Police on horseback were able to separate the two groups and both sides continued their rallies until late afternoon. The larger group, who opposed the bombing, contended that the United States would violate international law by such an action and that there is a grave risk of getting U.S. forces involved in yet another Middle East quagmire. Their opponents, mostly Syrian-Americans and a few Syrian nationals, loudly countered that the U..S. has a moral imperative to strike government targets in response for the chemical attacks, which left more than 1,000 dead, many of them children.
As the two sides squared off, other protesters staged a rally for Egyptian freedom in neighboring Lafayette Park. Even though they were there for a different purpose, a member of a group of young Egyptian-Americans from Brooklyn discussing the explosive situation in Syria succinctly summed up the dilemma facing President Obama: "If you bomb, innocents will die. If you don't bomb, innocents will die. It is a question of which innocents."
Here is a series of shots capturing the day's events.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Here is some unedited video from the day of protests at The White House.