Sunday, September 16, 2007

Protests Hit D.C., but not very hard

I guess few can afford the gas it would take to get to D.C.......

Let's face it, people. Until there are millions, instead of thousands, until the goal is to shut down the city instead of sending a message to a deaf government, until Americans realize that the crisis we face is not only in Iraq and won't only involve the children of Americans on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, protesting in nice, organized ways with permission from the powers that be is irrelevant and a waste of energy.

Thousands of protestors gathered in a park outside the White House Saturday demanding an end to the war in Iraq, the return of US troops, and the impeachment of President George W. Bush.

The crowd of protesters, numbering between 4,000 and 6,000, then marched under a clear sky toward the US Capitol building. Many waved placards that read "Support our troops, stop the war," and "Impeach Bush."

Phil Aliff, 21, marched wearing his camouflage uniform jacket as part of a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War. Aliff first arrived in Iraq in July 2006.

"I stayed there for a year, in Abu Ghraib and outside Fallujah. When we arrived, we were told we were here to bring stabilization to the country," said Aliff.

"But we were not rebuilding anything. The Iraqis had only two hours of electricity. And I saw the atrocities committed by the Americans there."

Aliff spoke days after the top US general in Iraq, David Petraeus, testified before Congress, giving an optimistic report on conditions in Iraq and the effectiveness of the US president's "surge" strategy of adding more US troops to the fight.

"General Petraeus's report is incredibly far from the reality on the ground," said Aliff.

Another marcher, Diane Santoriello, held a photograph of her 25-year-old son Neil, lost in Iraq on August 13, 2004. "I am here to get Congress to defund the war," she said.

"The vast majority of Iraqi people want the US and other foreign forces out of the country," said Brian Becker with the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War End Racism) coalition, the group organizing the march.

"The vast majority of the people in the US want the war ended and the troops brought home now," he added.

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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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