I admit it.
A big, fat whopper.
And I am NOT the least bit sorry about it.
I said in the media and in e-mail last Wednesday that our pro-troop side decided to stand down against the moonbats on the street during the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq, and at Shattuck Square in Berkeley, Calif. where our Marine Recruiters are doing excellent work in spite of the near constant harassment.
I told a fib, based upon my knowledge of the Great Chinese Warrior Sun Tzu."All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."
I didn't want to tip our hand until it was too late for the crazies to get up out of bed, put away their crack pipes and stumble over for a counter-protest against EaglesUp, Patriot Guard Riders, the Lafayette Flag Brigade, Blue Star Mothers and motorcyle clubs from all across the western United States.
(My favorite photo of the day, brave warriors from previous wars.)
(Babs and Jim Alexander of Lafayette, Calif., ride into Berkeley) Chronicle photo by Michael Macor
Our strategy worked.
Only a few rabid pink weasel stoners showed up, and we owned the street with our pride and patriotism, waving flags, singing patriotic songs, cheering for the Marines as well as all military men and women, their families and our country.
Doug Lyvere of EaglesUp mustered over 600 bikers (updated) on Harley's, Ducatis, and every bike in between. Guys and gals drove in from Modesto, Turlock, Arizona, Wyoming, San Mateo, San Jose, Santa Clara, Contra Costa and supporters flew in from San Diego and L.A.
In all, there were close to 800 people there, and it surprised the hell out of the media.
KTVU Channel 2 reports (fair report, except numbers drastically undercounted.)
More TV coverage here.
Syncro from FreeRepublic.com delivered his usual wry commentary and excellent photos.
ProtestShooter.com has some stunning pictures here.
The GREAT Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com even linked to Gateway Pundit for our efforts.
PipelineNews.com has more here.
BashMan at PatDollard.com blogged here.
We started the morning in Emeryville, California (five miles from Berkeley) where Doug and Tom of EaglesUp organized a staging area (very efficiently) and hundreds of these cool machines and sexy guys in leather gathered.
Retired San Francisco police detective Fred Ponomarenko offered me a helmet and a ride on the back of his machine. The rumbling of the pipes was deafening, but it was music to my ears.
As we rocked out to Lynnard Skynnard, Fred hollered at me that "half the guys are cops, and the other half crooks.. But all of us all come together under the Red, White and Blue."
Fred was exaggerating, a bit.
Retired and active duty cops, firefighters, security workers, paramedics, Vietnam Vets and others rolled in.
The most fun I had on the ride over to Shattuck Square was going through the residential neighborhoods of Berkeley. The bike pipes set off car alarms, burglar alarms, and alerted the crackheads, ho's, smelly hippies, and peaceniks that our seriously determined pro-troops Americans were in town to tell them to leave our Marines the hell alone.
Fred delivered me safe and sound at the Marine Recruiting Center. At the staging area, I jumped up on Sweaty Beatty, a beautifully restored 1940's pick-up truck, alongwith Catherine Moy from Move America Forward, Diana Nagy, our fabulously talented singer, Scott Conover and Mike Anderson (Gold Star Fathers) and Diane Layfield (Gold Star Mom) shouted out our support.
(Mike Anderson, left, of Modesto, and Scott Conover, of Tracy, join hands during a prayer as hundreds gathered in front of the US Marine recruiting center in Berkeley) Chronicle photo by Michael Macor
(Singer Dana Nagy, right, joins hundreds of supporters of the Marines gathered in front of the Marine Recruiting office in downtown Berkeley.) Chronicle photo by Michael Macor
The most deeply moving moment of the day came when a young man, fresh from Iraq and a close haircut, literally wandered into our gathering. He was stunned.
He had NO IDEA so many people supported him, especially in BERKELEY.
(An all-American dog came, too.)
I wish I got our soldier's name, but he was a bit embarassed because he was crying. I gave him a hard, long hug and whispered, "Welcome Home, Soldier."
That's when he really broke down.
God Bless our soldiers, and all of you. Never before in American history has there EVER been a counter protest movement to the so-called 'Peace Crowd', a fringe group of people who are screaming like hyenas, calling our troops thugs, baby-rapers and murderers.
They are NOT.
They are HEROES and I was proud to stand in support of their service and sacrifice.
Damn, now I am crying.
But I don't want to click off without paying tribute to some special people.
Doug Lyvere of EaglesUp has done an amazing job organizing this event, working days and nights on end to make it happen. Special acknowledgment to Bryan Weldon of the Lafayette Flag Brigade and all his folks, as well as the courageous Patriot Guard Riders who helped. (Please forgive me if I didn't mention your group. So many came and helped. Thank-you!)
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