Tonight people all over the country will gather together for candlelight vigils and other memorials to mark the 2,000th U.S. military fatality in the Iraq conflict. Obviously, most of these people are likely to be moderates and liberals who opposed the war in the first place, but with a majority of Americans now expressing the opinion that going to war was a mistake ? and two thirds of Americans now dissatisfied with Bush's handling of the war ? it's safe to say a few (or more than a few) of those people are going to be disgruntled Republicans and ex-Bush supporters, too. The supposedly liberal media has spent more than two years now trying to portray anti-war sentiment as being restricted to outlying fringe bands of nutty Volkswagen-bus-driving vegan anarchists, but they clearly can't make that claim anymore, and neither can the Bush administration.
That hasn't stopped some members of Bush's dwindling group of diehard supporters from trying to make that claim, however. The virulently unrepentant racists at a blog called Little Green Footballs falsely portrayed the events as "parties," and the equally racist Michelle Malkin obediently picked up the slander and ran with it. (By the way, the American Friends Service Committee that's organizing the events? Is a Quaker organization. Clearly the Quaker church is a rabid America-hating bunch of Islamofascists that's been running unhinged for centuries.)
If merely being anguished at the deaths of 2,000 good men and women, and not having confidence in the current administration's ability (or commitment) to ensure that their deaths were not in vain, constitutes hatred of America, then I have news for people like LGF and Michelle Malkin: There are apparently a lot more "America-haters" out there than you realize. The American people are unhappy with how things are going, clearly; some of them are demoralized; many of them are downright angry. But they're not angry at the troops. They're not unhappy with the Quakers. And you can't blame their dissatisfaction on the old "liberal media" bogeyman. The Bush administration trumped up our so-called rationale for going to war; they sent our troops into Iraq undermanned, underarmed, and underprepared; and in spite of mountains of damning evidence that their prewar assumptions and "planning" ? if it can be called that ? were woefully lacking, they resolutely refused to make any sort of changes. The Quakers and their millions of supporters are not "partying," Mrs. Malkin, they are grieving. If you weren't so robotically driven by your blind fealty to President Bush, maybe you would be, too.
So just to recap, if you don't want to send our soldiers off to fight a poorly planned war halfway around the world, if you suggest that our soldiers need better leadership, if you question why they're not being sent out there with proper body armor, if you even grieve for the soldiers who have died, you hate the troops and you're anti-American. Yet somehow, I think the people holding candles tonight at those so-called "parties" are, in fact, better Americans than the Malkins and Bushes of the world will ever be.
Cross-posted at ADP Blog.