Move America Forward’s report, dissected

So here is the report from Move America Forward — the grassroots conservative group which has spearheaded efforts to shame and boycott Berkeley for the city’s hostile stance toward its U.S. Marine Corps recruiting station — listing acts of civil disobedience, vandalism or violence at military recruiting stations across the nation in recent years.

Part A is a list of such events since 2003.

Part B is titled “Behind The Scenes: Anti-War Activists Exposed.” And that’s where I’m left underwhelmed.

MAF found several instances in which morons posted comments to the Internet approving of crimes such as the vandalism of a recruiting center in Spokane, Wash.; the arson of a center in San Jose; and the recent bombing of a center in New York City’s Times Square. What’s clearly missing, however, is any evidence of the vast left-wing conspiracy implied by MAF’s news releases earlier this week.

“Move America Forward has also documented discussions by anti-military activists coordinating attacks against military recruiting centers and suggesting ways to reduce the chance of facing criminal prosecution,” said the group’s Thursday news release. Instead, what we’ve got are a handful of nobodies gloating over actions they almost certainly had nothing to do with, spouting rhetoric on publicly accessible blogs — hardly an insurgency.

And the left doesn’t have a monopoly on spitting rhetoric on blogs.

Judge for yourself. Here are a few of the passages highlighted in MAF’s report:

  • (Regarding the Spokane vandalism:) “The proper response to this is for people to vandalize more recruiting stations.”
  • (Also regarding Spokane:)”On a more practical note, I think our movement needs to have a more prominent discussion about how to engage in actions and not get caught.”
  • (Regarding the Times Square bombing:) “Sometimes the news in the morning just warms your heart… first, millions of dollars worth of property damage to wealthy mansions and now a damaged and closed recruitment station, what’s next, rioting in the streets? (God I hope so)”
  • (Regarding a Washington, D.C., recruiting center:) “That recruiter is a child predator who sits at a desk all day and probably couldn’t handle actual war but loves to stalk children. Oh and I wish I had an M-16 with some extra magazines so I could just walk down K St. and start blasting war profiteers and recruiters and watch as you right wing losers start to cry your silly little heads off.”
  • (Regarding the San Jose arson:)”1 down! thousands to go! This is some awesome news to wake up to!”
  • Compare those to some of the comments left in the past week by MAF members and supporters in response to items on this very blog:

  • “We’re witnessing the encore of the Vietnam era anti-American, hippy war protesters. The exact same hippy traitors are re-enacting their glory days. It will only get worse. With each unopposed incident, they get bolder and braver. Do you remember when the campus riots stopped back then? Kent State. When do we start that re-enactment?”
  • “Maybe someday you can meet me and my rottweiller. I will be watching to see if your group shows up in my Texas area.”
  • “Mayor Bates,the Berkeley City Council and Code Pink should be tried and executed for treason.”
  • “The good people of the USA are fighting against the forces of fascist extremists who don’t care who they harm (women,children,ect.).Code pink is just another arm of these extremists. They should be eradicated (all the extremists) with extreme predudice. As an american who believes in every persons right to pursue happiness I will do what is necesary to assure their extinction.”
  • “Code Pink and groups like them, need to look over their shoulders every day & night. There a lot of American Patriots who will not stand-by and allow them to continue their behavior. Their day of reckoning is fast approaching and there will be NO mercy shown. Too many of our buddies have died, are crippled or mentally challenged as a result of the Iraq war. They paid a heavy price! These “worthless pieces of trash” anti-americans will pay!!!”
  • Those who commit civil disobedience, vandalism, arson or bombings should be prosecuted, but painting everyone with the words or actions of a demented few is idiocy. Sometimes cretins at either end of the political spectrum say too much, but that’s the freedom we enjoy here — deal with it, embrace it, revel in it.

    All of this “debate” — really just empty rhetoric — from both sides during the height of the Berkeley recruiting flap is just a distraction. Substantive discussion about foreign policy has been eclipsed by silly semantics.

    When I was out there covering the protests outside Berkeley City Hall on Feb. 12, I saw a few moments in which people on the two sides actually started talking to one another and listening to what each other had to say. That’s what we should be striving for, not the blustery crap documented in MAF’s report or contained in some of the comments on this blog.

    That’s the only way we can move America forward.

    UPDATE @ 12:53 P.M. FRIDAY: This just in from MAF chairwoman Melanie Morgan:


    I’m writing to you from Ryan’s computer in D.C after holding our national news conference denouncing the tactics of CodePink, International ANSWER, Global Exchange and other Radical activist groups.

    Unfortunately, I experienced a big ‘See, I told You, So’ moment when we were attacked during our news conference by the same people who descended on Berkeley, New York, Washington, Denver and St. Louis to shut-down the recruiters.

    npc-removal.jpgIn fact, a group of activist/anarchists were thrown out at the national Press club because they infiltrated under false pretenses, and screamed obscenities during my presentation

    Later, I was chased down in the streets of D.C. and further harassed, as well as Congressman John Carter and his staff.

    So, tell me again about that business on your blog about the business of needing to ‘dialogue’ with each other.

    Your contention that our people’s comments live up to the left-wing real life physical bombing, burning, and shootings is simply absurd.

    Melanie Morgan

    Josh Richman

    Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.