Wednesday, August 17, 2005

As un-American as Mom

Who knew that a concerned American citizen, wishing only to speak to the president about her deceased son, would suddenly become the pariah of the right and the symbol of everything wrong with this country?

Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey died last year in Iraq, set up a tent outside of Bush's ranch in Crawford 11 days ago. Despite attracting innumerable attention and notoriety, Sheehan claims that her main goal is still merely to talk to Bush about Iraq. Her opponents, however, dismiss her actions as a desperate political ploy.

In their quest to discredit Sheehan, the right has coldly exploited some unfortunate facts. Sheehan's husband has filed for divorce over the affair and his family has spoken out against her. Her legitimacy has also been questioned because of endorsements by such luminaries as David Duke. But these facts only illustrate the point the Bushes constantly make when apologizing for their ties to the bin Laden family: you are not necessarily the company you keep.

Even if the worst allegations were true (which they aren't), so the hell what? Nothing that has happened in the past changes the specifics of what's happening now. The facts are this: 1) Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq and has traveled to Texas to find out why, even at the cost of her reputation and her family; 2) Bush has not indicated he cares enough to go outside and speak to her; and 3) critics on the right are suddenly demonizing this woman to no end. How dare she criticize the president! So much for supporting the troops and their families.

Indeed, Cindy's vigil has highlighted a sentiment generally unspoken in the mainstream media, that Bush is willingly out-of-touch with those whom his policies impact the most. On Aug. 11, UPI quoted Bush as saying, "I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, get out of Iraq now." What do you mean, you heard her position from others? What, George, are you afraid to talk to this woman yourself?

Yes, I am fully aware that she's spoken to Bush before, and that the genial 2004 encounter has been used as "proof" that Cindy has changed her tune. But as far as I can tell, such encounters are often clouded by emotion, and people have a right to change their minds. In both cases, Cindy is clearly motivated by her love for her son, and now she has had time to think it over.

Additionally, Sheehan has shown that her resolve extends beyond that of a simple political tantrum. In her days at Crawford, the woman has endured worldwide attention, the inevitable counterprotests and even physical threats, such as the partial destruction of her cross memorial and gunshots fired her way.

Yes, these guardians of morality have actually broken out the firearms! She and other protesters were startled by gunfire from a man who claims to be "getting ready for dove season." This man was not arrested on the spot and roundly condemned, proving that the Second Amendment, but not the First, applies in Crawford.

No one travels thousands of miles, camps out in a tent for days and braves bullets, media blitzes and angry protesters for the sake of a whim. Cindy has had time to think and plan out her effort, and has shown that it'll take a lot to derail her. Actually, a simple way to derail her would be to give her the presidential audience she's requesting. But that would be too unsatisfactory for Dubya, who'd rather keep his echo chamber unspoiled. Real men don't give in, you see.

Whatever intentions Cindy Sheehan has with her vigil, she deserves credit for exposing the neocons for what they truly are at their core: smug, sheltered, uncaring, hypocritical and brimming with snarky hatred for the rights and feelings of real Americans. Who knew that the Big Tent of the GOP would feel so threatened by a small camp?

41 comments:

The Goblin Slayer said...

What a ridiculous position, Ian!!

This woman is all about her, not her brave son. In fact in an interview with Amy Goodman, she actually said that she wanted to take her son to Canada or "I told him I would run over him with a car, anything to get him not to go to that immoral war. And he said, 'Mom, I wish I didn’t have to, but I have to go.'"

This is all about her and what she can get. Instead of honoring him for his sacrifice, she chooses to trounce upon his grave based on the fact that he would rather go die protecting his buddies and the Iraqi people then run away to Canada with his twisted selfish mother.

Murph said...

Good analogy with the Bin Laden ties/ties to Duke.

This is all starting to seem like a replay of CITIZEN RUTH to me, only without Laura Dern and not as funny.

Murph said...

Yeah, Goblin, I guess if his mom was really a good mother she would have shot him herself.

The Goblin Slayer said...

Na, murph, she would have chosen to abort him so she wouldn't have to deal with the pain later.

Ian McGibboney said...

Goblin, can you blame a mom for wanting to protect her son? When she told she'd run over him, it was a comment that she would do anything for him if he chose to wriggle his way out of the unjust war. I seriously doubt she actually would have run over him. I mean, my mom says things like that all the time: "I'd give up my arm for you." And don't all moms? And, for the record, she's only run over me once with her car. But my foot's fine now.

And like I said, if Cindy Sheehan were doing this strictly for political gain, then she wouldn't have endured as long as she has. She is up against very real danger from people just like you, Goblin.

Phillip said...

so goblin, she knew ahead of time that her one-woman protest would garner all this media attention?

it's NOT all about her - you people on the right make it about the person every time and forget the issue because YOU KNOW YOU ARE WRONG on the war. all you can do is try to discredit the source-du-jour, whether it be a former marine who dares to run for congress on a democratic ticket or a mother who sacrificed her son and now only wants a simple answer. hey, let's accuse a vietnam veteran who lost 3 limbs in the war of being unpatriotic (max cleland), or attack another who voluntarily did two tours of duty because his wife is rich (guess). john mccaine spent all that time in a vietnamese prion camp and he's running against US? he must be a traitor conspiritng with the enemy! why can't you ever focus on the arguments instead of the arguer?

the president has no problem meeting repeatedly with people who give him money but won't do it with a woman who gave her son?

The Goblin Slayer said...

Ian,

I didn't say anything about political gain, I said it was about personal gain. How long before the book deal or the mini-series? I just don't think its right for a person to trample her son's honor for her moment in the spotlight. BTW, I am glad that your foot is OK.

phizz,

Of course she did! She is camping outside of Bush's ranch! Why not go to Capital Hill where Congress OK'd the invasion? Why just Bush?
Some folks back in '41 thought we shouldn't go to war with Japan, either. When will you pull your head out of your ass and realize that radical Islam and its despots want to ensure your destruction?

gambitch said...

Gobbo,

Congress is not in session.

Phillip said...

she felt bushed lied to her when they met in 2004 about the supposed "noble cause" and assured her that the war wasn't political, so she wants answers from HIM. HE was the one who mislead congress and all of america (because congressmen DO NOT see the same information the president sees, despite that claim made during the '04 campaign). this debacle rests squarely on the shoulders of him and his administration.

and maybe if the president was in washington, doing his job, she would protest there. but she goes to crawford to protest because THAT'S WHERE BUSH IS - vacationing and going to fund-raisers for five weeks while more sons and daughters who he doesn't know or care about die. didn't he cut his vacation short on a sunday night for terri schiavo not so long ago? remember that?

very good parallel about wwII: japan bombs us, we attack japan. radical islamists attack us, we invade iraq? yes, exactly the reasoning (or lack thereof, rather) i would expect from the right. why didn't our good friend england invade some country when they were attacked last month?

The Goblin Slayer said...

Gambo,

He was killed in April.

The Goblin Slayer said...

phizz,

Do you honestly believe that Bush is spending 5 weeks in Crawford and not conducting business? If you do, then you are a bigger fool than I origianlly thought.

Answer this question: When we were attacked by Al-Queda, who was being harbored by the Taliban, we ousted them from power in case you missed the memo. Now, a radical islamic dictator is shooting at our war planes daily which clearly breachs the agreement made after being conquered in '91. He is paying Palestinian killers to blow up Israelis. He has used chemical weapons against his own people and continues to refuse letting UN inspectors check for WMD as called for in numerous UN resolutions. If you were the leader of the country, with the remnants of the WTC still smoldering, would you consider him a non-threat?

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Phillip said...

was he a threat? sure. but if you want to make a list of countries that pose the most danger to the u.s. then iraq wouldn't even make the top 5. how about the nuclear proliferation in pakistan and india and north korea? how about our dependence on saudi oil? or our dependence on loans from china? are those dangerous?

did he mistreat his people? sure. does kim jong-il? how about the jamjaweed of the sudan? pakistan again? saudi arabia maybe? where's your ardor to invade those countries if you're such a human rights advocate?

in case you didn't notice, those u.n. inspectors that he supposedly refused to let in WERE ON THE GROUND when the president went on tv saying that all options had been exhausted. saddam was contained.

your (the republican) rationale for the war changes every month practically but every reason you guys offer up doesn't hold water. how can you not see that?

if you were standing on the ruins of the twin towers your first thought would be about iraq? are you serious?

again, in case you hadn't noticed the taliban has ostensibly recovered completely in afghanistan because our troops are bogged down in iraq. once again drug lords are the real rulers of the country. way to keep your eye on the ball. i forget sometimes that the only ball you neocons watch is the one that keeps you in power and money in your pockets regardless of the well-being of others.

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Phillip said...

and concerning bush's vacation: conservatives are always slandering liberals because we criticize the government in a time of war and you say that this demoralizes our troops (which is horseshit). what effect though do you think the president's sojourn in crawford has on troop morale? how would you feel if you're over there risking your life while your commander-in-chief is golfing (i'm sorry, and making the occasional phone call).

The Goblin Slayer said...

in case you hadn't noticed the taliban has ostensibly recovered completely in afghanistan because our troops are bogged down in iraq. once again drug lords are the real rulers of the country. way to keep your eye on the ball.

Proof please? A link will do.

India is a bigger threat than Iraq? Please don't bogart that joint. Keep in mind that it is an ideology that the Wetern World is at war with at this moment in time.

So that eliminates NK and China. According to your comment, we should have invaded China before Iraq?

I agree with you on our dependence on Saudi oil. I hate that. We should just drill our own and be done with those bastards.

BTW, you only accentuate my point that we are at war with Radical Islam by mentioning the Sudan and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. However, you forgot to mention Syria, Iran and Egypt.

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Phillip said...

why did we have to inavde any country? we just had to have retribution right? the president spun that post-9/11 bloodlust into a war with a country that his own 9/11 commission said had no ties to al quaeda (he even said it himself once).

if we are at war with an ideology why isn't that the reason we were given for invading iraq? if that's the elusive "noble cause" we hear about then why hasn't the president said that? i've heard lots of reasons about why we had to invade iraq but never that one. that ideology, by the way, has been provided with a perfect training ground for extremists in iraq since our invasion. if our struggle is against radical islam then why did we provide them a haven by ousting saddam and sacrificing our soldiers?

in.re. oil: instead of "drilling our own" why can't we research alternative energy sources? go ahead, call me a tree-hugger. i admit it with pride.

here are a couple articles talking about the afghan reversion:

http://www.socialistalternative.org/justice29/18.html
http://hrw.org/wr2k4/5.htm

there are plenty more, just google it.

Phillip said...

we got off of cindy sheehan pretty quick there

The Goblin Slayer said...

Yes we did. Look, I don't know why Bush just doesn't say that either. I agree that alternative fuels are a long term answer, but in the next decade or so, I would rather drill our own instead of lining Saudi pockets.

Anonymous said...
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The Goblin Slayer said...

Ian, looks like the spammers have reached you. Sucky. This may mean that you will need to host your own blog. If you need any help in software development, let me know. I'll donate my software development skillset for free if you need it.

The Goblin Slayer said...

Why did we have to invade any country?

Don't you think we should prevent future attacks against our country? I would rather kill those who are hell bent on our destruction then wait to see what will happen.

Phillip said...

the clinton administration was far from perfect, of course. but what would have happened if clinton had decided to take military action against afghanistan/the taliban? i seem to remember phrases such as "wag the dog" and "no war for monica" reverberating through conservative punditry. where was the concern for national security then?

Phillip said...

and also, w. had eight months in which to preemptively take out bin laden but was vacationing.

The Goblin Slayer said...

There certainly was worry. At least from the circles I hung around with. I was in 2 World Financial in '93 when the Islamic Al-Queda bomber tried to take out the towers the first time. I remember outrage from the Tanzania bombings as well as the USS Cole, which by the way, was a direct attack on our military.

gambitch said...

Gobbo,

April was months back. That was then. This is now.

Alisha said...

Good points Ian! When it comes down to it this is not about where people stand concerning the war. This is about a grieving mother who has nothing left to lose. If I were her I would want the chance to speak out as well and I would surely want answers. She deserves a voice because her son sacrificed his life for a cause that may not even be worth fighting for. I admire this woman for the strength and passion she has and for enduring and pushing for what she believes!

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, isn't this a perfect thread! I love it, dammit! Anything to get people talking.

Gob, thanks for the offer but I think I'll ride out this Blogger thing for a while. I'm not sure I trust a guy who despises me and calls my friends "lesbian cunts" with my site.

blog administrator said...

I ain't meetin' with that gal unless she bakes me a pie.

Mikel said...

So, Goblin, when are going to enlist and volunteer to go to Iraq? Better still, just go to Iraq.

ThomasMcCay said...

To my mind this is not about one grieving mother. Cindy Sheehan has given a face to all those mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands who have lost so much.

No one can give them a real reason for those losses. The man who lead the charge to this bloody quagmire has been lying to everyone since day one.

He lied to congress to get approval for this war and he lied to the UN, via Powel, for the same reason. To wrap a cloak of legitimacy around a war that was never about any of the reasons we were given.

Cindy Sheehan is one honest citizen with a true heart and a very legitimate question that all the professional liars in the white house and their well supported gaggle of talking heads, can do nothing about.

A defense lawyer once told me that there is no defense against a witness speaking the plain unvarnished truth.

The little president has no defense either. He hides.

If the little president genuinely believed in the moral correctness of what he is doing, if he believed that his cause was noble, he would not live in fear of real questions. He would face this woman and her questions.

But all the little president has, all he has ever had are, lies, deceptions,misdirection, and cover ups.

rhonda said...

i honestly believe that cindy sheehan DOESN'T have anything to lose; she's already lost most everything. her son has been killed and her marriage has fallen apart in the aftermath (which, though sad, is not unique after the death of a child). like goblin asserted, i have no doubts that someone somewhere along the line WILL offer a book or made-for-TV deal, and that IS rather tawdry on the part of those who offer to bankroll it...but whether you are for or against the war, you have to stop and consider- what's the value of cheap cash after you bury your child? i think even the most materialistic among us would concede that it's not much of a trade. i agree with ian and phizz. this isn't at all about party lines. this is about a mother with some pretty painful questions. whether you're for or against this war, for or against this administration, why forsake the mother of a dead soldier the right to a little consolation? yeah, cindy sheehan is picking up a lot of criticism for openly badgering the commander in chief- but both of his children are still alive, so it can't possibly be that much of an inconvenience.

The Goblin Slayer said...

Ian,

Despise you?! You are paranoid. After all, we could draw up an agreement. As for Rhonda and I, we seemed to have quell each other's feelings toward one another. Actually, I think she is pretty great!


Mikel,

Already served from 86 - 90.

Ian McGibboney said...

Goblin, if that's how you supposedly treat people you like (especially regarding what you said to me today on the license-plate thread--real classy!), then I'd hate to see how you'd treat someone like Cindy Sheehan. Which I don't understand anyway, given your military background.

The Goblin Slayer said...

Ian,

I am allowed to have an opinion too, aren't I? I joined the service for many reasons including protecting the rights of nutty moonbats like Cindy Sheehan.

See the headline on Drudge.

Ian McGibboney said...

Goblin, if your opinion is that so-and-so is a jackass because he or she disagrees with you, then maybe you should say something with a little more substance.

The Goblin Slayer said...

My jackass opinion about Cindy Sheehan comes to fruition with the words she writes and speaks. Just callin' em as I'm seein' em.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, why not explain what she's been saying to piss you off so much?

Kyle said...

Just to let you know, I was getting some spam comments on my personal blog for a couple days, but they've stopped coming. So it might be fine if you just wait it out.

Ian McGibboney said...

Kyle, I think so too. I've had maybe 10 spam messages ever (knock on wood).