A POW-MIA group will be heading to Washington later this month to voice support for the U.S. military operation in Iraq and to prevent anti-war activists from desecrating veterans memorials in the nation’s capital.
In January, protestors attending an anti-war rally featuring Jane Fonda spray-painted graffiti on the steps of the Capitol Building. On March 17, anti-war activists plan to continue demonstrating their opposition to American foreign policy, marching from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Pentagon to demand an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The POW-MIA group Rolling Thunder will be joining several veterans organizations that day as they guard "The Wall," as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is known, and hold a rally to support U.S. troops.
Former Army Sergeant Artie Muller, executive director of Rolling Thunder, says anti-war activists fail to understand that if terrorism is not confronted in Iraq, more of it will be seen in the U.S. He recounts the events of the January anti-war rally.
"The last time those people were down there, they sprayed all kinds of graffiti on the Capitol steps and they hung protest items on a Navy war memorial — and things like that, as far as we’re concerned, don’t cut it," says the veterans group director…
Rolling Thunder and the other veterans groups are vowing that such destructive antics will not happen this time around. "If they want to demonstrate, they do have that right to demonstrate, no matter what for," Muller remarks ; "but they don’t have the right to destroy things down there, especially our memorials — and we don’t trust them."
Muller admits that he would have a hard time restraining himself if he were to come in contact with Fonda or other celebrity activists during the upcoming anti-war rally. He says that an episode during his service in Vietnam steeled him against anti-war protestors in his homeland.
"When I was in Vietnam, one of my friends and I … caught a [North Vietnamese Army] officer," he shares. "In his backpack he had a package with some medical supplies …." That package, says Muller, still bore markings indicating it had been sent to Hanoi from the University of California, Berkeley area — a hotbed of anti-war, anti-American protests during the Vietnam War era.
"Medical supplies [had been sent from America] to our enemy, the people that we [were] fighting against," Muller summarizes. He then implies that such efforts were legitimized by the action of anti-war activist Jane Fonda, who he believes should have been "tried, convicted, and hung 35 years ago for what she did."
And in further reference to anti-war activities of celebrity status, Muller adds : "All the movie stars in Hollywood would not have the money they do, if it were not for the veterans of this country."
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