Cindy Sheehan's Symbolism

Published on Friday, August 19, 2005 by the Seattle Times

The daily image of a grieving mother protesting the death of her soldier son by standing in the withering sun outside President Bush's Texas ranch is a poignant symbol. Bush would do well to pay attention to the image and the woman behind it.
Cindy Sheehan is not a foreign-policy expert. She does not hold the key to an Iraq war exit strategy. Sheehan is a mother driven to act by the death last year of her son, Casey, who was stationed in Iraq. What Sheehan has done is use her grief to fuel a passionate, visible anti-war movement.

Hate to Recommend this, but

If you can stand watching Chris Matthews, tonights the night to do it.

Mark Green will be on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews tonight at 7 PM and 11 PM. Mark will be discussing Cindy Sheehan and Iraq.

Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'


Programming Note: " 'Dead Wrong' -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown" airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.

(CNN) -- A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.

"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."

Wilkerson is one of several insiders interviewed for the CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown." The program, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, pieces together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public. A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong."

Cheney Puffs Out Chest, Blows Hot Air

U.S. 'Will Not Relent' in Iraq, Cheney Tells Veterans Group

By Peter Baker
(c) 2005, The Washington Post
WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney declared Thursday that the United States "will not relent" in the war in Iraq and will hunt down insurgents there "one at a time if necessary," implicitly rebutting escalating pressure on the Bush administration to bring U.S. troops home.

Addressing a friendly audience of combat veterans a day after antiwar candlelight vigils were held around the nation, Cheney cast victory in Iraq as "critical to the future security of the U.S." and said the country should not lose its resolve to defeat the militants.

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman Interviews Cindy

Friday, August 19th, 2005

JUAN GONZALEZ: We head now to Crawford, Texas, where Amy Goodman is reporting today from the grounds of Camp Casey, just down the road from President Bush's property. Well, Amy, I’m guessing Karl Rove didn't invite you in.

AMY GOODMAN: No, we're right outside the ranch, although we did drive down George W. Bush Highway to get here. We're at Camp Casey, Juan. It's just outside of President Bush's ranch, where he is vacationing now. We're somewhat near a Secret Service checkpoint, so the Secret Service is changing shift right now. Behind me people are waking up, about a hundred people slept here last night. The signs say that “Bush should speak to Cindy,

Mendocino Veterans for Peace bus takes Cindy Sheehan to Crawford

The Willits News
By Bill Hatch/TWN Writer

The Mendocino County Veterans for Peace bus that carried Cindy Sheehan to Crawford, Texas, rolled into Willits last Saturday night and parked outside a poetry reading at Mama Javas on Mendocino Avenue.

Two weeks ago in Dallas, when the call went out at the Veterans for Peace national convention, the Willits-based bus was available to drive keynote speaker Sheehan to Crawford and escort her as close to the Bush ranch compound as they could get.

The 10-month-old Mendocino VFP chapter was founded by Patrick Tate of Willits, its president and a Vietnam veteran. The chapters mission is to teach the general public the true costs of war, spokesman Gordon Soderberg said Saturday night. Brooktrails resident Fred Danforth painted the inverted American flag on the bus. Flying the flag upside down, according to the U.S. Navys Blue Jacket Manual, is the way a ship signals it is in distress and cut off from lines of communication, Soderberg, a former Navy corpsman, said.

Cindy's Truth

Memphis Flyer
A mother's vigil puts shame to an inaccessible president.

In 1971, when the album Imagine came out, American soldiers were dying by the thousands in Vietnam. The title song on the album was so captivating that the other tunes didn't get much notice; however, one of them is surely among the greatest by John Lennon. It should become the soundtrack to The Cindy Sheehan Story: Courageous Mother Who Stopped the Bush War in Iraq:

"Give Me Some Truth"

I'm sick and tired of hearing things

From uptight-short sighted-narrow minded hypocrites.

All I want is the truth

The People Must Demand Peace -- An Interview With Tom Hayden

By Kevin Zeese
August 19, 2005

Tom Hayden is an anti-war activist who most recently was the lead author of “The Peoples Petition for Iraqi Peace.

War Protest Continues Outside Bush Ranch

War Protest Continues Outside Bush Ranch After Leader Sheehan Leaves Due to Family Emergency
By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

Aug. 19, 2005 - Although their leader had just departed because of a family emergency, anti-war demonstrators here didn't miss a beat, marching closer to President Bush's ranch to deliver handwritten letters.

The protest camp outside Bush's ranch resumed its activities Thursday shortly after Cindy Sheehan whose 24-year-old son Casey died in Iraq learned that her 74-year-old mother had a stroke in Los Angeles and made preparations to leave.


By Scott Ritter

U.S. Tour of Duty
August 19, 2005

Outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Casey Sheehan, a soldier who died in combat in Iraq, waits with a growing number of concerned Americans for the opportunity to ask George Bush, in person, about the "noble and selfless cause" that took her son's life on April 4, 2004. So far, the President has refused to meet with Cindy Sheehan. The Sheehan vigil, with its attendant media coverage, could not have come at a worse time for President Bush. August 2005 is well on track to be one of the bloodiest months in the ongoing American occupation of Iraq. The Bush White House finds itself confronted by the need to placate an increasingly frustrated American public which is rapidly backing away from its once unbridled support of Bush's Iraq adventure.

Why Are the Media Having Such a Hard Time Covering Cindy Sheehan?

By Arianna Huffington
Huffington Post

As Gary Hart points out there is indeed a rich history of protest in America. From our Founding Fathers to abolitionists to suffragettes to labor strikers to civil rights marchers, protesters have repeatedly challenged the status quo and changed our society for the better.

So why are the mainstream media having such a hard time covering Cindy Sheehan?

It's as if the simple, direct, and starkly emotional nature of her stance is too raw for them to handle in any of the standard ways. So they've taken to treating her with a strange mix of detachment, condescension, distortion, and aggression.

'Peace Mom': Spearhead of Peace Movement?

By Ron Fournier
The Associated Press

Thursday 18 August 2005

What began as one mother's vigil on a country road in Texas two weeks ago has grown into a nationwide protest, putting a grieving human face to the miseries of war and growing misgivings about President Bush's strategies in Iraq.

It's still not clear whether Cindy Sheehan's effort was the start of a lasting anti-war movement or a fleeting summertime story fueled by media-savvy liberal interest groups.

Sheehan said Thursday she was leaving, rushing to the side of her mother, who had had a stroke in California. She said she would be back if possible before Bush leaves his ranch for Washington on Sept. 3.

There is Such a Thing as “Too Late"

By Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC, and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. On Wednesday, he arrived home in Arlington, VA, after five days in Crawford, and shared these remarks with 300 neighbors at the close of a candlelight observance in honor of Cindy Sheehan.

President Bush still refuses to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the Rosa Parks of Crawford, Texas, but there is some good news. While Crawford’s Camp Casey (named after Cindy’s son killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004) continues to be short on amenities, a sympathetic neighbor has given the hundred or so friends I left there on Wednesday a field in which they can pitch their tents. No longer will they have to try to sleep in the seven-foot wide ditch alongside the road, with local pick-up trucks and Secret Service SUVs whizzing by honking reveille at 5:00 AM. In addition, newly donated tarps are providing some protection from fire ants by night and the 105-degree sun by day.

Crawford Vigil Is Not Over

Exclusive Interview with Cindy Sheehan After Mother's Stroke: "I Want to Get Back As Soon As Possible"

Broadcasting on location from Crawford, Texas, Democracy Now! brings you the voices of military families and anti-war activists who are speaking out against the occupation of Iraq. Cindy Sheehan left Crawford last night to attend to her sick mother, but we caught up with her on her way out of Texas. [includes rush transcript]


Camp Casey is Still Growing in Crawford

Cindy Sheehan Requests Privacy

Statement by Cindy Sheehan:

As you've probably heard by now, my sister and I left the other Gold Star
mothers in Crawford last night, after our mother had a stroke. I plan on
returning to Camp Casey very soon, but while I'm in Los Angeles please
respect that my sister, brother and I are here focusing on our mother, while
the moms in Crawford focus on Bush. The President is not off the hook.

More and more mothers come to Crawford daily with their stories of grief and
hope, so we can prevent more moms from losing their children in a war based
on lies.

An Activist Guide to the Exit Strategy

By Tom Hayden
Huffington Post

“So we have to go. But how to get out is the great question. Somebody should
write a book about military withdrawals because they are so much more difficult
than invasions.

Support Said Growing for Iraq Exit Plan

By STEVE HARTSOE, Associated Press Writer

Congressman Walter Jones said Thursday he has about 50 co-sponsors on a joint resolution that calls on President Bush to announce by year's end a plan for withdrawal from Iraq.

The resolution — introduced in June by Jones, another Republican and two Democrats — calls on the president to begin executing the withdrawal by Oct. 1, 2006. It does not set an end date.

"I think that people have finally understood what we're doing," Jones said after a meeting at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, noting that people have mistakenly thought the resolution was binding.

In U.S. heartland, anxiety over Iraq, oil

By Alan Elsner

In the solidly Republican state of Nebraska, voters are expressing deep anxiety about rising gasoline prices and the war in Iraq, a possible early warning sign for President George W. Bush in one of his most reliable strongholds.

When Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record) traveled around his home state this week, citizens at every stop brought up Iraq policy and the inexorable rise in fuel prices.

"Is there anything the United States can do to get some stability in crude oil prices in the world, because it affects everything we do?" Larry Ahlers, a manager at medical device manufacturer Becton and Dickinson in Broken Bow, asked Hagel in one of dozens of such encounters.

More from Portsmouth NH

From Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Candlelight vigil in Portsmouth shows support for woman whose son died in Iraq

Democrat Staff Writer

PORTSMOUTH — The Port City was one of many communities across the nation that took part in a sunset candlelight vigil Wednesday night in honor of Cindy Sheehan, the mother who is protesting the war in Iraq near President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas.

Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., began the vigil on Aug. 6 to honor her son Casey who was killed in Iraq last year.

More than 125 people congregated in Market Square for Wednesday's vigil, which was organized by Seacoast Peace Response with Political Action, TrueMajority and Democracy for America.

Portsmouth NH Vigil

140 gather in Market Square, Exeter to speak out against war

By Emily Aronson

PORTSMOUTH - More than 100 people gathered in Market Square on Wednesday to show their support for Cindy.
Although they had never met her, supporters seemed to be on a first-name basis with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, who has been camped outside President Bush’s Texas ranch to protest the war.

"She’s talking straight," said former state Sen. Burt Cohen. "Her son was killed, and she wants to know why."

The Market Square gathering was just one of 1,627 vigils held nationwide for Sheehan Wednesday night. The coast-to-coast event was organized by and Democracy for America after Sheehan asked supporters to conduct their own vigils calling for an end to the war in Iraq.

David Horowitz Calls Me and Cindy "Disloyal, Repugnant, and a Threat to Our Peace"

Cindy, the War in Iraq, and Dissent in a Time of War
By David Horowitz | August 19, 2005

Joining today to debate Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war campaign and what constitutes legitimate debate in a time of war, are:

David Swanson: the creator of, co-founder of the coalition, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. He obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997. His website is;


David Horowitz: publisher of, a nationally known author and lifelong civil rights activist. He was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. He helped to organize the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam war at the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. He is the author of Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left.

Nationwide STUDENT STRIKE!! Sept. 26

Backed by Noam Chomsky and more than 100 other professors so far...a call has been put out for a student strike on Sept. 26

This will make it possible for more students to go to Washington DC that weekend for the peace demonstration and lobbying.

By Brian Bogart

A single policy decision made in secluded chambers of the White House shortly after World War II explains why our financial and intellectual creativity focuses on lethal technologies, why 51% of our taxes go to defense and less than 5% to education, why there are 6000 military bases in the United States and 1000 US bases overseas, why comprehensive agendas support war fighting and weak agendas address human services and the environment, and why our top industry since 1950 remains the manufacture and sale of weapons.

Government By Pretext

By Rob Field
This administration has an appalling habit of dishonesty
about the motives for its policies; the revolving door of justifications for
tax cuts for the wealthy, simple fairness during surplus, economic stimulus
during deficit are all examples.
In no policy area, however, is this tendency more
distressing than in foreign and defense policy, where lives are at stake - and
have been lost by the thousands - in pursuit of a policy the American people
never would have supported had the true reasons for it been known.

More Vigil Photos

Here are more photos from Wednesday night vigils, these ones in Arlington VA and New Orleans LA.

US anti-war movement gains steam

By Adam Brookes
BBC News, Washington

Cindy Sheehan's roadside protest outside President Bush's ranch has rallied America's anti-war movement.

It has also attracted a posse of experienced activists and advisers who sense political advantage to be gained.

And it has stoked conservative rage.

Frank J Murray, writing in the Washington Times, called Ms Sheehan "the poster child for surrender".

It's worth remembering that we are in the middle of August.

Congress is in recess.

News is slow.

The president is at his ranch.

And the White House reporters assigned to sit out the summer in sun-blistered Texas are no doubt grateful for the Cindy Sheehan story unfolding under their noses.

Letters Delivered for Laura Bush

t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
By Scott Galindez

Thursday 18 August 2005
9:00 PM

At about 6PM, 75 people marched down the road with hundreds of letters to Laura Bush, asking her to convince George to meet with Cindy.

Medea Benjiman and a military mom handed over the leters to Bill Burke from the Office of the Secretary of the President.

The Sheriff stopped the marchers at a fork in the road. About 1.7 miles from the Presidents Ranch.

I spoke with Nadia McCaffrey, whose son was killed Iraq. She told me that there will always be a mother of a fallen soldier here if George comes out while Cindy is away.

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