you have to understand again, we're in the south.

Alfonsi: Mims was born and raised in the south. Today, she calls Birmingham home.

Mims: As a southerner, I do feel the heat when I say why are we there. And a lot of people question your integrity, your patriotism.

Alfonsi:: Mims says she prays for the soldiers in Iraq every night. After all, she's the reason many of them are there. You see, her last job in the military was as a recruiter. Convincing young men and women to sign up, some were sent to Iraq.

Mims: It is heart-wrenching sometimes to see a parent of a kid that I put in and they come back, they are maimed or disfigured.

Alfonsi:: She says she been spit on and yelled at while protesting. Is there a sense that protesting is unpatriotic?

Mims: In the south, yes. However, for myself protesting is part of being a patriot.

Alfonsi: And just to be clear, these vets are very much in the minority here. The anti-war movement here is really nothing more than a murmur. Bob.

Video Link

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.