Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The impact of Cindy Sheehan

Today I want to recommend another article on Cindy Sheehan's protest - one that powerfully analyzes the real impact of the movement sparked by her arrival on the president's doorstep in Crawford. The article is by Sheila Samples and is entitled, "Suddenly, this summer". First I want to share with you a few paragraphs about who is not there standing shoulder to shoulder with the Gold Star mothers:

I saw NO religious leaders striding bravely through the shimmering Texas heat in an effort to stem the flow of innocent blood. Where are the peace-loving Christians who should be speaking out on behalf of Jesus Christ -- who minced no words when it came to peace and love and mercy? Why do these Good Samaritans cross to the other side of the street and skitter by fearfully, lest anything even remotely resembling compassion should be expected of them?

I saw NO members of Congess from either side of the aisle with the courage to throw a supportive arm around Sheehan's shoulders and demand that Bush answer her single question. How can they? Like dogs in heat, some are in pursuit of their corporate donors who are marching triumphantly into Baghdad. Others, mostly Democrats, are calculating the political risk of showing their faces in public lest they be asked to take a stand on anything, especially a hideous war for which ultimately they must be held accountable. The silence surrounding the 78 elected women in Congress is as thick as an Iraqi sandstorm.

I saw NO objective mainstream media (MSM) coverage of Sheehan's vigil. Those forced to acknowledge that something of historical magnitude was gathering steam were very careful to "balance" a 10-second Sheehan sound byte with interminable interviews with those who condemned Sheehan for not supporting the troops in a time of war. It's easy for those who get their news from US state-controlled corporate media to get the impression that Sheehan is an "activist mom," that she is little more than an "anti-war advocate" who is being used by left-wing political groups for their ideological advantage.

Then Samples talks about the reporters who went on a 17 mile bike ride with the president:

I mean, after spending hours cycling through the Texas Johnson grass and loco weed with the leader of the free world, a "bonding" adventure if ever there was one, what's there to talk about -- the 1,868 butchered US citizens in Iraq, one of whom was Casey Sheehan, whose mother is camped out at the front gate?

No? Well maybe the bikers thought to ask Bush why he stubbornly continues to remain in a bloody IraqNam quagmire that continues to suck our sons and daughters under at more than three a day, continues to add more wounded and maimed Americans to the already 45,000 whose lives are shattered forever, continues a murderous rampage against innocent civilians in two countries whose existance on this planet is so trivial their deaths are not worthy of counting.

Too much hard work? Well, I'm sure those stalwart journalist cyclists were just bubbling with questions about the "nobility" of a cause wherein a president is willing to sacrifice his nation's citizens, its money, its very existance on an illegal, immoral, grandoise crusade to spread freedom and democracy -- only to back off at the last minute and support the creation of an Islamist state. Surely they are curious about such shuddering hypocrisy. For Bush to change horses in the middle of the Democracy stream is the most deadly flip-flop of all time. Bush's cowardly retreat screams an answer to Sheehan's question and to questions of all mothers who are waking up and realizing that their children have died -- will continue to die -- in vain.

That's the part that grieves my heart. We have destroyed what was a stable, secular state (albeit ruled by a brutal dictator) so that it can be replaced by an Islamic theocracy that is selling women down the river. How is it a democracy when half the population has no rights to speak of? This is the "noble cause", people. Get used to it.

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