Out of all the images of this weekend’s anti-war protest, I was trying to figure out why this two shot sequence stood out most for me. (If there are BAGreaders who were there, by the way, I would love to hear your impressions.)
Frank Rich wrote yesterday (via Free Democracy) that people, in a darkening mood and seeing no change, are simply turning off/tuning out the war:
You can’t blame the public for changing the channel. People realize that the president’s real “plan for victory” is to let his successor clean up the mess. They don’t want to see American troops dying for that cause, but what can be done? Americans voted the G.O.P. out of power in Congress; a clear majority consistently tell pollsters they want out of Iraq. And still every day is Groundhog Day. Our America, unlike Vietnam-era America, is more often resigned than angry.
From the pictures, and the general Petraeus post-game state of mind, however, I don’t think the disgust is as sublimated as Rich suggests. I think these pictures, in fact, reflect the byproduct of the Administration’s September Sale-A-Thon.
With these protesters up the post at the level of the lamp (trying to scale a police line), then taking an upward stream of pepper spray, the generalized message — the result of the further advancement of fraying nerves — is: elevating resistance and escalating tension.
(Story: WAPO and NYT accounts. images: Martinez Monsivais/AP. Sept. 15, 2007. Washington. Via YahooNews.)