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Veterans first fought America’s wars, then they fought the National Park Service over White House-ordered closures of war memorials because of the partial shutdown of the federal government.
Now they’re developing a response to President Obama’s “war” against them: A rally.
The Million Vet March on the Memorials will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at 9 a.m. Eastern at the World War II memorial on the National Mall, the location where rangers under orders from the White House tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent vets from visiting in recent days.
The announcement said the group Special Operations Speaks is organizing the rally because the Obama administration “is using the government shutdown as an excuse to keep our veterans from acknowledging the debt owed to them and their predecessors.”
“This is unforgivable. It is also unjustified, as no taxpayer funds are spent by keeping these shrines open. We will open them ourselves, if that’s what it takes,” said the group, founded by former Navy SEAL Larry Bailey.
“We know that there may be some degree of confrontation, given the anti-military attitude of the administration. It is our intention to avoid confrontation, and we request that you join us in avoiding any kind of physical contact with park rangers, police, or other law-enforcement personnel. Give them no excuse to hijack the moment.” the organization said.
On its website, there was no waffling about the blame, however.
“In a mean-spirited fit of selfish anger, Barack Obama has shut down our nation’s war memorials. And he has declared open war on our honored veterans!” the website says. “The World War II memorial … the Vietnam Veterans Memorial … the Korean War Veterans Memorial – Obama has shut them all down to force his will on the House of Representatives and frankly, to get revenge on the American people who oppose Obamacare and his other naked power grabs.”
The message to veterans continued: “Let’s put it plainly: Barack Obama is behaving like a vicious tyrant. And if he succeeds in this assault on the democratic system, the republic we love is at mortal risk. It’s just that simple.”
Two actions are urged, to sign a petition demanding the opening of the memorials and attendance at the rally.
Scheduled to speak is Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who is helping lead the investigation of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
The rally is planned on the same weekend that thousands of truckers, maybe more, are scheduled to be in Washington to protest Obama administration policies and actions and only a few weeks after the “2 Million Bikers” roared through the city.
In fact, the bikers are planning to join the veterans.
The organization said the rally will show Americans’ outrage at the awful treatment of the heroes who fought for the nation’s freedom.
“Americans have had enough of this shoddy treatment of those who saved our country from tyranny,” said Belinda Bee, organizer of 2 Million Bikers to D.C. “These are men in their 80s and 90s. They can’t come back next month or next year. This is their chance to share in this American experience dedicated to their heroism. And yet, this administration was willing to lock them out of a memorial that normally is unguarded in an attempt to score political points. We, the leadership of 2 Million Bikers To DC, urge you to join in this important rally.”
The previous rally by bikers took over the city on the same day an event billed as the “Million Muslim March” was to be held. Muslims renamed it the “Million American March Against Fear,” but only a few dozen people appeared.
Instead, the city was taken over by bikers exhibiting their patriotism and displeasure with Washington.
Mark Segraves of the NBC affiliate in Washington reported at midday Sept. 11 that only "about 25 people," including activist Cornel West, were at the Muslim march, with a group of Christians about the same size nearby.
In a video interview with MRCTV, the Muslim march organizers would not fault Muslims for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks:
However, the counter-protest by bikers, on Sept. 11, was in evidence everywhere.
Driving in from Canada and from all over the United States, the bikers, who were denied a permit for their demonstration, were flooding the capital.
At approximately 1 p.m., "2 Million Bikers to DC" Facebook page co-founder Belinda Bee posted that police had counted nearly 1 million bikers are on the streets of Washington.
The American Muslim Political Action Committee originally planned the Muslims' march and ended up facing criticism for scheduling it on the anniversary of 9/11.
But organizers insisted the name was changed because many non-Muslim Americans "are terrified of Muslims, who are portrayed by Hollywood and the US media as fanatical terrorists."
AMPAC also claims Muslims, too, "live in fear – of being dragged off in the night to Guantanamo and tortured, simply for the crime of being Muslim in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Organizers refused to change the date of the march, which marked 12 years since the attack by 19 Muslims on New York City and Washington.
"September 11th, 2001 was the beginning of a new era of fear," the organizers insisted. "Since 9/11, Americans have been terrorized by the media."
The bikers, meanwhile, have stated their opposition to Obama's push to "fundamentally transform" the U.S.
Radio giant Rush Limbaugh said Sept. 11 the American public as a whole did not understand what Obama was intending to do when he campaigned in 2008 with that remark.
"They had no idea that fundamentally transforming the United States of America meant turning the Constitution of the United States on its head," Limbaugh said.
"They had no idea that transforming the United States of America meant getting rid of capitalism and replacing it with socialism. They had no idea that it meant co-opting one-sixth of the U.S. economy by the government, the health-care business. They had no idea what Obama was promising. They thought they knew, but they didn't. Some of them may now not even know, but the bikers in D.C. know – and knew."
At least two factions of the fraternity of truckers have made plans to be in Washington on Oct. 11. One group has pledged to call for Obama's impeachment; the other stated its intent to "arrest" members of Congress.
Read today's related columns about the government shutdown: