Earlier this year, I reported on a new, nonpartisan movement that arose to challenge the surrender lobby. On a bitter cold weekend in March, the Gathering of Eagles brought together veterans, families of active-duty servicemen and servicewomen, Rolling Thunder members, military bloggers and their grass-roots supporters to raise their pro-troops, pro-mission voices. I interviewed Eagles who flew in from San Francisco, rode motorcycles south from Georgia, drove all night from Boston, and trekked in caravans from coast to coast to answer ANSWER. At the crack of dawn, facing biting winds and contemptuous taunts, tens of thousands of Eagles stood guard over war memorials threatened by anti-war anarchists and lined the streets where bongo drum-beating retreatists marched.
The Gathering of Eagles turnout was unprecedented. The Cindy Sheehanistas and socialist rabble-rousers had never been met and matched with such force. Now, the Eagles are organizing a return to Washington at a historic moment in the global war against jihad. Gen. David Petraeus, top commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are expected to testify before the Senate on Sept. 11. Yes, that Sept. 11. Four days later, Sept. 15, is the deadline for the president to submit reports to Congress on how Iraq is meeting benchmarks for progress since the troop surge was announced in January.
ANSWER will lead what it bills as a "massive" Sept. 15 demonstration to "End the War Now!" -- no matter what Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker report. They will hold a "die-in" and once again use the names and legacies of fallen soldiers without their permission to push for a precipitous pullout. They'll remain in Washington the following week to hold a Code Pink-led protest in the House and an Iraq Veterans Against the War-led harassment campaign against military recruiters in D.C. and nationwide.