L. Neil Smith's
Number 333, August 21, 2005

"...far greater threat than Al Qaeda..."

The Republicans' Persecution and Crucifixion of Cindy Sheehan
by Todd Andrew Barnett

Special to TLE

Statist-conservative Republicans who claim that Cindy Sheehan, the mother of her slain son Army Specialist Casey Sheehan (who was killed during an attempt to rescue some wounded soldiers in Sadr City, Iraq on April 4, 2004), is a liberal mouthpiece and is being controlled by the Left are an epitome of the debauchery, the moral depravity, and the political evil currently worshipped by the conservative collectivistic ideologues in the Republican Party, the Bush administration, and the news and print media. It is not a surprise that these collectivists are using every means at their disposal to discredit and smear the integrity and dignity of a grieving mother who rightfully demands to meet the president for answers – that is, reasons as to why her son was sacrificed in the war. Unsurprisingly, President Bush and his collectivistic stooges in the White House have been doing everything they can to dodge the issue at the expense of the truth that belongs to Sheehan and the American people.

Bush, who has been enjoying a month-long vacation from the White House, asserts that he "sympathizes" with the slain soldier’s mother. Standing with his defense and foreign policy teams before a group of reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush, when inquired about his feelings about Sheehan and her cause, thundered:

"I'm referring to any grieving mother or father, no matter what their political views may be. Part of my duty as the President is to meet with those who've lost a loved one. And so, you know, listen, I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. She feels strongly about her—about her position. And I am—she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position. And I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, get out of Iraq now."

However, Bush expressed his disagreement with Sheehan's position, declaring before the nation:

" And it would be—it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long-run, if we were to do so."

How could it be "a mistake for the security of this country" if the U.S. were to pull out of Iraq? Who is Bush kidding when he makes a statement like that? Doesn't he understand that the intervention in Iraq has been a "mistake for the security of this country" ever since U.S. and military officials set up shop on Iraqi soil? Hasn't he figured out by now that the global War on Terror has been an immense failure, especially in Iraq as far as critics of the war and the War on Terror and the world are concerned?

What makes Bush think that we possess "the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run" when peace has never been, is not, and will never be the established goal in the homeland? Do they really think that these things were truly intended to appear after the U.S. and British forces invaded and occupied the country? Finally, when has it ever been the interests of the neoconservatives and the liberventionists to erect a paradigm of true individual rights, limited government, private property rights, free enterprise, federalism, and the rule of law for the people of Iraq, Israel, and the entire Arab world?

Bush, trying to showboat to the crowd, declares:

" I also know there's a lot of folks here in the United States that are, you know, wondering about troop withdrawals. They're concerned about the violence and the death. They hear the stories about a loved one being lost to combat. And, you know, I grieve for every death. It breaks my heart to think about a family weeping over the loss of a loved one. I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place."

If he really grieves "for every death," then why is he unwilling to concede that the number of soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed on the battlefield is outpacing every effort to bring "stability," "democracy," and "freedom" in the homeland? After all, there are currently 1,862 U.S. soldiers who were massacred in battle. Let's not omit the fact that there are presently 26,705 slain Iraqis – a ghastly statistic that stretches from January 1, 2003 to August 13, 2005 (despite the fact that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was unleashed on March 20, 2003).

If it really "breaks" his heart that Cindy Sheehan is "weeping over the loss of a loved one," then why does he refuse to meet with her again? Remember, he met with her with a group of grieving parents whose sons and daughters were killed on duty in Iraq in 2004, and the result of the meeting turned out to be unsatisfactory to her. As she put it, Bush treated her, as the Washington Post recently noted, "callously during the meeting."

Bush's claim of "sympathy" for Sheehan and other parents like her is tantamount to grandstanding and outright exploitation of their suffering. However, Bush apologists certainly show their true colors when they express their ardent contempt for Sheehan. Matt Drudge, one of the most infamous mouthpieces of the Bush administration, issued a report on his website DrudgeReport.com pointing out that The Reporter, a newspaper from Sheehan's hometown of Vacaville, California, ran a June 24th, 2004 story alleging that Cindy was satisfied with her meeting with the president. According to the piece, Cindy's husband Pat Sheehan was quoted as saying the following:

" 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."

The Sheehan family, according to the article, received a form letter from Bush, stating his condolences to them. The same piece quoted Cindy as saying:

"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."

Of course, morally-bankrupt conservatives like Fox News properties Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson and Internet columnists Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin accused Sheehan of flip flopping on her subsequent comments following the meeting and being the poster girl for the anti-war movement. Talk radio show icons Rush Limbaugh and Gordon G. Liddy, on the other hand, accused her of being "anti-Semitic" because of her condemnations of the neoconservatives (inferring some claptrap about an alleged prejudice against Jews and the people of Israel) and their never-ending role in Iraq and the entire region of the Middle East. If anything, these allegations are nothing but definite smears, libelous slanders, and assassinations on her character. The idea that these people are capable of engaging in rational debates and intelligent discussions on the issue of the current occupation of Iraq is clearly nonexistent.

Unfortunately, the "Cindy's sympathy for Bush" ammunition procured by Drudge and the collectivistic Right is filled with blanks. Apparently, the Drudge Report's story took her comments out of context, as the website The Raw Story suggests. The Sheehan comments featured on Drudge's website, according to Raw Story, "were not adulatory" as the article made them out to be. At the same time, the site noted that Sheen, after the meeting, "soured on Bush," further revealing that she wasn't expressing "her true feelings at their first meeting."

The truth of the matter is that all the angry media buzz on Sheehan's anti-war activism and her incessant desire to speak with Bush on the is only done for the self-interests of the rightists who wish to score political points with their supporters and the American public at large. Even the angry irate commentaries are directed at liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd because of her Times column on the entire saga, in which she noted:

"Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.

"But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."

While I have never concurred with Dowd on much of anything, she's absolutely correct in this case. Bush has no regard for family values. How is this so? He's doing this simply by trying to rationalize the war with the devastating body count that's racking up faster than the terrorists' efforts to organize against the U.S. and British government. He's doing this by thinking that he spread "democracy" throughout the Arab world while failing to understand that democracies have degenerated into tyrannies, to which history can attest. And he's doing this by undermining the value of individual liberty for our nation as well as the absolute, moral role that parents have in protecting their children in times of war.

Will Bush ever apologize for the U.S. government's failures in Iraq? Will he ever admit that the global War on Terorrism has failed to avert the recent two terrorist attacks in London – attacks that al Qaeda has claimed credit for committing? Will he ever confess that his administration's recent cancellation of publishing its annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report, all because of the fact that it would have unveiled, in an embarrassing fashion, that terrorism has skyrocketed from 175 attacks in 2003 to 625 attacks in 2005?

The answers to those questions would be, universally speaking, "no," "no," and "no."

Believe it or not, like it or not, the Republicans' persecution and crucifixion of Cindy Sheehan certainly shows that they are not on the side of human liberty, but rather on the side of human tyranny across the board. They can dispute my findings all they like, but, as the old saying goes, "If the shoe fits, wear it."

After all, the burden of proof of their innocence is neither on Cindy Sheehan nor her supporters nor me; it's on them. That's what they get for supporting the welfare-warfare state, the Military Industrial Complex, gun control, a foreign policy of interventionism, and all sorts of economic and personal regulations that undermine civil society and empower political society at the expense of law-abiding American taxpayers.

It's too bad that the collectivists on the Right and the liberventionists in the GOP have distorted and disguised the truth from the American people. It's just another example to show how far we have strayed from a society that once revered free enterprise, limited government, private charity, a foreign policy of non-intervention, open immigration, individual liberty, federalism, and the rule of law.

© 2005 by Todd Andrew Barnett. All Rights Reserved. Permission to reprint any portion of or the entire article is hereby granted, provided that the author's name and credentials are included.


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