Saturday, August 13, 2005

And then what?

One of the main news stories that the mainstream media has foisted on us this past week has been the Saga of Cindy Sheehan. For those of you who don't know, she's a mother of a soldier who died fighting in Iraq, and she's now camping outside of President Bush's Crawford, Texas home, ostensibly to get Bush to talk to her, but really to spread her viewpoints that A) she thinks her son died fighting in a wrong war and B) to get out of the war as fast as we can.

A mother's love for her son isn't something that I can have any qualms about, whatsoever. I can totally understand her anger and grief over the death of her son. And it's her right to vent her frustrations and grief in any way that she wants to. If she wants to talk to President Bush, that's fine. If she wants to pull our troops out of Iraq, that's fine too. I can only respectfully disagree with her on that.

There are a few points to make, though.

#1)Cindy Sheehan is not the only mother of soldiers who have died fighting in Iraq. She does not speak for them, nor should she ever attempt to. Problem is, is that she's effectively trying to muscle her way into that position. It's one thing to grieve and emote that grief in a physical manner, but it's another thing to shamelessly use that grief to place yourself in an unassailable position in which others who grieve similarly cannot even voice their own countervailing opinions. By the way, what Cindy Sheehan is doing is not new; in every major war that the United States has been involved in, mothers of fallen soldiers have done similiar things to what she's doing. She isn't unique, in that regards.

#2) The people around Cindy Sheehan are absolute disgraces. They, unlike her, I can drag through the mud as far as I want to. They're actively using her grief and the death of her son for purely political purposes, and they're totally naked about it. They don't really give a flying hoo-hah about her or her son. It's just just another attempt to bash Bush, bash the war, and peddle their far left and right wing ideologies . And the mainstream media's letting them get away with it, since they are just as craven in their political agendas. If they really cared about our servicemen, they'd bother to find out A) how they died B)what they felt about dying and C)the whole picture about the situation in which they died. If they did bother talking about the Iraqi civilians and terrorists who have died, it would have the effect of actually diluting the American servicemen's deaths, by the sheer numbers involved, and the actual operation contextualization of the soldier's deaths.

#3) I can take Cindy Sheehan to task though, for two things. One, why meet with President Bush? What does she possibly think it could do? He won't leave Iraq. She should know this. Ultimately, it comes down to a self-serving photo-op for her, which really doesn't advance her anti-war agenda or the war effort. But it will serve to advance HER. She'd be a bigger person in leftist circles because of it. Shame on you, Cindy Sheehan. You're about to turn your son's death into a political circus just for your own purposes.

The second problem is that she hasn't thought her anti-war statements through- what do we do after we've pulled out of Iraq, as she wants? What about the Iraqis who will surely die in the power vaccum that our premature pullout will create? Do she give a damn for their deaths? And what about our own national security- what will a pullout's ramification mean to it? How many people will die for that? And does Cindy Sheehan really care about those eventualities, in the case of a premature pullout? Or would the short-term glee she'd get be all that matters? Once again, it's not about her son, but about......HER.

Lastly, I mean no disrespect to Cindy Sheehan about her son's death and her grieving. But I really think that the way she's going about doing this, is all wrong. Her son served faithfully to the country, and died of his own volition- saving soldiers even when he was told he didn't have to. But he did anyways, and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery. Cindy Sheehan knows this- and she has in fact stated it. But that's been thrown out the window, and she sings a different tune now.

I say let her grieve. But stop putting video cameras in front of her, and let's see how much longer the grandstanding that we've gotten so far continues.


Blogger JohnK, No relation to SarahK said...

Jason, you're absolutley right. And there's even one thing you're missing that backs you up.... CINDY SHEEHAN HAS MET WITH BUSH ALREADY. Not only did she meet with Bush once already, but she came out of the conversation talking about how she believed that Bush was a good and sincere man.

As the Washington Post said, "After the meeting, [Cindy Sheehan] was quoted by the newspaper in her hometown of Vacaville, Calif., as saying that the president seemed sympathetic. Subsequently, she has said that Bush treated her callously during the meeting."

After the original meeting, what she said was this: "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis... I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."

6:18 PM  
Blogger Socio-Sweetie said...

just another case that proves a point catholics have been standing by for doesnt pay to pull out. nicely said jay.

8:05 PM  
Blogger JohnK, No relation to SarahK said...

To Quote Ann COulter, "Call me old-fashioned, but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn't have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on "Entertainment Tonight," you're no longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show.

11:46 AM  

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