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Jeff Feldman identifies the main reason Cindy Sheehan has captured the nation's imagination:
Rather than extending America's focus on Presidential lies, the meteoric rise of Cindy Sheehan to the top of the headlines shifted our attention to a 'grieving mother.' Curiously, this shift seems to have happened despite the fact that Sheehan's personal writings and public statements tried to intensify the national focus on the President's lies and refusal to meet with her. So what is the bottom line of the Sheehan protest? What did the Sheehan week achieve? In broad terms, the success of the 'grieving mom' phrase indicates that Americans are now thinking about the War in Iraq through the frame of the family, rather than thinking about Iraq through the frame of 'terrorism' or 'ideology.'
I think that is right and I think it raises an interesting question - what happens if Cindy Sheehan follows Bush when he returns to Washington, D.C? We have all watched as the country has turned against the Iraq Debacle. And this has happened without the emergence of a visible anti-war movement in the classic sense. And as atrios conjectured a few months ago, maybe because of the absence of a visible Vietnam-style anti-war movement.

But Jeff hits on something here, and raises a different type of possibility -- a visible anti-war movement centered around a broad-based unassailable concern, a mother's concern for her children. If Cindy Sheehan travels to Washington, D.C., maintains her focus on the family costs of the Debacle, and to the Common Good of the country, it will have a great chance of resonating in a way a more traditional anti-war movement might not.

Couple this with the clear evidence that we are in deep deep trouble in Iraq, and Cindy Sheehan may be the key to the first real tangible breakthrough into the "heartland" of a strong, broad based anti-war movement. Of course this is all speculation on my part, but I think it merits thought.

Because we are on a Debacle treadmill with Bush and need to find ways to publicly pressure BushCo to push them towards accepting the reality of the demise of the neocon dream and a need to find a way out that best serves the interests and security of the nation and the world.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:24 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great post (4.00)
    I think you've captured the significance of this story.  It is catalytic.  And I do not believe you will ever see -- Constitution or no -- another uptick in public support for this war.  Ever.

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by The Termite on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:29:11 PM PDT

    •  Then it is time to.. (4.00)
      ...start a new war, right?

      Coming in October:  The War on NUCLEAR Terrorism: Iran!

      "Never give up, never surrender"

      by wonkydonkey on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:42:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Catalytic - (4.00)
      beautiful and precise. Semper Fiery!
    •  Message to Bush: The War is over (4.00)
      The Frank Rich column in today's NYT starts like this:  
      LIKE the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man?

      Bush is so wrapped in his bubble of ignorance that he can't see that the great mass of Americans, although slow to awaken, have finally seen through his lies and now understand that Iraq was a tragic waste of our soldier's lives and national treasure.

      This disastrous war will define his failed presidency even more than the unconstitutional power grab by O'Connor and her felonious pals on Dec. 12, 2000 to install the idiot Bush.

      Coward of Crawford is afraid of Cindy Sheehan, he just can't face reality, and has never had to in his priviledged bubble-life.

      Support our troops- Impeach Bush

    •  Incredible essay by Tom Engelhardt (4.00) that focuses very acutely on the essential story of how someone speaking simply and clearly about her loss and asking questions with determination has thrown the WH into disarray.  He tracks the indecisiveness, the various attempts to deal with her, etc.
      •  I read that, too (4.00)
        It gave me chills it was so good. Here's my favorite part:

        As our President likes to speak about "our mission" in Iraq and "our mission of defeating terrorists" in the world, so Cindy Sheehan has found herself on a mission. Our President speaks resolutely of "staying the course" in Iraq. That's exactly what Cindy Sheehan is planning to do in Crawford (and undoubtedly beyond). George prides himself on not flinching, giving ground, or ever saying he's sorry. But he also had remarkably good luck until he ran into Cindy. Whether in his presidential runs, in Congress, or elsewhere, he really hasn't come up against an opponent who was ready to dig in and duke it out blow for blow, an opponent ready never to flinch, never to apologize, never to mince words, never to take prisoners. Now he's got one -- and like so many personal demons, she's been called up from the Id of his own war: A mother of one of the dead who demands an explanation, an answer, when no answer he gives will ever conceivably do; a woman who, like his neocon companions, has no hesitation about going for the jugular. And, amazingly, she's already made the man flinch twice."

        YOu can read it in its entirety here.

        "You're working hard to put food on your family." - George W. Bush

        by flashlass on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:27:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow (none)
          That is a fantastic piece.  I have forwarded to everyone on planet Earth.

          How inspiring is this woman?

          "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

          by The Termite on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:44:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What about this extraordinary quote... (4.00)
            ...from essay:

            Engelhardt quotes Cindy Sheehan's speech at John Conyers' public hearings on the war:

            "This is a picture of Casey when he was 7 months old. It's an enlargement of a picture he carried in his wallet until the day he was killed. He loved this picture of himself. It was returned to us with his personal effects from Iraq. He always sucked on those two fingers. When he was born, he had a flat face from passing through the birth canal and we called him `Edward G' short for ! Edward G. Robinson. How many of you have seen your child in his/her premature coffin? It is a shocking and very painful sight. The most heartbreaking aspect of seeing Casey lying in his casket for me, was that his face was flat again because he had no muscle tone. He looked like he did when he was a baby laying in his bassinette. The most tragic irony is that if the Downing Street Memo proves to be true, Casey and thousands of people should still be alive."

        •  I hope.... (none)
          that the uprise will finally begin.....
          There were many protests here in America before the war, but seem to have subsided since, I suppose it's because we weren't being heard.  Perhaps it's finally time, the world is watching and waiting.
          We would not stand alone, the rest of the world would be right behind us.  "If you build it, they will come."
    •  Hopefully not just Iraq (none)
      Hopefully it will make him accountable for any new war he might want to start. Maybe next time he won't get away with lying and honest questions will be asked and answers demanded...

      They are very afraid of Cindy and what she stands for...and it truly is accountability.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Martin Luther King, Jr. _______ "We will not be silent." -Howard Dean

      by jigsaw68 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:41:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      I am not going to set on a dusty Texas road to protest this idiotic war.  However, thousands will go to DC to protest.  This protest will change venues on Labor Day to DC.  LET'S have a permanent protest on the Washington Mall.  There are certainly more facilities there, and we could have a tent city that could clog up the workings of the District of Columbia.

      If the Republic survives for a thousand years this Bush presidency will be known as our DARKEST HOUR.

      by Churchill on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:45:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Cindy goes to Washington (4.00)
    I believe, or at least I hope, the protest will be larger. There are many who want to visit with Cindy and show her support but Texas is just too far away.
    •  but DC is farther away than texas (none)
      your solution only helps the East coast, and i live in cali

      what about the land of fruits and nuts ???

      •  Organize similar sit-ins outside the offices ... (4.00)
        ... war-supporting politicians.  Organize with the parents of soldiers who died in Iraq, if you can.

        Because of Cindy's high profile, even solidarity demonstrations are likely to get media right now.  Do the necessary homework ahead of time to contact the press, do the followup calls the morning of the event, etc.  Send the press release as an organization, rather than an individual -- you're likely to get better attention.

        I'm no fan of the Western States Legal Foundation, but theres was the first decent guide to doing a press release that I found online when I searched in Google just now.  LINK

        Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

        by by foot on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:18:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  W leaves the 31st of August (4.00)
      Cindy should take her time driving across the country(with stops and speeches planned)and should be greeted by thousands in DC on Labor Day.

      by ctkeith on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:25:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, me, too. (4.00)
        Drive slowly. Pick up people along the way. I plan to follow her to DC.
      •  Sure of the 31st? (none)
        He won't stay through Labor Day?  
      •  It can only grow on the way (none)
        It would be nice to see a march that dwarfs any the Pentagon could possibly plan... Peaceful... but to the point. I think those in DC that support this need to start spreading the word so that there are places for people to go... camp... rest...whatever. Something more longterm since it seems the shrub has no intention of talking to her...

        There are bound to be many more... and it should be organized so that they have reason to crack down on those supporting Cindy... and all the other families that will be there...

        You can bet it is going to get big

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Martin Luther King, Jr. _______ "We will not be silent." -Howard Dean

        by jigsaw68 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:50:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think that would be helpful (none)
      A friend sent me a very interesting piece about how during Nixon's first term, the public (as measured by polls) had turned against the Vietnam War and felt that Nixon was being way too slow in getting American troops out.  However, the same public that was against the war itself was even more strongly against the antiwar movement.  Nixon cannily used this to his advantage: instead of running in support of the war, he ran against the freaky weirdos (not my characterisation, mind you, but the way the "silent majority" saw them) who were massing for protests.

      Look, I think it's great that we have a lot of intense, passionate young progressive people who express themselves (in words and appearance) in interesting, diverse ways.  But the political tactician in me says that we don't want this group to get too high a profile, or we risk losing the support of voters on the fence.  

      The bottom line is that for Democrats to get back in power, we need to woo millions of people who have voted for Republicans and who have at one time or another supported "the war on terror".  We who are really in the know are well aware that this "war" is bogus and is used mainly to provide cover for restricting civil liberties, profiteering, and accomplishing other unrelated right wing goals.  But we can't let our contempt show through, or we're going to turn away voters we need.


      P.S. Though I supported the war originally (though conditionally) and still think it was right to oust Saddam from power, I feel that at this point, Iraq has a government (and soon, a constitution), and we ought to work on a timetable for getting out of there.

  •  I nominate Cindy to lead the counter-march on 9/11 (4.00)
    I haven't looked very extensively yet, but I live in the DC area and I'm hoping there will be some kind of counter-action to this "America Supports You Freedom Walk" DoD propaganda stunt on 9/11.  It will need to be carefully themed, along the lines of: "we support the troops too, we are just as patriotic as you, but these soldiers are dying for lies, distortions, and a huge INCREASE in the terror threat to Americans."  If that happens, and especially if Cindy is there, I will most certainly show up, and encourage everyone I know to do the same.
    •  I was thinking that we should (4.00)
      just appropriate it.

      Join it.

      You can shut down a counter protest... if you're the Whitehouse/Pentagon in DC.

      But can you keep people from bringing their own signs and tshirts to Rummy's march? Talk about embarrasing... the anti-war folk outnumber Rummy at his own goosestep?


      Buy Democracy Bonds or Justice sleeps with the fishes.

      by Don Quixotic on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:39:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about the day after? (none)
      Do we want to fall into a trap of being the ones to politicize the event? Not that I am scared of the shrill shills of the right wing corporatocracy, but I also don't believe in exposing ourselves to such an obvious attack that might hurt the cause. Then again, if the message is more about how the White House has used 9/11 to justify it's bullshit invasion of Iraq, then I say go for it. We've been needing a way to stand up and show our support for Mrs. Sheehan.
      •  day after... (none)
        day before... it's still gonna get read as politicizing Rummy's Goosestep.

        Any comment on Rummy's flagwaving nonesense will be called out by the Right.

        I figure a nice quiet/mass numbers unified protest of silence and a unified non-offensive message makes sense... if people want to say/do anything about Rummy's March.

        The other strategy would be to try to think of other ways to make it look bad. We could help organize rightwing zealouts to be at the march. Try to motivate some Clanmembers or abortion clinic bombers to go and "support Rummy." Then expose them. etc.. etc. They want to portray liberals as socialist leftists? Then we'll point out their fringes.

        They've left themselves open here. We can let them have their day... or if we can be smart, we could turn it against them. If we have a good enough idea, there's always an argument for the latter.

        Buy Democracy Bonds or Justice sleeps with the fishes.

        by Don Quixotic on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:16:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This event already (4.00)
        STINKS to high heaven of politicalization. I'd rather intelligently hyjack the event with honor than sit back and do nothing while BushCo hoodwinks the American citizens even further with this bait-and-switch ploy.

        Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

        by Skid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:21:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, constantly worrying someone MIGHT criticize (none)
          ... is no way to live.

          Do what's right, do what's honest and be clear when people ask why -- but living in constant fear and doubt because bullies and blowhards might smear or someone might nitpick is worse.

          The hard right has done that for years anyway no matter what; they live to sling mud and they count on the fact no one will sink as low as they do. Nothing's going to please them but we CAN stop them by getting our own messages out, our own way.

  •  One family plus another (4.00)
    Democrats have been spending too much time talking in terms defined by the Republican patriarchy.

    Cindy Sheehan brings us back to the Democratic value of community.  One family plus another family, plus another, and another, etc. make a community.  This is the Democratic value and the only value we need to win against Republicans.  

    My thanks to Cindy Sheehan.

    •  re (none)
      and she's a she which goes against the whole "daddy" thing the rethugs seem to be mesmerized by.

      Steve Holt! hates Benedict Rove!

      by cookiesandmilk on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:36:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wondering... (4.00)
        if the fact that Cindy Sheehan is female is really the intimidating factor.

        "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

        by Street Kid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:44:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (4.00)
          I think Hillary showed (as well as other women who have enterted politics- and yes, I now count Cindy Sheehan as one of them though I understand what she's doing isn't "political" the net effect is a political one in regards to pushing Bush's poll numbers even lower) that it is very hard to attack a woman and get away with it. It is one advantage that has helped several prominent women politicians and figures (many First ladies- though not Hillary). But I don't want to get bogged down in that discussion as I wanted to mention what an accute perception of the framing of the national debate Mr. Feldman is on to here: By arguing the Iraq Debacle in terms of a grieving mother the face has finally been put onto not just the victims of the war both military and civilian, but also we have a new face to counter the GOP which is something we haven't had since Kerry was defeated in November. Cindy Sheehan is the avenue by which we can have this discussion, and as has been pointed out, her status as grieving mom means the fight is on our turf.
          •  asdf (none)
            Seems to me like we have to put a face on all who have been hurt by bush's policies/programs.  But, as you said, that's another place.

            "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

            by Street Kid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:14:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think (none)
          it's the fact that she's female, but that she's the mother of a soldier.  One problem for the left has consisted in presenting a credible position of enunciation (i.e., who's speaking) in protesting the war.  The problem is that the right is able to situate war protesters as just "counter-cultural hippies" who would protest any war, or as just being democrats and liberals out to slander the president.  In other words, they've been able to cast suspicion on the motivations of the messanger or what I referred to above as the position of enunciation.  Sheehen speaks from a position outside these suspicions and is therefore able to make statements and have them hit home in a way that more traditional war protestors are not.  

          Here it's worthwhile to watch the awful B film PCU.  The premise of this film is that there's an entire segment of the population which simply protests for the sake of protesting without having any real commitment to the cause their protesting for.  The right has successfully portrayed the left in these terms.  However, Sheehen, as a war mother, successfully falls outside of this framework.  Despite all attempts to cast doubt on her credibility by suggesting that she's just doing it for personal gain, that she's been brainwashed, that she's vainly seeking recognition and fame, all of these criticisms roll off of her like water off a ducks back because it's simply absurd to believe that a mother would use her sons own death for personal gain.  It has nothing to do with being a woman-- the right has no problems skewering women as can be seen with HRC or Jane Fonda --and everything to do with being a mother with a legimate grievance.

    •  mainstream (none)
      The problem the rethugs have now is twofold,1 you have Rummy putting up some sort of 'all is right' parade,somewhat of a desperate measure that is likely to cause them more grief than harm--it wont and cant represent the mainstream john and jill taxpayer.2 They see a grassroots protest growing that can and will ulyimatly embrace the mainstream.their problems are just beginning.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:05:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Red State (4.00)
        A diary was posted at Red State today, by one of the regulars, calling for Bush to fire Rummy. He admits in his diary that Iraq is a mess and that we are losing the war. I damn near fell out of my chair!
        •  Panic (4.00)
          I went to Redstate and read the diary.  I could just feel the panic in that person's diary!  He is desperate.  He is right, of course, to blame Rumsfeld for the most of the troubles in Iraq.  Rummy has been a failure from the very beginning.  But, of course, the invasion itself was the biggest mistake and there is no one to blame but Bush himself.

          If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. " - The Dalai Lama

          by LynChi on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:09:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, that was (4.00)
          yummy yummy yummy

          So much to say about that Redstate post.  

          First, he is correct, the RNC's fortunes live and die on the war.  Win the war, and idiot Americans will fall in a swoon at their feet--indeed, 2004 rode on the afterglow of what still looked like  Americans Kicking Ass.  Lose the war, and the RNC is dogmeat.

          Second, let's just take a teeny step back and note among ourselves, the fellow is panicked not because--ohmy, what if we lose in Iraq!  Why, that's the main front in the War on Terror!  Unh-uh.  Rather, the war in Iraq is the main front in the RNC assault on America.  He's all upset because losing the war will hurt his party.  Not his country, not the world, not humanity.  His party.

          Finally, he (like a certain president we know) is so constitutionally unable to admit a mistake, admit defeat, and cut losses--he recommends reinstating the draft and hunkering down for a 3 -5 year war.  Wow.  First, bygod he doesn't care what world is decimated just so long as We Win.  Second, doesn't it occur to him that the D-word is an even swifter prescription for electoral suicide?

          Thank you, SO MUCH, for pointing that diary out.  Just delicious

          •  The French lost in Algeria with draftees. (none)
            The U.S. lost in Vietnam with draftees.

            Sending in draftees can only postpone the inevitable -- and, in the meantime, seal the Republicans' electoral doom.

            •  Don't forget... (none)
              that in the meantime people like me (18 in 9 months) get (essentially) shanghaied into dying or killing.

              Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. -Douglas Adams

              by DelusionalLiberal on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:08:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Rumsfeld = McNamara in 1968. (none)
          Rumsfeld has been acting more and more like McNamara in 1968, more and more disenchanted with an unwinnable war.  Especially if Rumsfeld is really the source behind this morning's WaPo story.
    •  Caring parent "vs" strong parent (none)
      The frame we use should not bifurcate caring and strength. In this instance the caring parent is embodied in a mother, Cindy Sheehan, who shows her physical and moral courage as well as her loving heart. But all our progressive-minded leaders, men and women, must demonstrate these attributes--caring and courage--in both the physical universe and the moral universe.

      Cindy Sheehan's willingness to put her body on the line combined with the authentic expression of deep emotion and conviction provide us with a model. It's what we long for in our own lives, the strength to endure, body and soul, whatever life throws our way.

      To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. Mary Oliver

      by ammaloy on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:43:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely (none)
      Bush's Iraq war is destroying American Families.
      But truthfully it is larger than that
      Republican Party is destroying American Families

      • MNBA relief policies -
      • Outsourcing Jobs
      • Changing budget surplus to large budget deficit
      • Trying to gut social security
      • Gutting protections for pensions
      • Rising Health care costs - no plan to improve this

      all these things crush american families -
      When dad or mom loses their job due to outsourcing
      When someone in the family gets sick and hospital bills crush them
      When Grandma cant support herself and has to turn to kids for support
  •  Find a way out? (none)
    How do you expect Bush, who has never admitted a mistake, or the neoconistas, who will never give up their pipedreams, to look for a way out?

    The only way out is electoral defeat for the neoconistas in Nov. 2006 and 2008.

  •  I think we need to recognize the Demo shift (none)
    Americans are old.

    The Baby-Boom generation is getting old.

    I think this is why the youth-protest movements we saw before the Iraq War had so little impact in the media. Fogies couldn't relate. And of course the media was offensively negligent in reporting on the marches... lying about numbers, etc.

    But I think you're right. For the next 20-40 years, things are going to need to resonate with old folks. We are going to need old folks representing us, we're going to need to talk about people's kids and grandkids.

    That's just the reality of the politics. It's the reality of strategy.

    I like your diary because it points out concisely for the first time I've seen... what I think we've found to be a key shift in "protest strategy."

    It needs to resonate. Well duhh... sometimes we're awfully dull witted, the left. Putting Edwards up as our nominee. Ridiculous hair. Ridiculous.

    Grannies for God need to join Cindy in DC... and bring this War to an end. They've got my support 100%, if not my youthful good looks.

    Buy Democracy Bonds or Justice sleeps with the fishes.

    by Don Quixotic on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:36:07 PM PDT

    •  boomers (none)
      Valid point.Also factor in that it is the boomers kids and now grandkids who are wearing the uniform now,and being let down by their leadership.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup... (none)
        while the common logic is that each new generation takes over the "political protest" mantle... I wonder if in our case, the Boomers (since they will always dominate the social agenda simply because of their numbers) won't again have to be the ones who protest/end this war.

        Makes sense to me. They started it. They end it.

        Buy Democracy Bonds or Justice sleeps with the fishes.

        by Don Quixotic on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:18:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is precisely the kind of (4.00)
          self-absorbed, small-minded thinking such as you display in your comment that contributes mightily to the failure of what passes for the anti-war movement these days to accomplish anything of significance. Blaming others is not a strategy for solving life threatening problems.

          Defeat the sound-bite.

          by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:58:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I was 16 years old when I got my first concussion (4.00)
      from a police baton while protesting the Vietnam war. Now I'm 57 years old, perhaps qualifying me for "fogey" status according to your calculus.

      You are completely wrong to blame the failure of the so-called anti-war protest efforts on us geezers, and here's why.

      When we were protesting the Vietnam debacle, we didn't follow the establishment's rules by getting permits for our marches. We marched, we did "sit-ins, and all manner of other activities and we didn't seek permission from the very government we were protesting to do so. We knew that playing by their rules would render us impotent, not only tactically, but also in the eyes of the media which, I have to say, was not very favorable to our position in the beginning back then either.

      The idea that we would have allowed ourselves to be herdeded into"free speech zone" corrals would have been met with astonishment and ridicule and outrage. And my compatriots during that time all basically understood that we had to be disobedient in order to eventually have an impact. If we were able to get home in time for dinner rather than getting arrested instead, we figured we'd failed to accomplish our tasks. We knew that we had to show our own government attacking it's own citizens as part of the effort to defend their own lies. We knew we had to find ways to make them expose their own hypocrisy in order to gain more public support for our cause.

      I didn't see much of this sort action in the organized protests over Iraq, and for you to seek to pawn off the current anti-war protest's lack of success on older people is absurd, it's demeaning, and it reinforces the kind of denial that keeps those who would protest from finding ways to be more effective.

      Defeat the sound-bite.

      by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:49:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You go, geezer!! (4.00)
        I remember the protests, but was too young to join in.  It seems geezers are quicker, with their experience, to protest this war than those a lot younger.  

        I do think this anti-war movement is different though, because back in the 60s boys were being drafted to go to war.  Now they have a choice, so there is less incentive to go into the streets -- in a very real and deadly way -- than back then.  

        I also think that technology has changed the dynamics of protesting.  I would bet there are more people on line talking anti-war speak than there were street protesters -- by a long mile.  

        When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

        by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:06:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right to point out the (4.00)
          difference that there was a draft during Vietnam and not now with Iraq. Having said that though, during that Vietnam protest era, while there was a great deal of attention paid to the "injustice" of having a draft for a war of choice, there was little if any differentiation over this in terms of the fundamental protest. That is, whether the Vietnam War was being waged by a draft army or an all-volunteer army didn't make any difference. Regardless of who was doing the fighting and dying, it was all bad. The needless, unnecesary death of a volunteer soldier was no less a tragedy than the killing of a draftee.

          You're right that there are I'm sure literally millions more people active on the internet engaged in anti-war talk, and this is good. I don't know what impact all our talk is having though, since for the most part we are each respectively "speaking to the choir" so to speak.

          Ghandi and Martin Luther King migh have had their efforts helped considerably by internet info sharing, but they each would still have had to march, or strike, or sit-in, in order to be effective.

          Our protests against the Vietnam invasion did fail in a certain way. None of our efforts ever really managed to effect a change in either Johnson's or Nixon's policies for prosecuting the war. But where we did succeed, finally, was in putting enough pressure on members of congress. they began to get the message that if they continued to support the war against a rising tide of public opposition that they'd risk losing re-election. and it was this pressure, in the end, that allowed for congress to finally starve the war of funding. That's why the Vietnam war came to a close. Money.

          Defeat the sound-bite.

          by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:41:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point about the draft making this (none)
            time different was not about the merits of the war, but rather about the motivation of the protesters.  If you know your life is going to be on the line or that you are going to have to leave friends, family and country to avoid fighting, you have a greater incentive to march than if you can just sit home and wait it out.  I personally knew boys/men (including a couple of brothers-in-law) who were vocal more because of the draft than because of the war.  

            This time it is people like Cindy Sheehan who are paying the highest price.  Insofar it is not surprising that she would become the focal point of the protest.    

            When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

            by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:53:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  People like Cindy Sheehan (4.00)
              were the one's who payed the highest price back then too. It's always mothers and fathers and loved ones of the dead who pay the highest price.

              I registered for the draft in 1966 and had my physical that same year, where I received a 1-Y classification, meaning that there was virtually no real chance I'd be drafted. But this made no difference to me in terms of my dedication to opposing the war. And generally, in the protest movements of that time, it was pretty much impossible to detect any difference in the level of enthusiasm between those who were in danger of being drafted and those who were not.

              I'm not challenging your thinking or disputing what you're saying. Rather, I'm seeking to emphasize that there was a predominately selfless aspect to our actions back then. Cindy Sheehan is motivated by her desire to prevent other mothers from suffering the unnecessary loss of a child in a senseless war. We wanted to stop the war, not to protect our individual selves, but for everyone else.

              Defeat the sound-bite.

              by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:09:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hear you (4.00)
                and I don't disagree with you at all.  The draft issue was a factor that we don't have now.  That is all.  I saw what it did to my relatives who did not fight (nmentioned above) as well as what happened to a third bro-in-law and a brother who did. A lot of people were making a lot of hard choices.  

                You are especially right that parents, spouses and children pay the highest price.  On a personal note, now that I am thinking about it, I remember praying for my brothers' safe return  many nights when they were away at war.  Thank goodness they came back alive and whole.      

                When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

                by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:45:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (4.00)
        You've expressed my feelings exactly. I've gotten into some very heated arguments with protest organizers over their willingness to cooperate with the authorities who were herding them out of the way.

        I'm only 20, but I've become very jaded about this generation. I've seen pro-marijuana protests in Canada that were more effective. If you're not willing to engage in civil disobedience, what's the point?

      •  Four Dead in Ohio! (4.00)
        I object to the ingrained slighting of the accomplishments and nobility of the Vietnam anti-war protestors as portrayed in Armandos post, and was pleased with your corrective contribution.  I also note that most protested for a larger revolution than just the end of one war:  rather we protested for the end of a warlike regimen and a new humanistic society.  I find many posts above that assume it is the odd war that is wrong, leading to the conclusion that if unsure, launch war and you'll probably be justified.  When I blocked I-5 with many others so many decades ago, it wasn't to delegitimize one war only to, conversly, provide legitimacy to most others.  Our goal was to end war (that's called peace).  So, heck, I encourage protest in any manner, be it in the celebratory manner of the Sixties or whatever.   I urge any protest, regardless of how you might muck up the "frame" for the telegenically/telegenetically acceptable.  

        Regarding our most recent "anti-war" demonstrations, I knew we were in trouble when they had to be scheduled over the long holiday weekend, regardless of the timing of the event they were to coincide with (the Republican Convention).  Shit, folks, if you can only demonstrate and protest when the timeclock says so, you'll fail and never levitate the Pentagon.  

        •  Your point about (4.00)
          the difference between protesting an individual war and protesting war itself as having any real legitimacy as a political mechanism in any civilized society is extremely important.

          Rightly or wrongly, the events of 9/11/2001, and the shameless eagerness with which the Bush regime exploited that tragedy to further their own pre-existing agenda, have made it much more difficult to reach a lot of people with a broader, *anti-all-war" message. We would be well served to find better ways to reactivate that noble idea, but thus far, there's a conspicuous dearth of prominent people stepping forward to make that case.

          Cindy Sheehan is the one who's come closest to this, though I'm not aware she's speaking out against the atrocity of war in general; her focus, (and rightly so for her, IMO) is to challenge the justification of the particular war in which her child was killed. Her message resonates because it operates on an emotional level more than it does on an intellectual level, and this is an important kind of communication that gets people engaged.

          I loved your line;

          I knew we were in trouble when they had to be scheduled over the long holiday weekend, regardless of the timing of the event they were to coincide with (the Republican Convention).  

          I too was stunned completely when I first heard the term "free speech zone" used, and was increasingly dismayed that there wasn't more vocal outrage over such an insidious concept.

          Defeat the sound-bite.

          by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:54:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Congratulations, "youngster," on (4.00)
        receiving your first battle scar at so early an age. I have been to DC and other places on marches, sit-ins, etc. many times, have three physical scars to show for those efforts over the decades from the 60s till now; but I'm proudest of my first act of protest, which first earned me my place on the FBI lists: I joined SANE at the age of 16, in the 50s.
        I don't fault those younger than me, on this site and in other places, for thinking that "geezers" aren't relevant to today's set of problems, or thinking that we are the cause of those problems: To a certain extent they are correct, because if we had done our complete job in the sixties America wouldn't be losing citizens in Iraq and elsewhere now; and if we had done a better job of teaching the true history of those times, young[er] people would know what nonsensical tripe it is to say that the anti-Vietnam War movement was a concatenation of "purple-haired hippies" who all spat on returning soldiers.
        I was very glad to see Armando's call for us to support Cindy Sheehan with our bodies in DC. It is something which I've been wanting to see discussed here ever since I heard her say that she would go on to DC. I am old, disabled and poor --but I'll be there.

        "Aure entuluva!" [Day will come again!] -Hurin

        by davidincleveland on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:52:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank's for the "congrats". (4.00)
          I agree with you comletely that the younger generations now have every reason to hold those of us in previous generations responsible for the problems they inherit from us. My point is that they can hold us accountable but that doesn't mean they can use us as a legitimate excuse for why their own efforts to make the world a better place aren't successful. After all, every generation has to overcome obstacles created by those who came before. Life is like that.

          I think we did "do our job" pretty completely during the 60's and early 70's. The problem is that we more or less stopped doing it on a large scale. Doing battle against mankinds' propensity for killing fellow humans requires a constant message that reveals the futility of war.

          Defeat the sound-bite.

          by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:14:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I love this post (4.00)
        I was too young to protest but I had two brothers who could have been drafted.

        The protests were about more than just the war, but the point was that there was a fearlessness that went along with them.

        Students had the National Guard firing on them, killing them.  They were getting the crap beat out of them.

        All of it happened before a shocked nation - a nation that was not inundated by the internet and a thousand cable channels and misled by a sleeping media.  The nation was forced to pay attention, the Senate paid attention.

        What was different?  I don't know.  I don't know if it was the "geezers" who were back then ready to put their bodies on the line.  But when it comes to the congress, we will likely have results only when they see critical mass of "we're not voting for you again".  Anything less and they will "stay the course".  FuckWad on the other hand, doesn't give a crap.

        I don't think we need Kerry to make Cindy's vigil resonate.  But I wouldn't mind it if we heard something profound from him right now in support of the cause she picked up after he dropped it 30 years after the fact.  

        Why is congress so quiet about this?  

        •  All of what you say about the (4.00)
          previous protest time is accurate. There was a less distracted media. News was still news back then, rather than news being an "entertainment" commodity like it is now. The media was, nevertheless, just as hostile to the protest efforts as today's media is. The problem for the 60's media was that they simply didn't have enough other crap to report so they had to, eventually, cover the protests. They did so poorly, and used the same sort of shabby invective and false characterizations as they do today, but, their main problem was simply that they couldn't ignore us.

          We were not necessarily fearless. I always had a terrible time, stomach churning, nausea and the whole bit, while awaiting the charges of the police "tac squads" or being in the line of fire of those rubber bullets. We weren't all heroes, after all. Those at Kent state who were murdered (with real bullets) by some National Guard members were heroes.

          The important thing for many of us back then was that we recognized the enemy and knew that the threat they posed was lethal if they were left to their own devices. We knew that without doubt, the single most important thing we needed to do was to oppose them, because we knew that if they continued to advance their war and conquest agenda that civilization would be destroyed. We knew there wasn't a way to avoid catastrophe if we just ignored them.

          Today we have serious villains again who've emerged from their dark places to once again threaten civilization. And this current crop of madmen are even more dangerous than their predecessors because they have so much more destructive power.

          I'm not sure where the idea of Kerry getting involved with Cindy Sheehan came from, but I hope that if she does go to DC, that she keeps Kerry and all the other political cowards in Washington off her soapbox unless and until they're willing to step up to the plate and unambiguously call for an immediate pullout of all US troops from Iraq. Anything less than this from them will only diminish Cindy Sheehan's effectiveness.

          Defeat the sound-bite.

          by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:49:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  One difference (none)
            between then and now -- and I am not sure how or even if -- it factors in here is the effect of WWII.  A lot of the people protesting the war in the 60s had fathers who had fought in WWII, which was as black and white a cause to fight for as exists.  Those men, my father, god bless him, had no doubts about going to war for his country.  You did what you had to do.  

            On the other hand, there was in the collective memory the absolute horror of war.  

            Now we have the black and white (9/11 and Afghanistan) along side the questionable (Iraq).  Pretty hard to separate it all out.  

            When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

            by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:27:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Boomers protested against the invasion (4.00)
      My old fogey friends and I (a proud, kickass fogey) marched down Market Street in SF in '02 and '03, argued and wept, wrote letters to editors and congress people, did what we could. What made us hopeful was that it looked like a transgenerational movement, fogeys, families, youth, joined together. What made us feel hopeless was the absolute media indifference.

      To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. Mary Oliver

      by ammaloy on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:23:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Older and wiser? (none)
      Or older and scared shitless?

      The young idealist in me(I'm 26) would think that old people would be even more opposed to war than the younger generation.  They've been around longer and thus are much more likely to have seen the effects of war firsthand.  Seasoned by their life experience, I would think that they wouldn't be as quick to anger or want to use violence as a first choice.  It seems like older people would be thinking of what kind of a world they're leaving behind for their kids and grandkids, so why would they want to send them off to die for some bullshit?

      On the other hand it seems like, I dunno, old people are just scared of things...  everything.  I can't understand it.  It's like that cartoon in Bowling For Columbine with the scared people with their teeth chattering and shit.

      I'd love to see a poll broken down by age on support for the war.

      I'm so metal I have the unlisted Number of the Beast.

      by MjrMjr on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:43:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Old people are scared and selfish; (4.00)
        or young people are immature and selfish.

        This is always how the ignorant and self-absorbed view the world around them.

        Defeat the sound-bite.

        by sbj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:18:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm one of the geezers (4.00)
        When I was in college from 1969-73 I saw the Natl. Guard and the TKE's beating up on war protesters outside my dorm window. I wanted to be down there but I was scared. I did go to other protest marches but was always worried about violence.

        I'm older and wiser now, yet less afraid. I know how high the stakes are and I'd rather go out for a cause than just rot my life away playing safe.  Not that I'm looking for danger, but the threat of it no longer stops me.

        As Bernice Johnson Regan said once, "we're all going to die sometime so we might as well make a difference." or something like that. I'll have to go look at the video tape to get the quote right, but you get the idea.

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

        by RevDeb on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:47:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yeahuh Bayybee! (4.00)

    Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. ---Jane Addams

    by Orj ozeppi on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:36:09 PM PDT

  •  Googled (4.00)
    I just went to Google and did a search for "grieving mother."

    There are 143,000 references.   I did a quick look to see what the stories were and although some were of other "grieving mothers" the majority were about Cindy.  Jeff is right.  This  frame puts the war in a whole different light.

    If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. " - The Dalai Lama

    by LynChi on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:37:52 PM PDT

  •  Rosa Parks (4.00)
    That's what my friend calls Cindy. I think he is right on. I will march with her. I hope she will be around during the impeachment demo on 9/24. Can anybody remind me where that postcard thingy showed up yesterday? Thanks, Time to rally round folks.  
    •  It is too soon to say if she will be (none)
      the next Rosa Parks or the guy with the "Have you no shame, sir, have you no shame?" moment in the McCarthy era.  She reminds me of Helen Caldicott -- the Australian anti-nuclear activist from the early '80s.  A mother's love and a woman's rage can be utterly compelling.    

      There is something compelling about Cindy Sheehan's stand -- and it is -- to me -- incomprehensible why Bush did not meet with her weeks ago.  He should have known you can't win against a grieving mother.  If he meets her now, it will work against him, but that would not have been true weeks ago.  

      When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

      by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:34:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm embarrassed that I don't remember more details (none)
        but does anyone remember the mothers and wives who protested in Africa to shut down an oil refinery?  I can't remember which country or oil co., but these women were so brave and tenacious.  They camped out at the refinery because their sons and husbands were being treated badly and shut it down threatening even to disrobe and shame the company if their demands were not met.  

        That's what Cindy reminds me of.  Those women were impossible to ignore and beyond reproach.  It was so cool.  I hope she affects as much change.

  •  I was thinking about this today... (none)
    The movement in 2002 and 2003 seemed impotent.  WE were anti-war, anti-vengeance, etc.  We couldn't resonate with the vast public, for some reason...and our protests and marches instead were met with derision.  A mother's sacrifice has reignited spark.  
    •  probably (4.00)
      One reason that anti-war couldn't resonate pre-war is that because for the most Democrats were cowards.

      We all expect the republicans to be chickenhawk, arm-chair generals, etc.  


      Were was the opposition?

      Demanding a vote, even after handing 100% carte blanche to Bush after 9/11.  So they got a vote.  And what happened?  They voted to give Bush even more authority, even more of a blank check.  Over half of the Democrats voted for the war, and some of the ones who voted against did so because the authorization didn't grant Bush enough power.  Unbelievable.

      And since then, they just keep funding it.  Again and again and again and again and again.  Bush is going to be out of money again in a few months.  What Democrats are going to vote against a funding package for Iraq and Afganistan?  A token handful, if any.  

      The fact is that the Democrats in the Senate could end the war next time a funding package comes up.  Fillibuster the spending package.  Not one more dollar.  Not one more dime!

      It's time to face the facts.  The Democrat senators and party officals were terrified that Bush was going to do everything he hoped for.  They were terrified that Bush would run into Iraq, find an arsenal of nuclear weapons, secret plots to bring down America, and everything else, and they'd have been on the record against a glorious victory, a "cakewalk".  They were terrified that there would be Bush Square adorned with pictures of GW all over it.  

      What a shameful mess.  Imagine the attention the anti-war protestors would have had if every Democrat Senator and every Representative, plus governors and state reps were there on the mall, protesting.  Or in San Fransico, protesting.  

      They bought all Bush's lines.  They knew that they could vote for the war, and if turned sour, morph into an anti-War opposition candidate.

      They all knew that all the party kool aid drinkers would come running back to them, and deliver them more terms, more electoral wins, and more equivocations!  No questions asked.  No reprecussions.  No loss of face.

      And they were right!

  •  George and Me (4.00)
    This could be great if it weren't for the tragedy involved.  A quest to meet with Bush similar to Michael Moore's quest to meet Roger Smith in "Roger and Me".  Bush is, of course, an even bigger asswipe than Smith.
  •  anti-war concert on Nat'l Mall in Sept (4.00)

    Steve Earle and other top artists are confirmed. A writer for my site is doing media outreach so if Cindy wants to speak I'll put the folks in touch.  Danny Glover and Michael Moore may speak as well.

    •  Must they? (none)
      Especially Michael Moore.  I admit an affinity for his films and for him, but I think that Michael Moore (or Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, et al) will only tell most "average Americans" that these folks are just another in a long line of anti_Bush nutballs.  The strength of Cindy's image is that she's "like us" and like most Americans who have gone along with George Bush's folly.  She doesn't have pink hair or multiple piercings or put on puppet shows or walk on stilts.  She's a woman who lost a son in a war that should have never happened and wants to know why.  Her soft spoken manner resonates in a single word more than anybody screaming "F**k Bush" into a microphone.
      •  none of these people you have mentioned (4.00)
        are known for screaming "Fuck" into a microphone. And Michael Moore has opened a lot of eyes and ears with his Films esp F/9/11. Refering to people who have worked hard their entire lives for peace, equal rights, Freedom and Truth are not considered anti-Bush-NutBalls. People who call them that are considered Trolls in my book.

        *"I went to protest Dobson, and all I got was this damn feeding tube*

        by Chamonix on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:06:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are clueless to the fact (4.00)
        that you are simply spewing your "sanitized" version of right wing crap. I, personally, have found that F9/11 has a very powerful effect on non-political working-class Americans.
        And I lost too many friends to the Vietnam War meatgrinder to let you get away with trashing Fonda unchallenged. You have probably heard from vets who still damn her (and John Kerry) to this day. That isn't surprising, because "de Nile" is a big river which some people spend their whole lives swimming.
        There are also large numbers of vets who praise Fonda's (and John Kerry's) courage in speaking out, and credit them with having helped to shorten that conflict.
        Here is what my very best friend had to say about Jane, in a letter to me. "David, people like that actress Jane Fonda give me some hope that Americans will end this stupid mess before it kills me."
        At least she gave Jose hope, and I'll always be grateful to her for that. He died, exactly seventy days before the ceasefire, on November 18, 1972. Ignorant postings such as yours dishonor his sacrifice; he died thinking that future generations would learn from his (and the nation's) big mistake. And, unlike my baby brother, who was given the choice of Vietnam or jail, Jose was a volunteer paratrooper.

        "Aure entuluva!" [Day will come again!] -Hurin

        by davidincleveland on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:26:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nutballs? (none)
        So Toby Keith, Darryl Womack, Clint Black, and the other players at the 9-11 Celebration aren't pro-Bush nutballs?

        Likewise, are Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly, Rush "Oxycontin Junkie" Limbaugh, and Michelle "it was good to send the Japanese to concentration camps" Malkin are NOT pro-Bush nutballs?

        There is a concern that celebrities can overshadow a cause.  But your sliming these people is merely repeating a right-wing talking point.  

        And those "pink-haired and pierced" people aren't a liability.  In fact, if you're afraid of these people, it's better off if you go to the protest so Fox News decides to film people in football sweatshirts and jeans instead of these people whose only crime is dressing differently than many others.

  •  Reasons for being in Iraq quickly disappearing (none)
    Washington Post Frontpage article   -

    First Creating a Democracy in

    U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq

    Hope Cindy gets an answer to why we are in Iraq

    Thoughts from Connecticut - Cindy daily updates The Lonestar Iconoclast

    by ctsteve on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:43:07 PM PDT

  •  Bush on Sheehan (none)
    "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

    "Bush on Sheehan and Other W Words of Wisdom"

  •  Perhaps better coverage (none)
    If Cindy Sheehan goes to Washington, at least we wouldn't have to put up with the 10-15 minutes of coverage CNN just gave to one of the assholes living near where the protest is, venting about "these people" being in his front yard(they're not, of course, but he can see them, apparently, and it bothers the heck out of him).  I could NOT believe how much time CNN gave this guy - and nothing to the protest itself, from the bit I saw.  In DC, I imagine there'd be lots of people who would welcome Cindy to their yards.
    •  In fairness to the neighbor, (none)
      and this has been covered extensively in several other threads, apparently he's more upset over the negative changes to the area caused by the Bush ranchette, and may be transferring the upset and anger on to the people at Camp Casey.

      Granted, he acted like a jerk, but he's had five years of Bush and imperial cavalcades, and helicopters and Secret Service messing up the neighborhood.


      Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:35:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (none)
        first, he said he'd lived there 6 years - hardly a longtime resident of the neighborhood to be upset by changes - didn't Bush alreay own the place in 1999?  Second, he said clearly he doesn't mind Bush, he thinks Cindy is not "showing respect" for Bush.    He's not angry at Bush, he's angry at the protest.
        •  Not the way I read it, (none)
          but maybe we read different comments. One post somewhere said he was sympathetic, but . . .

          Bush's handlers bought the ranchette in '99 or '00, as a photo prop for post election, which says they were either very confident in the little prince, or they knew they had the shock troops to pull off Florida.

          Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

          by Mnemosyne on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:02:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The country is ready to listen (4.00)
    I should hope that the various peace organizations are starting to mobilize for this possibility.  Obviously, with the Sheehan angle, thanks to the work that she has done, the media will cover a DC march/action that she might be involved in.  The advantage that such a venue gives the movement is huge, as many more people are able/willing to make it to DC that wouldn't make it to Crawford.  I'm not sure if a counter 9/11 march is the best option (especially the way the limited attention of the media will be taxed then).  However, whatever decisions are made, the various elements could align to make for a very positive public reintroduction of the broader anti-Iraq War movement.
  •  'The Common Good' (4.00)
      While Cindy Sheehan is unleashing an emotional reconciliation, I would like to note that the concept of the Common Good stands in a a strong Democratic catch phrase.

      It can be separated from Corporate Good and easily contrasted to include. The phrase resonates with the Constitutional We the people and includes so many of the key political stands normally included under the Big Tent, which to me has both circus (PT Barnum) and religious tainting. The Common Good implies a focus on action, laws and behavior, both long and short terms, not on myriad political groups or stances.

      Cindy represents our heart, a place where words, emotions and intuition meld into one recognizable and understandable feeling. She implicitly reminds us of the Common Good. And reminds us that in this period of no answers for the treadmill, the questions we need to asking and answers relate directly to the Common Good.

  •  Cindy must be in Bush's nightmares now (4.00)
    She was a grieving mother, in shock. At that time she met with the president.

    Then she realized that she had been lied to by the administration. Though she hadsuspected it, the DSM, the Duelfer report, etc. made it clear.

    She became the angry mother, engaged herself in activism, founded the Gold Star organization, began networking with other activists.

    And then she had a brainstorm, as she herself describes it. She became angry that the president was taking a five week vacation, at his ranch, while the war that killed her son was still raging.

    She decided to bring the president to account. She is framing the Dangerously Careless Whitehouse. And she's bringing home to us what we've known all along: there is a dangerous, petulant incompetent in charge of the White House.

    And he is hiding from a mother who wants to bring him to account.

    She isn't "the grieving mother" - that's the media buy-in. She doesn't want to meet the president in order to cry. She's done grieving.
    She has two questions for him, to which she is demanding answers. And no stock or rote answers that a child would come with will do.  "I didn't know matches could be that dangerous" - when he's burned down the barn.
    She's been explicit. She will engage him, she will have the truth from him. That's why he doesn't dare meet her.

    She is a justifiably angry mother demanding her child comes clean after having done wrong. And she has moral authority that trumps the administration from here to eternity.

    Cindy Sheehan has the power to make this president apologize for his actions, for the first time in his entire life.

    Cindy Sheehan should dog the president, until he apologizes to the nation.

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:50:33 PM PDT

    •  It would not surprise me at all ... (none)
      ... to learn that she's not done grieving.  Having lost a close family member relatively recently, I know it doesn't always happen in a linear way, nor within a couple of years.

      But, I completely agree with the rest of what you're saying.

      What she's doing is incredibly powerful.

      Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

      by by foot on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:49:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Again (none)
    I wish Mrs. Sheehan and the others the best with her/their efforts.. but I don't see following Chimpy to DC as being all that effective, media-wise or protest-wise.

    Chimpy is even more isolated from The People/reality in DC than he is at the "ranch".

    sure, any group can hang around the White House.. the press will pay some attention, but after 2-3 weeks this will be old news, UNLESS 500,000 "concerned military families" and other protestors show up to take part in the protest.

    I don't see that happening-- UNTIL a really big bomb goes off in Iraq or nearby and kills a huge number of our military personnel.

    •  Interesting (none)
      I am not sure why you say so. Why did she get attention now? You think she is the first protester in Crawford?

      I am not saying you are wrong, but your analysis is thin IMO.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:55:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My Analysis (none)
        is simply based on precedent, Armando.

        all one need do is look at the Vietnam fiasco.. look at the massive protests that went on for years. the violence at the 1968 dem convention in Chicago with protestors getting their heads bashed in by the Chicago police gestapo, look at Kent State, etc. and look at the massive counter-culture backlash against the warmongers.

        it took ALL of that to finally convince the congress that enough was enough and to STOP funding the war.

        and please remember this all occurred back when we had some semblance of a FREE press, whereas now we clearly do not.

        do I see anything like the Vietnam protests with the current anti-war/anti BushCo "movement" in Crawford or maybe looking ahead to the next DC protest?

        NO-- I don't see it. and now corporate controlled media is one big pro BushCo propganda machine.. so clearly that is working against any sort of protest.

        •  We cannot crack Bush's support amongst Republicans (3.75)
          "We have all watched as the country has turned against the Iraq Debacle."
          This is what I find so incredibly disheartening. After all this man has done 90% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing (although his overall approval ratings are low, 80 percent of Democrats disapprove of the job he is doing) according to a new poll. This war has been nothing short of a horrific disaster. And yet trying to reason with these folks is like reasoning with a Moonie. They absolutely refuse to be critical of their leader. This is why the democrats better not gloat over this lack of support for the war. Republicans have a fascist mindset and when it comes time to vote they will be there with unquestioning loyalty for their leaders.
          •  cultists (none)
            they are. Rethugs as moonies.Nice mental picture.I think!!! scary

            it tastes like burning...

            by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:22:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Correct (none)
            as I just pointed out in another thread a few minutes ago here..

            UNTIL/UNLESS at least a portion of the racist, pro-warmongering right wingers among us turn against the war, nothing will change for the better in Iraq.

            and by the way-- please go read madman in the marketplace's current diary if you want to know what we are up against with the Wingnut faction.

          •  stubborn morons (none)
            Some folks -- a lot, it turns out -- are just like that.  They take after their leader, it seems.  After being told that Palmeiro used steroids, Bush said, "He's a friend of mine.  He testified before Congress.  I believe him."

            He shares his penchanct for un-reality with a large swath of America.

          •  ohh right (none)
            Obviously this only applies to republicans? right?

            Actually, it's a very real problem within Democrat ranks.

            Despite the fact that most of the democrat rank and file voters are anti-war or trendign that way, where is the leadership on this in the democrat minority senate?

            Where was it when we really needed it, before the war?

            And where are the reprecussions for the senators and party shills who said nothing, or approved, or campaigned for the war?  How will they pay?

            We all know they are going to keep getting re-elected, because a vote for someone else is a vote for "[insert Republican here]".  

            Politics has, for most Americans, become like rooting for a team.  They root for a team, whether or not they should, just because.  Hopefully your team wins.   The dkos and netroots folks are more educated, but you all are the minority, and still fall into the trap from time to time.

            And at the end of the day, there are no reprecussions.  Where is the party backlash against pro-War democrats?  Where are the primary challenges?  Where is the defunding from the top?  Where is the rage against them?  

            81 out of 208 Democrat House Reps voted for the authorization to go to Iraq on 10/10/02.  If they had of voted with their party and the anti-War republicans this war would have been stopped then!  The vote could have been 217 to 215.  (link to roll call vote)

            In the Senate more Democrats voted for the war than against (29 to 21).

            "The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice." (link).

            John Kerry, the Democrat for President, himself a solider, anti-war protestor, and Bush critic, stood by his yes before the election. (link).

            Don't be so easy on Democrats.  They failed all the loyal Democrat voters who believed the party to be anti-war, pro-diplomacy, anti-debacle.   The netroots ought to purse the party of these pro-war cowards who are now trying to hide their shameful votes and associations.

            Thanks, Democrats!

          •  FYI (none)
            This is what I find so incredibly disheartening. After all this man has done 90% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing (although his overall approval ratings are low, 80 percent of Democrats disapprove of the job he is doing) according to a new poll.

            Don't be so sure that we're not making headway. It's quite likely that, as people turn away from Bush and stop supporting his policies, they would be less likely to identify themselves as "Republicans" in a poll. So while the percentage of "Republicans" who support him may still be 90%, the number of self-identified Republicans may be decreasing.

            "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

            by CaptUnderpants on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:58:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  He doesn't have to see her to know she is there (none)
      He can't see her now except for coming and going... It is the rest of us that help add the pressure to say she is there... and we support her. The press will come around even more... other countries have picked it up... he does not have to look out his window and see her... he will know she is there and will not fade away.

      He can hide all he wants but it will not help him. Public opinion has been shifting away from the war... with over 1800 reasons why... and people are  not seeing the free Iraq that was promised... people hear the stories of ill supplied troops and it makes them wonder where all the money is going...

      No he will not see her... yes he will be much the better... the world is watching him hide from a mother of a fallen soldier...and will continue to see that... a coward.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Martin Luther King, Jr. _______ "We will not be silent." -Howard Dean

      by jigsaw68 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:36:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If.... (4.00)
    If ...yes, if

    If Cindy Sheehan travels to Washington, D.C., maintains her focus on the family costs of the Debacle, and to the Common Good of the country, it will have a great chance of resonating in a way a more traditional anti-war movement might not.

    You are quite right to add this qualifier.   As others join her protest, the message will become clouded.  Be ready for the right wing noise machine to shift the focus away from the mother's righteous protest to the purple hair and nose rings that are bound to appear at the demonstrations.

    Then, presto bingo, Cindy's movement is morphed by the press into just another 1960's loony love-in.   I can smell it coming.

    "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

    by Radiowalla on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:51:35 PM PDT

    •  The Wingnuts (none)
      good points.

      again, note the GLARING absence of protest of the massive death and destruction in Iraq among mainstream religious groups in the U.S.-- i.e. those who go to church and vote repuglican.

      is there ONE single church or denomination (other than the Quakers who are against all war) who have voiced any significant protest concerning the Iraq war?

      I can't think of one.

      in other words, until the right wing has had a bellyfull of death and destruction, nothing in Iraq will change for the better.

      •  Catholics ... (4.00)
        Hate to say it in light of their other policies and propaganda, but Pope JP was against our invasion of Iraq at the get-go. From what I gather about Ratzinger, however, he's probably sitting in a lawn chair at the edge of the Green Zone with binoculars and a bag of chips.

        "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

        by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:38:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm Well Aware (none)
          the prvious Pope was against the U.S. attack of and occupation of Iraq.

          SO WHAT? where's the rank and file Catholic church members on the deadly, illegal war?


          I hate to say it but most of them SUPPORT the war.

          •  No need to bite my head off (4.00)
            You said no religions had spoken out against the war; I said that the nominal head of what I think (correct me if I'm wrong) is the largest denomination on earth had in fact openly condemned it. As for, to use your words, the opinions of  "most of THEM," do you have any idea how many committed, progressive Catholics there are on this site? I'd stop and think before throwing around the same blanket generalizations that got us into this mess.

            "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

            by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:10:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree... (none)
              You merely answered the question correctly, and Catholics do vary on their opinion of the war, regardless of what the pontiff thinks.

              SuperPole, don't kill the messenger!

              "You're working hard to put food on your family." - George W. Bush

              by flashlass on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:46:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actions Speak Louder (none)
              than words.

              " you have any idea how many committed, progressive Catholics there are on this site?"

              let me hear THEIR voices. are you their spokesperson?

              BTW, the Catholic church IMHO doesn't have much credibility these days.. but that's the subject of another thread.

              my point remains; the so called religious "leaders" in the U.S. apparently have no problem with a vastly superior military force invading and occupying what was an essentially defenseless sovereign nation. I hear no dissent or protest from these "leaders" and therefore I think certain conclusions can be drawn from that fact.

          •  So What? (none)
            Superpole wrote,"SO WHAT? where's the rank and file Catholic church members on the deadly, illegal war?"

            WE are against the war in Iraq!   Kindly save your wrath for the Dobson supporters.  

            •  OK Good (none)
              can I ask why the "Catholics against the War" group aren't protesting in Crawford? and how about some real PR put out there in mainstream media stating your position against the war and why?

              BTW, no need to ask why I'm not in Crawford-- I've made that clear-- because it is my firm belief that this is a waste of time/effort.

              this guy in Talk Left sums it well:

              "Bush is the most visible cog in a long-established machine. One in which blood goes in and money comes out. Find out where the 200 billion dollars went to and you will have a good idea who is really pushing the policy.

              I am still amazed that they got such a lousy spokesman for all their money. But I guess you have to have zero conscience in order to do the job, and the really effective speakers have a functioning brain that contains at least a smidgen of conscience. Apparently this fella burned that part of his brain away with cocaine and booze many years ago, so it fell upon him to be the one."


              "There's only one way to bring the Giant down."

              •  You started by a general (none)
                trashing of religions for not formally opposing the war.
                When it was pointed out that the then-head of the largest christian denomination did condemn the war, you responded by leaping all over the poster who said that, and trashed the catholic rank-and-file.
                When another poster called you to account for that piece of discourtesy to the previous poster, and pointed out that many catholics have actively and vocally opposed the war from before it began, you responded by saying that that poster shouldn't presume to speak for other catholics and you wanted to hear their rejection of this war from the mouths of those other catholics.
                When such a catholic answered you, you responded by demanding to know why there are no catholic-identified groups with Ms. Sheehan in Crawford.. And you had the unmitigated gall to reiterate that you, yourself, aren't in Crawford because you think this whole protest is useless.

                When you jumped on Armando for this diary, he gave you a pass (perhaps because he has overreformed his commenting ways. When you savaged the various commenters who (mildly and correctly) defended their antiwar stance, they, being [presumably] good christians, turned the other cheek.
                How fortunate, then, for my blood pressure's sake, that I, a son of protestant missionaries am an ATHEIST. I don't fear hellfire for calling you a fool.
                I don't troll-rate you, because I doubt you actually are a genuine troll, and because our big tent is bound to include people such as you.
                In case you didn't really understand what I'm trying to convey to you here, let me reiterate. You are a crossgrained, illtempered, contrarian, discourteous, low class, "unproductive"-posting, hypocritical fool.

                "Aure entuluva!" [Day will come again!] -Hurin

                by davidincleveland on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:00:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A 4 for the atheist! (none)
                  Excellent points, my Atheist friend.  I promise not to pray for you, like Sister Charotte made us pray for that O'Hare woman back in grade school.  ;)  Live and let live.  

                  Why am I not in Crawford?  I have a 10 year old son I am parenting and I coach a soccer team of 9 & 10 year olds that are counting on me too.  I'm teaching them to play nice with others so they don't end up as Republicans.  ;)

          •  Cindy (none)
            I believe Cindy Sheehan is one of my fellow Catholics.  It's pretty obvious that she doesn't support the war in Iraq.  Where is she?  She's in Crawford, TX.
        •  Pope JP was against the Iraq war, BUT (4.00)
          it didn't prevent him from giving his imprimatur to Bush in the 2004 election.  The now reigning Pope Ratzinger was the main force in tipping the election to Bush according to this report:

          "President Bush treated his final visit with Pope John Paul II in Vatican City on June 4, 2004, as a campaign stop. After enduring a public rebuke from the pope about the Iraq war, Bush lobbied Vatican officials to help him win the election. "Not all the American bishops are with me," he complained, according to the National Catholic Reporter. He pleaded with the Vatican to pressure the bishops to step up their activism against abortion and gay marriage in the states during the campaign season.

          About a week later, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a letter to the U.S. bishops, pronouncing that those Catholics who were pro-choice on abortion were committing a "grave sin" and must be denied Communion. He pointedly mentioned "the case of a Catholic politician consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" -- an obvious reference to John Kerry, the Democratic candidate and a Roman Catholic. If such a Catholic politician sought Communion, Ratzinger wrote, priests must be ordered to "refuse to distribute it."Any Catholic who voted for this "Catholic politician," he continued, "would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion." During the closing weeks of the campaign, a pastoral letter was read from pulpits in Catholic churches repeating the ominous suggestion of excommunication. Voting for the Democrat was nothing less than consorting with the forces of Satan, collaboration with "evil.". ............(snip)

          Salon article by Sidney Blumenthal

          "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

          by Radiowalla on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:12:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  UUA (none)
        the unitarian universalist association, the member association for UU churches, has made its discontent known, as well.  i would be shocked if hundreds, if not thousands, of churches hadn't addressed the issue in their locales.

        i will submit, however, that the fraction of UUs in this country is small and potentially besides your larger point, that prominent religions haven't made much noise around the issue.

        if trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? we might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. jack handy.

        by akgrrl on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:45:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not her cross to bear (none)
    If she goes home today she has done enough. We shouldn't expect her to soldier on like Julia "Butterfly" did in the Redwoods.

    There is no shortage of Americans who lost family members because of Bush. If they want to tell Bush how he's misspent their family members they can pick up where Cindy Sheehan chooses to leave off.

  •  Sheehan for Senate (none)
    This is the first brilliant natural politician to emerge from this tragedy. It would compromise her current campaign to announce a yen for office now. But, dammit, we should draft her later. Or at least ask her to volunteer.
  •  Peace (4.00)
    is a family value.

    Cindy Sheehan is communicating her strong moral values clearly to the media in her urgent quest to get her questions as a grieving mother who is opposed to the military action in Iraq.

    She is saying what she means and she is doing as she says she will.

    The American people are responding to this honesty and action in her.

    They are responding to Cindy because her response is the healthy response, and action, of a mother grieving for her dead son and defending him even past death.

    The hope inherent in her action, that she can and will give her son's life and death MEANING, even in the face of political corruption and uncaring leadership, is what we are responding to.

    So, whether she takes her questions for the President to Crawford or Washington D.C., as long as she keeps honestly posing her questions directly to the President, she will continue to hold the hearts and minds of the American people close to her in her pursuit of real answers.

    •  Peace is a Family Value (none)
      I like that. I want it as a bumper sticker.

      When I bought my used '92 olds 98 it came with metal Jesus fish and a bumper sticker (Jesus, don't go to heaven without him). I left it on.

      I ordered a "Torture is not a family value" bumper sticker and put it on the fender opposite the Jesus one. Gets great double takes from many people since they see the Jesus stuff first and expect right wing a right winger.

      I'd replace the Torture one with a Peace is a Family Value one. Any ideas?

  •  September 24th (4.00)
    It is my understanding that a BIG anti-war protest march is scheduled for DC (as well as San Francisco) on or about September 24th.  Assuming Cindy stays in Crawford until the end of the President's workout/vacation that would seem to be sometime after Labor Day and it would then be about three weeks from there until the big march.

    Imagine the culmination being a massive appearance of folks opposed to the War and Bush's policies, lies and hiding the truth who culiminate that march by gathering in a massive silent group next to the White House with Cindy!!!!!

    Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

    by dweb8231 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:54:53 PM PDT

    •  protest (none)
      It really isnt about the size of the protest but the QUALITY. A crowd will get its 2 mins on MSM but a simple message that resonates will have legs,and ultimitly embrace those who count the most..those who dont attend protests but more importantly VOTE. Cindy Sheehan has come much closer to the latter  

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:16:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What about a vigil for all the dead and mained.. (none)
        instead of a protest.  To have a vigil remembering those whom Bush so eagerly forgets would speak to the horrors being perpetuated in our name.  Silent vigil -- reading the names of the dead, with candles, religous songs or truly American songs being sung by choirs -- might serve as a catalyst.  Angry protests because we are PISSED is a good venting exercise, but we protest because we are saddened by the deaths and destruction.  It is too easy to dismiss outright anger.

        People grieving for a nation they remember, and for others around the globe who have been abused and/or killed.  That would be a truly memorable event.  It would seem to me we need to experience the grief of cindy, as a nation, before we can get to the business of changing our leaders.

  •  Another thing (4.00)
    about going to D.C. for the big marches in late Sept. is that UFPJ is also scheduling a lobbying day.

    This isn't just about Bush. The dems who have been pushing their own form of "strength" are going to have to listen to the anti-warriors as well. Many of our reps and senators voted for this debacle and have not really been held accountable. They didn't have to worry about it. But with Cindy's face on it, they too will have to come up with answers to questions like

    Why have you been voting without objection to appropriations that do not properly arm our servicemen and women?

    What are you doing to hold these people accountable?

    What are you going to do about getting our soldiers, marines, guardsmen and women home?

    and lots more.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by RevDeb on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:55:09 PM PDT

  •  Bush is waaaay off script. (none)
    I don't think Bush is letting anyone tell him what to do right now.
    • Not on script with GWoT vs. GSAVE
    • Not on script with his Generals on troop reduction plans
    • Totally off script with Cindy (no way "turd-blossum" or "man-hands" would have allowed this to escalate like this)

    Now he is saying that his afternoon nappy-poo or playing catch is more important than giving a woman a few minutes of his precious time.

    I think he's starting to deliberately cocoon himself even from his own advisors now (no news is better than bad news). This is a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

    •  Yup, Arthur is a good read (none)
      most of the time, other times it's frightening to read him because he exposes the sick inner workings of this administration.

      I'm so happy that GeeDubya is calm, cool and rested. Phew! I was worried there. After all, my entire life revolves around HIM, the man annointed by God to lead this great nation to victory. Now I can sleep easier tonight. I think I'll leave the window open and go to sleep listening to the calming sounds of police sirens, gun shots, honking car horns and cursing.

      Oops! took a sip of the wrong Kool-Aid.

  •  If Cindy Sheehan goes to D.C., (none)
    it'll get lots of media coverage.  As to the impact on BushCo policy, I'd wager a guess that her impact would be pretty much next to none... this is the Bush WH we're talking about.

    It could become a defining moment, and further crystallize the war through the family frame, which is symbolized by Cindy Sheehan and others including all the units in OH and PA who lots many members all at once.

    Please visit my blog Penndit.
    RWCM's CW is certainly conventional, but rarely wise.

    by Newsie8200 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:57:35 PM PDT

  •  Nobody knows what will happen in D.C. (4.00)
    Ain't it great?
    Nine days ago nobody thought anything good would happen in Crawford. The, on a whim, Cindy said "Let's go." And for the first time in this miserable war we can put a face on suffering and lies and dishonesty.
    Cindy Sheehan holds all the cards. Even she doesn't know what they all are, but a few of them are emotion, knowledge, toughness and patience -- and being right.
    The next big event will be the anti-war rallies around the country on September 24th and I'm sure that Cindy will play a big part in those.
    In the meantime, eat you heart out, Hillary, there's a new female force in town and she just happens to be on the right side of this issue, which is a real problem for you and so many others.
    "What is the noble cause my son died for?" Should be a no-brainer if you'd followed the rules, Chimp, but the rules didn't apply to you, and now Cindy is your worst nightmare, a woman with a cause. She's The Perfect Storm, and she's camped on your doorstep. I almost feel sorry for you, but you've out-crooked even Nixon, so live with it.

    "War is a racket . . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" . . . Smedley Butler

    by DonB on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 01:58:47 PM PDT

    •  Precisely (none)
      I know i didn't give it much thought.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We made plans (4.00)
      a month ago to go to DC for the 24-26 weekend. It was easy to get a flight and a hotel room. We planned to go knowing it was the right thing to do, but not knowing if there would be any impact at all for our efforts. Open airplane seats and empty hotel rooms were not a good omen.

      Now, it is Cindy that is infusing energy into the possibility that this may be a big deal.

      We also went to DC for the March for Women's lives. While it did not help us much in November this last time around, it certainly began to energize a new generation of pro-choice activists, a generation that we have not seen as active before.

      I hope and pray that this will bring families and young people from all over the country as April 24 2004 did. Every time we gather, the energy grows and its Cindy's own brand of alchemy that hopefully will grow this revolution.

      If not now, when?

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by RevDeb on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  She's Cindspirational! n/t (none)

    Bring them home. Now.

    by ilona on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:00:22 PM PDT

  •  Actually the same as with Vietnam (4.00)
    Then, as now, the anti-war movement started with a a few brave and principled left voices--voices who were shunned and even scolded by more "mainstream" progressives and Democrats.

    Recently, as in the Vietnam era, "moderate" or "mainstream" progressives have insisted the antiwar message shouldn't stray outside the common mainstream frame. (The frame was the anticommunist "domino theory" then; it's the "war on terror" now--or it was at least until these past two weeks.)

    As in the Vietnam era, after support for the war has plummeted, and after soldiers and military families are coming out in opposition, then the "mainstream" progressive movement finds a left visionary to support--and voila!, we have a movement that may actually end the war.

    What's happening now is nearly identical to the way it happened with the movement against the Vietnam War.

    What comes next is that the "moderate" progressives will rewrite the history to downplay the role of the left. In the revisionist history of the Vietnam era, it's said that the demonstrations--half a million people marching on Washington while Nixon pretended to ignore us-- didn't accomplish much. As the history of current events is rewritten to suit the agenda of the "moderates," it will be said that public support for the war dropped in the "absence" of an antiwar movement.

    •  Moderate historians? (none)
      Who are these moderate progressive historians? David Brooks told me that academia was overrun with free-love lefties indoctrinating America's best and brightest with their Zinn-o-philic pinko  p.c. ideology! (What's the HTML for snark, again?)

      "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

      by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:16:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "Invisible" Anti-War Movement (4.00)
      Both kos and Armando continually insist that there is no visible anti-war movement.  In the case of this post, that's modified somewhat.  Armando speaks of the absence of an "anti-war movement in the classic sense," and he attributes to kos the view that the current antiwar sentiment has come about "maybe because of the absence of a visible Vietnam-style anti-war movement."

      I'm not sure what kos and Armando mean by the "classic sense" of an anti-war movement, or a "Vietnam-style anti-war movement."  Certainly the antiwar movement has been unacknowledged by the Bush administration...but then again, they don't tend to acknowledge anyone who opposes their agenda, so that's unsurprising. And the movement has been little acknowledged by either the MSM (which has tended to be in the back pocket of this administration) or the leadership of the Democratic Party (which has tended to let the GOP set the agenda, and then respond to it).

      But from before this war even started, hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets and marched in opposition to it. Some highlights:  

      • On October 27, 2002, more than 100,000 people marched in D.C., in the largest peace protest in the U.S. since the end of the Vietnam War.

      • On December 10, 2002, nearly 200 antiwar events took place in over 35 states, including marches and civil disobedience.

      • In January, 2003, the record set by the previous October march on Washington was shattered, as 250,000 protestors came to our nation's capital to protest the war.

      These activities continued after the war began. Some more highlights:

      • On March 22, 2003, from 100,00 - 250,000 protestors marched in NYC. Many other anti-war protests took place across the country.

      • In October, 2003, tens of thousands of protestors converged on Washington, D.C.

      • On August 30, 2004, during last year's RNC in NYC, over 400,000 people marched against the war.

      These are only a few small highlights. From the start these marches dwarfed early Vietnam era protest marches. Indeed, the largest of these marches were, I believe, bigger than late Vietnam era marches.  And the marches are but the tip of the iceberg. The antiwar movement has engaged in lobbying, "virtual marches," civil disobedience, and countless other activities. It's vibrant and large.  And if this is not an anti-war movement "in the classic sense" or a "Vietnam-style" antiwar movement, I don't know what is.  Do we need Jane Fonda (or John Kerry) to take part in order to authenticate it?

      At any rate, it's hard to make half a million marchers invisible (I know; I saw them myself last year in New York).  But as this administration has proved, much can be accomplished by repeating lies.

      All of which raises a number of questions.  Why do so many folks, including kos and Armando, denies the very existence of this movement?  Why does kos (apparently...Armando didn't provide a link) think that a "Vietnam-style" movement would have interfered with the development of anti-war sentiment (perhaps he's thinking of protesters spitting on returning veterans, and other myths propogated by the right)?

      YellowDogBlue suggests some interesting answers to these questions.  I would point out that this war, it's antiwar movement, and the (attempted?) cooptation of that movement appear to be happening on a much quicker timeline.  It took until the end of the '60s for the Vietnam anti-war movement to really get steam; our current anti-war movement was well underway before the war even began. And there's another important stage of the Vietnam-era history that's missing now. In 1968, the anti-war movement's expression within the Democratic Party first knocked LBJ out of the race (when Gene McCarthy challenged him in NH), and then nearly won the nomination itself (in the person of RFK). And in 1972, the anti-war wing of the Democratic Party essentially captured the presidential nomination in the person of McGovern.  Now, we seem to be skipping this stage of the process entirely.  Last year, the truly anti-war Democratic candidates (i.e. Kucinich and Sharpton, who favored immediate withdrawal) went nowhere. Those who opposed the war at the time but also opposed immediate withdrawal (Dean and Graham) were quickly eliminated.  Most anti-war folks rallied around a pro-war Democratic ticket, thus nicely reinventing the politics of 1964, when a much smaller antiwar movement (along with nearly everyone else) supported LBJ against the even more hawkish Goldwater. Now we appear to be skipping 1968-1972 entirely, jumping ahead to the revisionism that YellowDogBlue writes about.

      Very disturbing.

      Support IWT
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      The Alternative to the Corporate Media

      by GreenSooner on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:13:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watershed (none)
    Cindy Sheehan's vigil last week marks a watershed between the post-election malaise so many of us were in, and the start of a new mobilization for 2006.
    •  malaise (4.00)
      There is no excuse for a post election malaise. It was an ugly election that should have left every Democrat galvinized and ready to take up the fight right away.After all if you think about it the reelection honeymoon was short.Brutally short.Every day some thing new {or finally getting attention) comes out.The Republicans now live in 'interesting times'.time to ready for 06.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:32:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ok (none)
        whatever. People mobilized so much in 04, there was bound to be a certain crash afterwards.
      •  Puuuhh-leeeaaase... (none)
        Don't you think it a tad bit depressing that so many bought the lies of our so-called leader. Im my view it's depressing evidence that many of us don't  pay attention to what our elected officials do until about 6 months prior to the election.

        Anyway, IMO there was plenty of reason for grief, and people's feelings are what they are. The good news is we are ready for '06.

        Cindy Sheehan discusses the right-wingers: "Plus, they have no truth to fight truth with, so they fight truth with more lies and hate."

        by coigue on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:58:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the Frame of Family (4.00)
    The father of my children and I have always brought them to political demonstrations, marches, and campaign events whenever we believed it was safe to do so. I hope that in late September other families of all types and stripes will do the same. Let's show them some
    f-ing "family values":
    Families Against Bush! (6,870,000 google hits in various forms, by the way ...)

    "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

    by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:06:25 PM PDT

  •  Ms. Sheehan pulled this off (4.00)
    like no other person could.  No matter what anyone opposing her says, she is an articulate, grieving mother and they don't/can't push her into the corner. Yes, there are those idiots that trash her, but they also have to admit she lost a son and that gives her the credibility that no one can dispute.

    When I read her diary saying that the anti-protestor protestor who lost his son ended up sitting down and having a beer with her and they ended on a good note, that said volumes. Speaking as a mother is something that is respected and that's why she's keeping the media and attention on her.  

    I'm not a mother, but if it was my sister that had died and I was speaking out, it wouldn't be the same.  I think she is a remarkable woman with courage that we can learn from.  

    Watergate wasn't about a break-in, it was about a mentality. Carl Bernstein

    by MarCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:06:33 PM PDT

  •  If they are planning to go to D.C. (none)
    I'll volunteer to be the first to go in to re-con the situation/areas and wait for Cindy's arrival. I can be there in 6 hours.

    Bring Them Home. Now.

    by ladydawg on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:07:36 PM PDT

  •  Interests=National/World Security. (4.00)
    "As Commander in Chief of the United States Military, I will never send our sons and daughters and our brothers and sisters to die in a foreign land without telling the truth about why they're going there."

    In light of the repeated lies re:  WMD, DSM, Karl Rove's outing of Valerie Plame, the quote by Howard Dean is fitting.  

    (Sometimes I thnk the man was a prophet!)

    "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

    by Street Kid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:10:20 PM PDT

  •  If she goes to DC, (none)
    how close can she get to the WH?  If there are 4-500 to a thousand, will they get pushed to some park some distance away?? Not that it matters that much, but just curious.
    •  Lafayette Park (none)
      Right across the street from the White House. I would assume they will need a permit-- who knows whether it would be granted-- but the park can accommodate at least several thousand people. Then there's always the ellipse, near the Washington Monument, which is further away but much larger.

      Washington is weird now beccause of all the extra anti-terror security. However, I believe mass demonstrations are still allowed if you have a permit.

      •  They let kooks who think there are aliens (none)
        on earth camp out there.  They'll let Cindy there too.

        One of my favorite memories of the first Gulf war was a peace group of Native Americans, Buddhists, and other assorted peaceniks that kept a constant beat on what had to be the world's largest "peace drum."  The noise was so loud that it disturbed guests at the Hilton near Dupont Circle!

        Which says something about this war.  Under the guise of 9/11, in a constant state of "fear" we have let our protests become managed by the Administration.

        We're just like the embedded journalists.  Completely coopted.  More thoughts downthread.

      •  all about numbers (none)
        It all depends on the numbers of people they expect to show up. The larger the protest gets, the harder it will be for law enforcement authorities to squelch it.

        As a Washington DC area resident, I predict that Lafayette Park will be too small. The Washington Monument is farther from the White House, but it's a much large space and has more symbolism associated with it.

  •  Related thought (none)
    Minimally adapted from this comment I wrote the other day:
    If Cindy wants to do this (and I emphasize "if," because it would signify a major escalation and could easily turn into full-blown circus... and I'm pretty sure a circus is not what Cindy's after), I'd suggest that she preemptively walk away from Crawford and slooowwly head for D.C.

    Announce something along the lines of, "I really thought the man would be able to pencil me in for an hour of his vacation time, but I was wrong. So I'm in the process of making an appointment with the White House for an official meeting when he gets back to work--after playing cowboy or whatever it is he's been doing all day up there at The Ranch. Until my appointment is finalized, though, I'll be taking the long road to Washington: meeting other military families and supporters along the way, visiting VA hospitals, and so on."

    Then walk away and do just that.

    In other words: (1) let's try not to pressure Cindy into doing something she may be uncomfortable with; and (2) if she does plan to go to Washington, I'd advise ditching Crawford now and using the extra few weeks to do the sorts of things Bush is too cowardly/busy to do (i.e. visit with unscripted people).

  •  If Cindy Comes To DC (none)
    It will be huge.  And whatever supporters the GOPeratives can come up with will be tiny in comparison to Cindy's supporters.  I hope she does, although I can certainly understand if she heads home after her stay in Crawford.  She has my eternal respect, admiration, and thanks for what she's done to this point.  This is the sort of thing that deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom, but of course won't ever get one.

    BTW, a counterdemo to the Bloodstock Festival scheduled for 9/11 is a bad idea.  Let them have their pathetic propaganda event undisturbed.  Its essentially tasteless nature will shine through and turn people off.

    "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

    by JJB on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:22:17 PM PDT

  •  quo vadis a peace strategy? (4.00)
    I think Ms. Sheehan has proven a principled opponent to Bush, and a natural media genius, and, as you say in the post, has focused the nation on the human cost of the war. I think the real meaning of her public demand (to meet with Bush) has been slightly different though -- as a grieving mother asking, "what is the "noble cause" for which my son died," she has been able to expose the evil at the root of this war, that it was based on lies about Itaq's threat, and delusions about the outcome of the war. Her question stands as a terrible judgment upon Bush, because we all know the answer: everything he has touched in Iraq has turned to corruption, failure, and death.

    The problem for us all, I think, is that the rendering of this judgment does not also lead to an obvious next step. Ms. Sheehan represents the true birth of an anti-war movement now. But where should that movement want to go?

    This was the conundrum of the war that even Dean, who did not equivocate in saying the war was wrong, struggled with ("now that we're there, we can't just leave"), and that Kerry, who did equivocate, was never able to clearly resolve. Should we pack up and go home? It seems likely that this would result in a chaotic civil war, and the potential creation of an Iran-like state, or a partition of the country withone of the resulting states being a Shiite Islamic fundamentlist state. The actual military logic to prevent that is paradoxically to vastly increase  troop strength and investment in Iraq. But no one is prepared to do that, we are not even in a position to do that, certainly not without a draft, the short or long term success of that effort would still be in doubt (Viet Nam, anyone?), and, more fundamentally, no one wants to go die, or have their children die, for a mistake.

    I don't have a good answer, which is why I ask the question. Sheehan's implicit answer is I think for us to go home, as in, let us not create more grieving mothers in the service of a giant mistake. Is that our demand? What of the consequences, for Iraq, and for our own national security down the road? Regionalize or Internationalize the effort to secure and rebuild Iraq (the Kerry approach)? How? As the situation continues to unravel, who will provide more than they already have? Retreat to a garrison presence? What point would it serve?

    I have bitterly and vigorously opposed this war from its inception. I supported Howard Dean with a lot of my own money because he was a strong voice of opposition. I certainly support Ms. Sheehan and am grateful for her courageous stand, that had galvanized us all. But now that we're on our feet, where are prepared to go?

    "Scrutinize the bill, it is you who must pay it...You must take over the leadership." - Brecht

    by pedestrian xing on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:22:24 PM PDT

    •  Good question. (none)
      Once we all start challenging the lies that led to this war, how can we ignore the lies that have led us into other wars?

      I think you either support the American war machine, or you support multilateralism and due respect for world opinion. There's not much room in the middle.

    •  You speak (none)
      of a civil war and the creation of an Iran-like state as if these things might occur in the future. But these things have already happened. Iraq is currently being run by the Islamic Dawa Party,  in conjucnction with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Both are pro-Iranian Islamic fundamentalist parties, that until the American invasion, were operating in exile in Iran. I would argue that what we are witnessing now is a civil war in which the Sunnis are attacking the Shiites in an attempt to prevent the Shiites from consolidating their power. And the Kurds? They've already det up an independent state and are in the process of succession. This is a civil war complete with successionist territories and fratricidal warfare.
    •  Here's the answer to your question (4.00)
      We need to get out, and soon.

      Will chaos follow?  Will there be a bloodbath?  Will a virulently anti-American failed state emerge, fertile ground for violent, anti-American jihadists?

      Yes, on all counts.

      Sucks, doesn't it?

      As grim as this scenario sounds, those who seek to avoid it ignore the central facts: These things were all inevitable once Bush set his plans in motion.  Moreover, nothing we do now - or in the next few years - can improve on any of that.  In fact, the more we try to "fix" things, the worse things will get.  Every effort we put into winning, every dollar spent and every soldier killed, only digs us deeper into a hole.

      The die has been cast, and the outcome will be an utter disaster for the US, for years to come, and in every way.  It's too late to change that.

      Sorry, maybe we should have worried about those little details before jumping in with both feet, screeming "yee-haw!! like Slim Pickens in the closing scene of Dr. Strangelove.

      The train has let the station on this stuff - there is absolutely nothing that we can do to change this.  The only control over the future Iraq we have is to choose how many dead Americans and how many billions of dollars we're going to piss away before we ultimately bugger outta there and watch the bloodletting from a distance.

      The more we try to "win" in Iraq, the more impossible "winning" becomes.  There's only one way to win this game: don't play it.  If it's to late to avoid starting the gane, the only way to cut your losses is to quit and walk away.  Like a gambler who's desparately trying to win back his lost wages at a casino, the conclusion that nobody wants to hear is simple: what's lost has already been lost, and there's no getting it back.  Your best bet is to stand up, walk away, and resolve never to do anything so incredibly stupid ever again, once you sober up.

      Sucks doesn't it?

      •  I like the gambler analogy... (none)
        I agree that the die is cast, though we can't/shouldn't just stand idle.

        Its a pessimistic post you have there, but unfortunately, realism can lean that way.

        Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

        by Skid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:57:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Winning is possible (none)
        I am not so sure.  Yes, we should have planned for the post-regime period far more than we did and that is largely why we have the present mess.  

        Yes, if we just up stakes and leave now, US casualties will rapidly diminish for the short term (but not the long term IMO).  We would leave behind a power vacuum that would be replaced by an Iraqi government that I would hope the folks here (assuming they support human rights even if the oppressor state speaks Arabic instead of Hebrew or English) would not want to see in power.  US national prestige would plummet.  This presige isn't just some empty concept or I would happily agree with you in saying "to hell with it, bring them home".  Prestige is something that if your state lacks it, other states will issue challenges they otherwise would not.  With the resultant US casualties just like Ms. Sheehan's son.  And more goverments that no KOS reader would or should consent to live under for more than 5 minutes.  

          We CAN win this.  The US has won conflicts like this before and we can do so again.  Look at South Korea today vs what it looked like at the start of the Korean war.  The Balkans are largely peaceful today thanks being under NATO guns.  But it won't be fast.  A basic fact of any low intensity conflict is that it is slow going.

  •  If Cindy goes to DC, (none)
    somehow, someway, I am getting there!

    "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

    by Street Kid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:23:27 PM PDT

  •  The Realization... (none)
    ...of Cindy Sheehan, and possibly other family members of Iraq casualties, is that there's no point to their loved ones' sacrifices.

    Look back at WWII, or Korea, or even Vietnam.  There was a clearly defined rationale for these wars, and family members of casualties knew that their loved ones sacrificed for a clear national goal.

    But there's no clear national goal in Iraq (besides handing huge chunks of the national treasury to war profiteers like Halliburton/KBR).  Saddam Hussein was deposed over two years ago, and captured 1 1/2 years ago.  The only goal of this war is to stop the insurgency.  If the insurgents stop, the Iraqi government is likely to implement sharia, and we'd have a twin of Iran - a Shia theocracy - replacing strongman Saddam and his iron hand against Islamicist terrorists.

    And speaking about terrorists - how many of the 9-11 hijackers, the terrorists who blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the ones who attacked the Cole, or who attacked Bali or the London subway - were Iraqi, and specifically, were Iraqi Baathists?  (And how many were Saudi, whose corrupt royal family are friends of the Bushes?)

    Support was high in the early days of war - people were loath to question the government, as they believed the Defense Dept. had everything figured out, and it would be a quick and easy war like Desert Storm.  It wasn't.  

    The anti-war movement is much larger and stronger than it was in the winter of 2002-2003, because people talk to other people and convince them that these numbnutzes in the Bush administration suckered them into supporting a pointless, costly war.  While the organization and zeal of the "lefty peaceniks" is appreciated and a spark to ending this war, the war will be ended by a movement of breadth, not depth.  

    A cadre of the same 200 people protesting doesn't say much.  Thousands of people coming out says a lot - it doesn't matter how vehement you are about peace, it just matters that your body is at the protest, NOW. That's why the Sept. 24 protests are going to be the next checkpoint in the downward spiral of the Bush presidency.

  •  Protect the Grieving Mother Frame (none)
    Feldman's comments are right on, but then Armando makes a false, counter-productive and I'd say bizarre logical leap: That we should try and translate Sheehan's protest into a mass movement. Why?

    As long as we have a camera focused on the face of a grieving mother Bush's emptyness and cowardice will be front and center. If we shift that focus to a group of people, we shoot ourselves in the feet.

    The best way to let Bush off the hook is to make this into a mass of people protesting the war. Sheehan is focused and articulate. When there are 5,000 protesters it's easy enough to find someone who's not articulate and plaster them all over T.V.

    Sheehan has moral force because Bush has left her alone, by herself.

    •  I think you are (none)
      behind the curve on your analysis.  I think a national movement has sprung from Cindy's protest without any effort on anyone's part.  She has ignited latent anti-war feelings in millions of people in a way she may never have intended.

      When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

      by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:45:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that's what Armando said . . . (none)
        If Armando is saying that we should work to frame this "national movement" in terms of "a mother's concern for her children" rather than the President's lies, that make sense, but it seems pretty clear that Armando is drawing an inference from Feldman: That it would be effective to build an anti-war movement using this frame.

        Cindy Sheehan is destroying Bush all by herself, so the question I'd ask is whether an anti-war movement in the traditional sense--marchers, street theater, concerts, banners, etc.--will further the cause or undermine Sheehan's work.

        It may, but--for example--my sense is that if I went down to Crawford to show solidarity with Cindy Sheehan I'd be diluting her message. Sending a letter of support to her or a letter to an elected official or the media, in contrast, seems plainly constructive.

        Thanks for your comment and let me know if we're actually on the same page here . . .

        •  I guess (none)
          I think we probably are on the same page.  I don't think this anti-war movement will be like it was in the 60s.  The world is different, the war is different, the demographics are different, the stakes are different.  In the end I  am not sure whether we will have any say in how it unfolds, which is what I was trying to say in my comment.  The movement is building and it encompasses tragedies like Cindy's and travesties like the lies that got us there in the first place.   Cindy has started a wave and we will be riding it to whatever end it takes.  

          When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

          by flo58 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:25:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Sheehan Effect (none)
            After the Al-Tipper kiss at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, a pundit commented that this "only" lifted his polling numbers a couple points. My jaw dropped at the sheer stupidity of this: Gore changed millions of minds. If a strategy can raise your support that much, bottle it, it's gold.

            Sheehan has already changed the entire political landscape to a much, much greater degree than Gore. Bush is cornered. Which is why my instinct is to look hard at what Cindy Sheehan has accomplished and say why has she succeeded, and then ask if protests might undermine that work.

            In the book Freakonomics there's the great story (pp. 55-66) of how Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Klan, learned their (pathetic) code words and handshakes, and passed that info to the writers of Superman. Once kids knew the secrets of the KKK, attendance at their meetings plummeted, nearly wiping them out.

            The point here is that intentions don't matter ("I oppose X") until there's a meaningful strategy behind those intentions.

            Republicans don't forget this lesson because their intentions are corrupt; they want only to enrich themselves so all they think about is strategy. Because our intentions are good, strategy can seem a distraction, but--as Sheehan shows--it's not.

  •  It worked extremely well this time, but (none)
    it's not clear how effective a strategy this will be in the future. The reason is that Cindy's question, what was the noble cause for which her son was sacrifriced, can be answered trivially by the Bushites. Bush could have shut this whole thing down by changing his bike route a little bit and talking to Cindy. « The noble cause is "to protect the US from terrorism". It's "hard work", and America owes its troops and their families a tremendous debt of gratitude. » Then get on the bike and tool back on out of there before the presidential heart rate gets too low.

    This is obviously what they'll do the next time, and they will gain, not lose, points in the media for being so "responsive".

    So, I think that rather than thinking of the Cindy phenomenon as a great new strategy, we should think of it as a great opportunity, and make as much as we can out of it while it lasts. If that means Camp Casey II in DC, then great.

    BTW, people need to think about what to do if and when Bush shows up & talks to Cindy. Would that end everything? The way it looks to me, it would: all the air out of the balloon.

    Finally, "bring home the troops" is easy to say, and a consummation greatly to be wished, but as most of us damn well know, it simply isn't that easy. We've killed tends of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children, but if we leave before something adequate is set up there, we will have the blood of countless others on our hands as well. So, we need to come up with an anti-war consensus plan for withdrawal. Until we do, we can punish Bush & his allies, and that's not bad, but we can't really end the human tragedy in Iraq.

    Greg Shenaut

    •  I'm not sure this is the case (none)
      "The reason is that Cindy's question, what was the noble cause for which her son was sacrifriced, can be answered trivially by the Bushites."

      I'm not sure that is the case any longer.

      No WMD were found,  there has not been a single link between Saddam and Bin Laden made that can stand examination, and most recently the White House has admitted that the level of democracy they had expected for Iraq will not be reached.

      What's left for Casey to have fought for?  

      •  Remember, you are talking about George W. Bush. (none)
        The answer doesn't have to be correct, or even to make sense. He just has to go there, put in a few minutes listening, voice a few platitudes, and the situation will have been defused.

        The whole program would be much less effective if it were based on Cindy not liking, agreeing with, or accepting his answer to her questions than it is now, based on him not even talking to her.

        Greg Shenaut

    •  Nope, that doesn't fly. (none)
      The Chimp talking to Cindy will end it? What's he going to say? Nothing that makes any sense, which is why he hasn't done it.

      We're obviously not in Iraq preventing the US from terrorism -- the CIA has said that we're creating more terrorists, which is easy to prove.

      Cindy has the Chimp by the short hairs because there is no logical answer to her question, which is why the Chimp is twisting slowly in the wind.

      Come on, admit it, it's OK, the Cindy phenomenon is a great new strategy.

      As for how to cover our withdrawal, we've got a cast of thousands in the Green Zone. They'll figure it out.

      "War is a racket . . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" . . . Smedley Butler

      by DonB on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:52:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't mean to derail the discussion (4.00)
    I hope this seems apropos in some way, because I couldn't believe it; I think it speaks to the change in our nation's core beliefs that America can do no wrong. A judge in California is considering charging fraternity members responsible for the death of a pledge at Chico State with torture, because he "compar(ed) the alleged hazing death to the torture of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers":

    What a shift. Forget Hitler or Stalin ... now in America, when we think of torture, we think of our own military. I truly hope Cindy helps us bring this shameful chapter to an end.

    "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

    by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:29:35 PM PDT

  •  Cindy has already said... (none)
    If George doesn't meet with her she will indeed go to Washington and Protest there. Based on what I have heard come out of her mouth..there is not "If" involved.

    *"I went to protest Dobson, and all I got was this damn feeding tube*

    by Chamonix on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:30:34 PM PDT

  •  Why? (none)
    So Bush's approval rating for his handling of the Iraq Debacle will drop even lower? So what? That battle has already been won. As Frank Rich stated in his column today, "The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there."

    If Bush doesn't meet with Sheehan by the end of his five-week vacation I think most people will get her point. Having her hound him wherever he goes isn't going make people take another look at Democrats. That's the battle now as we gear up for the 2006 election cycle. In fact, if she overplays her hand it may even backfire and undue all the good she has done so far.

    I think this is a bad idea.

    "I've already said too much."

    by Rp on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 02:32:23 PM PDT

    •  Perhaps so. That's why this approach ... (none)
      ... needs to gain depth and diversity.

      There are many, many other grieving family members out there.

      There are many, many other foci for protest (e.g. members of Congress who support the war), though none so politically large as Bush.

      This approach hasn't begun to scratch the surface, IMO.

      All that said, I don't think I can yet predict when Cindy Sheehan tailing Bush will lose its media appeal.  Depends on some factors beyond control, and others somewhat controllable.

      Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

      by by foot on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:58:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    Please stop referring to Cindy Sheehan's Peace Vigil as an anti-war demonstration. There is a difference.

    Also, start referring to Bush as being pro-war and the whole mideast situation as his War OF Terrorism.

    Framingly yours,


  •  I am in Agreement (none)
    This is critical: we must support Cindy through the transition to Washington DC, (if indeed Bush continguingly refuses to meet with her.)

    Cindy has captured the best of the anti-war movement, offered a stage for the denouncement of neoconservatism, and a starting point for the development of a broader movement against this war and economic imperialism in general (if we choose to take advantage of the current environment.)

    Watching O'Reilly, Limbaugh et al. try to figure this out; ha ha ha.

    Hey Armando, good story.

  •  Excuse me? (none)
    As if the traditional antiwar movement doesn't care about their own families?

    If you want to stop this war, then make it uncomfortable for Republican contributors to profit while it occurs.

    To each person reading this if you agree with my message please tell your friends and have them tell their friends.

    We can stop the war in Iraq by boycotting the defense contractor General Electric corporation.

    I want each and every person who wants to stop the War in Iraq to contact the defense contractor General Electric. Go to and send them email to the effect that you have decided

    not to buy any GE products including Ovens, stoves, refrigerators, light bulbs, televisions, radios, telephones, video recorders, dvd recorders and players, etc.

    UNTIL their company executives get the President of the United States aka THE CHIMP to hold a press conference announcing that he will withdraw all US Troops from Iraq, to get replaced by UN troops to defend Iraq until Iraq troops can defend their own country.

    In addition to sending email from the web site you can make these demands of GE through their public relations officials. Please act polite when contacting them.

    Gary Sheffer

    Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs

    (203) 373-3476

    Peter O'Toole

    Director, Public Relations

    (203) 373-2547


    Yes his name's really Peter O'Toole but Bush appeared the one Lying in Winter about the Iraq war.

    Join the revolution for progressive legislation

    Print these images on your envelopes.

  •  Redneck (none)
    Did I just hear that some redneck fired off a shot at his home just down the road from Cindy in Crawford? Says he was getting ready for Quail hunting! Where is the Secret Service?
    •  It may be legal (none)
      Crawford is spread out. If the enthusiastic Quale hunter lives far enough away from any other house, firing off any gun may be legal on his property.

      Take Bush's El Rancho for instance, it is so large that he can legally shoot his gun as much as he can shoot off his mouth full of lies!

    •  Extensively discussed (none)
      earlier in this diary. Apparently resolved quite peaceably.

      Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:49:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does Supporting Cindy Mean Supporting Her Views? (none)
    Just to level set, I think, like Sheehan does, that we should leave Iraq, now; that the war was based on lies; and that the war has damaged the U.S. immensely; and that Bush should be impeached for his lies. However, I've read on various web sites where Sheehan seems to be attacking Israel ("Israel out of Palestine") and that her son didn't die for Israel, which seems to make it the fault of the Jews; and so forth. I'm not sure these are her sentiments, but I find them very disturbing. It's like going to a gay pride march and finding Young Socialist Alliance marching, using our march to further their agenda (which happens). Making Iraq the fault of Israel is very damaging to the anti-war effort. Phrases such as "Israel out of Palestine" are, at their heart, anti-Semitic, since the phrase buys into the Palestinian world view, which is deeply anti-Semitic. Is that what she stands for? If so, she doesn't deserve my support (not that anyone will miss it). I know that anti-Sheehan talk is all abuzz in the right-wing blogosphere (particularly, LGF)...but are they correct in this regard? Or are they fabricating all this?
  •  What happens if Cindy Sheehan Goes to Washington (none)
    I wonder which argument has more truth to it:

    When the U.S. leaves Iraq it collapses into civil war and terrorists from around the globe congregate to plan further attacks, (Afghanistan but larger and more organized,) although the nation's greatest defense against third world criminals is what it always has been, thousands of miles of ocean and eight years of planning to pull off a vengeful criminal act.


    When Israel and the Palestinians stop killing each other and the U.S. stops killing Arabs in their own countries will the catalyst for continued violence disappear and only the most radical criminal elements in Islamic societies will continue to blow themselves up for jihad.  Therefore the U.S. works with its allies, (if there are any left,) hunt down various young men who have been brought together in their common hatred for all things Western and put them out of business.

    Do we then look at the current administration as a group of losers who out of panic and ignorance started a war because they were blinded by the profit motive, and those responsible for the bone-headed idea of starting a war are impeached, but we forgive them because it wasn't any of us reading this that had to lose our lives over their delusional incompetence?

    What is really frightening is that even with the current administration members panhandling around D.C. there will continue to exist the right wing infrastructure that helped destroy former President Clinton and will do whatever it can to undermine any liberal agenda that it has despised since, at least Richard Nixon.  These guys have long memories that they use to rewrite history with and they will not end their support for the half-baked agenda they have been working on for over 40 years until the U.S. becomes the Confederate Capitalist Corporation of Independent States under the theocracy for which it stands when it is not kneeling.

  •  What happens? I agree with everyone else... (none)
    another Vietnam. George W. Bush becomes the new LBJ - he goes out of office with disgrace and the opposite party comes to office.
  •  It is like Ireland (4.00)
    - - it was not until the mothers got involved that the fighting ended.

    and as I've said before -- Cindy Sheehan for Nobel Peace Prize.

    We will never end terrorism by terrorizing others -- bumper sticker on I-5

    by sara seattle on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:07:13 PM PDT

  •  What makes the opposition (none)
    different this time is that participation by the young is much lower.  It's being fueled by those who were young thirty-five years ago. The draft made the Vietnam War far more relevant to the young.

    The "Cindy Sheehans" did join in -- mostly after 1968.  They were the "Another Mother for Peace."  And it wasn't uncommon for the marriages of those women to break apart over this.

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

    by Marie on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:15:14 PM PDT

    I had to share this with fellow Kossacks:

    (the full-sized version is at Mazzygrew)

  •  OK, I posted this yesterday but (4.00)
    I thought it worthy again today. Here goes...

    Top 11 reasons not to meet with Cindy Sheehan.

    1. Wednesday's sore throat permits her classification as a bio-terrorist.

    2. Sheriff's search confirms that she arrived without requisite 2 kilograms of tribute-powder.

    3. Trusted advisor and friend Rafael Palmeiro observed that Sheehan's aggressive action may be a sign of steroid use.

    4. There doesn't appear to be any "Cindy Sheehan" in the House of Saud.

    5. Giving hugs is what governors do.

    6. Drawbridge is out of order.

    7. It's an Intelligent Design-thing, you wouldn't understand.

    8. He's talking to people here so he doesn't have to talk to her over there.

    9. If he met twice with every mother who had lost a child in the war, he'd only get three weeks off in August.

    10. If she really wants to ask a question, she'd go to journalism school, rise through the ranks of network reporters, get assigned to the White House and have her question not answered by Scott McClellan, like everybody else.

    11. Okay, he'll talk to her, but only if Dick Cheney can be present.

    Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

    by Skid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:19:19 PM PDT

  •  Cindy Sheehan Accountability Act (4.00)
    If Cindy goes to D.C., we need to shift the focus to Congress.  Mr. Conyers (and consigners) should introduce the CSAA on behalf of all of the grieving mothers in America.

    TITLE 1:  Why did Casey go?

    Congress must investigate and report within 90 days the 'fixed' intelligence that misled Congress and the citizens to begin the Bush War.

    TITLE 2: How much has it cost?

    Congress must investigate and report how much money the Bush War hascost the US taxpayers, how much credibility in world affairs, how many lives and injuries in the US and Iraq, how much money has been stolen by the war profiteers

    TITLE 3: How many more grieving mothers?

    Congress must investigate and report what is the objective, what are the means, and what is the exit strategy from the Bush War.

    When Cindy gets to DC, the debate should be about the Cindy Shehan Accountability Act of 2005.  This is where the debate should be: ACCOUNTABILITY.

    Follow the yellowcake road 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    by oregonj on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:43:28 PM PDT

  •  Cindy is a Plaza de Mayo 'Desaparecido' mother (4.00)
    I am not surprised at the political power of a mother's simple grieving. For me this resonates with the Argentinian Plaza de Mayo mothers. 1977-1983, Buenos Aires; Plaza de Mayo

    Azucena Villaflor de Devicenti, said: "If we do this on our own, we will not get anything. Why don't we go to the Plaza de Mayo and when we become a large group, Videla (then president) will have to meet with us ... " Azucena Devicenti chose the Plaza de Mayo as the meeting place because it is located across the street from the Government House (Pink House) and for being a historical and traditional place for demonstrations.

    "Not all who wander are lost." (J.R.R. Tolkien)

    by guildfordnz on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:46:05 PM PDT

    •  Feminism and Progressives (none)
      This is a perfect moment in a perfect storm to remember how we don't talk enough about the power of speaking from a strong women's/caregiver's perspective.  

      Feminist writers have been writing for years about "maternal thinking," an "ethic of care," and the beneficial use of emotion in political life, but not enough progressives have recognized this aspect of feminism.  

      This failing appears in elections where few if any  progressives make issues such as paid family and medical leave a central one. To me this is the best way to build coalitions with working families who have moved away from liberalism and the democrats.  

      I don't know if Cindy considers herself a feminist, but to me her actions show why more women, men who are caregivers, need to speak out.  

  •  The Bitch is Back (none)
    Fetching Jen is back and trashing Cindy. Compassion and empathy are just words in a dictionary to her.sickning

    Sunday, August 14, 2005

    "Grieving" Mother Now Calling For "Israel Out of Palestine"
    Cindy Sheehan, who made headlines dredging up her deceased military son's memory and demanding a meeting with President Bush to tell him to pull out of Iraq, is now demanding that Israel pull our of Palestine.

    Is this about her son Casey or not? It seems to me that I was correct in calling her a phony for using her dead son's memory to get a national audience for the purpose of furthering her own political causes. Why else would she be making this latest demand?

    There is more to that post

  •  Wherever she goes (4.00)
    we should be there with her. And we should be saying what she is saying loudly and clearly. From all I can see, her message is simple:

    Bring them home now.

    Okay, the words allow some wiggle room for wingers and wafflers. (Just what do you mean by "now?") But not much. The words are mostly clear. And they are the only sane prescription for a world spinning out of control.

    Bring them home now.

    Make this your sig line. I know it's not as cool as the one you already have, but why not go with it for a few weeks. Surrender that ego in favor of impact. Beat the drum loudly. Sig line solidarity.

    Bring them home now.

    Will you add your voice to the growing chorus? Will you? Pretty please with ice cream on top?

    What if you personally changing your sig line was the one thing needed to push things past the tipping point? Would you do it then?

    Who knows what will finally make the difference?

    Bring them home. Now.

    by Anglico on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:51:22 PM PDT

    •  It is a great sig line. (none)
      I admire the idea. In fact, when you first proposed it, I gave you a "4." I'm going to "4" you again, for your sincerity and stick-to-it determination. If your idea would work, it would be wonderful.
      Unfortunately [or fortunately] it won't work. Why won't it work? Because we are not Republicans, we are Democrats. We can never be persuaded to walk lockstep behind any one idea, however good that idea might be.
      The Democratic Party's great strength (and occasional weakness) is our diversity of thought, expression and action. This is the core "value" of our party.
      So you're trying to do something which only works in a commercial. You're trying to herd cats.

      "Aure entuluva!" [Day will come again!] -Hurin

      by davidincleveland on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:08:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree, but disagree . . . (4.00)
    I think there are a lot of good points in this assessment as to what has caught the energy that is building behind Cindy's courageous stand.  However, I believe her message is still directed at THE LIE, "What is the noble cause my son died for?"  The lie must be exposed, examined, come to terms with, and PUT TO REST before, yes, BEFORE we can decide why our troops are there, what their and our goal is, and what then defines a responsible exit policy.  Unless the American public has the facts on the table, how can they decide how best to move forward?  

    The American public is fractured on this issue because we have no idea what we are doing--that has been our national policy under the Bush Administration.  How can we gain a true consensus on where to go next, if we don't know where we started from?  I'm not saying this out of vindictiveness--expose the lie, and therefore expose Bush.  It goes much deeper than that.  The American public has been torn apart BECAUSE they have been left out of the loop due to manipulations, sidestepping, "spins," coverups, etc.  This has been a horrific debacle for our nation.  It will not be easy to resolve, and the people of this nation may need to do some really deep sole searching--we may need to accept that we made a huge mistake.  

    I think Cindy's message goes beyond get the troops out.  A "noble cause" may be well worth "sacrificing" a son for.  But was this a noble cause?  Did we avoid our responsibility as a people, did our representatives fail in their duty as our legislators, to do ALL we could, before allowing even one life to be given or taken?  If we don't get to the root of the problem, it can happen again.  If a large portion of Americans walk away from this feeling that it was just another case of the peace freaks yelling that the cost was too great and therefore we backed away from the battle, then we have not learned the sore lesson that is to be learned.  The myth of the "noble cause" is still out there for everyone to flock behind--all the meaningless "Support Our Troops" stickers to proudly affix to our tailgates and bumpers, all the flags to wrap ourselves in--once the next political agenda sees war as a handy tool.  Survival of the myth will allow more to be blindly sacrificed in the future.  If the cause is a lie, the cause is not noble.  The whole truth is critical to consensus, healing, correct handling, and the integrity of any future "noble cause" that requires our consent for sacrificing the life of even one individual.

    •  Agree. (none)
      Her message has many levels and much nuance.

      But in the final analysis, there is only one sane course of action.

      Bring them home now.

      I came to that realization after reading Sharon Jumper's excellent analysis of our untenable position in Iraq. Check it out.

      Bring them home. Now.

      by Anglico on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:56:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "...they have been left out of the loop... (4.00)
      ...due to manipulations, sidestepping, 'spins,' coverups, etc"

      If only the war mongers were stupid... But it is true that authority has learned lessons from the past about how to reduce public protest. Don't have a draft. Don't raise taxes. Don't let the media show the body bags. Don't talk about the ballooning national debt. Etc. It's all very carefully whitewashed. After all, how many billions per year do we spend to maintain a force of military mercenaries? Surely there's a few bucks for information control there, plus propaganda and all the other investigative staff this nation seemed to require -- even before 9/11 and the Patriot Act.

      All they need say to rebut protest is that no one else is looking out for our nation's welfare. It is a dangerous world. But anyone who tolerates a rabid guard dog deserves to be bitten by it.

      We need an anti-war movement -- one that is more creative than the mercenaries. Our Washington representatives will not speak truth to power until they have some people power on their side.

  •  Someone tell the President that the war is over... (none)
    New York Times Article....  This should be headlined on DailyKos... Great Story!  I was there.

    Peter Deane
    2nd District of the State of Ohio

  •  We weren't allowed (4.00)
    to see coffins coming home, This was supposed to be a clean war. No sadness, no grieving. Well, Cindy put a face on our losses. I don't think we can stop the tears that will flow or the lines that will form behind Cindy in DC. There is a spontaneity to it that is grabbing Americans. Organizers better get the permits ready - because we'll be there.

    Bring them home. NOW

    by Arlyn on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 03:59:49 PM PDT

  •  My Misunderstanding (none)
       When Armando wrote "Cindy Sheehan goes to Washington, D.C." I didn't think he meant as a demonstrator -- I assumed he meant as a member of Congress.
       And I still think that's the right way for her to go.
  •  Demise of the Neocon Dream? Not Gonna Happen (2.40)
    Israel will nuke America itself if that's what it takes to push us into a war with Iran.

    You ain't seen nothing yet.

  •  Cindy Sheehan is the epitome (4.00)
    of a person that is supporting the troops but does not support the war.

    One of the things that the Right Wingers did to shut up the opposition to the war was to equate Support of the Troops with Support of the War...and I must say it worked for quite some time.  It worked with the general public and, as I remember, every congressman on the hill was afraid to speak out against the war for fear of appearing to be against the troops.

    Cindy has proven to be one of the few that is immune to that manipulation.  Her clarity is no doubt borne of the fire of her loss...yet she teaches all that hesitated to speak out against the war for fear of appearing to not support the troops.

    I must say...I hope Cindy has some time to rest and renew herself after Crawford, whatever she decides to do next.  

    The Bush Administration - Going for the gold in Holy Shit Moments in American History.

    by trinityfly on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 04:23:23 PM PDT

  •  Lakoff and Sheehan (none)
    The author's talk about "framing" the war issue brings to mind the work about framing discussed by Lakoff.  I think Armondo has this wrong - any Democrat who sides with Iraq withdrawal, piggy-backing on the momentum of Sheehan's protest, invokes a feminine (family/mom) war framework.  The opposing (masculine) ideology exceeds in this environment, as we all empathize with Sheehan as we would with any mom in any war.  But grieving mothers are never the reason to end a war, unless in the case of Eastern Europe they are willing to die to confront their leader. The only mistake Bush can make here (provided his goal is solely to remain in Iraq) would be to arrest her.

    Unfortunately, the focus has been directed away from her unanswered questions about why we invaded in the first place, and has been reduced exclusively to a matter of sympathy.

    If she follows Bush to Washington, however, it will not, in my opinion, move to the top of the news list each night as journalists would know well that to cover this story with regularity is as transparently unprofessional as following the Laci Peterson trial.  It just ain't newsworthy unless something NEW happens.

  •  The antiwar movement (4.00)
    needed a kickstart.  A catalyst.  That is Cindy Sheehan.  Bless her.

    It couldn't be anyone else but a greiving family member.  Why not?  Where are the traditional sources for an anti war movement?  Let's look at some:

    The Lysistrata factor:

    Spouses weren't going to protest this war because their loved ones volunteered for the service.  Even protesting "backdoor drafts" has been ineffective.  The miliary population tends to be conservative.  War is their business, after all.  Even the reservists, who've had sacrifice of finance, family and body, have been so invisible. Americans just don't have much sympathy for those who volunteer to be our defenders.  They signed up for the job and should do it without whining.  Frankly, if I were in this group, I'd be spitting mad fit to burst.  But I'm just not hearing it loudly and concertedly from this group.

    The Youth factor:

    Try as we might to drum up concern about a possible draft, there just seems to be no prevailing belief that there will be one.  Without that threat, the Gulf wars are doomed to be "someone else's war, not mine."  The young can simply save their hide by never entering a recruitment center.  No need to protest in your self interest.

    The anti-Madonna factor:

    No, not that Madonna...the original.  You can't dispute the original.  Mary grieved at the unfairness of her son's death, even while understanding its necessity.  We worship that in a woman, don't we?

    So along comes Cindy, doing what no other group can do:  Questioning the pretext of this war.  Questioning the need to continue it.

    This is important.  Unlike Mary, she does not have faith that everything is as it needs to be.  And that, unlike anything else, has managed to get and hold our attention.

    I think it's the reason why she gets attacked.  The very folks who hold the notion of the grieving, yet understanding mother so close to their hearts--the nobility and grace--are so insulted by Cindy.  She dares to grieve and question!

    There have been other grieving moms in history who cried themselves to sleep with the memories of their children.  And also shed the tears of pride when they uncovered the graves at Chancelorsville, heard the stories of freed slaves, saw the emaciated bodies at Auschwitz...and knew the cause was just.  

    And there have been others-- the Confederate mothers, British mothers, German mothers...others who witnessed incredible carnage, death and destruction for naught.  Theirs is a quiet dispair we never hear.  

    Cindy is not going quietly.  She's breaking the mold.  It makes people uncomfortable.

    Frankly, what I'd like to see is what I witnessed on April 11, 2004 in Madrid, Spain.  After a series of bombings on a commuter train line, millions of Madrillenos took the same trains into the center of Madrid to protest.  Millions.  They didn't know exactly who set the bombs.  They just knew they couldn't trust their government and wanted to send the message that they were sick of the violence.

    On 9/11, we cleared the streets for good and started working on our barricades.  It's time to knock them down and take our streets back and tell the world we are sick of the violence.

    All of it.


  •  One thing that'll happen . . . (none)
    . . . when Cindy goes to Washington is that the publicity will increase. Camping outside the White House gains much more world-wide attention than camping in Crawford.

    A lot of this publicity will reach people in other countries, and this will further lower our government's status in the world.

    Some of this additional publicity will reach our troops in Iraq. They are not automatons. Some of them will react to this ordinary (not really) mother confronting the CINC. It's not widely known, perhaps, but a big reason we finally pulled out of Vietnam was the level of negative reaction by the troops, including mission refusal and fragging (killing of superiors), both of which were widespread. There has already been some of this in Iraq (probably more than we're told). Sure, the Vietnam troops were  conscripts, but a lot of our troops in Iraq never volunteered for a quagmire of killing.

    To get a better idea of what's happening in Iraq, check out

    "War is a racket . . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" . . . Smedley Butler

    by DonB on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:01:16 PM PDT

  •  that's powerful stuff armando (none)
    in the end, i hate to say it, but really, no one's going to give a flying fuck about lies.

    but fuck with their family.....  


    by BiminiCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:44:03 PM PDT

  •  The GOP assault is underway, alright! (none)
    They are attacking Cindy Sheehan by playing up anti-partisan bigotry against the stereotypical protester as:

    1. a stalker
    2. a trespasser
    3. a crazy person
    4. a threat
    5. a traitor

    Anything to isolate her, to dehumanize her, to make here the Grendel at the door of Hrothgar's Hall.

    The 'deep Red' mindset finds it impossible to accept that persons who oppose Bush's lies can possibly have normal family feelings; it's an easy button to press, and you can take it to the bank that the GOP is bashing that button as hard and as fast as they can.

    They'd rather destroy the value of family in America than lose it as political currency to Democrats.

    To their thinking, America is of no account, if it won't accept everything (sic) that the GOP has done for her.

    And fancy that! The GOP is blaming the Iraqi people now for being uncooperativeafter their country was invaded by the Bushies.

    Great minds snark alike. :)

    by cskendrick on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:45:29 PM PDT

    Last Friday, small-time chickenhawk radio host Mike Gallagher, a Bill O'Reilly wannabe, led a group of listeners to hold a counter-demonstration against Cindy Sheehan in Crawford. Only 50 or so "Gallagher's Army" supporters heeded his call, patriotically chanting "We Don't Care" for a spell. Then they left just 30 minutes after they arrived, but not before Gallagher asked his supporters to individually chip in for the bus rental. Here is General Gallagher's official report:

    12 August 2005, 16:30 hrs
    Enemy engagement at Crawford, Texas
    Submitted by: Gen. Mike Gallagher

    Enemy was first sighted at 11:15 hrs by special op's units assigned to Major Hannity's "Fightin' Imbeciles" platoon. Along enemy's western flank, Hannity's troops engaged in seek-and-harass actions by frantically waving arms and yelling "We Don't Care." Five scouts came within 100 ft of enemy defenders, but quickly retreated under fire by several banner-waiving grandmas. The "Faux Patriot" brigade, led by Lt. Rove, attempted a pincer movement from the south, but were halted by a 4 ft high fence which few were able to breach due to exceptionally poor physical conditioning. (Medics note that "Beer Belly Syndrome" is rampant among this brigade.) Along the eastern front, units of Col. Limbaugh's "Hillbilly Hellions" successfully came within 50 yds of enemy positions, but his shoeless troops were halted by a scorching asphalt walkway that proved impassable. The "Team Redneck" special forces unit led by Lt. Cheney did not participate, as the horse trailer they were riding in blew a tire just outside of town. Supply company Delta-Bravo successfully delivered twelve cases Schlitz Malt Liquor and twenty bags fried pork rinds to battlefield positions, although there are reports that many troops were inebriated by the time hostilities began, with at least eight soldiers passed-out at their positions.

    CASUALTIES: Zero killed, ten injured. Four troops accidentally shot themselves in the feet or legs, one choked and passed out while eating a pretzel, three suffered broken limbs after falling off the bus's roof, and two were beaten up by a waitress at the local cafe.

    SUMMARY: The Chickenhawk Army's Crawford mission is considered a resounding success, with textbook precision and all objectives achieved.

  •  They are now shooting (none)
    CNN is reporting a neighbor in Crawford fired 5 shots "at a bird".  He is disgusted with the protestors.  When asked is the gunshots had another message, he replied:  "figure it out for yourself."

    The shit has hit the fan.  God help us all, and Cindy in particular.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 1840+ dead Americans, 100,000+ dead Iraqis, all on your head. WWJS?

    by Miss Blue on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 05:50:54 PM PDT

  •  Nice article about Cindy: (none)
    Mother's protest gains momentum
    Hundreds show up at Bush's ranch to support mom who lost son in Iraq
    By Jason Dearen, STAFF WRITER

    The Bush administration and the Republican Party think up new ways to steal from Americans every day.

    by lecsmith on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:14:59 PM PDT

  •  "Visible Antiwar Movement" (none)
    Why this continued talk about the lack of a "visible antiwar movement"?  Sure we weren't visible, because they didn't put us on TV.  How many times can people have war protests that are largely ignored by the media?  We fucking tried.  I'm glad to see that people are paying attention to Cindy Sheehan, but the idea that there wasn't or isn't an antiwar movement is playing into the hands of the MSM assholes who went out of their way to ignore us and marginalize us.
  •  In DC (none)
    She'll just fade away.  In Crawford it's just her.  But in DC she'll have to compete for air time from other protesters.
    •  Unfortunately (none)
      I have to agree.

      The anti-war protests were filled with stuff like Free Mumia and all this other marginal stuff that makes it really difficult to maintain the credibility of the main issue.

      I'm sorry if you want to free Mumia and you don't want to hear it.  But all sorts of fringy strange things that have nothing to do with "Bush Lied and Casey (and 1800 others) died" will be competing for space there.

      We don't want the anti-Cindy faction to have anything to hang the "these people are all crazy" hat on.

      •  Excellent point (none)
        I was at a UFPJ rally last year in San Francisco and  was amazed by how many people were marching with banners for causes totally unrelated to the war in Iraq. There was everything from "free Mumia" signs to "free all oppressed people" signs to Israeli flags with swastikas on them. It was disconcerting, to say the least.

        I sincerely hope if Cindy does go to Washington that she and her people work hard to keep the focus solely on the Iraq war. Otherwise, as others here have said, she risks marginalizing her message by being written off as "just a bunch of fringe wackos" and getting drowned out in a bunch of mixed messages.

  •  The point is (none)
    That this isn't the anti-war movement anymore.  It's the "save our kids" movement.  It's the "justify yourself Mr. Bush" movement.

    "Anti-war" makes people think of hippies and anarchists and "wierd, kooky" people.  

    The media didn't allow the nation to see that the anti-Iraq war movement was made up of people who looked like they do.  So we were marginalized.

    Cindy is a mom.  We recognize her, we ARE her.  We love our kids, and only the wingiest wingnut really doesn't understand her pain at losing her child.  Or pretends not to, to protect their precious fool on the hill.

    And so yes, it becomes the "wouldn't you just about die if it were your kid" movement.  The "What would you want to hear from bush and why isn't he saying it" movement.

    The "Whoa, thisis reality.  This could happen to my kid" movement.

    That's powerful stuff.  

  •  Bring It On: The Million Mom March (none)
    I always thought the only effective protest to this war and its continuing harm would be the voice of the mothers.  I'm sorry to say that with a young child at home I never got it together to do much myself beyond look around for groups like Mothers Against War, etc. -- which all seemed splintered and sectioned by geography or their own specific and varied issues.

    Cindy Sheehan has done what I only imagined and wished I had the courage to do (probably what we all dreamed of doing, on some level) - to take on the liars with dignity and fortitude and the quiet power of someone unassailably on the side of right.

    I say bring on the Million Mom March.  And bring every other American tired of sacrificing our children - and Iraqi children - for this Administration's depraved and murderous self-interests.

    "They'll never catch me, man. 'Cause I'm f*cking innocent." - Bottle Rocket

    by The New Politeness on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:28:37 PM PDT

  •  Think it through, folks.... (none)
    First, I would like to give full credit to the left here in the way they have separated their opposition to the war and the administration from any denigration of the troops and their families who are having a difficult time (as is the case in any war).  

    However, lets think this through.  If Ms. Sheehan gets her wish and the US leaves Iraq tomorrow leaving a power vacuum.....what happens then?

    •  We're not leaving tomorrow (none)
      or the day after. GW can afford to simply ignore Cindy for a long time. It's august, no one in DC cares.

      She might pressure us to leave earlier than Bush wanted to but there will still be a US presence at our bases in Iraq. Those are permanent, we will be in Iraq for a long time, though we might pretend we've left.

  •  War not reframed as family issue | Family reframed (none)
    In broad terms, the success of the 'grieving mom' phrase indicates that Americans are now thinking about the War in Iraq through the frame of the family, rather than thinking about Iraq through the frame of 'terrorism' or 'ideology.'

    Yeah, way too broad there. Americans are now, I think, viewing the Iraq war as a war instead of an ideological plank or a partisan dogma. That is to say the changes in American's views of the war are due to the lack of lenses where once numerous lenses once framed the process of discernment. I think the holistic effects of the war are finally starting to affect and influence the American people without filters; as opposed to being judged vis-a-vis the opinions each side's members feel they're supposed to have.

    When speaking about foregoing assumed "Republican" or "Democrat" roles or opinions on the war I'm obviously speaking of the malleable center, not the wings. The wings by and large have not switched positions at all -- both thinking they alone have been talking about the /real/, objective war while the other side is deluded (or evil!) -- and will continue to not switch positions except through sneaky redefinitions and reframings.

    Anyway, the slow process of demystification -- again, by "demystification" I don't mean "the process by which we're proven 100% right, I mean that facts aren't qualified by preconceptions or memes -- of the Iraq war means that finally families can start to be seen, iconically, as grieving and being angry and not just "making a noble sacrifice." The conditions that allowed the "noble sacrifice" meme to exist without it's "grieving and angry" corrollary are, apparently, gone.

    So, to bring it back to the excerpted quote, Americans are not seeing the war as framed by families, a large segment of them are now not limiting their perceptions of what those families are going through, and not thinking of those families as abstract entities who merely sadly sacrifice in a noble manner.

    Now watch this drivel...

    by Addison on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:55:55 PM PDT

    •  A touchstone for the moment (none)
      Cindy Sheehan is using another frame--the frame of reason.  She is asking reasonable questions: Why are we in Iraq?  What is the point?  Is the point worth the death and suffering of thousands of human beings?  The political climate has not always classified these questions as reasonable.  

      It seems to me that she is effective primarily because of her humanity--most of us can identify with the "frame" of the death of a loved one.  

      So she is an "ordinary person" with whom we can identify, and she is asking some very reasonable questions.  

      People are finding these questions reasonable now because of the cascading evidence of lies, the confusion of the Bush administration, and the horrible death and confusion in Iraq.

      So the Cindy Sheehan phenomenon is the convergence of 1)an audience slowly waking up to the lies; 2)audience identification with an ordinary person asking questions that now seem reasonable;  3)chaos in the Bush administration; and 4) bad news from Iraq.

      Cindy also fits the myth of the self-reliant American who does what has to be done, someone who takes the initiative and makes things happen.  She  went to Crawford on the spur of the moment, an underdog, a female David facing a bumbling Goliath.  We love this stuff.  

      Plus, she seems authentic in the face of the shallowness of President Bush, whose veneer is beginning to crack wide open.  

      While I am personally totally re-inspired by her actions, I would not get too caught up in the individual persona of Cindy Sheehan.  She is--at the moment--a touchstone of where we are in this mess.  Perhaps she is representative of a big shift in thinking; we won't know that for awhile.  Perhaps the best thing to take away from her courage is re-invigoration and renewal. By god, if she can camp out in a sweltering ditch with fire ants and snakes, then to be sure I can get off my ass and do just a little bit more where I live!

  •  Feldman is spot-on (none)
    and dead right when he says that we should hold on and not let go of the gift that Cindy has given our party, which is a focus, a direction and the momentum that these consultants and focus groups are too out of touch to even glimpse.

    This is one time I can think of when all of us repeating the phrase "grieving mother" actually had a high and moral purpose and a direction pointed with laser-guided accuracy at Bush's lies. She has given us a gift and it will not last forever. She has to leave Crawford, TX eventually and, like our fearless leader, "get on with (her) life."

    So before she's relegated to below the fold and finally to the back pages and then to the archives, we'd be smart to take advantage of this shirnking window of opportunity while it lasts because God knows brave, incredible patriots like Cindy don't come along every day.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 06:56:20 PM PDT

    •  the best way to do that (none)
      I believe is to keep a certain distance. Don't let O'Reiliey or any other pundit frame this as a Democratic movement. We can help things along but I truly believe we should not get too closely associated with Cindy.

      just an opinion though.

  •  The Plot Thickens (none)
    Interestinger and interestinger.  How much longer can pRezdint flightsuit continue avoiding this middle aged female nemesis who gains influence exponentially each day he blows her off?  I think Ms. Sheehan ought to watch her step and make sure she's got her pre-needs and estate in order.  I have a feeling she's going to end up with Luca Brazi.  One day we'll be reading how Ms. Sheehan -in a desperate, disconsolable moment over her lost son- committed suicide.  I don't put anything whatSOever past the Bu$hCo junta.  
  •  That is not the part that (none)
    really got me that is her opinion of how to stop terrorism. Better idea than invading Iraq.

    The part that pissed me off is when she still calls Cindy a phony among other things.

  •  I hope she comes to the September 24th March in DC (none)
    It looks like it could be big. Here is another link to it:
    United for Peace
  • Organizing Candlelight Vigils Wednesday (none)
    Whatever your thoughts about MoveOn, they seem to have a good idea here.  They're organizing vigils all over the country based on the fact that, as they put it, "Cindy has asked supporters to start candlelight vigils in their communities to support her and call for an end to the war."

    Go to their website to see if you're interested in hosting or joining one in your area:  I'm in Houston and the one in my neighborhood is at a highly-visible public fountain, so I sent an email to everyone I know saying that I will be there and hope they will be too.

    Anyone in Houston on DKos who wants to be there, it's at the Mecom Fountain near the Warwick Hotel, Wednesday night at 7:30 pm.

    "They'll never catch me, man. 'Cause I'm f*cking innocent." - Bottle Rocket

    by The New Politeness on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:24:45 PM PDT

  •  SEPTEMBER 24TH can't come soon enough (none)
    But August 31st will be here quicker and I live five metro stops away from DC. And so do all my anti-war friends, this is a BLUE state (MD). I cannot wait for her to get here, she'll have plenty of folks here to up the ante and give her tremendous support. Get ready folks, the game is about to begin! This is FINALLY our moment to show the country that an anti-war movement of the 21st Century does not involves spitting on our soldiers, we want them home alive. It does not involve heavy drug usage or flower power, it involves starbucks and the power of the internetS. It does not resemble acid music or braless women, it resembles soccer moms and Dixie Chicks!

    When Jesus said love your enemies, I'm pretty sure he meant don't kill them.

    by donailin on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 07:46:51 PM PDT

  •  That's being cowed by the GOP's line of attack... (none)
    ...and withholding support for Cindy and her cause, which affects many more Americans than just her, would be a moral crime. This isn't a "Democratic" cause but a humanistic one, a patriotic one. And what if it was a Democratic cause? We're still in the right. So let O'Reilly and those other black-hearted clowns vilify Cindy and her supporters. It's just struggling in the quicksand at this point.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:01:29 PM PDT

  •  Cindy Sheehan as Michael Moore? (none)
    Tracking down W would be like a combo of Roger and Me and the "Congressman, how about enlsiting your son?" scene in F 9/11.  Except it's not a comedy.  OK, I'm old, but I think it's time for marches in the streets.  Big ones.

    "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

    by moltar on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 08:16:14 PM PDT

  •  What I fear will happen (none)
    She will be tired from it,
    we will be tired of it,
    the media will be tired with it,
    the President will be tired about it,
    and everybody is going to sleep over it.

    Meanwhile something will happen that is more urgent to discuss. Her story will trickle down into something "that too shall pass", most probably.

  •  If she marches to DC, I'll quit my job and (none)
    march too.

    Who's with me?

    •  How about... (none)
      I'll take the day off and go top the nearest march (probably in SF)..

      Cindy Sheehan discusses the right-wingers: "Plus, they have no truth to fight truth with, so they fight truth with more lies and hate."

      by coigue on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:13:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am Concerned (none)
    with a comment I read attributed to Cindy that she will not pay taxes for 2004.

    I support Cindy 100%, and I have been defending her over at Watchblog, (the Democratic/Liberal thread, "Cindy Sheehan has a Claim,") but I'm afraid this kind of statement plays right in the right-wing's hands, and makes her appear as an extremist. I believe we can't have that.

    The thing that works for her so well is that she can be a face for the anti-war movement, even more so than the students in the 1960s afraid of the draft. This is a grieving Mom. You've all stated why she is so important and why she works, but I'm really, really concerned if she made this statement.

    Anyone else concerned about this? (I couldn't read the entire thread....)

    •  It appears to me that Dunbar doesn't . . . . (none)
       . . .support Cindy 100%. Look, a lot of us supported Sergeant Benderman, who refused to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. He was a conscientious objector. Had become one, because he was ordered to shoot children and refused. And he saw what was happening to our troops when they participated in this officially sanctioned murder that we call a war. Sergeant Benderman is now in jail for following his conscience. And we still support him.

      Now if Cindy Sheehan, whom we at this moment revere, has stated that, in all good conscience, she can't support the war machine by paying taxes, then she doesn't deserve less of our support, she deserves more. Go to the DOD website and see for yourself the contracts that are awarded for military foolishness -- today the Navy awarded a 600 million dollar contract for rifle telescopic sights, so they can shoot more Iraqi invasion-resisters. Good God, do not put any qualifications on this courageous woman. Would that you and I had her courage.

      If Cindy Sheehan has a conscience, and she certainly does, and if she perceives that her tax dollars are being misused by a dishonest, murderous government, and she certainly does, then she is being a woman first and a subject second, to paraphrase Thoreau. The only obligation she has a right to assume is to do, at this critical time, what she thinks is right.

      And she needs our continuing support -- that's the least we should do.

      "War is a racket . . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" . . . Smedley Butler

      by DonB on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:31:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstood (none)
        my post apparently.

        I'm talking about how it plays into the right's hands.

        You know, I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off that this asshole "President" has gotten away with everything he has gotten away with, and I'm pissed off that Cindy's son had to die. My point is that I want to WIN this damn fight, and I don't want those assholes getting away with it AGAIN.

        It is a concern, that simple, thought I would ask others. And don't tell me whether I support Cindy Sheehan 100% or not. I think I know what I support and what I don't. As a matter of fact, I don't want to pay my taxes either to support this damn war and this government for that matter (at the moment).

  •  How about I keep my job and march? (none) said. joke's over

    Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

    by Dave the Wave on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 09:31:28 PM PDT

  •  Cindy Sheehan (none)
    If Cindy Sheehan goes to DC, she'll have "an accident".
  •  All those who participate with Cindy Sheehan (none)
    All those who decide to participate to join Cindy Sheehan when she takes her stand to Washington DC should focus on that one question "what noble cause" if this coincides with that stupid staged "Freedom Walk" which I heard you have to register for, which is the only way the loyalists to bush must participate, should be the warm up to the September 24th Demonstration, which again this demonstration is supposed to focus on the end of war in Iraq and to get our troops home before this fascist regime starts another war in Iran, they are sick enough to do it.  Let's stay focused with Cindy's main question "what noble cause".
  •  All those who participate with Cindy Sheehan (none)
    All those who decide to participate to join Cindy Sheehan when she takes her stand to Washington DC should focus on that one question "what noble cause" if this coincides with that stupid staged "Freedom Walk" which I heard you have to register for, which is the only way the loyalists to bush must participate, should be the warm up to the September 24th Demonstration, which again this demonstration is supposed to focus on the end of war in Iraq and to get our troops home before this fascist regime starts another war in Iran, they are sick enough to do it.  Let's stay focused with Cindy's main question "what noble cause".
  •  She isn't doing herself any good... (none)
    ...with her ranting about how the 'International Zionist-neo-con conspiracy murdered her son.' As a Jew I find that personally insulting and as an American I find such charges just plain nuts.

    In today's papers we learn that Time magazine reports that Cindy Sheehan's family is "imploding":

    Sheehan lost her job at Napa County [Calif.] Health and Human Services because of all her absences, she says. Husband Pat, 52, couldn't bear having [fallen son] Casey's things at home and put most of them in storage. "We grieved in totally different ways," Cindy says. "He wanted to grieve by distracting himself. I wanted to immerse myself." . . . The couple separated in June.

    Daughter Carly, 24, wrote a poem that begins, "Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?" Surviving son Andy, 21, supports his mother in principle but recently sent her a long e-mail imploring her "to come home because you need to support us at home," he says.

    The New York Times reports that Mrs. Sheehan's politics were the cause of her marital collapse:

    She said she and her husband separated a few months ago as a result of the war, and of her activism. Although she and her estranged husband are both Democrats, she said she is more liberal than he is, and now, more radicalized.

    The Times doesn't elaborate on Mrs. Sheehan's description of herself as "radicalized." Through her own words, unreported by either Time or the Times, she makes clear that she has embraced a grotesque ideology that goes far beyond garden-variety Angry Left paranoia--though it includes plenty of that, as National Review's Byron York reported last week:

    "This is something that can't be ignored," Sheehan said during a conference call with bloggers representing sites like,, and "They can't ignore us, and they can't put us down. Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything, and we would already be a fascist state."

    "Our government is run by one party, every level," Sheehan continued, "and the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government." Sheehan also called the 2004 presidential election "the election, quote-unquote, that happened in November."

    Sheehan spoke at an April San Francisco State University rally in support of Lynne Stewart, who was convicted in February of providing material aid to terrorists. Here's an excerpt:

    I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people . . . since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms: "This country is not worth dying for." If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant. . . .

    What they're saying, too, is like, it's okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons. It's okay for the United States to have nuclear weapons. It's okay for the countries that we say it's okay for. We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now. It's okay for them to have them, but Iran or Syria can't have them. It's okay for Israel to occupy Palestine, but it's--yeah--and it's okay for Iraq to occupy--I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it's not okay for Syria to be in Lebanon.

    Earlier in April, at a speech before the United Methodist Church in Venice, Calif., Sheehan likened Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to "Hitler and Stalin" and was particularly lurid in describing her hatred of Rumsfeld's then-deputy:

    As soft-spoken and sincere-sounding as Paul Wolfowitz is, is there yet any sane adult in this country whose skin does not crawl when this murderous liar opens his mouth and speaks?

    She concluded: "In their secret hiding places, while celebrating newly won fortunes with their fellow brass, these men must surely congratulate themselves with orgies of carnal pleasure as they mock the multitudes who are yet so blind as to mistake them for God's devoted servants."

    The mainstream media have largely ignored Sheehan's crackpot views, and not only--perhaps not even primarily--for ideological reasons. Members of the White House press corps find the annual sojourn to Crawford deathly dull. They need something to do; they want bylines--and "heartbroken everymom" makes for a much more compelling story than "extremist hatemonger."

    The journalists will soon move on, and her political allies may do so as well. For them she is a mere instrument. The White House press corps will discard her as soon as they return to Washington where there's real news going on. Serious opponents of the war in Iraq will cast her aside if her foul statements make her an embarrassment. When that happens, we can only hope that someone still cares about Cindy Sheehan--not as a story or a symbol, but as a human being.

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