- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2003

The antiwar protesters are taking up lots of Washington's valuable law-enforcement time.
This is their right, selfish though it is amid the Code Orange terror alert.
Our nation is engaged in the military operation in Iraq, our city's various law-enforcement bodies are being overextended in these uncertain times, and the loony antiwar protesters have a seemingly pathological need to be heard and acknowledged.
Right. We hear you already.
No blood for oil. War is not the answer. Give Hans Blix a chance.
The antiwar protesters are an inventive lot. Give them that.
They have held sit-ins, die-ins, lay-ins, smell-ins and bad-hair-ins. They care so deeply. They feel the world's pain. As tormented as they are, they probably pick at their meals and have trouble falling asleep at night.
Oddly enough, some of the protesters have a funny way of expressing their humanity around others, which is one of the ongoing concerns of Chief Charles H. Ramsey and the Metropolitan Police Department.
These protesters sometimes are peaceful only in a theoretical sense. They think it is perfectly acceptable to be a public nuisance, or worse, because they have a calling, a higher purpose.
If it conflicts with your life or, in some small way, aids the evil ones, that is just too bad. These are important people with an important message. They are trying to save lives. You have to understand.
Whenever someone sticks a microphone in the face of one, the person inevitably mixes outrage with compelling logic.
"War is wrong," the protester says.
It is a feeling, but it is a powerful feeling.
This seems to be the Sean Penn philosophy of peace. The Hollywood actor is not necessarily the most peaceful fellow around, if you consider his run-ins with Madonna and the paparazzi over the years. Yet there he was in Baghdad not too long ago, exercising his diplomatic right to be apprised of the situation while hoping against hope that a peaceful solution could be worked out.
Some of the protesters are sort of like that. They apparently are champions of peace, except when they feel compelled to put actions, illegal or otherwise, to their words. The hypocrisy sometimes doubles as an infringement on your right to live as you see fit.
Some self-serving Americans just want to go to work. They have families and bills to consider, along with other obligations, and they don't want to be tied up in traffic because of the protesters taking a nap on the road.
The protesters don't object to being in a compromising position, which is: complex lecture to dispense versus the basic courtesy of not napping on the road. But who knows? Maybe a roadway is a comfortable resting spot.
These tortured souls are creeping up in odd places, specifically in the third quarter of the Wizards-Trail Blazers game in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday night, when a protester walked out onto the court during a stoppage in play and found a resting spot on the floor. The crowd booed the person, then cheered the security guards who each grabbed a limb before carting the human luggage away.
This seems to be a growing phenomenon in America. A protest is liable to break out in the most improbable places. You could step up to the counter of McDonald's and order a Big Mac meal, only to be ignored by the server in protest of the war.
Your appendix just burst? Tough. Members of the rescue squad have picked this moment to be on protest.
There is an obvious disconnect with the protesters. They do not seem to understand that there are those in our midst who mean us harm, and it is the job of Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, Chief Ramsey and the like to protect us.
That job, impossible as it is, would be made somewhat easier if the antiwar zealots did not require so many professional baby sitters wherever they gather, often in Washington.
Washington certainly understands the compulsion of the protesters to lend their hot air to the national discourse. This is the nation's hot air capital, after all.
Their predilection just seems so counterproductive at this time.
We know the evil ones are out there. We also know they are fond of the potential targets in Washington.
The evil ones have one note: Kill all Americans. That does not leave us a lot of negotiating room, hawks and doves alike.
In this Code Orange time, all we are saying is give those in law enforcement a better chance.

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