Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

San Francisco Peaceniks in a Panic Over Fleet Week

It's that time of year again and Fleet Week has descended upon the city of San Francisco. For those who, like myself, appreciate the unabashed demonstration of military prowess, not to mention the spectacular air shows of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels, it is a time to relish. And, of course, an occasion for gloating about the matter at one's blog.

It helps that self-proclaimed socialist supervisor Chris Daly's third attempt to ban the Blue Angels, due, he claims, to safety concerns (never mind that there's a higher chance of being hit by a car in San Francisco than an Angels pilot crashing), was soundly defeated by his more commerce-minded colleagues on the Board of Supervisors. Ah, the smell of victory in the morning.

Getting to watch the Blue Angels practice throughout the week is another perk for patriots living in the vicinity. There's nothing quite like the beauty of jets flying silently in formation, that sonic boom as they pass overhead, or the thrill of a jet zooming past one's very window.

But for local liberals unaccustomed to such icky displays of militarism and residents annoyed that their daily lives of leisure are interrupted by those who, in reality, make those daily lives of leisure possible, Fleet Week is a time of terror.

I know of one such fellow who was in a virtual panic last weekend to, as he put it, "get out of town before the Blue Angels arrived!" Others remained in the war zone, but their grumbling can be overheard at the corner store, the gym, and anywhere else that San Franciscans choose to emote about their political inclinations.

The truth is San Francisco is a city that likes to pretend its favored existence has nothing to do with the generations of fighting forces that have shed blood, sweat, and tears on America's behalf. When Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval foolishly stated on "Hannity and Colmes" in 2006 that "the United States should not have a military," that pretty much said it all.

City officials and local activists have certainly succeeded in making San Francisco a virtual military-free zone. The board of supervisors' refusal to allow the WWII-era USS Iowa to dock at the Port of San Francisco as a floating museum was one of the more despicable examples of this ongoing campaign. So too was last year's decision by the school board to phase out the 90-year-old JROTC program from the city's public schools, over the objection of participants and their families. More recently, the U.S. Marines were denied a permit to film a commercial on California Street by Stephanie Coyote (wife of leftist actor/activist Peter Coyote) of the San Francisco Film Commission.

So forgive me if I enjoy this fleeting moment of triumph. And to all those aggrieved peaceniks leaving the city to escape the horrors of Fleet Week: don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Update: The first hour of the KQED radio show "Forum" this morning featured a discussion on this very topic or, as it's put it in the website description, "the complicated relationship the Bay Area has with the military." The guests were Edward Leonard, chairman of the San Francisco Fleet Week Committee (and a veteran), Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle, and, of course, lefty supervisor extraordinaire Chris Daly.

Daly, who one has to give points for at least being up front about his anti-military political proclivities, did the rest of the country a favor by demonstrating exactly what ails San Francisco leadership. Then there was the caller who felt that bringing his 3-year-old son to the Folsom Street Fair (captured by Zombie in all its degenerate glory) would be preferable to the little tyke being subjected to the horrors of the Blue Angels "war machine" (in fact, some parents did see fit to bring their children to the S&M fest). Surreal, even by San Francisco standards. Listen here.