Can you feel the love? Rally for Palestine and Lebanon in Washington, D.C.
Lafayette Park, Washington D.C. August 12, 2006. It was slated as a "Rally for Palestine and Lebanon."(CAIR action alerts). It felt more like a hatefest. It went far beyond policy. Words like massacre, state sponsored terrorism, war criminals, war crimes, war machine, all in reference to Israel and the United States, permeated the rhetoric. One AP article called the crowd "family friendly." I guess you could say that if you want to teach your family, and especially children, that their President is a terrorist, their country murders children, and that "capitalism is the disease and revolution is the cure."
In the video below, the National Council of Arab Americans condemns the "duplicity and complicity" of the American government in allowing the Lebonese "massacre to continue." He talks about the "Israeli war machine and Israeli war criminals". Notice throughout the video, he refers to Lebanon as home. Not America.
Next the National Council of Arab Americans states that they stand in solidarity with Hezballah and praise Hezballah as victors over Israel and freedom fighters.
In this segment, Brian Becker, National Coordinator of ANSWER, tells the crowd that the United States and Israel are "equal partners in genocide."
Below Becker refers to the long discredited Jenin massacre as though it were not discredited and lets the audience know that the Lebanese war was on behalf of Exxon, Chevron, and Citibank, who want to impose "Colonial slavery" on the people of the Middle East. Yes, he actually used the "S" word.
In the segment below, an Egyptian University Professor, representing the Egyptian Committee Against Imperialism & Zionism, salutes Hezballah from the podium, and he states emphatically that he doesn't salute any Muslims who try to stab Syria in the back. All to wild cheers from the crowd. He says Egypt will join the fight, and the crowd boos when he refers to Mubarak.
In the below video, Esam Omesh, President of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, has quite a list of demands including the release of hundreds of civilians he claims are held in "Israeli dungeons" and to "stop calling Islam Islamic fascism or a religion of extremism". He goes on to say that Israelis deliberately targeted civilians. And this was broadcast throughout the Arab world according to MAS's website (http://www.masnet.org/).
Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, has some questions on his mind. He wants to know if it was right that bombs paid with U.S. tax dollars killed a young girl's entire family on the beach in Gaza (a disputed account). And he contends that Condaleeza Rice fiddled while the Middle East burned.
Mhadi Bray continues on by telling George Bush that there is no fascism in the Koran, and maybe he should check that with "George Rumsfield" (yes, he actually said George). He states that George Bush needs to go read his Bible.
In the MSM's coverage of the D.C. rally, Reuters ran a picture of a distraught Muslim woman with the caption: "A woman shouts at anti-Muslim protesters during a rally in Washington against the Middle East conflict August 12, 2006. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)" (I found the picture at littlegreenfootballs.com) Hmm. Anti-Muslim. How did Reuters come to that conclusion? I didn't encounter any "anti-Muslim" protesters. Counter-protesters, yes. I took the following pictures of the handful of counter-protesters that I did encounter, and while I was taking their pictures, it was the Muslim group who came from across the street to shake fists and call names. Could it be that Reuter's "anti-Muslim" caption is blatently false and biased?
Here are more stills from the rally. You can get a feel for the tone of the day.
Throughout the day, many of the speakers demanded recognition as patriotic Americans. I took pictures of every corner of the rally. How many U.S. flags were flying? It's kind of a "Where's Waldo?" situation.
The entire afternoon in Lafayette Park was a bombardment of condemnation. The irony of the day was, of course, that there was a constant flow of condemnation toward the U.S. and Israel for civilian deaths, a constant flow of Muslims professing the "sanctity of all life", and heartfelt Muslim chants of Allahu Akbar (God is great), yet not so much as a breath of condemnation against Al-Qaeda who continues daily massacres of innocent Iraqi civilians, and not a word of condemnation against the Muslims who, while chanting that same "Allahu Akbar," sawed off innocent civilian Nick Berg's head and lifted it high for the cameras. No comdemnation for scores of other atrocities.
Yet the Muslim speakers proclaim, "All life is sacred." Why should we believe you?