- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2003

Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey and the good men and women in his employ have felt the strain of the Code Orange terror alert and the increasingly irrelevant antiwar demonstrations.
They have our sympathy.
The city's overtime tab is up, along with the murder rate, and too many of these slogan-spewing, antiwar dimwits either don't understand or don't care that their right to free speech is a drain on public services and possibly compromises the effectiveness of our law-enforcement bodies.
To which they probably would say: Law enforcement is not the answer. Give the human condition a chance.
Or maybe they would say: You know what? We don't care what your problems are. We just pretend to be caring types. We have our sense of self-importance, and these demonstrations really help with that. We get to be on television and in the newspapers. We get to be somebody, in a weird way, not unlike the crazy daytime talk-show guests.
There is no rhyme or reason with these antiwar ninnies. They do not traffic in any kind of real intellect. They live in a perfect world, where there is no state-sponsored genocide, no weapons of mass destruction, no crime, no bad people at all, only people who have been unable to process the powerful clarity of their words.
They apparently have all the intelligence information before them, all the satellite photographs, and all the stuff being shared by the countries waging this war on terror, and somehow, silly as it all is, they know the truth. They know it in their guts, because they could not pass an entry-level test in college on what they know.
But they know how to shout, to make a nuisance of themselves, and they know, in some cases, how to cause a public disturbance.
They will be the first ones to pull the bed covers over their heads the next time a terrorist act is committed on our soil. They will hide until they think the coast is clear, and then they will come out to announce that it is all the fault of the Bush administration.
There is no September 11 in their world view, no attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. There is no history of terror with them, no understanding, just a mindlessness that would not matter if it did not require the attention of Chief Ramsey and his overworked police force.
They already have enough to do. Washington is hard work on its best days. There is a criminal element in the city, as there is in any big city, that feels empowered to do what it does if it believes the police are preoccupied with other matters.
There are officers in patrol cars parked by all the federal buildings along the Mall and on Capitol Hill showing a heightened presence in these uncertain times. They can't be everywhere at once, in all the neighborhoods. The personnel numbers and the work hours eventually do not add up, no matter how hard Chief Ramsey tries to make it all work.
Chief Ramsey does not believe the recent killing spree could have been curbed with greater police deployment, and he is paid to know these things. You hope he is right. It would be disgusting to think otherwise.
Here you have these fools chanting "No blood for oil." Yet here you have blood being spilled right on our streets, with an overburdened police department that just might be inclined to say, "No blood for chanting, please."
Understandably, Chief Ramsey is requesting further federal assistance to cover the ever-burgeoning police costs. More and more, Chief Ramsey is trying to serve two constituencies: the residents of the nation's capital and the federal buildings that double as appealing targets for terrorists.
There also is another party in all this: the professional protesters. If it is not the antiwar crowd, it is the anti-globalization crowd, each indistinguishable from the other. They don't have any answers. They just have a lot of slogans, their insights no deeper than a bumper sticker.
They may be merely airheads or embittered geezers trying to reprise their Vietnam War protest days, and they may not have a clue, which is fine. There is no law against being a dummy in America.
But they do not have the right to be selfish, to possibly compromise the security and neighborhoods of the nation's capital. That is not in the Bill of Rights.
So give it a rest, people. You're down to protesting the fight against pockets of resistance, and you're not that important.

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