Article Overview:   Why did 91 protestors get arrested and 16 police get injured during the New York Peace Rally?   Was it the work of the Beast of Terror or of a "criminal state" trying to oppress the people?   Did the Beast of Terror plan to destroy America's Principles of Vigilance, or did his acts strengthen them?  Find out in this compelling story.


Sunday--March 23, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 557
 Anti-War Violence Turns Peaceful Protest Into War
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 23-- Peaceful protesting begets violent protest--at least that's the conclusion punctuating yesterday's anti-war demonstration that drew more than 100,000 protestors down a 36-block march from the Crossroads of the World to Washington Square Park where violence erupted.

The march started at the Crossroads of the World (Times Square)

        I smelled trouble when the protest parade was ending.   My wife and I started out at Herald Square where the march began.   Protest organizers claimed 250,000 turned out, but police estimated the crowd was half that size.    I guessed it to be at least four football stadiums large, around a couple of hundred thousand.   But anything over 100,000 is a big chunk of humanity, and mixed within it marched the Beast of Terror next to the Angels of Peace.
        Over the previous days, I had reported on numerous protest events and decided I didn't want to miss this big one even though I had my fill of people screaming how vile and corrupt America was.    Earlier in the day I had met with some friends on the issue of tolerance, and buttressed my psyche to accept what I considered the forked tongues of protest agitators who attack and maim American democracy by comparing America's actions in Iraq to those of Hitler in post-war Germany, and limiting our reasons for war to oil and corporate greed.
       On the more positive side, nothing signals the polarity between Iraq and America than the right of protestors to march in the street and berate government, for the beauty of democracy is the right of dissent.    I held up that right to far outweigh any prejudices I might have against those who twist and pervert America's Principles of Vigilance as an errant child might lambaste loving parents who gave the child far too many liberties.
        The march was civil and orderly for the most part.    I was impressed as it moved its way down toward Washington Square, nestled in the heart of New York University's main campus and located near the epicenter of Greenwich Village.

Peaceful protestors milling through Washington Square Park  and chalking anti-war messages earlier in the day

        My digital camera was ready to take up to 500 pictures, and I shot as though I were in a free fire zone, trying to capture a sign here and there that wasn't all anti-American.    Of the tens of thousands of signs, banners and posters, I did get a few shots of signs that both attacked Saddam Hussein as well as President Bush, but the overwhelming mass of messages were all one-sided, geared to make President Bush and the Administration appear as the "axis of evil," with little note that Saddam Hussein was a self-pronounced tyrant who likened himself to Joseph Stalin and was famed for gassing his own people and killing his grandchildren's fathers and then dragging their dead bodies through Baghdad.    Of course, the most current issue of his manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction was void.
        Even Shakespeare was a little wary of those who "doth protest too much," suggesting that those who do might bear a blind eye to the truth, or, be wholly ignorant of it.  But I didn't figure it took many brains to protest, since shouting, screaming and cursing is a Neanderthalic reaction to issues one has no ability to envision.

Peace is a prelude to War

         Peace, I have always maintained, is not the absence of war, but rather the prelude to it.   For I consider "peace" to be euphemism for Complacency.    This, is of course, my sole opinion, but one based on practical life experience.
        The solution, I believe to war, is a constant state of Vigilance, one where the Sentinels of Vigilance--the Mothers and Fathers and Grandparents, Citizens and Loved One's of Vigilance are aware that the Beast of Terror lurks just behind the bushes, and if one neglects to lock his or her door, or to sheath the Sword of Vigilance, the Beast will roar.
        In Saddam Hussein's case, America's biggest mistake was to fall Complacent in 1991 and not remove him during the Gulf War, for he was then, and is now, a threat to world peace.   Even his Arab Nation neighbors consider him a wildcard, capable of attacking anyone who defies him, and more than capable of building and selling arsenals of weapons to any buyer.  Any man who sleeps in a different bed each night, or kills his grandchildren's fathers, needs to be looked at with a wary eye.

Rare protest sign against Saddam

      However, the protest thrust was not against Saddam.  It was a vitriolic attack on America as a democracy, and specifically an acidic attack on President Bush, elevating him to the position of International Terrorist.
        When more than 100,000 people march for 3.5 hours shouting out their hatred for America and decry the principles of democracy, it creates kindling for violence.   If one were to write a script for the Beast of Terror to inflame children against their parents, the invectives issued from the placards and chants of the protestors would be the Beast's dialog.  Hate!  Hate!  Hate!  Hate!   That was the theme.
        When the protestors reached Washington Square, I knew the trouble would boil there.   A stage was positioned in the square where rally organizers had the opportunity to inject the tired marchers with the venom of the Beast.

Police monitor crowd from rooftops around Washington Square

       At the two earlier protests I had attended, speakers who grabbed microphones and vomited out their words, did not hail the right of free speech or hoist the Principles of Democracy up the flagpole, but instead used their broadcast tools to fill the air with the ugliness of American leadership, and its ability to bring horror and destruction to the world.
        There is little question that speakers, gripped by the disease of megalomania and national patricide, wallow in the joy of twisting peace into hate, and respect into anger, and rights of dissent into acts of defiance against authority.
        The parade permit expired at 4 p.m.   At that moment, the police asked the crowd to disperse.   The crowd refused, and fed by fires of angry lambastings against America, lit an American flag on fire.

Flag-burning in Washington Square Park

       Cheering, the crowd became overly excited and started to push and shove.

Washington Square Park police-macing -protestor arrested

        Then the police moved in, for two reasons.  One, to disperse the crowd and two, to stop the burning of fires in the park.
         Protestors, armed with pepper spray, attacked the police, who, up to this point, had been laid back, trying to avoid confrontation.
         Earlier, police command sent in uniformed women officers to get the crowd to break up, an attempt to soften any reaction to male officers who might be considered threatening.    The first victims of the pepper spray were the women officers.
         The melee broke out.   Protestors armed with pepper spray attacked and the police retaliated, arresting 91.   Sixteen police were injured, 11 requiring medical attention.
         The violence was the work of a small core of the mass of protestors, and obviously planned.   Arming oneself with pepper spray to attack police at protest rally doesn't happen by accident.

American leadership likened to that of Nazi Germany

         And, being fed a constant diet of how ugly American policy is, and likening the leadership of America to that of Hitler and Nazi Germany, and promoting the greed and avarice of capitalism and chanting that American leadership are war criminals who should be impeached and put on trial, only flames the fires of violence.
         It was a sad but brutal ending to an otherwise beautiful day of democracy.    Earlier, I was elated that while the protestors railed against America, the understanding that our country allows dissent and protest glorified their ignominy.  I was okay with it.  I was shuffling through my mind that not one of the protestors would have lived more than a few minutes had they marched through Baghdad with protest signs against Saddam Hussein a few months ago.  Their arms and legs would have been tied to four horses and yanked off as the horses were spurred to the far reaches of the compass.  Then, what was left of them would have been hanged in the center of towns as a reminder to any and all who dared to defy Saddam's power.
         But that wasn't the point of the protest.

The protest sought to undermine democracy

         The protest, as most are, sought to undermine democracy, to destroy the power of a nation that cherishes individual liberties so much so that people comprising this nation have come from all four corners of the earth to suckle the sweet nectar of its fruits.
         All that, of course, was lost in the madding rush to decry America's effort to liberate Iraq.  Only American greed and avarice was flagged, none of its virtues displayed.  The formula was Ugly Plus Ugly Equal Ugliest.
         That brought out the pepper spray.   The hatred for America consumed by the protestors intoxicated by its venom, turned their peace into war.   They became the Beast of Terror they protested.   They fouled the air with Mace, attacking those who allowed them to defecate upon the only nation in the world willing to send millions upon millions of its people to far edges of the world in hopes that other citizens and their children might enjoy the freedoms Americans enjoy.
         There were no signs or placards memorializing the nearly 2 million dead and wounded who fought for the liberation of Europe or Asia over the past century, or a single sign that said that America did not conquer its enemies, or enslave the citizens of the lands it liberated.  No, that truth was not fuel for the Beast of Terror. 
          Peace had become War.

True Peace advocates were present

        The advocates of Peace had been wolves in sheep clothing, waiting for the moment to pull out their pepper spray and attack authority.   I thought of them as snipers waiting with itchy fingers for that precise moment when the fever of protest crossed the line from Peace to Terrorism, for I maintain that Peace is only a mask one puts over one's head to hide the face of Complacency.
         Complacency is, of course, Terrorism's greatest weapon.  It lulls people into the false belief that everyone has the right to rule themselves in accordance to their own dictates, even if those dictates fly in the face of the security of the Children's Children's Children.
          Nothing could be less true.
          Society has a duty to the future of the Children, regardless of their states or nations.   A child living in the shadow of tyranny and oppression in Iraq poses a charge upon every American to free that child of abuse of his or her fundamental rights to live outside the walls of Terrorism.
         America is the model of human liberties.
         It was founded on the principle that every human being owes the right of liberty to every other human being, and with that right, attends the duty to be Vigilant in the protection of equal rights for all.
         While America is not perfect in its expression of these rights, it is the spearhead of human rights.   It has been willing to sacrifice its children to foreign lands to fight the Beast of Terror so that other children may evolve with the same rights it enjoys.

Sounds of German storm trooper boots have faded into silence

       Turn the clock back fifty years to Europe or Asia.   The sounds of storm trooper boots smashing down the cobblestone streets have faded into silence.   In Japan, the rising sun flag of Imperial Japan has vanished, replaced by one of the richest of all nations in that sector of the world.
         Iraq is but one small example of past tyranny alive today.   Its citizens live in the shadow of a Stalinesque leader who vows to rule the Middle East by force, and whose citizens cannot protest any of his acts for fear of being killed, raped, tortured or imprisoned.
        Peace is not the answer to fighting Beasts of Terror.
        Peace is a capitulation of duty to the world's children, an excuse to turn one's head to the crimes against humanity--crimes against the children.
        Only Vigilance works.
        Vigilance, the deployment of Courage over Fear, the issuance of Conviction to snuff out Intimidation, and the fortitude to take the Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's Children rather than hide in the shroud of Complacency, is the only solution.
         That means America must keep its hand on the hilt of the Sword of Vigilance, and be prepared to draw it and use it to cut off the head of the Beast of Terror before it grows so large and unwieldy it consumes the children, not only of the nations in which it exists, but to thwart the threat of its virulent infection to other nations.
         The U.S. erred in 1991 by not lopping off the Head of the Beast.  But it has chosen to not make that mistake twice.

The Beast of Terror in 1991 in the Gulf War

        Kim Jong Il in North Korea is watching, for he ranks with Saddam Hussein in his brutalization of his children, and in his impending threat to spread the disease of Terrorism to the rest of the world around him.
         So I was not surprised at the final end of the protest day.
         In the end, the Beast of Terror rose out of the falsity of Peace.
        He snarled and fumed and, like Saddam Hussein, gassed his own people.
        The 91 arrested demonstrators in Washington Square Park will receive fines, perhaps some will get jail time.
        They will be afforded attorneys.  They will protest their arrests.
        They will eat fine food while they piss and moan about America totalitarianism.   They will carp and kick and scream and try to capture the lens of the media and spew out more venom about the ugliness of America, and all the while they will be afforded every right imaginable.
         They won't be sent to torture or rape rooms.   They won't be beaten and their families won't be arrested.  They won't be quartered and hung on light poles for the vultures to eat out their eyes, or sent to slave camps to die horrid deaths.
         No, they will be released to become angry Voices, telling the world how they "maced the Pigs" at Washington Square.  They will be let go to scuttle about the land of America bragging about how vile and corrupt America is, and how it is run by capitalists and war mongers and war criminals

        Yes, the protestors will be freed to hide behind the sham of Peace, to breed other Beasts of Terror trying to tear down America's legacy of Vigilance.
         But they will not succeed.
         Vigilance will overpower them.


Iraqi children will one day be freed from the grip of the Beast of Terror

         For one day, the Iraqi children who will be freed from the grip of the Beast of Terror will make their way to America and thank not the protestors of war, but the Warriors of Vigilance for setting them free.
         In the meantime, America will wallow in its ignominy that Peace means Complacency.   And until the wool is pulled from American's eyes, the citizens of this country will not see there  is only one road to be taken to secure true Peace in this world--the Road of Vigilance.
        You can start on the Road to Vigilance today.  You don't have to wait.   Take the Pledge of Vigilance.  If you do, the wool will be pulled from your eyes.

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