Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.
That's the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 8-1 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station "is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women's peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.
In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.
Our military is obeying the "don't ask, don't tell" law passed by our civilian government. Why isn't the city council voting to keep all members of Congress out of Berkeley and why don't they reject all "tainted" money coming from the federal government? You'd think that cash would be uninvited and unwelcome.
After a year in Berkeley, the Marines have yet to win hearts and minds in city council. Council and their Code Pink allies portray Americans as hated occupiers in Iraq. Which is odd, since the Marines managed to win hearts and minds even in Anbar province. Consider the state of our hearts and minds campaign in Iraq:
While one gets the impression that most Iraqis hate American troops, that's only partially true. The Sunni Arabs have the biggest reason to hate, but these days, the few Sunni Arabs left in Iraq, are quite friendly with the U.S. soldiers and marines. These Americans are the main thing that prevents the Shia Arab death squads from resuming their mass murders. Kids in general like the American troops. The U.S. soldiers and marines are, well, just like the movies. Except the super soldiers are right in front of you. It took a while, but even the kids noticed that the Americans were careful with their weapons. None of this firing in the air, or at "anything that moves" stuff. The media concentrates on the few times that American troops do hit civilians, but the average Iraqi has did the math after a few years, and realized they were safer when around the Americans. The kids also like the spontaneity and generosity of these Americans with guns. The G.I.s and marines look intimidating as hell, but they will smile, and give you candy. While some kids worked for the terrorists, they eventually figured out they were on the losing side. Learning English has become popular with young Iraqis, as has figuring out how to get into the United States.
It's not just the troops that influence the kids. Stories of encounters with Arab-American soldiers and marines spread far and fast. Arab-American civilians serving as translators also help spread good will, by getting off to the side and just chatting with Iraqis about what it's like living in America, and getting along with non-Moslem, non-Arab Americans. All this fraternization is no accident. While the U.S. troops and civilians are inclined to be nice to Iraqis, there are also deliberate efforts to develop better relations between troops and civilians. This has been going on for years, and has paid off in more cooperation, and telephoned tips about terrorist activity.
Given this story about a report which says the American military isn't prepared to respond to a major attack on the United States (I find it hard to believe that our military won't respond with vigor. Just how do the study authors define an effective response, anyway? A WMD hit would be ugly, no matter what we do in response.), can't we reduce the strain on our military and get Berkeley to walk the walk by getting Berkeley city council to declare themselves outside the protection of the United States military? And then get the US government to renounce the use of force to protect Berkeley? Ah, a guy can dream, can't he?
Or do the Lefties there just want to pose while being parasites on the back of our military, enjoying the protection Marines provide them? Question asked and answered.
Our Marines managed to win the hearts and minds of Sunni Arab nationalists in Anbar province. Is Berkeley proving too hard because the Marines aren't good enough at that task? Or are the locals in Berkeley lacking hearts or minds? Again, asked and answered. After all, our Left is confused about whether our enemies are really all that bad.
But don't ever call them unpatriotic. And the Code Pink hags? Our Marines have faced far worse than those idiots.