Saturday, 20 August 2005

Mother Sheehan in a Nutshell

Cindy Sheehan, or Mother Sheehan to her friends, had her son killed in Iraq.

A life-long Democrat, here's what she had to say the first time she met President Bush :
Bush Sheehan Meeting"We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled," Cindy said. "The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached."

The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey's sacrifice would make the world a safer place.

But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.

"We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn't have to take the time to meet with us," Pat said.

Sincerity was something Cindy had hoped to find in the meeting. Shortly after Casey died, Bush sent the family a form letter expressing his condolences, and Cindy said she felt it was an impersonal gesture.

"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."
The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.

For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.

For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.

"That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together," Cindy said.
But after a while, and some little thought about how to really make a political point, this is what she said on CNN :
In an interview on CNN, she claimed Bush "acted like it was party" when she met him last year.

"It was -- you know, there was a lot of things said. We wanted to use the time for him to know that he killed an indispensable part of our family and humanity. And we wanted him to look at the pictures of Casey.

"He wouldn't look at the pictures of Casey. He didn't even know Casey's name. He came in the room and the very first thing he said is, 'So who are we honoring here?' He didn't even know Casey's name. He didn't want to hear it. He didn't want to hear anything about Casey. He wouldn't even call him 'him' or 'he.' He called him 'your loved one.'

Every time we tried to talk about Casey and how much we missed him, he would change the subject. And he acted like it was a party.

BLITZER: Like a party? I mean...

SHEEHAN: Yes, he came in very jovial, and like we should be happy that he, our son, died for his misguided policies. He didn't even pretend like somebody...
You see, the "sincere" image of Bush just didn't fit the party line (so to speak). Naturally, history had to be re-written and the photos of Mother Sheehan being kissed by President Bush had to be removed from public view. But not from Google's cache...

And now from the Washington Post's Dana Milbank :
Baltimore, Md.: Do you think its wise for the antiwar movement to rally around someone who has made so many strange comments about the Iraq War being a war for Israel?
For "strange" read "anti-Semitic" by the way. Not just about how Israel should give Palestine back, all of it, but that Israel and the Joos control the US Government...
Dana Milbank: Certainly it's a risk. And Sheehan has, whatever her current position, taken some highly controversial stands regarding Israel. They key for the antiwar movement is to use Sheehan as a symbol but not to make the movement about her. Last night was an effort to broaden beyond Sheehan to other parents. That's why MoveOn told people to bring pictures of children even if they aren't in the military, and organizers handed out stickers saying 'mom' and 'uncle' and so forth, even if the 'son' or 'nephew' wasn't in Iraq.
New Headline : MoveOn hits Rock Bottom, Digs!
San Francisco, Calif.: Why so little coverage on the candle-light vigils throughout the U.S. yesterday evening? I could not find an article on The Washington Post Web site, or the NYTimes. Thousands of San Franciscans met in quiet groups of 100 to 1,000 in neighborhoods throughout the city, as I assume other citizens did elsewhere - not only to support Sheehan in her request for a meeting with our vacationing president, but also to encourage an end to the war. But mums the word, at least on the WP Internet edition. The Dana Milbank video I just watched offered no coverage. What's up?

Dana Milbank:

Well, I had 22 column inches of coverage on Page 3, and the story is on this very Web site for you to peruse.


Washington, D.C.: Have Bush foes really turned Cindy Sheehan into the symbol of the antiwar movement? Seems to me like the media has done that. The extent to which the media has gone to promote her has been sickening. The extent of fawning coverage she has gotten (and absence of reporting on her past statements) is out of all proportion. One almost begins to wonder if the media doesn't like the current administration. Moreover, has anyone even bothered to ask her how her proposed solution (pulling out of Iraq now) would impact the U.S., much less Iraq?

Dana Milbank: Maybe you and San Francisco can sort this out. Has the media been "mum" or "sickening" in its excess?
Well, on one hand, you have "22 column inches", and on the other hand, you have... Zip. Nada. Tiddly-squat.
The extent of fawning coverage she has gotten (and absence of reporting on her past statements) is out of all proportion. One almost begins to wonder if the media doesn't like the current administration.
Yes one does, doesn't one? Almost.

As for Mother Sheehan's past, er, controversial statements, there's this one :
“And the other thing I want him to tell me is ‘just what was the noble cause Casey died for?’ Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We’re not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the t─Śrrorism,” she exclaimed.

“There, I used the ‘I’ word – imperialism,” the 48 year-old mother quipped. “And now I’m going to use another ‘I’ word – impeachment – because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail.”
And this one, as quoted admiringly by one of hr supporters, Neo-Nazi and Jewbaiter extraordinaire, David Duke :
Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by George [W.] Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy… Not for the real reason, because the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy.
Of course, she now denies it :
Another "big deal" today was the lie that I had said that Casey died for Israel. I never said that, I never wrote that. I had supposedly said it in a letter that I wrote to Ted Koppel's producer in March. I wrote the letter because I was upset at the way Ted treated me when I appeared at a Nightline Town Hall meeting in January right after the inauguration. I felt that Ted had totally disrespected me. I wrote the letter to Ted Bettag and cc'd a copy to the person who gave me Ted's address. I believe he changed the email and sent it out to capitalize on my new found notoriety by promoting his own agenda.
Using her e-mail address of course. I wonder who forged the CNN videotape, where she expressed similar sentiments?
Then there's this :
We have no Constitution. We’re the only country with no checks and balances. We want our country back if we have to impeach George Bush down to the person who picks up the dog sh-t in Washington! Let George Bush send his two little party animals to die in Iraq. It’s OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons but we are waging nuclear war in Iraq, we have contaminated the entire country. It’s not OK for Syria to be in Lebanon. Hypocrites! But Israel can occupy Palestine? Stop the slaughter!
Also appearing at the same function, various luminaries, such as Lynne Stewart
The terrorist lawyer, who billed herself as a “Civil Rights Lawyer and Political Prisoner,” was recently convicted of conspiracy and for passing along fatwas (Islamic religious edicts) from Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman to his terrorist followers in Egypt’s Islamic Group. Rahman is the blind sheikh responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 that left six Americans dead and more than 1,000 people injured.

Her trial lasted seven months, and the jury deliberated 13 days before convicting her and two co-conspirators, one of whom (Ahmed Abdhel Sattar) was wiretapped making calls to al-Qaeda while the other (Mohammed Yousry) translated messages to be sent to a terrorist leader overseas.
Pointer was convicted of assaulting some Jewish women during the attacks carried out by black militants in New York in the late 1960’s during demonstrations in the Oceanville-Brownville area demanding that Jewish teachers not be allowed to teach black inner city school children. Lynne Stewart married him afterward, but voiced approval of his physical attacks on Jews.

Any questions?

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