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Front Page » February 12, 2008 » Opinion » The Wasatch Behind: Berkeley goes code pink
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The Wasatch Behind: Berkeley goes code pink

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Sun Advocate Columnist

Just when we thought things couldn't get more stupid, along come our liberal friends on the left coast. While thousands of young Marines are deployed on foreign battlefields, the city of Berkeley has invited them to leave town. The city council voted a resolution calling the Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders," and mayor Tom Bates offered to help them leave town by negotiating an early end to the lease on their recruiting building.

According to the mayor, "the Marines are the president's own gangsters" and "they are trained killers," not welcome in his fair city. A city council member then told the press that Marines are known for "death, destruction and maiming" and they give America "horrible Karma."

And then, if that wasn't bad enough, the city council and mayor Bates gave special considerations to a radical feminist organization known as "Code Pink" to help them demonstrate against the Marines. Code Pink was given a city-owned "designated parking space" in front of the Marine recruiting station to use as a base of operations for their anti-Marine and anti-war protests. They have parked a large panel truck there, decorated with protest signs and loudspeakers they use to harass people entering the recruiting offices. Obviously, Code Pink protesters are acting as thugs on behalf of the mayor and city council.

In spite of all of this, the Marines say they have no plans to leave the city. After defeating the Imperial Japanese Army, the Red Chinese, the Viet Cong and Al Qaeda, a bunch of weird women wearing pink T-shirts are not all that intimidating to the Marines. But there is a moral and political point to be made here.

Code Pink was organized in 2002 as a women's peace organization, embracing such feminist icons as Cindy Sheehan and Susan Sarandon. The group calls itself a "grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities." (Life-affirming activities like abortion?) Wearing their signature pink battle colors, the group has demonstrated at the Whitehouse and congressional offices, and they've harassed wounded war veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They applaud Hugo Chavez's insightful leadership, accuse the U.S. military of war crimes, and they've sent humanitarian aid to the victims of U.S. aggression in Iraq. Just the type of left-wing progressive social organization one would expect to find festering in sunny California. And what better group could Berkeley pick to champion their anti-military views? You can't criticize "mothers" in pink T-shirts without being branded a bigot.

What is tragically funny about all of this is that Berkeley pretends to be the nation's center of free speech, tolerance, and diversity. Right? "By their works ye shall know them," the good book says. And what do we see here? Tolerance, diversity, and free speech? Not even. Marines and people who want to defend our country are not afforded equal rights in the People's Republic of Berkeley.

And where is the ACLU on this? When right-to-life demonstrators protested near abortion clinics, the ACLU came to town like the U.S. Cavalry to save the day. Where are they this time? Is only liberal speech worthy of being defended as free speech? Do we smell hypocrisy in the air? Could it be that our liberal friends are not tolerant after all? And could it be that war and killing are not really what's bothering them? Might their motives be more political than humanitarian? I could take anti-war, anti-killing protesters more seriously if they weren't at the same time asking me to be tolerant of their "right to choose" to kill their unborn babies. Talk about hypocrisy.

In my humble opinion, the Marines and every dime of federal funding should leave Berkeley immediately. I think the actions of the mayor and city council are treasonous, especially while young Marines are fighting and dying to defend them and their city. If it were up to me, we'd build a fence around that cesspool of liberal tolerance and let Hugo Chavez or Osama bin Laden annex the whole place.

I wonder if the city council and Code Pink would have the gall to ask the Marines to come and save them?

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February 12, 2008
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