David Pacheco Times-Herald
Three weeks from now, August 31, 2005, the leader of the free world ends his vacation in Texas and goes back to work. Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey who was killed in Iraq, sits vigil in Crawford waiting for Bush to answer her question, what was the “noble cause” her son died for.
It’s ironic, given the attacks leveled at me recently, how some in the media are so quick to scrutinize -- and distort -- the words and actions of a grieving mother but not the words and actions of the president of the United States.—Cindy Sheehan, Huffington Post
When Bush leaves Crawford, and by then hasn’t met with Cindy Sheehan, the story will be over--not for Sheehan the grieving mother, or the US troops and Iraqis still in harm’s way, or American foreign policy and the negative fallout from this misbegotten incursion and occupation—it will be over for the media and the public who will need a new “immediate” story on which to focus.
When I joined with millions to protest the Vietnam War, there was a tremendous groundswell of criticism from pro-war and pro-Nixon backers. Even the Vice President, Spiro Agnew, who later quit his job over indictments of misconduct while he was governor of Maryland, referred to millions of patriotic, thoughtful Americans who were against the 500,000 American troops wrecking a tiny country in Southeast Asia, an “effete corps of impudent snobs.” We were “nattering nabobs of negativism.”
At the time, Agnew’s alliterative accusations (I’m starting to get the hang of it) seemed funny. I had no family or friends in the military or in Vietnam, so I wasn’t threatened with the loss of a loved one. I just thought our involvement in Vietnam was bad for the country, for the world, and for Americans to be spending so much money and effort with no apparent positive consequences to come from the action.
Cindy Sheehan, on the other hand, already lost her blood and treasure for Bush’s “noble cause,” and since she doesn’t understand his point of view, and she also doesn’t believe him, she is goading him into a confrontation in order to play up the controversy for the media. However, the attacks on her, compared to the ones by Agnew on the Vietnam War protesters, are disgusting, immoral, and inhumane.
For example, today on Drudge’s web site, there is a letter purported to be from Sheehan’s family condemning her actions in Crawford.
The following email was received by the DRUDGE REPORT from Casey's aunt and godmother: Our family has been so distressed by the recent activities of Cindy we are breaking our silence and we have collectively written a statement for release. Feel free to distribute it as you wish. Thanks Ð Cherie
In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford Texas issue: Sheehan Family Statement: The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.
It is impossible to ascertain the origin or truth of this report, but Drudge obviously is attempting to throw in his typical 2-cents’ worth of demoralization to the cause Cindy Sheehan is trying to promote—an end to US occupation of Iraq.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN today, Bill Clinton said he was in agreement with the present strategy in Iraq of Iraqis taking more responsibility for their affairs, so that the US could eventually withdraw. He stopped short of condemning the action of the war in the first place, claiming that Blitzer was trying to make news while he, Clinton, was trying to inform and to educate.
As unseemly as it sometimes is when a former president disagrees with the foreign policy of the incumbent, in this case, I thought it was grossly unseemly of Clinton to rubber stamp Bush’s Iraq program. Methinks he’s spending too much time at Kennebunkport with papa Bush and doesn’t want to rock that political boat. Carter doesn’t have a problem telling it like it is, Bush-wise. Why doesn’t Clinton? That’s a rhetorical question…
Anticipating a new burst of insurgent violence, the Pentagon plans to expand the U.S. force in Iraq to improve security for a planned October referendum and a December election. Although much public attention has been focused recently on the prospect of reducing U.S. forces next spring and summer, defense officials foresee the likelihood of first increasing troop levels.--Military.com
The 2 stories--of Cindy Sheehan’s cause going with the wind in a few weeks, and of the increase in troop numbers in Iraq while the Bush administration says they’ll reduce the number of troops at some vague time next year—go hand in hand: Bush can do anything he wants, and gets away with it, as long as we the people don’t stick with the story, and focus on the purpose.
That is why the call for unity behind Cindy Sheehan is so important.
Before this all started, I used to think that one person couldn’t make a difference... but now I see that one person who has the backing and support of millions of people can make a huge difference.-- Cindy Sheehan, Huffington Post
I intend to stay focused, and stick with the story. I’m not holding out much hope for this to turn the tide, but with what little hope there is, I am behind you 100%, Cindy Sheehan!