Cindy Sheehan has now been squatting in a roadside ditch near President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch since August 6. And every day more aging hippies, professional grievance-mongers, and underemployed liberal arts majors show up with their backpacks and banjos to join her. Squatting in ditches, sleeping in pup tents, and sitting around a campfire at night yodeling "This Land Is Your Land" is after all the anti-war protesters idea of nirvana.
Sheehan says she is particularly upset -- not so much about her son's death apparently -- but by two statements the president recently made: "We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission." And "the families of the fallen can be assured that they died for a noble cause." Sheehan calls these statements asinine and hurtful. It is doubtful her son would have agreed. Twenty-four-year-old Army Spc. Casey Sheehan had re-enlisted the August prior to his death, and had planned to make a career in the military. A year ago Sheehan's father told reporters that Casey "loved the Army because it gave him a chance to serve his country."
Speaking of asinine statements, Sheehan now demands that, "if George is not ready to send the [Bush] twins [to Iraq], he should bring our troops home immediately." Didn't Clausewitz say something similar in his chapter on war and hot-looking twins? Oh, yes, here it is: "Only if the leader is willing to send his young twin daughters to the front may a nation go to war. Otherwise he must hoist the white flag and surrender his sword."
Despite what the headlines say, Sheehan, 48, is more anti-war protester than grieving mother. She is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization that seeks to impeach George W. Bush and apparently to convince the U.S. government to surrender to Muslim terrorists. She has been joined at Crawford by similar peace groups including CodePink ("We call on mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters, on workers, students, teachers, healers, artists, writers, singers, poets and every ordinary outraged woman willing to be outrageous for peace") and The Crawford Peace House. So far Sheehan has been unsuccessful despite her best efforts to defeat Bush in 2004, to impeach Bush, or to get the president to meet with her in her ditch. In fact her only success has been in getting lots of fawning media coverage from the mainstream media, few of which have reported her radical background and ideas.
In fact rather than pitying her, the public should be disgusted how the mother of a dead serviceman is using his heroic death to push her anti-Republican political agenda.
Sheehan also says she only wants to ask the president why he killed her son, something she failed to ask during their first meeting at Fort Lewis near Seattle on June 24, 2004. "'I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," she told the Reporter newspaper of Vacaville, California, after that visit. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith." Back then Sheehan asked the President to make her "son's sacrifice count for something." That was before Sheehan and friends figured out that an American defeat in Iraq would increase the Democrats' chances in the next presidential election.
President Bush told reporters Thursday that pulling out American troops now "would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run..."
Fortunately most Americans appreciate the sacrifice of our young men and women in Iraq. As one Gulf War veteran has noted, "[Casey's] death only becomes meaningless when we back home choose to NOT honor his mission and his sacrifice."
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