Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fighting for Peace With Her Words and Her Voice

Cindy Sheehan has my deepest respect and admiration for the seemingly limitless passion and energy she devotes to ending the war that killed her son, Casey, and so many other parents' sons and daughters.

This weekend she is camped out in front of George W. Bush's Texas ranch, where she says she will stay until Bush agrees to talk to her about the deaths of almost 2,000 American men and women as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Her goal is to persuade Bush to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq immediately.

Sheehan has been pretty much ignored by supporters of Bush and his war policies up until now, but parking herself in front of the vacation-deprived president's home has woken them up. Mostly, their comments have focused on trying to question her credibility by pointing to a Drudge Report article that used an out of context quote about her June 2004 meeting with Pres. Bush to support their argument that she has changed her position on the war and is being brainwashed by anti-war activists. Raw Story posts online the entire original article, first published in the Vacaville (CA) Reporter, from which Drudge got the quote.

Instead of using misquotes from biased sources to prove that Sheehan is confused and misled and does not mean what she says, right-wing commentators would do much better to think about how much sense they make when they imply that Sheehan is loony and weird for opposing the war that killed her son. It beats me why people like Michelle Malkin think that it's "crazy" to hold George W. Bush responsible for her son's death. If I had a son or daughter who had died in Iraq, I certainly would think that the responsibility for my child's death belonged to the president, since he was the one who aggressively and preemptively invaded Iraq; rather than the Iraqi insurgents who attacked and killed him. They killed him, obviously. But they were not responsible for his being there. They were not responsible for the lies Casey Sheehan's commander-in-chief told to manipulate him into going to Iraq.

It's just bizarre to think like this: "I can't imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for his mother's crazy accusations that he was murdered by his commander-in-chief, rather than the Iraqi terrorists who ambushed his convoy." Where is the logic or reasonableness in claiming that American soldiers who invade Iraq and kill Iraqis are "heroes" who are "serving their country"; but Iraqis who fight back and respond violently to the U.S. military force occupying their country are "terrorists"? No American is pleased or happy when an American soldier is killed by a bomb planted by an Iraqi insurgent. But why call that insurgent a "terrorist" and choose to hate him for your child's death? What would Malkin expect when one country invades another? That the people of the invaded country would just accept the invasion passively and not respond to the violence they are receiving with violence of their own?

Cindy Sheehan is right. It was Iraqis who physically ambushed Casey Sheehan's convoy and killed him. But George W. Bush is the cause of his death. In the larger, more meaningful sense, Bush is the one who killed Casey Sheehan.

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