On Wednesday night, March 29, 2006, the Prince George's Peace and Justice Coalition rented space in the Greenbelt, MD Community center, to host a Code Pink presentation of its allegations of war crimes committed continuously by American soldiers. For folks unfamiliar with the history of Greenbelt, go to this link.
Greenbelt really is a cute place. I have many aunts, uncles and cousins who lived there many, many years ago; and I have fond childhood memories of wandering the paths and walkways throughout the whole planned community with my cousins, and of huge family picnics with us kids laying in the grass at Greenbelt Lake and watching the annual Fourth of July fireworks.
Sadly, since my childhood days, it's been the victim of an overabundance of lefties and liberals. It's kind of a poor man's Takoma Park, politically speaking. But I digress.
The event was scheduled to begin at 7:30pm, so I planned on arriving early enough to get a good spot to set up my camera equipment. Kristinn was at work and would be arriving later by Metro, and ever mindful of our addiction to oil and the increasing damage to Mother Earth from the burning of fossil fuels, BufordP and I carpooled to Greenbelt.
Traffic on the Beltway moved surprisingly well and we arrived well before 7pm. We stopped in at a local eatery and got our ceffeinated beverage of choice and wandered the small shopping area for a few minutes. I noticed an abundance of vehicles whose owners seem unable to "MoveOn" and still had Kerry/Edwards bumperstickers proudly affixed to the bumpers.
At 7pm we went inside and tried to find the room the event would be in. BufordP asked a young lady where room 201 was and she happily directed us to go down to the end of the hall and "Turn left at our frog," and go up the steps. So we did.
We found the room and I set up my video camera and began to write out ideas for questions... BufordP people-watched. The room was set up with 60 hard metal folding chairs, and they were pretty much filled by the start-time. At 7:30 I took a look around the room and made eye contact with MilBlogger CJ, (aka Freeper chcknhawk) and his three very well-behaved young children.
The event was probably thirty minutes late starting, because of technical problems that never really got worked out with the computers that were to host a PowerPoint presentation.
Eman Ahmed Khammas spoke for nearly an hour, talking about all the people (all innocent, of course) who were killed, maimed and/or widowed by the American occupiers. Heads nodded all through the room as Khammas told of American snipers perched in mosque minarets, picking off Iraqi civilians and children.
She told of Iraqi prisoners being dragged to death by American soldiers, of torture... that prisoners had told her that electric drills were used to drill holes in their bodies, (all together now...) by American soldiers. Eman said that all Iraqi prisoners were tortured... by American soldiers. Whole towns were target and destroyed, on purpose, by American soldiers...
You get the picture.
The poor man who worked to get the computer to read the PowerPoint presentation was finally successful, sort of; and he began to project Eman's photos onto the whiteboard at the front of the room. Eman showed photos of families that had died in Iraq... she had photos of buildings turned into rubble piles... a couple of gory photos of dead bodies. And you already know who she says did all this. Of course! It's the American soldiers!
When she finally had shown her photos and had gotten the audience firmly on her side emotionally, she opened the floor to questions.
The first question (IIRC) was about the "Christian Peacemaker Teams," and Eman blabbered on with some stuff that I just can't remember. But you would probably be safe in assuming that she blamed the American soldiers for the poor kidnappers having to resort to what they did.
Then she called on CJ... and that's where my video report begins.
I have uploaded the video from Wednesday night onto Google Video. I apologize for the size of the file, it's 30 minutes long; and that's after I cut it to bare bones. You need to watch it to believe what we are telling you, though. It worked OK for me, but for those of you on slow connections or dial-up, I don't know if it will work for you. I compressed it down as much as I could. I will make a short version with the attack on CJ, and maybe shorts of Nofel and Kristinn, too; but that all takes time. Please be patient with me. :-)
After so many years and so many media interviews by the Leftists, to convince the American public that they love the soldiers and just want them to come home - it was all thrown out the window when CJ spoke.
When CJ asked Eman if she thought he was a murderer, one guy in the audience shouted out, "YES!" and it quickly devolved from there. CJ was shouted at, cursed, told to shut up, told to leave, and some particularly unhinged Moonbat woman went off in an Oscar-quality performance.
CJ's young kids, remarkably well-behaved throughout this long evening, continued to stay calm and stand by their dad as everybody in the room went crazy; though they did cover their ears in self-defense. As I was watching the video on my TV last night I watched his young son's face and wondered what he was thinking as he looked at the really unhinged woman. "You are seriously crazy, lady" comes to mind.
One man did stand up and try to calm the crowd and he admonished them for ganging up on CJ, but he was quickly dismissed. Recognizing that he was not as loved by these leftists as they say, CJ left with his kids and things slowly calmed down to a level of only slight insanity and agitation.
A couple of other questions were asked and answered with the routine answer, "American soldier bad". And then Nofel raised his hand to ask a question.
He introduced himself as an Iraqi and said that he was proud to live in America. He asked Eman how many people were killed by Saddam; she answered, "thousands." He corrected her and told the audience that 4 million were killed by Saddam and he gave examples. He asked Eman why she calls it "occupation" when it's really "liberation." They spoke back and forth for several minutes, and Nofel made some very strong comments to Eman. He said that anyone who argues so strongly against the American liberation of Iraq must be a Saddam loyalist. Of course she denied being a Saddamist. The audience grew restless and argumentative, telling him to let others ask questions.
Eman gave her answers and comments and again she and Nofel began a back-and-forth; and again the Moonbats objected.
Later Kristinn was able to ask his questions and disagree with Eman's tales, giving the audience a concise history of the troubles in Iraq. A woman grabbed Kristinn by the arm, trying to get him out of the room, and he very loudly tells her to unhand him. Leftists always think the protective laws about civil rights and against assault and personal space violations only apply to them.
Kristinn made many good points, and commented to Eman that she was working with a group that had endorsed the Iraqi resistance, and the crowd groaned and objected. Kristinn told them to check out the World Tribunal website.
By now, Eman was very weary of the questions and comments that did not go her way. I had held my hand up for a long time, and she finally called on me.
I have to learn not to be so relentless. I read from an interview that Eman did with a leftist website, in which she said,
"Under Saddam Hussein I had a good job with the General Federation of Iraqi Women. Even though it was a facade for the Baathist Party it was a good place for women to work and it did many good things for Iraqi women."
Eman very strongly denied that she ever worked for the General Federation of Iraqi Women, the Saddam government institution. I told her that this was an interview with her that I was reading from, that they were her own words, and that the rest of the interview fit with the story she tells of her family and of her life in Iraq (two daughter, etc). Much grumbling and objections emanated from the peanut gallery regarding my comments.
I then asked her if she felt that Amnesty International was a respectable and honest organization. She agreed. I then read from the Amnesty International report on abuse of women in Iraq, in which they recount how a representative of the General Federation of Iraqi Women was present during the beheadings of Iraqi women accused of prostitution. She again denied that she ever worked for this agency.
Members of the audience were shouting, but I am louder and continued. I admonished the folks in the audience to do their own research about the people they are supporting. I doubt they will, though.
My tape ran out before the event ended, so I went back to taking still shots with my camera. I noticed a woman behind me who had been harassing me and blocking my video camera as I tried to film at the November 17th, 2005 recruiting center protest (Note: this is a video link) in Silver Spring.
She recognized me and again began her harrassment tactics, using her coat and hands to block my camera - giggling at her own childish behavior. She then enlisted the assistance of the woman sitting beside her, but she forgot to tell the woman not to touch me or the camera I had up to my face.
The woman swung her hand up and mashed her palm into the camera lens, jamming the camera into my eyeglasses, which isn't a painless thing. I instinctively removed the hand that was mashing the camera into my face, and swung it down and off of me; and I instructed the woman not to touch me again.
She continued to wave her hand near me, but she did not touch me again, proving that she did have at least a few functioning neurons in her brain. The goofy barking woman at her side swung her coat into my camera's focal zone repeatedly and made faces and strange hand gestures for some incomprehensible reason.
Others in the crowd began loudly complaining about this independent media person filming and photographing the happenings at this public event.
Funny that they objected to only my covering the event with video and still equipment, because there were two other video cameras set up and filming in the room; one at the front of the room and the other at the rear. Greenbelt Municipal Access Channel 71 was filming this event for broadcast on Comcast Cable's Greenbelt public access station. Several of us pointed that fact out to the audience, but they still objected, saying I was probably filming it for the government. I guess they didn't think to ask themselves why the government would pay me to do what Greenbelt Municipal Access was filming for free???
I suppose I shouldn't have fed their paranoia, but I said, (IIRC) "That's right. I work for the CIA."
In the meanwhile, as the old broads were roughhousing with my camera, I saw the police come in and ask Kristinn to step outside for a minute, and I wondered if somebody called the police and told them that Kristinn was causing trouble. But after a short time, Kristinn came back into the room. It wasn't until after the evening ended that Kristinn told me the police were asking him if he wanted to press charges against the woman who grabbed him. (It was a very bad night to be a peacenick in Franklin Roosevelt's model city.)
Some Lefty Moonbats who come to this blog daily to read my commentary might complain that we disrupted their event. Not true; and here's the answer I gave to one of the "peace and justice" guys who made that complaint when we were chatting with him outside afterwards:
Unlike Gael Murphy, Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin and Allison Yorra of Code Pink, who all have disrupted events and government proceedings and public hearings with their outbursts, we all listened to the propaganda that Eman was spewing, and we waited patiently for the Q and A part. We politely raised our hands and waited to be called on, and then we ripped them to shreds.
A parting thought: We can't let the left do to our soldiers and our country what their predecessors did during Vietnam. We have to call them on their destructive ulterior motives and confront their lies, or another generation of soldiers will be abandoned by the public they protect and the politicians who only care about reelection.