It’s interesting to note as war protesters gather to proclaim that we liberated Iraq for “absolutely nothing” that Lafayette considered liberating the ragtag colonial Americans to be absolutely everything. During the Revolutionary battle at Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777, Lafayette jumped off his horse to grab soldiers’ shoulders and push forward a line that was faltering in the face of a staggering enemy assault. If alive today, I believe he would see the line similarly faltering and rush to rally the troops – us. Lafayette once said of America, “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” And surely that’s not a prize to be exclusive to the U.S., from the lips of the general who fought bravely in a foreign land to liberate people he didn’t know. — Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! On Sept. 24, anti-war groups plan to form a not-so-rosy ring around the White House to protest everything from Iraq to “U.S. aggression against Iran (and) North Korea,” as stated in a promo on a Marxist message board. Counterprotesters are organizing the “Defend the White House” rally in response. One of the two main groups in the anti-war “surround the White House” effort is the ANSWER coalition, which announced it had secured protest permits for desired areas, including Lafayette Park. D.C.’s Lafayette Park is one of scores of sites around the country named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, America’s adopted son who helped – with his military service and his checkbook – lead us to victory in the Revolutionary War. What would the marquis think about the planned demonstration in his namesake park? Undoubtedly he would respect their right to freedom of speech, one of the very things he fought for and continued to champion his entire life. But it’s interesting to contemplate what he might think of the message put forth. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 After all, the anti-war crusaders claim that we’ve gone into a land where we don’t belong to stick our noses into something in which we have no business, and for ulterior motives. “The people of the United States must mobilize against the global War for Empire that masks itself as the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ and falsely promotes itself as the ‘march for democracy.’ … The U.S. is actively attempting to destroy every government that resists the Empire,” ANSWER wrote in a May 12 “Call to Action.” Lafayette went to a foreign land to fight for foreign people, for a cause that by all means a noble Frenchman should have cared little about. Granted, his initial reasons for coming to America weren’t as mired in the fight for liberty as a quest for battlefield glory and desire to prove his worth. But after volunteering to serve for free and being appointed a major-general at age 19, Lafayette quickly absorbed the idealism of his mentor, George Washington. After the Revolution, Lafayette was completely on fire about the principles of liberty and couldn’t wait to introduce Europe to freedom and democracy. And the reaction from Old Europe – not unlike today – wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. Once in Prussia, Lafayette was prattling on about how the U.S. had the perfect system when an amused Frederick II said, “Sir, I once knew a young man who, having visited countries where liberty and equality were the rule, then decided to defend these principles in his own country. Do you know what happened to him? … He was hanged.” Indeed, Lafayette saw the French Revolution devolve from an idealistic quest into terror. Yet even through his misjudgments and personal sufferings, Lafayette never abandoned this driving belief that all humans were entitled to the liberty for which he shed blood in the United States. “May this serve as a lesson to all oppressors and as an example to the oppressed,” he said in a congressional address.