I imagine that most, if not all, MO readers check out Instapundit. In case you don’t, he points out a great post on Random Nuclear Strikes covering a PRO-troop rally staged in Seattle, WA. From what I hear from someone who lives in the region, the area is fairly liberal. Not In Our Name planned an anti-war demonstration in response to the news that around 3000 National Guard members would be reporting for duty on Saturday.
Reportedly, about 30 NIONers showed up (apparently late) and were stunned to find over 1000 supporters (of the troops, of our policy, or of both) lining the exit from I-5 to the National Guard base. They massed on some overpasses so that their flags and signs of support would be visible to the troops as they arrived for duty. There were around 4000 supporters according to this TribNet story.
The post at RNS has a series of great photos covering the event. Check it out.
What does this tell us? Well, for one thing it illustrates clearly that the “organizations” like Not In Our Name and ANSWER are having trouble rallying the masses. When a couple of bloggers and a bunch of patriotic folks can outnumber the career protesters 100-to-1, it says something. And it is certainly easier to be motivated to demonstrate against a war than for a war. Stating support for our action in Iraq is very easily portrayed by opponents as support for death and destruction. Then the end-and-means people will sadly shake their heads and sigh “Is anything really worth doing if it takes a war to do it?” Never mind for a moment that support for troops doesn’t necessarily (and often doesn’t) mean support for war. If most people really thought our means didn’t justify the end we seek, wouldn’t the anti-war crowd have more members?
Contrast this turnout in Seattle with the “huge” rallies organized by the anti-war types that turn out hundreds or a few thousand protesters in Washington, DC or in San Francisco. 4000 pro-troop demonstrators in the Conservative heartland is one thing. In mostly-liberal Seattle it’s something completely different.
This doesn’t really “prove” anything. But it does seem to disprove the claim that the anti-war activists represent the silent majority.