The Friend Of My Enemy... Redux
Every couple of weeks, someone posts about asshat Fred Phelps, and I get a lot of spillover hits from background links to the post I had about Phelps' protest at the funeral of CPL Carrie French here in Idaho back in June. Today, Michelle Malkin posted about some people who are working against the hate being spewed by the Phelps clan. Since I can't update the original post anymore, and have the ability to put up better pictures than I did the first time, I'm re-posting my report here, minus a couple of dead links (the original, with its 120+ comments, is here):
The Friend Of My Enemy... is also my enemy. OK, that's not the way the old saying goes, but it's still true. The asshats coming to protest today at the funeral of Cpl. Carrie French say that God killed her, and will continue killing American soldiers. Since those who killed her also think that God is on their side, it seems to me that the protesters share beliefs and goals with the terrorists in Iraq.
Now, I won't treat these enemies of America the same way I'd treat our terrorist enemies; these people are too wacko to take seriously... at least for now. I'm off to join whatever counterprotest there is at the funeral site today, and hope to have pictures and a report later. (Rumors on the street are that we might have some visitors from Mountain Home AFB.) I've never been to a demonstration, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do; normally, I'd mock and belittle them (or as my liberal friends might say, "stifle their dissent") but I don't think that would necessarily be appropriate at a hero's funeral.
Going deep to reposition to the west...
Back at PD, 1419 15 Jun: Just got back from the funeral site. Fred Phelps and what I guess were his family were there in all their "glory"; let's see what these self-described "Christians" have to say, shall we?
Not very nice, is it? These asshats were out to protest against the funeral of CPL Carrie French in her hometown of Caldwell, Idaho. I headed out there to show my support for CPL French, her family, and fellow Soldiers; here's what I saw...
I arrived about 1230; Fred Phelps and his family were already set up at a corner across from the grounds of Albertson's College, a private university in Caldwell. The Caldwell Police Dept. was handling the event in a very professional manner; a Caldwell Police Captain I was talking to said that they wanted to ensure the safety of the protesters (since they seem to complain a lot that they're in danger of being bombed). Here's how they provided for their safety:
He did say that the Phelps clan complained a little bit that they weren't very visible from the front of the auditorium, but hey... their safety was what counted.
I went over to take some pictures of the asshats, and get a closer look at them. I can report that they appeared to be mono-gastric, bi-pedal, and carbon-based; other than that, I really couldn't see even a glint of humanity in their eyes. As I left, one of them shouted at me, "Make sure lots of people see those pictures." I didn't respond.
At 1245, some fire trucks arrived, and parked in their pre-designated spots. I asked the Police Captain if this was pre-planned; he said that "it just worked out that way". Here's the view of the protesters that the family would now have to endure as they entered the auditorium after the fire trucks arrived.
The French family had apparently said that they didn't want an organized counter-demonstration, but some people felt the need to come out and silently show their support for the family. (All in all, there were probably fifteen civilians, including four off-duty Boise policemen, standing a silent vigil.) Here's one such young lady:
At 1252, the blue-shirted protester, probably Phelps' son, shouted at a carload of soldiers turning into the parking lot, "Watch out for IEDs!" After this, he started shouting "French is in Hell" to everyone who passed. On two occasions, he shouted this to young women who appeared to be the right age to be Carrie's classmates. Their mothers had to restrain them; I talked to one who walked by afterwards, tears streaming down her face as she sobbed "Those bastards", and I told her that I'd do my best to tell the world what horrible people these are. The other young woman so accosted just yelled "F*ck you!" back at the protesters; the protesters just laughed.
They were doing a lot of laughing. The old man had about four signs (including "Thank God for 9/11", "Thank God for IEDs", "Fag Troops" and "U.S.A. Sin = 9/11") that he held up in turn; the "son" had an "America is Doomed" sign, and the wife? daughter? had "God Hates Fags" and "Fags Doom Nations". She also talked on the cell phone a lot:
Finally, it was 1300, and time for them to go. The loud-mouth dipshit "son" took a quick filmclip of the area, they got into their van, and they drove off.
I got to thinking about what kind of country allows people like this to flaunt their unpopular opinions while being protected by the police. The answer, I decided, is only a country that is strong in our democratic beliefs and sense of our own destiny would continue to allow this. Here, at a funeral honoring a hero who had given her life so that people halfway around the world could be free, we saw those charged with protecting the weakest of us, the police, firefighters, and Soldiers, protecting people dedicated to tearing down everything they hold dear. And these people had the strength of character to ignore the asshats trying to ruin this solemn occasion, and concentrate instead on the good of this country: the part of the country that produces heroes like CPL Carrie French. America is not doomed, Phelps "family"... it is your mindless, attention-grubbing hate that's headed for the dustbin of history...
Update 1636 15 June: Fellow Ida-blogger BinkyBoy seems to be questioning my manhood in this post; he seems brave after the fact, but beforehand, he didn't seem so -- eager to fight, shall we say. In case he changes his post from before the funeral, here's what he said this morning..."There are still a lot of soldiers from Mountain Home going to stop Phelps, which is definately something that we don't want to be in the middle of."
Update 1627 16 June: Thanks to everyone who's stopped by and left their thoughts. Ft. Boise has a report from when Phelps' and his crew last came to Boise; I think this helps explain why the local papers are pretty much ignoring their stunt. Here's what the Idaho Statesman had to say about the funeral itself.
Update 1502 17 June: Ma Deuce Gunner was there for the first part of Cpl. French's last journey, and has some thoughts on the matter...
Update 0921 20 June: Welcome to the readers of all the great blogs who've sent traffic this way, including Instapundit! If you'd like to read more about submarines (the main topic of this blog), feel free to look around, or check out the submarine group blog at Ultraquiet No More.