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The items in brackets were added to clarify this government propaganda masquerading as an AP news story that ran earlier today:

[Dwindling] Iraq Supporters to Rebut [Huge] Anti-War Rallies

By The Associated Press

September 25, 2005 | WASHINGTON --Military families and other defenders of the war in Iraq [, at least a few of them,] were claiming their turn to demonstrate, responding to a huge war protest with a [sparsely attended] rally of their own on the National Mall. [Which wouldn't be newsworthy but for our need to give false balance to a story that embarrasses the government.]

Organizers hoped to draw several thousand people to their noontime event near the National Air and Space Museum. They acknowledged the rally would be much smaller than Saturday's anti-war protest in Washington but said their message would not be overshadowed. [How many actually showed we're not saying.]

"People have been fired up over the past month, especially military family members, and they want to be heard," said Kristinn Taylor, a leader of FreeRepublic.com [a right wing website that regularly gives vent to extremist and racist views], one of the sponsors of Sunday's event.

The pro-military rally was billed by organizers as a time to honor the troops fighting "the war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world."

On Saturday, crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion. The rally stretched through the day and night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall.

Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that." [In other words, police confirm turnout figures organizers estimate to be even higher. The Washington Post quotes Ramsay as saying "that's as good a guess as any" to a 150,000 estimate. He's just a ball of ambivalence, isn't he?]

In the crowd were young activists, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest. [Change the order of these examples from descending to ascending based on their proportion in the crowd? Nah.]

From the stage, speakers attacked President Bush's policies head on, but he was not at the White House to hear it -- he was in Colorado and Texas, [ostensibly] monitoring hurricane recovery.

A few hundred people [whose pro-war activism dates to Vietnam] in a counter demonstration in support of Bush's Iraq policy lined the protest route near the FBI building. The two groups shouted, separated by a police line.

War supporters said the scale of the anti-war march didn't take away from their cause.

"It's the silent majority," said 22-year-old Stephanie Grgurich of Leesburg, Va., who has a brother serving in Iraq. [Grgurich's statement is flatly contradicted by most national polls showing war supporters now in the minority.]

UPDATE: Salon's "The Wire," where I found this, currently has three pro-war rally headlines in its top 40 stories. They really want us to know about this non-event! According to the most recent story, only about 400 people showed up to support the war. Another thing about this AP story: it referred to the pro-war rally as "pro-military," thus adopting the implied spin that the much larger peace march was attended by people who hate the troops. I felt like I already had too many bracketed corrections to note that above.

- tom moody 9-25-2005 6:12 pm [link]