Thursday, April 07, 2005
Anti-Military Protest at UCSC
Yeah, I know; this is news??
But this one caught my attention (hat tip: Instapundit). Follow the link: it seems 200 or so anti-war protesters (and, apparently, generally anti-military as well) burst into a UCSC job fair, screaming for the two Marine Corps recruiters (in plainclothes) to leave. Eventually, the recruiters did leave... whereupon "...student protesters hugged each other happily after administrators allowed them to hand out information on alternatives to military careers".
I have to wonder: are UCSC undergraduates that clueless? Okay, fine, they don't like the war; they're entitled to their opinions. But to protest the very presence of nondescript military recruiters at a job fair?
This is wrong on so many levels. One: did they really feel they needed 200 screaming teenagers (and the accompanying riot police) to shout down two Marines? (The Marines I've known have been soft-spoken and unfailingly polite, unless provoked. Clearly these two didn't consider screaming UCSC protesters a provokation; good judgement on their part!)
For that matter, why on Earth did the protesters feel it necessary to silence recruiters? Were they afraid they'd find the military message attractive? Or did they feel that their leaflets could not compete with the recruiters' brochures, and so had to take desparate measures? Regardless, it's a case of "First Amendment for me but not for thee"; astonishing.
And in a larger sense, do these UCSC undergrads truly believe that they'd be better off in an America that had no military at all? (Given the way they were pushing "career alternatives", I have to assume they were.) The mind boggles.
Perhaps they believe, to the extent that the subject even crosses their minds, that an armed invasion of the United States is unthinkable. (As Kim du Toit says, yes, it's unthinkable, which is precisely the point! This does not mean that the U.S. military is unnecessary; it means that they are doing their job.)
No doubt the recruiters will seek more fruitful places to make their pitches... resulting in a dearth of recruits from certain places and groups. No doubt these same protesters will then complain that the U.S. military is racist, or classist, or some such nonsense.
Sheesh. Why couldn't the protesters have stormed a Marine base instead? Then we might at least get a worthwhile Darwin Award or two out of the deal...
UPDATE: In a related development, twenty students at Ohio State University staged a "die-in" to protest the war in Iraq. (This puzzles me -- isn't it a bit late in the game to protest the war now? Is anyone expecting the President to say "Oops, you're so right, I'm sorry, let's put everything back the way it was"?)
A senior at Ohio State, Marc Fencil, took this personally. (And well he might; he's currently stationed in Iraq.) He wrote a letter to the editor on the subject, addressing the protesters personally. The letter was quoted in full at OpinionJournal.com, and I feel obliged to do the same:
It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!
Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the market unaccompanied by their husbands.
There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you "infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?
I'm warning you though -it's not going to be all fun and games over here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for, but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads (we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while you continue to live outside of reality.
If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling "Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind.