In Berkeley, California, a controversy has arisen over protests by antiwar groups such as Code Pink against recruiting efforts by the U.S. Marines, efforts they consider immoral in light of the support such efforts lend to the occupation of Iraq, among other policies. The City Council and Mayor of Berkeley have expressed support for the protests and opposition towards efforts by the U.S. military to recruit their young citizens to fight in the Iraq War.
This is the sort of small, isolated, symbolic "controversy" which war cheerleaders on the Right love to exploit and build into a national drama. It's basically the first cousin of such petulant and petty right-wing operas as the Ward Churchill Chronicles, the MoveOn.org newspaper ad hysteria, and the recent riveting flap over the picture of Che Guevara which some anonymous Obama volunteer posted on a local campaign office wall. Bankrupt political movements and their petty, barren followers inevitably fixate on meaningless dramas because there is nothing else for them.
But the Berkeley protests are worth commenting on because the rhetoric from our war-loving Right has escalated of late into territory that is plainly deranged, even for them. Led by Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who has introduced legislation to punish the City of Berkeley with a denial of federal funds, they have decided that these Code Pink protests -- rather obviously core First Amendment activities -- are the embodiment of Treason and should be punished as such.
Here's a representative sampling of the increasingly deranged commentary, from the right-wing online magazine The American Thinker (emphasis in original):
As a Southerner, I have watched the Berkeley vs. U.S. Marines brouhaha with a very keen interest. I'm not all that sure those people in Berkeley know what can happen to people who decide to mess around with the United States government.
Somebody really ought to clue those folks in with a little reality check.
So far, I haven't seen any official calls for their little bayshore city to be surrounded by an armed force of Navy, Marines, Army and National Guard and blockaded from the rest of the country. But they should take a lesson from the likes of us whose ancestors tried stunts like this in the past, and do a more hasty and substantial retreat before they have to find out for themselves just how hard it can be to face off with the Union. . . .
So here's a clue from the whole South to those brazen folks in Berkeley:
The people of the United States of America do not possess unlimited patience with those who feel themselves above the Constitution that protects us all.
And y'all don't want to feel the wrath of Uncle Sam when he's had enough.
Glenn Reynolds' and Michelle Malkin's favorite "miliblog," Blackfive (last seen warning Scott Thomas Beauchamp that he would be physically assaulted by his fellow soldiers as punishment for the articles he wrote for The New Republic), had this to say, via its blogger "Deebow":
I hate traitors. Hate them with a fiery passion that prays for their damnation in a warm suite down the hall from Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer. I hope all of the things described by Dante are as good as described and that they will be equally applied to all of them. . . . .
Good Americans who care about the young men and women who continue to make it safe for us to sleep warm and secure at night and have the rights we do will always suffer the slings and arrows of our enemies on the battlefield in defense of those freedoms for not only everyone else, but themselves as well.
But they will not long suffer fools who cannot tell the difference between tyranny and freedom and at every turn, use the same rights they fight for to plan, scheme and assist our enemies.
Given how this little battle in Berkeley has unfolded, I think most would agree that they should consider themselves warned....
As always, the super-tough warriors on the Right love to beat their chests and issue tough-sounding threats and vague proclamations without having the courage to specify what they mean. Exactly what, on behalf of the "whole South," are they "warning" Code Pink will happen to them if they continue to exercise their First Amendment rights by protesting the military's recruitment efforts? They won't say.
Despite this refusal of our Civilization Warriors to have the courage of their convictions and state what they mean, it is unmistakably clear that they're issuing some rather demented threats -- ones that vaguely promise severe punishment, legal or extra-legal, towards Code Pink for their protests and the Berkeley officials for their democratically enacted resolutions. Everyone knows what one does with "Traitors."
We're in a never-before-encountered-Struggle for our Civilization because The Islamic Enemy hates freedom. Radical Islam is a grave threat to everything, to all of Our Freedoms, because they try to intimidate and threaten violence towards those who offend that which they hold sacred.
Those who disparage
wars fought by the U.S. military Mohammed are threatened with violence. Those who organize protests against the U.S. Government publish anti-Islamic cartoons have fatwas issued against them, threatening their welfare. Any public dissent from sacred military orthodoxies sacred Islamic dogma subjects one to deranged, dissent-intolerant and freedom-hating "warnings." We have to dismantle our Constitution and begin once and for all to "get our hands dirty" with silencing our Enemies because we're at War with those who want to do violence against those whose values diverge from their own.