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Rob & Schuyler
Mike's Blog
Monday, 29 August 2005
Cindy Sheehan, Superstar
Before I get too much into this, let me say up front: I don't like this war. I think that we should have done a bunch of other stuff before we invaded, and I think that the costs Americans will endure will be felt for decades.

I did vote for Bush, but only because I thought he was the best person for the job who was eligible. Bring me a Democrat who isn't a putz and I'll vote for him (or HER) in a second.

I support peace activists, but at the same time, I hope with everything I have that our troops are safe and when they come home, we will treat them with honor and dignity.

And I try my best to treat every vet -- of this war and all the others -- with kindness, generosity and respect. I may disagree with our government's policy, but the ones on the ground who dodge the bullets and face war deserve our best. And so do their families.

But I think Cindy Sheehan is a nut. (I also think that the hundreds of folks that are protesting her on the "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" tour are nuts as well.)

Why do I think she's a nut? Well, she says nutty things like claiming that President Bush is a terrorist. She says that all she wants to do is talk to him. But she already talked to him last year.

But the truth is, she doesn't want the president to end this, because she's in the spotlight and she's loving the ride. How do I know this? Did Limbaugh whisper this bit into the microphone? Did Fox News did up some family member with an axe to grind? Surely someone in the vast right-wing conspiracy is spreading this lie!

Nope. Cindy Sheehan said this herself while being interviewed by Bill Maher. She said, and I quote, "I'm glad he didn't meet with me, because then none of this would have happened." Cindy Sheehan is in the machine, and that's right where she wants to be.

She's not in the fight for peace, she started out throwing a tantrum and ended up with much more attention than she ever dreamed of -- or deserved.

Posted by michaelsawin at 2:13 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Tuesday, 30 August 2005 - 6:00 PM CDT

Name: Mike Norton
Home Page:

This has been a week and a half's work for me and it's only Tuesday, hence my not having much time for this so far. I will be dealing with this issue and some related matters sometime this week over on my blog, but here's a run-up. (Probably much longer than it should be, but that's what a lack of time produces.)

Cindy Sheehan "met" with Bush back while she was still freshly in grief and as part of - however informal one wishes to characterize it - a group in what would be for an average citizen a ceremony. Meeting a president, even G.W. Bush, is going to be an overwhelming matter for anyone not accustomed to such rarefied heights of power. Add to that the circumstances that brought those parents there - the death of a child. To characterize one's head in such a circumstance as being in a whirl would be too mild. There was little if any, serious one-on-one time. Aside from that, it wasn't until later that she started to question and look for answers to what was truly going on. Where we are, where we're headed, and how we got here.

Concerning the "nut" charge, here's another perspective on "I'm glad he didn't meet with me, because then none of this would have happened.": She's come to realize that Bush is at best a dangerous idealogue, and any one-on-one with him is not going to bear fruit. She is happy that he and his advisors didn't have the P.R. savvy to meet with her directly once these issues had been raised and so largely defused the situation as far as an easily led, easily bored public is concerned.

She's happy because this allows her to more completely serve as a rallying point, and as someone who's keeping questions about the war in the public eye in a critical way, hoping that it will lead others to begin to question why we have troops there. The path to peace, save the peace of the pointed gun and the grave, will not likely be forthcoming from the Bush administration on its own anytime soon. It's going to take enough people exerting enough pressure to give us some faith in the notion of a representative democracy in the U.S.

As for the Bush as terrorist charge, well, what does one call someone who directs military force, ranging from invasion, occupation, to detention, and the use of deadly force along the way, against a civilian population in a nation that did not attack us and did not pose a credible threat to us? Would I use the word "terrorist" in this specific instance? Probably not, but I tend to be a cautious guy and I'm not doing what's probably necessary to grab the media attention necessary to shake some people out of their complacancy. Simplistic phrases and hyperbole are, however unfortunate, sometimes the only way to shake a crowd out of a stupor.

The situation as it stands has become horribly complicated, and just yanking the troops out would cause horrendous problems akin to opening a patient for surgery and then deciding to just walk away. However, to follow through on the analogy, if someone's convinced the surgery was both unnecessary and being done for reasons other than what the doctor claimed, we need to press the issue in order to keep it from both going on too long and especially to keep it from happening with another patient.

Anyway, however clumsily, I did want to add another perspective on this... and so I've tried.

Tuesday, 30 August 2005 - 6:18 PM CDT

Name: michaelsawin

Mike, thanks for writing!

I don't think I agree with you about Cindy Sheehan. If you get a chance to see the re-run of Bill Maher's show tonight on HBO 8 PM CST, I'd like to hear your response.

I really think that she's in the machine. Further, I don't think the president owes this woman anything at all. I am pretty sure that Bill Clinton would meet with her -- for good or ill. But Bush won't, and he probably shouldn't. Can you imagine the precedent. Anyone who throws a tantrum will expect to see the president.

I am sorry for her loss. I hate this war, and I hate the fact that lives have been lost. But Sheehan does not represent a way to end the conflict or solve the problem. She's a nut, and unfortunately, so are most of the people who have taken to the streets in protest of this war -- and in support of it.

Things will change and peace can won only by people changing the way they live. Sheehan has entered the whirlwind of the media and if you watch her on Maher's show, you'll see someone who is enamored with her own fame. At least, that's what I see.

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