- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The leftist protesters who gather every Friday night outside Walter Reed Medical Center are inspired by a radical agenda that few if any soldiers share. The protesters — organized by the radical antiwar group CodePink and others — have been photographed with signs bearing insults like “Maimed for a Lie” and “Died for Halliburton.” They have lined mock flag-draped coffins outside the hospital. These cannot be meant to heal the wounds of those whom the nation has sent to battle.

The protesters insist they have the soldiers’ best interests at heart, and that they don’t intend to demean anyone. This is nonsense and the protesters know it. They seek to use wounded soldiers to make a political statement. They are callous to the wounded and their families with their lectures to the injured about the circumstances of their injuries. They affect righteous indignation that anyone thinks their tactics repellant.

“I am more offended by the fact that [wounded veterans] were maimed for life,” one of them told Cybercast News. “I am more offended by the fact that [they] have been kept out of the news.” Another called the wounded “the price of George Bush’s foreign policy.” Said Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of CodePink to Scripps Howard News Service: “It’s all part of a smear campaign.”

The Army and Reserves regularly find that amputees seek to re-enlist. This is no surprise to anyone who knows a soldier. “I’m not bitter at all,” one reservist amputee told the Associated Press. “I’ve been in the military my whole adult life, and I really enjoy it.”

In October 2004, the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that more than two-thirds of service members support President Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. This is a very large part of the population for the CodePink crowd to re-educate; we doubt they will succeed. More than half of those responding said the president strains the National Guard and Reserves. Nearly two-thirds said the president had underestimated the number of troops needed. Still, they support the president by a 2-to-1 margin.

It’s an old game. At Walter Reed, the left re-enacts a tired playbook, purporting to teach the masses about their “true” interests. This time they have taken their sordid tactics to a hospital of heroes. If that doesn’t demean wounded soldiers, nothing will.

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