Paying homage to Fidel
Peace Marches Not What They Seem
By Kim Serafin | Bio

If you have any doubts as to whether the groups involved in the "peace" march in Washington, DC this weekend are Anti-American, look no further than the International Action Center’s website. This US-based group, which is spearheading many of the rallies around the country, boasts a speech from a nation’s leader on their homepage. It’s a re-print of a rousing speech, delivered to an adoring public, clearly stating that violence against innocent people is not the solution to dealing with terrorism.

The speech, from September 22, 2001, was delivered by Fidel Castro, and condemns America for our tactics in dealing with this crisis.

Though we’re only three weeks from the largest mass murder on American soil, and close to 6,000 innocent civilians are still missing, these groups are paying homage to another infamous murderer of our time. That’s about as anti-American as you can get.

Since September 11, many of our nation’s leaders have been earnestly trying to think outside the box, and encouraging the American public to do the same. Ironically, the leftist groups involved in these peace protests are famous for pushing Americans to think beyond the conventional, but are acting entirely predictable in their blame-America attitudes.

The good news is that this crowd is needy in numbers. This weekend’s ‘big’ protest was projected to draw 100,000 – by most accounts, it barely reached 1,000. And countless opinion polls taken since the Sep 11th tragedy continue to show the majority of the American public in support of military action against the terrorists groups who launched an unprovoked war against the United States.

The bad news is that the seed has already been planted and, over the months ahead as military strikes against Afghanistan begin, their movement will continue to grow. Don’t expect reason to play a role; these groups rely on emotional reactions. Though their solution is that we take ‘rational’ steps to dealing with the terrorists – college papers are actually advocating that we simply "punish Osama in our federal courts" – this hate-America crowd has no interest in finding out the real facts.

When I attended a similar rally last week in Union Square Park, the day after President Bush’s history-making address to Congress, I could only find a few attendees who actually watched or listened to what was probably the most important speech in their lifetime. As the few hundred protestors gathered beneath statues covered with peace symbols, most participants told me that "what they heard" about Bush’s speech justified them marching with signs that said, "We Are All Being Sacrificed for U$ Oil."

I assume the same went for this weekend’s rally. While the crowds were busy assembling in their tie-dye t-shirts, President Bush’s weekly radio address was airing across the nation. He clearly stated that this would be a different kind of war. He told how our weapons would be military and diplomatic, financial and legal, while the protest speakers whined about studying the underlying causes of terrorism. Bush denounced the Taliban, while the marchers – who, ironically, would never be allowed such freedoms in countries like Afghanistan – shouted "Victory to the oppressed peoples of the world!"

Though this weekend’s rally was a failure, there are bound to be more. If there is already noise now – before the US has taken any action – what will happen when military strikes begin? What will the reaction be from the cynics when we have to rely on the government for accounts of what battles have been won or lost? Most won’t like not being privy to inside information, and charges of foul play from the MTV generation, used to seeing all news as it happens, will be the loudest.

Some of the mainstream media has begun to lap up stories about college campus protests and the professors who, reminded of their own rallies from the 60’s, are provoking the movements.

Comparisons to a romanticized Viet Nam era are already trickling in, and while movie stars may have done their civic duty in the recent telethon, raising money for the victims of the tragedy, plan on hearing much more about diversity training from that crowd. Here in New York last week, celebrities re-recorded a song with proceeds going towards tolerance education.

Don’t let images of police in riot gear controlling crowds like the ones that were shown over the weekend, give way to the images we currently sustain of police, firefighters and other uniformed service officers running into burning buildings to save the lives of over 25,000 people.

Don’t let these groups, who hate everything America stands for, convince you this is Viet Nam II. Back then, many didn’t understand what we were fighting for. One look at the still smoldering site of where the World Trade Center once stood, and there should be no question as to why we must use any and all tactics at our disposal to wipe out those who declared war on the American way of life.

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