As the US military death toll in Iraq gets ready to hit 2,000, possibly within a few days, the blogosteria has begun. "The Ghouls of the Left .... support the troops -- by partying over their deaths," proclaims blogger Michelle Malkin without a word of explanation or justification of the allegation. There's just a link to a barely less cryptic post at Little Green Footballs:
Ghouls Plan "2000 Deaths" Parties. The American Friends Service Committee is planning to hold a series of parties all across the country when the 2000th US soldier is killed in Iraq.
The enigmatic post includes a link to the actual page of the AFSC's "parties," planned on the theme of "Not One More Death. Not One More Dollar."
For those not familiar with the AFSC, it was founded by the Society of Friends, better known for the past few hundred years as the Quakers. Since they founded Pennsylvania in 1682, we consider them pretty mainstream. The AFSC shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 with the British Friends Service Council. Famously pacifist. Earnest. Hardcore do-gooders. Nice people, really, but not hearty party animals.
What are the festivities to which Ms. Malkin and the LGFs allude? "Events to mark the 2,000th reported U.S. military death will range from candlelight vigils to public actions that illustrate the size of the death toll." The site suggests: "Public actions at congressional offices, federal buildings and other appropriate spaces with 2,000 representations of the lives lost," and "Sign the call to Congress to end funding for the war." Sounds like a real shindig, huh?
OK, those are just suggestions. What revelries are actually being planned? I looked up the two in my neighborhood. The first, starting at the Friends Meeting House (Quakers don't have churches), will be a silent candlelit vigil and march by women wearing black. Their destination is the second event, "an emergency counter-recruitment rally and march," in the small park around a large dinosaur outside the national history museum. Really. Participants are urged to "Bring candles, flashlights, drums and whatever else you feel will help express your outrage over the tremendous loss of life in this pointless and costly war and the lies that sustain it." May I point out that recent weather has been rainy, with temperatures attempting to climb into the 50s. An outdoor candlelit march on a cold rainy evening, with or without drums, just says "party time" to you?
Now, there are probably lots of adjectives to describe these plans, and many could be quite uncomplimentary while being entirely true. Unfortunately, the words "ghoulish" and "partying" are not among them. Why are such prominent right-of-center bloggers so eager to express outrage over a bunch of candles? Disagreement over a cause or methods can be honorable. Wilful distortion cannot.