Friday, June 28, 2013

The Usual Suspects

South African protesters chanted against President Obama on his visit there:

South Africans protesting a visit to their country by U.S. President Barack Obama rallied on Friday a few blocks from well-wishers at a hospital in Pretoria where anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is critically ill.

I could note that when our first African American president (sorry Bill Clinton, it's true) meets protesters in Africa, we've got problems. But I won't.

The fact is, the protesters are just the usual lot who'd protest any American president:

About 200 trade unionists, student activists and South African Communist Party members gathered in the capital Pretoria to protest Obama's visit this weekend, calling his foreign policy "arrogant, selfish and oppressive".

The red shirts and red poster paint give away the communist slant. Israel, NSA, drones, Iraq, and Afghanistan are their targets of outrage. And an odd demand for a truth and reconciliation ("reconciatation" in the sign) commission here. Perhaps that's an IRS reference. Or an attempt to put the CIA into the mix. Who knows? And who should care, really?

I'm half shocked the communist party guys didn't create a front group to confuse foreign reporters who never make the connection if the word "communist" isn't placed before them in the press release about the protest. I'm reasonably sure the communists' colleagues were communist trade unionists and communist student activists.

I will draw some satisfaction that our president's supporters here will forget how they jumped on any protests abroad against the Bush administration's people as evidence of our arrogance, selfishness, or oppression.

Remember that when a Republican president is protested. The usual suspects always come out. Whether here or abroad, in many cases. The variable is whether our press corps determines the protests mean nothing or indicate our sins.