Clinton W. Taylor

PALO ALTO, CALIF. -- The Left’s outrage factory has been working double shifts these days, fabricating massive quantities of indignation over the "illegal" use of white phosphorus--also known as “Willie Pete” or “Willie Peter”--artillery rounds by American Marines in the siege of Fallujah. If the anti-war activists are so incensed by the use of incendiary weapons, however, they might want to look a little closer to home.

WP is a terrible weapon, but it isn’t illegal, and the charges are ably refuted in this essay by Scott Burgess. All that needs to be added to Burgess’ analysis is some context: Fallujah was Al-Qaeda’s vision of paradise on earth, their ideal Taliban-style Islamic government, and it was hell. It was a nest of insurgent command and control, a site for making suicide vests and IED’s, and a slaughterhouse where beheadings were filmed and sent over the Internet to recruit more terrorists. (This slide show offers a chilling retrospective.) 

Our troops are there to kill the enemy efficiently, not to inflict pain on them. When a bullet or a conventional explosive can do the job, it makes moral, tactical, and public-relations sense to employ it instead of WP. In this case, though, more Marines would have been killed had the Fallujah jihadists not been routed from their fortifications by the Willie-Peter rounds. Most of America sheds no tears for the head-hacking ghouls of Fallujah’s dungeons, who got no worse than they deserved, and who now reside where white phosphorus feels like a cool shower.

But amid this white phosphorus smokescreen, the media seems to have forgotten about a little incident in San Francisco earlier this month. At a protest on November 2, someone threw a Molotov cocktail at the San Francisco Chronicle building. 

A Molotov cocktail, as described in this all-too-detailed Wikipedia entry, is a homemade firebomb made from a glass bottle filled with gasoline or homemade napalm. If the gasoline has been converted into napalm, either by adding soap chips (probably not a household item among these protesters) or motor oil (Che Guevara’s secret recipe), it will stick to things, and to people, as it burns. 

Some of the blazing liquid stuck briefly to SFPD Officer Gary Constantine, who brushed it away as it burned his uniform. An undercover photographer who calls himself "zombie" snapped an amazing photograph (among this series of protest pictures ) of Officer Constantine on fire:

Officer Constantine was uninjured. But the photo shows clearly that he was in considerable danger of being horribly burned or even of becoming the second California policeman killed this decade by anti-war activists (the first was Red Bluff Officer David Mobilio, gunned down by psycho Andrew Mickel in 2002. Mickel, now on death row, bragged about executing Mobilio on the leftist site Indymedia.) 

Police soon arrested an East Bay (ahem Berkeley hrmph) teenager with more Molotov cocktails in his possession. An SFPD spokesman told me an investigation of the firebombing continues. The San Francisco district attorney's office would not disclose the exact charges filed since the defendant is a juvenile.

At this point you may be wondering, why the San Francisco Chronicle? Not exactly National Review, are they? Certainly not, but that same day the Chronicle ran an article which boldly identified the group behind the protest, World Can’t Wait, as a communist organization.

One of WCW’s founders, Boots Riley, is famous for recording “Yakety Sax”, the theme to the Benny Hill Show. No, no, wait, that’s country saxophonist Boots Randolph. Riley, a self-described communist, raps with a group called The Coup whose even less popular oeuvre includes ditties like "Five Million Ways to Kill a CEO" and "Pork and Beef,” which goes a little something like this:

"If you got beef with C-O-P's, Throw a Molotov at the P-I-G's!"

Perhaps one of Riley’s fans, one who "got beef" with the Chronicle, looked to those lyrics for inspiration on November 2.

Aside from the article linked above and a letter to the editor calling the demonstrators "cowardly poseurs" and suggesting they take their party out to the suburbs where the Republicans live, the Chronicle, along with most major media, have been silent about this attempt to burn their house down. So has World Can’t Wait, whose site proclaims their Nov. 2 march was a “powerhouse of youthful energy” but neglects even to acknowledge, let alone condemn, the arsonist(s) among their ranks. 

There’s the double irony: every bit as strident and baseless as the attack on our troops for using WP is the charge that American troops deliberately target and kill journalists. Giuliana Sgrena, Eason Jordan, and Linda Foley have all advanced some version of this canard and the foreign press has wallowed in it. 

Yet in San Francisco, on November 2, there was a clear and uncontested example of an anti-Bush demonstrator targeting a major American newspaper with a deadly incendiary weapon. The crickets are still chirping.

No big deal, you say? If some crazy kid throws one Molotov cocktail, should we chalk it up to youthful exuberance? 

Fine.

I’ll remember you said that the next time some nut lights up an abortion clinic with the rosy glow of homebrewed accelerants.

It is a big deal. Burning policemen--even just a little bit--is not peachy keen. Burning a newspaper office must be strongly condemned. These things demand an abject repudiation of the communist WCW organization that allowed this to happen. And they demand aggressive prosecution.

Even here in California, we are not yet France, although we soon could be. After all, their recent riots saw a newspaper office near Nice torched as well. We now know well that a Gallic shrug and a puff of existential smoke will not protect us from the nihilist, naphtha-soaked anarchist culture that lurks at the fringes of the anti-war protests here and around the world. It must be confronted. If it is not, if the Left defends it or ignores it, that picture of the flaming policeman will be splashed across billboards and political ads and sites like this one for decades, captioned “This is what they defend!  This is what they stand for!

I won’t hold my breath waiting for the outrage to materialize. I expect more of the same double standard: the sort of weapons forbidden to our soldiers will be romanticized when employed by the opponents of civilization. Tragic battlefield accidents in which journalists are killed will still be chalked up to a malicious (and fictitious) U.S. policy, while an anti-Bush demonstrator’s real attack on the press is ignored. 

So for that far-left crowd determined to cut off the Marines’ Willie-Peter, and more concerned about the welfare of Al-Qaeda’s minions than American journalists, let’s just restate the story of Fallujah like this:  

Last November, a group of angry, energized American youths staged a very intense, well-organized and successful revolutionary "protest" against a fascist, theocratic regime in which a few incendiary devices happened to be employed.  

Anybody got beef with that? 


Clinton W. Taylor

Clint Taylor is a '96 Yale alumnus and is tracking the story of the Yale Taliban on Townhall's blog Nail Yale.

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