Skeptical of responses by ‘political activists’

I was greatly amused by the responses written by Ms. Perl and Mr. Field (Carmel Valley News, Nov. 8, 2012) concerning the absence of their political protests on the corner of Del Mar Heights and El Camino Real these past four years. Ms. Perl states that “not every action is politically motivated” and that the rallies were “intentionally not political, but rather a reflection of a moral imperative.”

They conducted a highly visible demonstration on weekend afternoons on the busiest intersection of Carmel Valley against President Bush’s “illegal” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the “illegal” prison facility in Guantanamo Bay for months prior to the 2008 election and then ceased all activism once President Obama is elected. This is morally driven? Just how naïve do these political activists believe the residents of Carmel Valley are?

Where were the protests against President Obama when he surged an additional 33,000 combat troops to Afghanistan in 2010? The facts are that, after four years as our Commander in Chief, President Obama increased the troop level to over 100,000 in March 2011 and only months prior to the recent 2012 election were the troop levels returned to those seen during President Bush’s term. If this war was, as our friendly neighborhood activists claim, “illegal” and “immoral” four years ago then it certainly continues to be. Why no protests against President Obama for continuing this war? Are “moral imperatives” assuaged by good intentions, or do our political activists have such a flexible sense of morality that this continuing war no longer outrages their sensibilities?

Our local activists are quite proud of periodically raising a banner of protest deep in the heartland of industrial Poway on Thursday afternoons condemning the manufacture of military drones. Why not emerge from the warehouses, and make this protest public on our most trafficked intersection on a Sunday afternoon and rail against the White House policy which employs the drones? Is it politically inconvenient to protest against the President these days?

Four years ago, our friendly neighborhood activists protested the existence of an “illegal” detention facility in Guantanamo Bay which Mr. Field claims makes “a mockery of justice.” After four years with President Obama running the country, Guantanamo Bay remains open with approximately 168 detainees. Over the past 10 years, more than 600 detainees from Gitmo have been released to their home countries. Those released were the best behaved, the least likely to continue hostilities, and those we simply lacked evidence that they acted as illegal combatants as defined by international law. However, the Department of Defense estimates that, of those released, approximately 28 percent have returned to the battlefield fighting and killing our troops, to include Sufyan bin Qumu who was involved in Al Queda’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Ben Ghazi this past Sept. 11. The Gitmo prison facility is required because our nation was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001 — a war which our nation did not seek, did not create, and has done everything within our internationally justified power to finish.

The harsh reality is that a radical Islamic fundamentalist faction, which indiscriminately attacks civilians, actively pursues the destruction of our nation and way of life. There is a moral high ground, and our nation firmly occupies that territory. On the day when Mr. Field and Ms. Perl visit the grieving parents, children, and families of those who have been killed by Al Queda and their proxies and express their moral indignity at the facility which detains the perpetrators of these deaths, our local political activists might have a small claim to “moral imperative.” This is no mere theoretical exercise. With Camp Pendleton just minutes up the road and the Balboa Naval Hospital downtown, these grieving families live in our neighborhoods. I find it appalling that our political activists are more concerned with the health, welfare, and judicial disposition of Al Queda in Gitmo than with the surviving families and wounded warriors who live in our community.

As I drive past the corner of Del Mar Heights and El Camino Real twice a day to and from work and numerous times on the weekends and note the absence of our political activists protesting President Obama’s foreign policy, I always smile at the foolishness, political hypocrisy, moral relativism, and naiveté of our former protestors.

Trey Mitchell

Carmel Valley