The Iraq War and MoveOn

By Norman Solomon

The day after Wednesday night's nationwide vigils, the big headline at the top of the MoveOn.org home page said: "Support Cindy Sheehan." But MoveOn does not support Cindy Sheehan's call for swift withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Many groups were important to the success of the Aug. 17 vigils, but the online powerhouse MoveOn was the largest and most prominent. After a long stretch of virtual absence from Iraq war issues, the organization deserves credit for getting re-involved in recent months. But the disconnects between MoveOn and much of the grassroots antiwar movement are disturbing.

Is Sheehan a Spark or a Flicker?

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Thursday, August 18, 2005; 11:45 AM

Is Cindy Sheehan the spark igniting an antiwar movement that threatens the Bush presidency? Or is she just an over-hyped flicker that will be extinguished with the next turn of the news cycle?

The White House is counting on it being the latter. As the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei explained in a Live Online discussion yesterday: "The White House thinks this whole story is a silly obsession of bored reporters with nothing better to do during the slow August."

But with more than a thousand Sheehan-inspired vigils all over the country last night -- and a national conversation unleashed -- there are reasons to think the White House may be wrong.

Fair and balanced coverage of Cindy Sheehan

LeftI LINK

Last night CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 did a show about Cindy Sheehan. Of
course it would be too much to ask that they do a show just about Cindy
Sheehan, who is, after all, an active news maker. So they managed to fit in
segments of White House spin about how "emotional" Bush is when he meets
with families and clips of Bush claiming that he "grieves for every death,"
scurrilous non-attributed claims about how "'some' [my quotes] call her a
savvy political radical and a pawn for the left," clips of Bill O'Reilly

IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES A MILITARY DESERTER?

YOU DECIDE!
By Phil Vargas, Korean War veteran

I know, I know, it's all been said before. But maybe it hasn't. And it may be worthwhile to revisit our President's military record in view of the deaths and maiming of thousands of Americans and the billions we have paid and are paying for his war in Iraq.

It is nearly two and a half years since our military invaded and occupied a country that did not present a threat to us or its neighbors. That has been confirmed time and time again. And in view of the fact that 1,858 Americans have died, 13,877 Americans have been maimed, and 26,705 Iraqis reported killed - and still counting! (22 US soldiers were killed this week, August 11-17, 2005) -- in Bush's dishonorable, ignoble, illegal (in clear violation of the US Constitution and international law), unnecessary, and extremely costly war in Iraq, it is indeed very appropriate to reconsider the following important aspects of our President's military record. But it is of special importance that we take another look at our President's military record because of his having deceived us and the entire world into that war, and that includes the supporting lies of our highest US government officials, viz., Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzalez, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, amongst others, who led us into a horrendous international relations blunder which has disgraced our good country and made it the most hated country in the world and us Americans - you and I -- the most hated people in the world!

First, Ignore The Neocons

TomPaine.com
Robert Dreyfuss
August 18, 2005

Robert Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone. His book, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, will be published by Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books in the fall.

On August 14, The Washington Post reported that Iraqi Sunni insurgents joined in battle not against U.S. occupation forces but against the radical-fundamentalist battalions of Abu Musab Zarqawi and his “Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Urgent Action for Women Supporters: Write Laura Bush

On Thursday, August 18, women who have been sitting with Cindy Sheehan at the vigil in Crawford, Texas, will be writing and attempting to hand-deliver letters to Laura Bush. As part of a woman-to-woman, mother-to-mother appeal, Cindy’s supporters will ask the First Lady to urge her husband to take time from his vacation to answer the questions of a grieving mother. Cindy’s supporters, led by her sister Dede Miller, will then conduct a three-mile march from Camp Casey to the gate of George Bush’s ranch.

Send us your letters asap so we can take them to Laura Bush on Thursday!

Click Here to Take Action Now!

Vitals on Vigils for Cindy Sheehan

Dailykos
by tmatz [Subscribe]
Thu Aug 18th, 2005 at 06:04:56 PDT
Last night's Vigils for Cindy Sheehan were huge. We had hard RSVPs for 103,013 attendees (actual attendance much higher). There were 1627 Vigils in all 50 states and DC.

Top Ten Cities and Number of Attendees

New York
9942

San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
9395

Los Angeles
8035

Boston (Manchester, NH)
5230

Seattle-Tacoma
4398

Chicago
3950

Philadelphia
3294

Washington, DC (Hagerstown)
3157

Portland, OR
2997

Denver
2914

tmatz's diary :: ::
Last night's Vigils for Cindy Sheehan were huge. We had hard RSVPs for 103,013 attendees (actual attendance much higher). There were 1627 Vigils in all 50 states and DC.

Bad Iraq War News Worries Some in GOP on '06 Vote

By Adam Nagourney and David D. Kirkpatrick
The New York Times

Thursday 18 August 2005

Washington - A stream of bad news out of Iraq - echoed at home by polls that show growing impatience with the war and rising disapproval of President Bush's Iraq policies - is stirring political concern in Republican circles, party officials said Wednesday.

Some said that the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats and could pose problems for Republicans in the Congressional elections next year.

Republicans said a convergence of events - including the protests inspired by the mother of a slain American soldier outside Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas, the missed deadline to draft an Iraqi Constitution and the spike in casualties among reservists - was creating what they said could be a significant and lasting shift in public attitude against the war.

Feingold Urges Troop Withdrawal By End of '06

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 18, 2005; A03

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) called on the White House yesterday to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of next year and criticized fellow Democrats for being too "timid" in challenging the Bush administration's war policy.

Feingold, who is among the Democrats considering a run for president in 2008, became the first senator to propose a specific deadline for pulling all 138,000 U.S. troops out of Iraq. His comments also laid bare the rising tension within his party about how to respond to President Bush on the war.

War is not the path to peace

by Ellen Beth Gill
Ellen's Illinois Tenth Congressional District Blog

As I sat in my office posting my pictures of the Highland Park Vigil for Cindy and the end to the Iraq War, I heard CNN's Aaron Brown in the background. He was trying to make Cindy Sheehan and those supporting her in nationwide vigils seem like a bizarre group of left-wing fringe. But, then again, Aaron Brown wasn't there, was he? That is not what I saw. I saw a couple of hundred or more very mainstream citizens of our district fed up with the death and distruction of the Iraq War, a war based on a lie.

From Denver Post

Colorado vigils offer support for protest at Bush ranch
By Jim Kirksey, Daarel Burnette and Christopher Ortiz
Denver Post Staff Writers

Hundreds of Coloradans joined thousands of people across the country Wednesday evening in supporting the mother of a soldier slain in Iraq who is camped out near President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch, protesting the war.

About 100 people joined hands in a line and stretched across Interstate 70 in Golden, about 80 gathered at a busy intersection in Fort Collins to wave anti-war signs at passing traffic, and as many as 700 formed a circle of lighted candles in Denver's Civic Center to sing and show their support for Cindy Sheehan.

Support for war dwindles, one wave at a time

by Mary Schmich
Chicago Tribune

Published August 17, 2005

Some distant day, when students curl up with their history books to learn about the U.S. invasion of Iraq, they will read about the moment when the tide of public opinion turned.

That's the cliche the history book will use: "The tide of public opinion turned."

And I'm guessing that the rest of the phrase will be "around August 2005."

It's hard to detect a turning tide, even a tide that laps at your shoes.

"Is the tide coming in or going out?" a friend said not long ago as we walked along an ocean.

We stood and watched the waves. He said out, I said in. I'm not sure which one of us was right. But that's the point. The moment a tide shifts direction is so subtle it's arguable--until all of a sudden it's clear, and closed to question.

Local vigil reflects U.S. anti-war beliefs

Home News Tribune (New Jersey)
08/18/05

By RICK HARRISON
STAFF WRITER
HIGHLAND PARK — Four-year- old Elizabeth Macioci made her stand against the war in Iraq last night.

In a pink flowered dress, with pink flip-flops revealing red-painted toenails, Elizabeth held up a sign that read, "Bring our children home," joining 180 people at a candlelight vigil on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park.

They came in support of Cindy Sheehan, who continues to camp outside President Bush's Crawford ranch, demanding he meet with her to justify the death of her son, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, who died in Iraq.

Cindy, the Peace Train, and the Little Ditch that Could

By Greg Moses
http://peacefile.org/wordpress/?p=232

Two months ago while exhausted from a Summer Soulstice peace festival, and while looking with dismay into a long hot summer of war, Louisiana attorney Buddy Spell, his spouse Annie, and their guest of honor Cindy Sheehan decided they needed to do something, but not something too high energy. So they browsed through the train schedule and designated an Amtrak Crescent as their Peace Train. Come September they'd board the train in New Orleans and put out word to folks along the way to hop on for a ride to the big peace march in Washington D.C. That would be enough to keep their peace hopes on track. Of course, that was then.

Biking toward Nowhere

By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times
Wednesday 17 August 2005

How could President Bush be cavorting around on a long vacation with American troops struggling with a spiraling crisis in Iraq?

Wasn't he worried that his vacation activities might send a frivolous signal at a time when he had put so many young Americans in harm's way?

"I'm determined that life goes on," Mr. Bush said stubbornly.

That wasn't the son, believe it or not. It was the father - 15 years ago. I was in Kennebunkport then to cover the first President Bush's frenetic attempts to relax while reporters were pressing him about how he could be taking a month to play around when he had started sending American troops to the Persian Gulf only three days before.

Blood Runs Red, Not Blue

NY Times
By BOB HERBERT

You have to wonder whether reality ever comes knocking on George W. Bush's door. If it did, would the president with the unsettling demeanor of a boy king even bother to answer? Mr. Bush is the commander in chief who launched a savage war in Iraq and now spends his days happily riding his bicycle in Texas.

This is eerie. Scary. Surreal.

The war is going badly and lives have been lost by the thousands, but there is no real sense, either at the highest levels of government or in the nation at large, that anything momentous is at stake. The announcement on Sunday that five more American soldiers had been blown to eternity by roadside bombs was treated by the press as a yawner. It got very little attention.

From Hartford Courant

Vigil Supports Protester In Texas
August 18, 2005
Hartford Courant (Conn)

WEST HARTFORD -- Candles carried by 250 people illuminated a heavily traveled intersection in support of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has maintained a vigil for nearly two weeks outside President Bush's ranch in Texas.

Many motorists honked their horns in support of the protesters Wednesday night at the vigil at the intersection of Main Street and Farmington Avenue.

Sheehan has vowed to remain camped near Bush's ranch in Crawford until he agrees to meet with her to discuss the death of her son, Casey, who was killed in 2004 five days after arriving for duty in Iraq, or until Bush returns to Washington early next month.

From Miami Herald

The grieving mother and a wary president

The Miami Herald
OUR OPINION: FORGET THE POLITICS, MEET WITH DEAD SOLDIER'S MOTHER

For once, President Bush should dismiss the counsel of his political advisors and listen to his heart. He should invite Cindy Sheehan into his home and privately discuss with her the death of her son. He should ask her to stay as long as she wishes.

President Bush should do this because it is the right thing to do and because, when all the politics are set aside, this is just about comforting a grieving mother who has lost a son in a war the president started. There is no pain more hurtful for a parent than the death of a child. President Bush knows this because he has dealt with these heart-wrenching moments in dozens of meetings with more than 900 family members of 270 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From Boston Globe

Vigils across state, nation back mother of dead soldier
Thousands support woman at Bush ranch
By Ralph Ranalli, Boston Globe Staff | August 18, 2005

With twilight and candlelight playing across solemn faces, thousands of antiwar protesters gathered at more than 50 vigils at sites from Northampton to Quincy last night, in solidarity with a mother of four from California who has camped outside President Bush's ranch in Texas for 10 days and who vows to remain until he explains why her soldier son had to die.

The number of hastily organized protests across the state and the country -- more than 50,000 registered for 1,627 vigils across the United States, the political action group Moveon.org said on its website -- showed a new depth of feeling against the war that has coalesced around Cindy Sheehan and her protest in Crawford, Texas, organizers said.

From Associated Press

Nationwide Candlelight Vigils Protest War In Iraq
Associated Press
August 17, 2005

CRAWFORD, Texas Hundreds of candlelight vigils calling for an end to the war in Iraq lit up the night Wednesday, part of a national effort spurred by one mother's anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch.

Cindy Sheehan urged the vigils. She has become the icon of the anti-war movement since she started a protest Aug. 6 in memory of her son Casey, who died in Iraq last year.

Sheehan says she will remain outside the president's ranch until he meets with her and other grieving families, or until his month long vacation there ends.

Cindy Sheehan's Tragic Critics

Published on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 by The Nation
by John Nichols

While debating conservative pundit David Horowitz on Ron Reagan's MSNBC show the other night, I was struck by the desperation with which supporters of the war have turned their fury on Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq who has been trying to get an audience with President Bush.

Horowitz, the former left-wing zealot who is now a right-wing zealot, described the woman who has camped out near Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch as "hateful," accused her of dishonoring the memory of her son and promised that if Sheehan and other anti-war activists succeed in bringing an end to the occupation of Iraq then "rivers of blood" will flow in the streets of America. It was a remarkable performance, so much so that even Horowitz admitted that he was "emotional" about the subject.

A Challenge to Reporters: It's Time to Hawk the Chickens

Published on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Linda Milazzo

George W. Bush decrees again and again that every American killed in Iraq was killed for a noble cause. Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and Melanie Morgan fill the airwaves with bellicose testimonials to the righteousness of the war. Tom Delay, Donald Rumsfeld, Rick Santorum, Elizabeth Dole and Kay Bailey Hutchison profess that the war is necessary for the safety and strength of America, and freedom and democracy in Iraq. Chickenhawk after chickenhawk forcefully proclaim the legitimacy of this war. Yet in appearance after appearance on NBC, NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, CSPAN, PBS, et al, I have yet to hear a media host or reporter ask any one of them the most relevant question of all: 'Who in YOUR family is fighting in this war?' If this question were mandatory for those who tout the war, then its most vocal defenders would be silenced. For aloft in the bloggesphere, one can't fabricate for long.

A mom’s protest spreads

Mother’s quest to talk to Bush about war draws thousands in candlelight vigils across the nation

BY HILARY RUSS
Newsday (New York)
August 18, 2005

Clutching a candle in one hand and a sign that read "Moms for Peace" in the other, Elise May stood by the side of a busy Great Neck intersection last night to protest the war in Iraq and support Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed there.

"As a mother, as a parent, I'm here because when I see her, I see an ordinary mom asking why and this is what I've been asking since day one," said May, 47, referring to Cindy Sheehan's quest in Crawford, Texas, to speak to President George W. Bush about the war.

New Jerseyans show support for mother of slain soldier

By CHRIS NEWMARKER
Associated Press Writer

August 17, 2005, 10:05 PM EDT

TRENTON, N.J. -- They held candles and flowers, waved a big peace symbol flag and sang such folk music classics as "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?"

About 70 people gathered Wednesday outside the War Memorial building for a candlelight vigil, one of several held across the nation and spurred by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. She has drawn widespread attention for the anti-war demonstration she has been staging near President Bush's ranch in Texas this month.

While most in the crowd in Trenton was strongly against the war and called for a quick end to the hostilities, others had mixed feelings.

Staying away from a mother and a question

David Sarasohn, Newhouse News Service
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 18, 2005

It's hard to believe that the Bush administration let the Cindy Sheehan situation get to this point. You'd almost think it was out of touch.

Sheehan, of course, is the California mother who set up near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and demanded that the president come out and tell her why her son died in Iraq, and just what is the "noble cause" that the president often invokes.

Actually, last week she was a California mother. This week she's a movement.

Partly that's because of the president's decision to dismiss her importance, a strategy that didn't work with the Iraqi insurgency either.

Baltimore Shows its Solidarity with Cindy Sheehan!

by William Hughes

"To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!" - H. L. Mencken

Baltimore, MD. - On the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Howard St., activists started lining up as early as 5 PM, on Aug. 17, 2005. There were there to put on a demonstration in solidarity with one of the leaders of the Gold Star Families for Peace, Cindy Sheehan. Presently, she is encamped at “Camp Casey,

Vigils Top Story on Google News

REUTERS:

U.S. vigils support anti-war mother
18 Aug 2005 02:59:13 GMT
Source: Reuters

CRAWFORD, Texas, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Anti-war protesters held candles, sang, and chanted in vigils across the country on Wednesday in support of Cindy Sheehan, who has camped out near President George W. Bush's ranch to urge him to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, where her son was killed a year ago.

Sheehan has become a magnet for anti-war protesters who have crowded around her since her vigil began Aug. 6 in Crawford, a community of 705 people, where Bush is on a monthlong vacation.

More than 1,800 Americans have been killed in Iraq and thousands more have been wounded.

Washington Post Covers Vigil Outside White House

Deploying Cindy's Antiwar Army

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, August 18, 2005; A03

It was to have been a silent vigil outside the White House last night in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star Mother-turned-antiwar activist. But the 500 demonstrators were not the sort to be silenced.

"Meet with Cindy!" they chanted. "Tell her the truth! . . . This war was for oil! . . . End the war now!"

"Cindy Sheehan," organizer Karen Bradley shouted into a megaphone, "you are an inspiration to us all!"

As Sheehan, mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, camps out near President Bush's ranch in Texas this month in symbolic protest, foes of the war see the chance to achieve something that has eluded them for two years: galvanizing a mass antiwar movement. Sheehan, they say hopefully, could be their Rosa Parks.

Lehrer Newshour Hosts Debate Between Salon.com Editor and Frank Gaffney on Cindy's Protest

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

GWEN IFILL: Now to the political firestorm surrounding Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother and activist whose anti-war protest in Texas has stirred new debate about U.S. involvement in Iraq. First, some background.

SPOKESPERSON: Everybody. .

GWEN IFILL: The road leading to President Bush's Crawford ranch has lately become the front line in a war against the war. At the center of the flurry of media coverage, protest and debate is Cindy Sheehan, the 48- year-old California mother and anti-war protester whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq last year.

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