A woman lost her son in Iraq and won't leave George W. Bush alone until he sees her. Who is she, and why is she stirring such emotion?
BY AMANDA RIPLEY IN CRAWFORD
Posted Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005
Cindy Sheehan, 48, is not a natural-born revolutionary. She speaks in a high, almost childlike voice. She says like as often as any teenager, as in, "This whole thing was like so freaking spur of the moment." When her supporters gather to discuss strategy, Sheehan is not to be found in the circle of beach chairs; she is 50 yards up the road, doing yet another interview, hugging yet another stranger. But here she is, the mother of Casey, 24, who died in Iraq last year, and now the central character in the strange, swirling protest she initiated two miles down the road from President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
By O’Ryan Johnson
Sunday, August 14, 2005 - Updated: 10:27 AM EST
We're here for Cindy.
That was the message yesterday as about 150 protesters gathered on the Boston Common in a show of solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a dead Marine. Sheehan is camped outside of President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, waiting for the commander-in-chief to explain to her in person why her son was killed.
``Mr. Bush can't hide forever,'' said Rose Gonzalez, whose own mother is serving with a National Guard unit north of Baghdad.
Protesters wore stickers that featured a picture of Sheehan over the words, ``I support Cindy.''
OPERATION NOBLE CAUSE
August 6, 2005 George W. Bush told the world that the parents of fallen heroes in Iraq could rest assured their lived ones died for a noble cause. Gold Star Families for Peace founder, Cindy Sheehan traveled to Crawford, Texas to ask the president what "noble cause" our fallen soldiers died for. Bush has refused to meet and Cindy has refused to leave. Since August 6, 2005 Operation Noble Cause has grown from a one woman operation to a massive campaign involving more than seven hundred people.
Operation Noble Cause (Expeditionary): Iraq Veterans are encouraged to volunteer for service in Crawford, TX for a period of three to five days. Airfare, campsite, and rations will be provided.
By Kathryn Westcott
Cindy Sheehan has swiftly become a media star after setting up a "peace camp" outside US President George W Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Ms Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey was killed in Iraq last year, has vowed to remain for the duration of his holiday, or until he consents to talk to her.
Ms Sheehan is campaigning for the US to withdraw its troops from Iraq, where American casualties are rising towards the 2,000 mark.
Many of the supporters who have joined her sport shirts that say: "Talk to Cindy.
And while Mr Bush has declined to speak to her, he has been unable to ignore her.
by Clarence Page
Published August 14, 2005
Cindy Sheehan's vigil raises uncomfortable questions for Bush
WASHINGTON -- I sympathize with Cindy Sheehan, the California woman who wants to talk to President Bush about her son Casey, who was killed in Iraq. I also sympathize with President Bush. It can't be easy to look as confident as he usually does while he's trying to get his country out of a bigger mess than he expected to get it into.
It is August, normally a no-news time in which the president can roll up his shirtsleeves and clear brush around his Crawford, Texas, ranch while news cameras click and roll and his approval ratings soar. It is interesting how presidential approvals tend to ascend in August, regardless of which party happens to be in power. The American people, in accord with Thomas Jefferson, seem to appreciate government the most when it is governing the least.
by NewCon06 at Daily Kos
Sun Aug 14th, 2005 at 19:05:46 PDT
I wish I could be there to support Cindy and our country's cause, but I can't afford the trip. I don't feel helpless though.
I'm a Graphic Designer that's pissed off at this coward of a leader we have and I want to help Cindy Sheehan get an answer for the loss of her son.
If this helps, please use it. It's a 24"x18" poster that can be downloaded from anywhere and printed at Kinko's as a poster for support Cindy rallies everywhere.
Please link here to see poster
By Farhad Manjoo
Saturday 13 August 2005
Conservatives are attacking her as a dupe of the left who's exploiting her dead son. Some relatives have piled on too. But the grieving mother says her well-timed Crawford visit is "my idea, my mission, my vision."
August was supposed to have been a quiet month for George W. Bush. Last year, the president cut short his customary weekslong vacation in order to campaign for reelection, so this year, unencumbered, he'd planned to spend more than a month in the sweltering heat of his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Then, last week, Cindy Sheehan, a grieving Northern California woman whose son was killed in Baghdad, Iraq in April 2004, showed up on Bush's vacation doorstep. She refuses to leave until Bush meets her in person. Nothing's been quiet in Crawford ever since.
by murphy at Daily Kos
Sun Aug 14th, 2005 at 12:20:27 PDT
An interfaith service with Pastors for Peace and George Regis of Pasadena, CA All Saints Episcopal. We joined to break bread and celebrate our hope of peace.
We heard from Micah about making pruning hooks and plow shares, as well as the Beatitudes of Jesus. We prayed for the fallen soldiers, with 500 crosses and Stars of David with a name on each of them, and photos of some of them behind our table.
There were prayers for George Bush, for Iraqi civilians, for individual soldiers and veterans, living and dead. So many prayers, prayers for our damaged earth, our damaged families. There was a prayer in Arabic by one of our Muslim brothers who are here.
From Tomdispatch comes "Cindy Sheehan's War -- Cindy, Don, and George: On Being in a Ditch at the Side of the Road."
Sheehan is a phenomenon -- but few have attempted to put her in the larger context of the moment in Iraq, in Washington, in the military, and in Crawford, Texas. This piece focuses on an administration suddenly in uncharacteristic disarray and a President who prides himself on not flinching, giving ground, or ever saying he's sorry, but who has also had remarkably good luck until he ran into Cindy Sheehan.
Whether in his presidential runs, in Congress, or elsewhere, he really hasn't come up against an opponent who was ready to dig in and duke it out blow for blow, an opponent ready never to flinch, never to apologize, never to mince words, never to take prisoners.
by Japhet at Daily Kos
Sun Aug 14th, 2005 at 08:36:09 PDT
Japhet writes this about Iraqi War Veteran Benjamin Hart Viges: I met Hart a few days ago here at Crawford. The personal stories here are amazing to listen to and report. Here is one from Austin, TX and has been here in Crawford for two days now. he wrote this for yesterday evening after all the activities.
Benjamin Hart Viges' Story
My name is Benjamin Hart Viges and I am a veteran of this current war in Iraq. After September 11th I thought joining the army was a way to solve the problem we as Americans were facing. After spending a year in Iraq I was given a first hand experience of war. It showed me that the occupation was spurring on further violence which is contrary to why they told us we were there. When I came back I filed for Conscientious Objector status. After ten months I received CO status and was released from the army honorably.
by Dr. Jeffrey Feldman, Editor in Chief
In broad terms, the success of the 'grieving mom' phrase indicates that Americans are now thinking about the War in Iraq through the frame of the family, rather than thinking about Iraq through the frame of 'terrorism' or 'ideology.'
If Democrats want to build on Cindy Sheehan's success, we must accept that last week's media storm was less about Cindy's demand to meet or her accusation against the President, than about her image as a 'grieving mother.'
Of the 122,000 pages that result from a Google search of grieving mom, almost all of them are stories about Cindy Sheehan. Clearly, 'grieving mom was the magic phrase at the heart Cindy Sheehan's success.
Administration Is Shedding 'Unreality' That Dominated Invasion, Official Says
By Robin Wright and Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Washington Post, Sunday, August 14, 2005; A01
The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.
The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.
Sympathy for grief, not necessarily Cindy Sheehan's cause
If you are a mother who grieves for a child killed in the war on terror, what would you say to President Bush?
By John Cramer
The Roanoke Times (Virginia)
Roanoke Valley residents expressed sympathy for a military mother camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch, but they differed on whether the commander-in-chief should meet with the antiwar protester.
"He should, but my hunch is he'll ignore her," said Eli Fishpaw of Rockbridge Response, a peace and justice group based in Rockbridge County. "It really helps [the antiwar movement] to have military families against the war, but the Bush people have mastered the technique of ignoring people."
By Tom Hayden
Cindy Sheehan represents an alternative world of meaning that more Americans need to experience before this war can end. She represents the survivors' need to define a meaning in her son's death - and her life - that is counter to the meaning offered by President Bush. That is why she refuses any condolences, and why she continues to ask the President what was the "noble purpose" for which Casey Sheehan died.
All wars take on a new momentum when the survivors believe that those killed represent a "noble sacrifice" and hear repeated assurances from authority figures that they "shall not have died in vain." The momentum begins to reverse when the survivors question deeply the justification for all the suffering.
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: August 14, 2005 12:55 PM ET
NEW YORK Showing the value of its nearly round-the-clock coverage, the Lone Star Iconoclast, a weekly in Crawford, Texas, reported this morning from the scene that shots had been fired near the Cindy Sheehan antiwar encampment near the Bush ranch, which has drawn national attention.
Apparently they were fired by a local landowner none too pleased with the protest in his neighborhood.
Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle talked to the neghbor, Larry Mattlage. Sitting on a tractor across the road, Mattlage said he supported the right to protest but that the demonstrators should not be allowed to stay for prolonged periods. "In the morning I usually wake up and see the morning sun," he said. "Now I wake up to stuff hanging in trees."
by William Pitt on Democratic Underground
“This thing, the wheels are coming off it.
Deborah Mathews reporting for The Iconoclast .
Camp Casey is becoming very organized, with how-to signs placed about. Ann Wright said, "That's what we are trying to do."
Let me read you the schedule posted on a tree: "9:15 camp meeting; 10 a.m. inter-faith service, 10:30 a.m., "Food-Not-Bombs Breakfast at Peace House," and....
"Wait! Someone is firing a gun. (pause). He fired it into the air about five times. He appears to be a local inside the fence line on private property. Now he has thrown what looks like a shotgun into the front seat of a pickup, and he's stomping off out of sight. I wonder where he went.
Update: Phone calls with Lietta.
When she first arrived there, Lietta's first impressions included remarks about the repeated appearance and "drive- bys" of the secret service,
"You could always tell which cars, usually driving fast, were Secret Service. They're the ones with the tinted windows."
The firm but friendly authority and respect demonstrated by the local police. She has yet to speak one word against how they have struggled to maintain order while enforcing the law which seems to mostly have to do with local private property owners' right, crowd control and occasional elements of "national security" actions at the behest of the feds.
Together with Democrats.com and MoveOn.org, we are hosting a candle-light vigil for Cindy Sheenan and all that she represents, this Wednesday, August 17th at 7:30pm.
Location: NBC News, Rockefeller Center, NYC.
south side of 49th Street, btwn. 5th &6th Aves.
Please bring your own candles.
For more info, go to:
See you there.
Dear Ms. Sheehan,
First, let me express my deep sorrow at the death of your son.
Second, I encourage everyone to demand that members of congress go to Crawford to support you.
Ideally members of congress will bring along moms whose kids were killed by Bushist lies or whose lives were ruined or put at risk risked by the chickenhawk in chief.
Cindy, the congress members must support your demand for an explanation of your son’s death from the lead perpetrator of this illegal invasion and occupation, the mad executioner from Texas, George Bush.
It is particularly imperative that progressive congress people such as Reps. McKinney, Lee, and Conyers join you in Crawford immediately. They should also be joined in Crawford Reps. Bonior and McDermott, with whom I visited a water treatment plant in Baghdad, rendered inoperative by US sanctions, shortly before the invasion.
Just a heads up on what we've got going here in Fargo, ND. I met with the head of Red River Anti-War Coalition and the President of Workers International and we're going to rally on the bridge which crosses into Moorhead, MN--this will make it a two state rally :-)--at noon on Sunday 21 Aug. 2005. We have already arranged for a radio interview and some press to put the word out (in addition to the local mailing lists).
We were thinking that in addition to all of the various slogans which people may be putting on their signs, maybe we should have at least one clear and simple saying (across the country) that represents our solidarity with Cindy Sheehan. Our thought was: "I'm with you, Cindy". This is where we're at up to this point. It would be great to be able to announce in our broadcast that this is going to happen across the nation. Another thought is that the more we can get labor behind this the better (this sort of solidarity would surely turn some heads in Washington). Maybe get some truckers to put signs on their grills or something? Just a thought...keep me posted on your progress.
Ithaca Mothers travel to Crawford Texas to stand with Cindy Sheehan
A group of mothers are traveling from Ithaca to Crawford Texas to join Cindy Sheehan in her vigil at the gates of George Bush's ranch.
The mothers are Jeannie Burns, mother of a teenage daughter, Jessica Stewart, married to Danny Burns of the St. Patrick Four and mother of two young sons, Teresa Grady, one of the St. Patrick Four and mother of a teenage son, and Marisol Valle, mother of an infant son.
They will be leaving Sunday morning. They are part of a larger contingent traveling from Ithaca to Crawford.
Antiwar activists join woman whose son died in Iraq
By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post | August 14, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas -- Cindy Sheehan vaulted into national consciousness this month on the power of her story as the grieving mother of a fallen soldier.
But what began as a solitary campaign to force a meeting with President Bush by setting up camp along the road to his ranch has quickly taken on the full trappings of a political campaign. Sheehan is working with a political consultant and a team of public relations professionals, and now she is featured in a television ad.
Sheehan began her protest in Crawford on Aug. 6 after crisscrossing the country for more than a year demanding answers on why Bush continues to wage what she calls an unjust war in Iraq. After her son Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed in Baghdad last year, she founded Gold Star Families for Peace, an antiwar organization that labored largely in obscurity -- until now.
Bill Mitchell camps outside the president's ranch in Texas in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in the same attack in Iraq as Mitchell's son was in 2004
By Leslie Griffy
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Bill Mitchell is sleeping in a ditch in Crawford, Texas, tonight.
The Atascadero man is among the anti-war protesters camped out in front of President Bush's ranch. Mitchell's son, Staff Sgt. Michael Mitchell, died in Iraq in April last year.
In a phone interview, Mitchell said hundreds of others have gathered in solidarity with protester Cindy Sheehan.
Sheehan, a Vacaville woman whose son died in the same attack that killed Mitchell's son, started the campout in Crawford in hopes of speaking with the president about the war.
The Daily Review (California)
Hundreds show up at Bush's ranch to support mom who lost son in Iraq
By Jason Dearen, STAFF WRITER
CRAWFORD, Tex. — A crooked straw hat shielding her face from the relentless Texas sun, Cindy Sheehan stands on the grassy edge of a rural highway, greeting a line of cars that stretches as far as the eye can see.
The 6-foot-tall Vacaville woman who has become a public relations challenge for President Bush borrows a cell phone from a nearby well-wisher and dials a number.
"You would not believe it, there's a line of cars down a five-mile road and hundreds of them are going by," she says with a wide grin. "Ah, this is justcrazy. ... It's like an outpouring of love. I can't believe it.
Doubt on war grows in U.S.
Even supporters say the effort isn't worth loss of American lives
By Mark Silva and Mike Dorning, Tribune national correspondents. Mark Silva reported from Pennsylvania and Mike Dorning from South Carolina; Tribune national correspondents Tim Jones, Vincent J. Schod
August 14, 2005
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- As surely as sweet-corn stands and rolling farmland give way to the boxlike tract housing of new suburbs here, President Bush is losing ground on the battlefield of public opinion when it comes to the war in Iraq.
Even among Republicans who cheered the invasion of Iraq two years ago, and some who supported Bush's re-election and his exhortation to "stay the course," the ongoing loss of American life without a clear course for withdrawal is taking a toll.
Women set to join Texas war protest
By AMANDA LEHMERT
HYANNIS - A local Marine mother will soon join a California woman's Texas standoff with President George W. Bush.
War protesters and parents of people who have died in the war have gathered in Crawford, Texas, in support of Cindy Sheehan, who has been outspoken in her criticism of Bush since her son Casey, 24, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.
Sheehan said she will camp out in Crawford for Bush's five-week summer vacation unless he grants her a meeting.
West Barnstable resident Mimi Evans, whose 29-year-old son will soon deploy to Iraq, is among more than 20 people being sent to Texas by the Boston-based group Military Families Speak Out to support Sheehan.