Cindy Sheehan's protest has become a lightning rod for debate
More than 1,000 anti-war vigils are to take place around the United States in support of a bereaved mother protesting outside President Bush's Texas ranch.
Cindy Sheehan, 48, has become a focus for anti-war sentiment since her protest began in Crawford 10 days ago.
But the vigils come amid growing tension between dozens of activists and locals who object to the disruption.
Ms Sheehan's camp is moving to land nearer the ranch after an offer by one of Mr Bush's neighbours.
She has vowed to stay put during the president's month-long holiday at his ranch until he agrees to meet her.
By Carol Jorgensen
Getting good media coverage of vigils Sat. and Mon. by local IA group and individuals
and FOX, ABC, and NBC local news. Another tonight (candlellight) organized by MOVEON.ORG. See David Dixon's postings.
It is a pleasure as a mother and VietNam generation peace advocate (Another Mother for Peace) to support this brave woman!!
by Thomas C
WaPo: "Conservative commentators and Web sites are taking aim at Sheehan with the same ferocity she has aimed at President Bush."
Wow. The Post lumps together the vicious slanders of Malkin et al with Cindy's demand to meet with bush. The "same ferocity"?
WaPo: "Some independent commentators said the pushback on the right has succeeded at scuffing the public sympathy and deference she had earned as the mother of a fallen soldier..."
Some "independent commentators" - unnamed, unquoted, and independence unquestioned.
Thomas C's diary :: ::
WaPo: "The scrutiny that has accompanied Sheehan's quick rise to prominence has extended to her family. Several in-laws have publicly criticized her protest -- announcing their displeasure in a release to the Drudge Report."
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
It is now August 17th; we have TWO WEEKS left here at Camp Casey, and the momentum is growing by the minute! The next few days promise to be intense, both here in Crawford and around the country and the globe. Want to know what will be going on? Here are some events scheduled for the next few days:
Today (Wednesday) is going to be very special, as many of you already know. Move On, along with True Majority and Democracy for America, is helping coordinate candlelight vigils at 7:30 p.m. tonight across the country to support Cindy and call for an end to the war. So far, there are at least 1,380 vigils scheduled with over 35,000 people attending. This is the largest event Move On has ever organized! Haven't signed up yet? Go for it now at www.moveon.org. If you can't find a vigil in your area, we here at Camp Casey encourage you to start one in your own hometown by registering at the same website. Even if you're the only one who holds vigil, remember that Cindy was once standing all alone, too. And just look at the numbers who have joined her since.
Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I have helped widen Cindy's exposure internationally.
EL País, Madrid's equivalent to the NYT, published my letter about Cindy and the growing protest in Crawford. What follows is the original letter in Spanish, and my translation.
Thanks for your work and commitment.
CARTAS AL DIRECTOR
George Henson - Dallas, Tejas, EE UU
Here's a huge collection. Pick your favorite and send it to a friend:
has been interviewing people today who are making signs for vigils. Don't watch it. Tape it, and watch it after your vigil!
Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont)
He's had time to go fishing.
He's had time to go on a two-hour bike ride.
He's had time to watch a Little League baseball game.
He's had time to take naps, catch up on his reading and go to Republican fund-raisers.
What President Bush hasn't had time for this month is a meeting with the grieving mother of a soldier killed in Iraq.
Bush was asked by reporters over the weekend why he had time for bike rides and fund-raisers but no time to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the California mother who has been camped outside the gates of Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, since Aug. 6.
By Elizabeth Edwards, AlterNet
Posted on August 17, 2005, Printed on August 17, 2005
Casey Sheehan was born May 29, 1979, the first-born child of Cindy and Pat Sheehan. It was a long labor.
Fifty-one days after Casey was born, our first child, Wade was born, also after a long labor. They started school the same year, played the same games, watched the same television shows, loved the same country.
On April 4, 1996, three weeks after going to Washington as a winner in a national contest about what America meant to him, Wade died in an automobile accident.
Sheehan decries damage to crosses near camp site
The Baltimore Sun
From Wire Reports
Originally published August 17, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas - Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has set up a vigil near President Bush's ranch, said yesterday that she was "very disturbed" that a local resident had mowed down hundreds of small crosses bearing the names of other dead American soldiers.
Further, Sheehan promised that her 10-day-old protest was "only the beginning" of what she called a growing national movement to bring all American men and women home from the war.
The Plain Dealer (Ohio)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Candlight vigils will be held here and across the country tonight in support of Cindy Sheehan, the California woman whose son was killed in Iraq last year.
She is camping outside President Bush's vacation ranch in Crawford, Texas, until he meets with her.
The vigils are being sponsored by the activist group opposing the war MoveOn.org Political Action (www.MoveOn.org.)
There will be no speakers at the eight local vigils. Guests are encouraged to bring a candle and respectful signs.
Francis Chiappa, president of Cleveland Peace Action, described Sheehan's one-woman vigil, which has attracted international media attention and support, as quite remarkable.
Home News Tribune (New Jersey)
By RICHARD KHAVKINE
Mary Walworth has taken her fight to Texas.
The Highland Park anti-war activist, along with her 7-year-old daughter, Carolyn, yesterday joined Cindy Sheehan and a growing faction of Iraq war opponents in Crawford, near President Bush's ranch.
Although she said that she didn't have "a real personal connection" to the conflict, she said she came to Crawford to support Sheehan's "inspiring" cause.
"I just want to come humbly. My being here with Cindy is my contribution. My heart is very full and heavy," Walworth said by cell phone yesterday. "It's sad to the point you want to weep. And inspiring at the same time."
Arianna Huffington Wed Aug 17, 1:03 AM ET
At the beginning of this month, I said that I was all in favor of President Bush's vacation plans. But two weeks into his Crawford holiday, I'm rethinking my position.
What's changed? A number of things, starting with Cindy Sheehan, who has brought the reality of the Iraq war to the president's doorstep. Let's just say he's not dealing with that reality very well.
Fishing, going on two-hour bike rides, clearing brush, taking in a Little League ball game (to say nothing of raking in millions at a GOP fundraiser) all take on a different hue when juxtaposed with the harsh truth that Sheehan represents: We are at war. A war that continues to claim the lives of young American men and women. A war that, even if you are completely in favor of it, is not going well.
IRAQ:A Northland state senator, whose son was killed in Iraq, will join protesters outside President Bush's Texas ranch.
BY SCOTT THISTLE
DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER (Minnesota)
Minnesota state Sen. Becky Lourey said Tuesday she will join a grieving California mother who is protesting the Iraq war outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch.
"This is mother to mother," said Lourey, whose son, Matthew Lourey, was killed in the war in May.
Lourey, a DFLer from Kerrick, said she just wanted to "put her arms around" Cindy Sheehan and let her know she's supported.
Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in the war in 2004, has been camping outside the president's ranch since Aug. 6, demanding that Bush answer her questions about the war.
An army of one
New York Daily News
by Michael Goodwin
George Bush has met his match. He has twice vanquished Democratic opponents, brought down Saddam Hussein and is the straw that stirs the world's drink.
All that was before Cindy Sheehan showed up on his doorstep.
Sheehan lost her son Casey in Iraq and now the President is paying the piper. He is a hostage to Sheehan's little band of protesters camped near his ranch in Crawford, Tex. This is not how the President wanted to spend his vacation. He has only himself to blame. Bush's decision to spend a full month in Texas was stunningly stupid. With Americans turning solidly against the war - a Newsweek poll reported a mere 34% now approve of his handling of Iraq - the President looks callous when the nation needs reassuring. And he could be losing his last bit of leverage over public opinion. Put it this way: no support, no war.
Poetry is a Force for Peace. I write poetry about peace, many of my poems being about the Iraq-American War. I submit my poem, "American Mourning Poem," for your consideration for use - possibly in a leaflet promoting Cindy Sheehan’s cause. - Thank you, Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr.
American Mourning Poem
American Service Men and Women Dead - 1,855*
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments
leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal
some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
George W. Bush
President of the United States
Today 19 members of the California Assembly signed on to a letter urging President Bush to meet with Cindy Sheehan and other families who have lost loved ones in Iraq. The letter, authored by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, and list of signers follows.
Hon. George Bush
President, United States of America
Western White House
Dear Mr. President:
We write to respectfully request that you meet with California resident Cindy Sheehan to discuss the death of her son and her deep concern about the war in Iraq.
Rush Limbaugh says "Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real..."
Media Matters for America
Limbaugh baselessly compared Cindy Sheehan to Bill Burkett: "Her story is nothing more than forged documents"
Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh equated the actions of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, with those of Bill Burkett, the retired Texas Air National Guard officer who provided CBS' 60 Minutes with unauthenticated documents regarding President Bush's National Guard record. Sheehan is currently staging an anti-war protest outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Limbaugh said that Sheehan's "story is nothing more than forged documents."
Sheehan's "story" is, in fact, that her son died while fighting in Iraq. A Humvee mechanic, Spc. Casey Sheehan was one of seven U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad's Sadr City on April 4, 2004, by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.
From the August 15 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it. It's not real. It's nothing more than an attempt. It's the latest effort made by the coordinated left.
From today's New York Times
August 17, 2005
A Soldier's Mother Waits in Crawford (5 Letters)
To the Editor:
I found President Bush's comments last Saturday callous when he defended his decision not to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother of a soldier killed in Iraq.
"I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say," he said.
But then this president, under whose orders more than 1,840 of our troops will never be able to go on with their lives, had the temerity to add, "But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."
In "Lives Blown Apart" (column, Aug. 15), Bob Herbert recounts the heroic story of a soldier, Cpl. Bobby Rosendahl, who has been wounded and maimed in Iraq - one of more than 10,000 similar casualties.
His brave mother says that she will stay with her son until he "is ready to go on with his life."
There are various ways a person "can go on with his life." The way the true heroes of this unfortunate war, and their loved ones, are - or are not - going on with their lives should be honored with compassion.
Dorian de Wind
Austin, Tex., Aug. 15, 2005
by Cindy Sheehan
Tue Aug 16th, 2005 at 20:23:47 PDT
The right wingers are really having a field day with me. It hurts me really badly, but I am willing to put up with the crap, if it ends the war a minute sooner than it would have. I would like to address some specific concerns that have been raised against me.
The first one is about my divorce. I addressed this on my blog the other night. My divorce was in the works way before I came out to Crawford. My husband filed the papers before this all started. It just recorded last Friday. My husband didn't know that it would become public record, and public knowledge. He had told his lawyer not to serve me with the paperwork or even bother me while I was at Camp Casey. He was trying to do the right thing. He didn't want me to find out. Enough about that.
By Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON -- The high-profile vigil near President Bush's Texas ranch by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, could scramble the politics of the war as much for her allies as for the target of her protest.
The most immediate effect may be to increase the pressure on liberal activist groups and Democrats -- who have focused mostly this year on other issues -- to challenge Bush more persistently and forcefully on the war.
"It has gotten people back in the fight," said Eli Pariser, executive director of the political action committee associated with the liberal MoveOn.org. "What we're seeing is a lot of people ... recommitting themselves."
From Chuck Pennacchio:
Please join us in supporting Cindy Sheehan
August 16, 2005
On Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 PM, activists across the country will gather for a candlelight peace vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan and her stand against the war. As you may know, Cindy Sheehan is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq in April 2004. For more than a week, Cindy has held a vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX. Despite President Bush's refusal to meet, Cindy has vowed not to leave until the President agrees to discuss the war with her. Cindy has issued a call to action to the nation, asking supporters to join her in demanding an end to the war in Iraq. "Vigils for Cindy Sheehan" are being organized nation-wide by MoveOn, Democracy for America and True Majority.
Deborah Mathews reporting for The Iconoclast (Link to see photos)
Cindy Sheehan held a press conference a few minutes ago. Here is what she said:
"A kind gentleman from down the road offered us the use of his property. It's right by the barricade. He offered it because he heard about the shots fired. He didn't think that was right. He happens to be the third cousin of the person that fired the shots and so he came down and he said he supports us 100 percent. He offered us his land. We are in the middle of making that happen. We will be moving within the next few days and we are not being forced to move.
"You can ask the sheriff's department. We are cooperating fully with them and they are cooperating fully with us. This is going to be a better place. We can spread out. We don't have to lay in the ditch. We don't have to stay in a ditch. And we'll have plenty of room for parking and everything like that.
I saw a few passing references to "May Hasan Lamotte" yesterday in the print media. She was portrayed as "an Iraqi woman" who just had to drive to Crawford to tell Cindy Sheehan that her son died for a noble cause.
One news report yesterday said:
*"An Iraqi woman who moved recently to the United States, drove with her husband from Washington, D.C., to thank Sheehan for her sacrifice. But the woman, May Hasan Lamotte, 37, did not agree with Sheehan's call to pull the troops out of Iraq.
I came after reading about Miss Cindy. They think their children are dead for nothing, and I am one who got freedom. I am grateful for her son and American soldiers. Everybody thinks (Casey) died for nothing. He gave his life as many other brave soldiers have to give me and my country freedom, she said.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland family of Marine killed in Iraq says President Bush needs to create a plan that will bring the troops home.
The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine stood on their front lawn and urged President Bush to either properly support the troops in Iraq or withdraw them.
"We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.
Schroeder was buried Monday.
Schroeder died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq, including five Tri-state soldiers.
Mothers in the Nation's Capitol to President Bush: Meet with Mother Whose Son Was Killed In Iraq; Vigil in Front of White House
Distribution Source : U.S. Newswire
Date : Tuesday, August 16, 2005
To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor
Contact: Karen Bradley, 202-669-3927
Local mothers, family members of fallen soldiers, and other concerned citizens will hold a vigil in front of the White House in support of Cindy Sheehan, the mother camped out in Texas, demanding that President Bush explain why he sent her son Casey to die in Iraq.
Similar vigils will take place in 1,000 locations across the country on the same day at the same time.
OMAHA, Neb. -- A Nebraska woman is joining the war protest in Texas.
Virginia Walsh picked up a banner at the Nebraskans for Peace office on her way out of town.
Cindy Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., is camped out near President George W. Bush's ranch in the Crawford, Texas, area. She wants to meet with Bush over the April 2004 death of her soldier son in Iraq.
Walsh will join hundreds of others who are in Crawford calling for an end to the war.
"This is costing us dearly," Walsh said. "It's a mistake. It appears to be endless. Please help. I'm called to go. Literally, I hear a call."