Skip to comments.WALTER REED FREEP, Week 24: HUG-SEEKING VETERANS REBUFFED BY CODE PINK (Join Us Oct.7!)
Posted on 10/06/2005 7:42:08 PM PDT by Albion WildeEdited on 10/26/2005 9:47:43 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Please note: to view the stunning photos by TgslTakoma and BMWcyle that illustrate this story, click the italic photo captions.
WASHINGTON, DC, September 30, 2005After twenty-four Friday nights of schlepping the Mother of All Banners, scores of pro-troops signs and dozens of American flags to Georgia Avenue at Elder Street and don't forget the icewater, soda chests, hot pizzas and lawn chairs it gets old.
Across the street, the same old Code Pink and "Veterans for Peace" leftists reliving their glory days of the 60s. Only now, darkness comes earlier than it did throughout the summer, more like it was in March, when Code Pink's disingenuous "peace vigil" every Friday night outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center began.
True, we are the DC Chapter of FreeRepublic.com, otherwise known as FReepers, and we can have fun anytime there's an anti-American protest to be countered, especially here in the nation's capital against such taste-free opponents, whose cheesey "vigil" at an army hospital in wartime is as cloyingly artificial as the scent of their candles-in-a-jar from Bed Bath and Beyond. Code Pink's adolescent, long-running political pout was beginning to bore us as well as them, in spite of the many fresh FReeper faces who've been showing up every week, saying that they heard or read about our counter-demonstrations at Walter Reed and wanted to stand with us in support of our wounded troops.
We've also leveraged pressure on Code Pink to make them stow most of their blatantly anti-war signs yet their remaining messages clearly intend to demoralize the wounded and their families make them feel victimized by military higher-ups, hopeless about their mission and ashamed of their service in short, to kindle insecurities they are sure the troops are too dumb to cultivate on their own, without their generous Marxist tutelage.
Last year Code Pink, having struck the fashionably privileged-class pose that the United States is the most morally corrupt among nations, gave $600,000 to "the other side" families of the insurgents blowing up our troops in Fallujah, one of the bloodiest strongholds in the Iraq War. Now, having possibly contributed to shattering the bodies of troops like those inside Walter Reed, they pose outside with hypocritical sentiments like "Up Veteran Benefits" scrawled on bilious pink flimsyboard.
Then there is Code Pink's endorsement of the World Tribunal on Iraq, a scurrilous anti-American screed signed onto by anarchists and socialists from around the globe, that calls for victory by the Iraqi insurgency, the defeat of Coalition objectives and rejection of the developing Iraqi constitution all this; and the mainstream media ignores Code Pink's shady complicity. It's been enough to keep FReepers coming back to face their twisted psychodrama, to watch them play the part of people who care about the troops. Tonight, we find out how deep Code Pink's caring about our troops really runs.
About an hour into the Same Old Same Old, a suddenly gathering roar with overtones of metal on metal escalated towards the dusk-darkened entrance gates of Walter Reed. The Pinkos visibly shrank behind their Marxist signboards as 18 bikers and biker chicks from the Rolling Thunder veteran's organization arrived, on eleven magnificent two- and three-wheel motorcycles with illuminated hubs and chassis.
While the Pinkos' guts clenched on the west side of Georgia Avenue, FReepers facing them from the east side greeted the arriving bikers with whoops and cheers. The battle-hardened Rolling Thunder members, veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf and Iraq Wars, cruised up, braked smartly, parked in a row and dismounted directly in front of the Code Pink protest line, blocking them from view setting off a flurry of efforts to hold their signs over the heads of the bikers.
Code Pink claimed their permit to both westerly corners. The biker vets claimed they could stand on the sidewalk of Walter Reed wherever they wanted, having served their country for the privilege.
"If I go to jail," said one of the bikers, reacting to Code Pink's hysterical attempts to boss the police into arresting the veterans they care so much about, "the tall skinny one's going with me." Code Pink's own Blue Ponytail Guy wrote a dramatic litany of fabrications about the event, asserting that renowned pro-veteran activist Ted Sampley assaulted one of them (wrong), that he is called "Squeegee" (wrong that's the DC Chapters' pet name for the Code Pink guy who wades into six-lane Georgia Avenue traffic to wave the vee-sign at cars), and that Sampley suddenly made the other Rolling Thunder cyclists appear, in direct response to Code Pink's fulminations.
The Rolling Thunder men and their ladies had started out hours before, cycling to DC from the far corners of Winchester, Virginia, Illinois and North Carolina to join Free Republic against Code Pink at Walter Reed.
Suffering from the John Kerry syndrome, Code Pink's sneering report on their web site then claimed that the DC Police were "rookie officers who sincerely tried to do their best but were clearly out of their depth... outnumbered..." Bemoaning the "powerlessness of the DC police", Code Pink's report reeks of self-importance, going on to reveal their political motivations and communist sympathies.
The police did their jobs, not Code Pink's bidding. As they well know, free speech is also the counter-protesters' right. Negotiations ensued, and Rolling Thunder soon moved their bikes to the Free Republic side of the street.
Pinko Anti-Veteran, Anti-Dog-Walker Diatribe Doesn't Let Up
"[A] dog walker purporting to be a local resident...threatened to complain to the police about us and have us shut down," Code Pink's report whined, casting doubt on the truthfulness of the very neighbors they claim are on their side. (FReepers have listened to this neighbor woman's understandable complaints about any demonstration in a residential neighborhood several times.) "This brings us," Code Pink's report solemnly intoned, "to the lessons learned on this vigil night." (We had been wondering when Code Pink would get around to seeing why their selfish pantomime is so offensive, but after half a year, light has only just begun to dawn.)
"Clearly, the Vigil before Walter Reed Medical Center has touched...a couple of nerves. One is the broad issue of the exercise of freedom of speech. The second is the issue of the war," their screed concluded, baring the core emotion of their "vigil" that Code Pink's losing-side resentment of the 2004 election should outweigh their fundamental indecency in exploiting the wounded to stir political rancor.
Perhaps because thousands of the unwashed had poured into Washington with Cindy Sheehan the week before, hoping to use the Iraq War to resurrect 60s' fervor for mayhem and destruction, average citizens and the media mostly yawned; but veterans got the message loud and clear. During the past week, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization issued a statement condemning irresponsibility towards our troops through protests such as this one at Walter Reed hospital.
Jim from Winchester, Virginia, a Bible-quoting biker and veteran who served from '63 to '67, understood very well that the military won the Vietnam War on the ground but lost it in the media. "When my two brothers-in-law returned from duty in Vietnam, they were met at the airport by war protesters who pelted them with rotten eggs and spoiled tomatoes.
"I made up my mind right then," said the muscular grandfather in black leather and a black do-rag. "Never again would any soldiers or their family members be spit on in America."
Tonight, Jim was doing something about the leftists' stomach-turning political opportunism: he strode not only in front of our lines, but across and along the Code Pink lines, passionately declaiming,
"Bring the troops home? Hah!
"Guys with prosthetic legs in there say they want to go back! They want to rejoin their units!
"Their service is honorable!
"They are doing their job and completing their mission!
"Leave 'em alone!"
Another biker, a marine veteran, told his story. "We came back on the USS Coral Sea," he said, referring to an aircraft carrier with a flat runway deck, where ranks of marines standing in orderly formation were plainly visible from shore as they prepared to disembark into an ambush of 60's anti-war protesters. "We were wearing parade dress uniforms," he continued. "The [bleeps] poured garbage on us. They spit on us. Nobody would talk to us," he recalled. "Not even the hookers."
Today's protesters aren't just grassroots students and housewives; studies show that current leftist agitators ally themselves with international socialist and communist organizations pitted against this nation, and hire costly marketing and PR firms such as Fenton Communications, which managed many of Code Pink's involvements with Cindy Sheehan. To contemporary subversives, undermining the United States, claiming that a war approved by Congress is illegal, calling our troops "killers" and having the same handful of operatives show up at demonstrations around the country is managed in businesslike fashion by professionals with corporate instincts and funding. Judging by the results, however, the Walter Reed "vigil" needs a better business model, such as shifting its venue to the offices of Senators and Congressmen.
It was time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. Inspired by a FReeper sign, "Got Freedom? Kiss a VET", a group of Rolling Thunder veterans launched a strategic mission that would test Code Pink's recently professed caring and concern for veterans. As FReepers chanted, "Hug! A! Vet! Hug! A! Vet!", intrepid patrols of hug-seeking biker vets crossed Georgia Avenue to the cold pink heart of the opposition, only to be turned away, utterly unhugged. After three separate forays worthy of the flower-power days of Haight Ashbury '69, they returned, proud veterans still; but clearly unloved by Code Pink. Mission accomplished: unmasking the enemy.
So Hot, We're Radioactive
While Code Pink malcontents continued to puzzle the mysteries of living in a parallel universe, joyful FReepers spent the evening cheering any and all personnel who drove in and out of Walter Reed and the vast majority of passing vehicles that beeped, waved, woo-hooed or air-horned in support not only of the troops, but also of their mission and Commander-in-Chief.
The surprise visit from veteran elders, described even in Code Pink's wistful phrase as "a bunch of muscle bound heroic figures with square jaws and windswept hair," demonstrated anew the brotherhood of veterans to the troops and their solidarity with the wounded. The "vigil's" false piety about veterans was exposed. And so was the leftists' contempt for Free Republic's speech rights, for the neighbors' true feelings about their having sparked this confrontation at the gates of a medical sanctuary, and for the Metro police.
Metro police are under constant assault from criminals, traffic, and the heightened security risks in the nation's capital. Tightly bound by activist judicial restraints, DC police deal with protesters of all stripes competently and courteously, as one of them did tonight when something on the FReep line set off the radiation detector he wore on his belt.
"Did one of you have an X-ray today?" the officer inquired, without throwing anyone to the ground in a headlock. He moved around our line until he found the sources of radioactivity two "hot" FReepers who had individually undergone medical radiation treatments. The DC Chapter of Free Republic is constantly grateful for the Metro Police's professionalism.
This week's turnout from Code Pink: twenty, tops, at the height of their activities. FReepers totaled 48 to 50. FReepers included TroopRally and Mrs Troop Rally, 3-D Joy, tgslTakoma, sonoftgslTakoma, Second Class Citizen, PleaDeal, Maica, Landry Fan, Kristinn, Lurker Joan, Justanobody, Jimmy Valentine's Brother, Jack Deth, a FReeper child, Fraxinus, Concretebob, Christopher Lincoln, Cathie_221, BufordP, BMWcyle, BillF, Beandog, Appleblossom and Albion Wilde, and guests Bill from Maryland, Phil from Olney, Eric Hawkins USA Ret., Ted Sampley and Jan Barwick of US Veterans Dispatch, John from Virginia and wife Mary Bell (their son is a Marine in Iraq), Jesse from Maryland, plus 15 to 18 associates of Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally.
Join us this week as we continue to meet Code Pink on First Amendment grounds. We hold out hope that they will learn the only mantra that truly worked in the 60s, "Work within the system." Having the right to do something doesn't mean it will work when you do it and decent people are revolted by it, such as anti-war demonstrating at a military hospital. We urge them to use the rights our troops have fought for to make this a win-win, and move their protest to a more appropriate location.
All of BMWcyle's photos of the event.
All of TgslTakoma's photos of the event.
Code Pink's ludicrously inaccurate wishful thinking "report" of the event (barf alert).
Earlier thread: Gael Murphy's (Code Pink) Blood Pressure Hits a New High
keep in mind I'm cold 10 to 11 months of the year. of course, I'm concerned about drivers' safety too.
Excellent, all of you are our inspiration in San Diego. Of course, the only thing we need to worry about from the weather is nursing sun burns........Great Job Americans.
LOL - I've noticed that! Love Ya anyway Landry!
It can however, become a major obsession.
It's because even though war is an ugly thing, it is not the ugliest of things.
The sight of middle-aged women in comfortable shoes, with middle-age spread, clad in hot pink spandex and a Marxist agenda disguised as sympathy for the wounded, standing in front of a hospital full of brave wounded soldiers, using up precious resources, holding signs blaming our President, is even uglier.
LF... I see a parody song there...Pink Floyd's The Wall...I need to let my mind wander a bit...ooops not that far...come back here, this instant!!!!
I swear you have to watch them every minute or they'll just wander off
I hate losing my mind like that...
I can put enough clothes on to stay warm, but they won't let me take off enough to be cool.
Exactly ... and ... thankfully!
that's what I was thinking about.
bad pinkos. stop supporting terrorists because of your disdain for America and deranged hatred of President Bush.
I never emboldened America's enemies during the Clinton presidency.
check out Andi's report.
Thanks Landry ... already been there. ;*)
thought so. I just included the names of some of the people I remember seeing at the freep. I don't have a ping list. I know I end up leaving people out by mistake.
This text has also been posted on my Veteran's message board concerning a ride I took with some Rolling Thunder buddies to Walter Reed on Sept 30.
The Free Republic website has an interesting account of the evening at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1498123/posts
Code Pink's website reports a different perspective of the same evening at http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=524
It's interesting to read Code Pink's account "However, apparently, as Mr. Sampley had not been able to disrupt the vigil by himself, he called in reinforcements. Half a dozen bikers arrived with their loud engines and parked along one corner of the vigil in the hopes of blocking our signs." and "The administration does not want an action even this small to continue. It has unleashed its dogs to do everything possible to break up the vigil. So far, they have failed. The actions of their biker stooges this Friday night only call attention to how desperate they are to make us go away."
As a participant, I don't recall anyone from the Administration being involved organizing this evening... I learned about Rolling Thunder's plans to drop in 10 days earlier as a response to Code Pink's reported use of cardboard coffins on the sidewalks outside of the hospital. Please refer to my earlier posts on this thread on the topic.
So, I guess we weren't the administration's 'stooges', and weren't 'reinforcements', as noted in the Code Pink account. These inconsistencies make me wonder what else they're wrong about...
I would also like to note a glaring omission from Code Pink's write-up. We carried a Gulf War veteran, a Marine amputee, with us. He rode in on the back of a trike to make his own stand. Even though he walked across the street and spoke with the Code Pink folks for quite some time, it seems that he was not worthy of being mentioned in their account. He was not supportive of Code Pink or their 'vigil'.
I myself spent some time talking with one of the demonstrators, who started quoting numerous figures and numbers about the numbers of troops returning from Vietnam who opposed the war there. He asked me what I thought about that, and I responded that I had never heard those figures, and that I would have to verify them for myself.
He denied that any Vietnam veterans were ever treated poorly in this country, and explained that the peace protesters helped the military by forcing the withdrawal. I explained that the anti-war sentiment in this country was largely focused upon the returning veteran (not against the policymakers, or the conditions that led up to our involvement in Vietnam), and that I have spoken with several vets who have provided firsthand accounts of being poorly treated upon their return. He was totally unconvinced that these things had ever happened, and believed that these accounts were all lies. I then explained to him that a substantial share of the treatment of returning Vietnam veterans could be attributed to a single individual who happened to single-handedly do more to cause pain and suffering for American POWs during Vietnam than anyone else, and he was thrown off guard when I explained that Senator Kerry's testamonies to Congress (while still a commissioned officer in the Navy) provided a great deal of fuel for the media flame against returning vets, and that his testamony was used by the North Vietnamese when they were interrogating American POWs, and that he is considered a hero by the government of North Vietnam.
I refused to pass judgement concerning the current conflict in Iraq, and pointed out that if Code Pink is truly concerned with the troops (as they claim), they should consider the divisive nature of their actions, and consider the danger of sending a divisive message, and that the venue of a military hospital is totally inappropriate.
I suppose I'm one of the bikers who Code Pink was referring to when they said "Some vigilers did engage in conversations with some of these bikers who alleged that they were opposed to the war but supported the troops. They refused to acknowledge that that was precisely the stand of the vigil so it is difficult to take them at their word."
I did not see any coffins on the sidewalk on this evening, but remain completely unconvinced that they are in the slightest way concerned with supporting the troops. Their stated objectives are to improve the living conditions of the military by improving benefits, and to bring the troops home NOW. During the entire Friday evening, I did not see a single member of Congress or a single Senator drive past. Since their weekly vigils began March 30, Code Pink has yet to learn that war policy is neither made, nor altered, at a hospital.
After the Code Pink folks retreated from their corners (while singing "We Shall Not Be Moved"), we rode to Fran O'Brien's (where the wounded troops are treated to dinner on Friday) to mix and mingle with the remaining troops. Not a single Code Pink person was there to show their support for the troops, and I suspect that we received a far warmer welcome by the patrons of Fran O'Brien's back room than Code Pink would have.
20 FReepers and 2 active-duty visitors from WR.