Aug 23, 2010

Code Stink Rally

Code Stink
by Kanani Fong

I wore pink because it's always been my fucking color. The fact that this crew of rich harridans hijacking my color for their own political means has always grated my sensibilities. And so it was that I spent an interesting afternoon at the Jerry Brown gubernatorial fundraiser sponsored by wealthy Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans. As expected, none of the people coming to the fundraiser understood this was a Code Pink event, and many denied it. However, Code Pink had a big pink anti-war sign with their name on the fence, hence --giving it the appearance of it being a Code Pink sanctioned event.

While many of Brown's elderly supporters weren't aware of Code Pink, Jerry Brown's staff had to have been aware of their anti-war tactics which include trying to kick the Marines out of Berkeley, telling Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee that her son deserved to die, and calling Marines war criminals. After all, their work in Berkeley happened in his backyard (he lives in Oakland). This was a "You scratched my back, I'll scratch yours" event. None of his staffers went out of their way to tear the Code Pink signs down, which makes me think his campaign's ideals are in step with Code Pink.

Code Pink is an annoying as hell organization --or rather, a triad of organizations, founded by Medea Benjamin. To Code Pink, there are no heroes. There are only apologies to be made and troops to cast as victims, pawns, and accuse most as guilty of war crimes. Their maxim of "Bring our troops home," "Books not Bombs," are sentiments we all have to an extent, however, they are dangerous ones to base military strategy on, ineffective of getting rid of bad guys with, and casts all wars as unnecessary inconveniences. Without military interventions, as well as diplomatic ones, the Serbs would have continued their assault on Kosovo, Liberia's war would have claimed more than the 200,000 it did, and the fragile DRC would fall back into deadly chaos. Truth be told, the Taliban would have continued with their unbearable repression of women, as well as their stadium killings. But maybe Code Pink is too busy running to Gaza, or stalking Blackwater founder Eric Prince's wife in North Carolina, or targeting children at Halloween waiting to visit the Obamas (which included many military kids) to notice.

What Code Pink does is cut off any discussion about war by leaning on sentiment and tugging on emotions. This leads to more confusion about war, and politics not only here, but worldwide. What we risk by letting groups like Code Pink rule by sentiment is becoming more isolated from world events. While they say bring the troops back home, shore up our own borders, in no time there would be protests along the same border the National Guard is posted, with many slathered with empty rhetoric accusing them of being war criminals. Given their anti-military stance, it is not unreasonable to think they would use their considerable political clout to lean on Democrats to reduce military budgets, but not necessarily increasing the funding for programs that benefit the long term needs of veterans.

Anyway, we gave Code Pink a taste of their own tactics. Danny and Melanie laid down on the sidewalk, mimicking their own tactics. We made a few people uncomfortable, Brown avoided us, Andrew Breitbart entertained all on his skates asking attendees to "Smile for the camera and say Hamas!" We were accused by a past head of the California Democratic Party of being a Meg Whitman plant --the same Meg Whitman described by me as having all the desirability of a cold brussel sprout. Former candidate for California State Senator Mickey Kaus discovered what was going on when he heard us yelling --he lives across the street. While he spent time with us he didn't join the protest. However, it's always good having a rational Democrat around when you need it. Roller skates, flags, cops, valets, character actors, and old time liberals --this was a classic Venice Beach event.

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