While anti-war activists hoped their rally yesterday would be the “largest peace rally in the nation’s capital since the Vietnam War,” it doesn’t seem they reached their goal. In order to make the rally seem larger than it was, the BBC and other new outlets relied on the organizers’ claim that 100,000 turned out. Little Green Footballs found this picture of the rally at Yahoo and observed that “it looks like the turnout was much less than 100,000 people.”
A reader wrote in to Glenn Reynolds to report the same thing: he did not see 100,000 there either. Jeff Goldstein shows how the MSM has been spinning news of the rally to make it appear larger and more diverse that it actually was.
It seems that every critic of the Iraq war claims that it is another Vietnam, that not only are our troops in the process of losing, but that public opposition is growing. Yet, while polls may show that more Americans oppose the war than did at the time we liberated Iraq from Saddam’s tyranny, the number of those who are fervently opposed to the war does not match that of the Vietnam era.
There were few (if any) large-scale protests when, in August 1964, Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution effectively declaring war on the Communist government in North Vietnam. Yet, hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) rallied in cities across the country in 2003 to oppose the impending U.S. (and coalition) war against Saddam’s regime. Even the organizers don’t claim more than 100,000 attended yesterday’s rally. And as I noted above, most observers believe that number to be inflated.
As the war in Vietnam escalated so too did the protests back home, that is, the rallies got bigger. But, as our troops continue to fight the terrorists in Iraq, the size of the rallies has not so increased. Those who follow what’s really going in Iraq know that our involvement there is nothing like that in Vietnam. Although we are experiencing a few setbacks, we are winning the war. And the inability of the anti-war movement to draw a large crowd for their rally yesterday shows that the situation back in the U.S. is nothing like it was in the Vietnam era.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
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UPDATE: Fellow Bear-Flag Blogger Baldilocks (and very nice gal) has pictures from a sparsely attended rally in LA.
UP-UP-UP-UP-UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt provides the details which make my point. The first anti-Vietnam War protest in 1965 brought 16,000 to the White House. In November 1969, more than 250,000 protesters — some estimates went as high as 500,000 rallied against the Vietnam War. In other words, back then, the protests got bigger as the war escalated. Thanks, Hugh.