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

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

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


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.

Anderson Cooper Does Entire Show From Crawford

Please consider contacting Anderson Cooper's show to thank them for the seriousness with which they are treating this issue. Their feedback form is here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

Live from Crawford, Texas, a mother's protest, a battle on the home front over the war in Iraq. It is 7:00 p.m. on the east coast, 4:00 p.m. in the west, and 6:00 p.m. here in Crawford, Texas. This special edition of 360 starts now.


NY Times Covers Candlelight Vigils

Link to original

Turning Out to Support a Mother's Protest

Published: August 18, 2005

CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 17 - Supporters of Cindy Sheehan held more than 1,500 candlelight vigils across the country on Wednesday night in solidarity with this mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, who has set up a protest encampment down the road from President Bush's ranch here.

War protesters held candles in Davis Square in Boston Wednesday, at one of 1,500 events around the nation coordinated by MoveOn.org.

On CNN's Latest from Crawford

By Sandra Jurgensen

Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN) did his best to bring a balanced full hour live telecast from Crawford, Texas.

He had to try to 're-educate' several times to show there was no linkage between 9/11, terrorists, and Iraq. But, I have to say some of the people he interviewed in the opposition could not grasp the concept.

I think it's more than the Kool-Aid -- something must be said for the education cuts done by this 'dictator' administration because ignorance is systemic! Either that or it's the arsenic and mercury in the drinking water.

Please email him for his efforts at: 360@cnn.com

Bush Won't Answer Cindy, But Has to Answer Congress

Bush Won't Answer Cindy, But Has to Answer Congress
By David Swanson

Cindy Sheehan has raised the right question: For what noble cause did her son die?

Were the reasons Bush gave Congress for why the war was necessary truthful ones? What did Bush tell Tony Blair three and a half years ago when he invited him, unlike Cindy, in out of the Texas sun?

If anyone can force Bush to answer these questions, or to concede that there are no respectable answers and that the war must end, it is Cindy. She is a remarkable woman. She's been accused of being used by leftwing groups, but she is driving them. Tonight's vigils (over 50,000 people have signed up to attend 1,627 events) is the biggest thing to ever hit MoveOn.org. The organizations are following Cindy's lead, not the other way around.

Join Me in Writing 1,000 Letters to Local Papers Supporting Cindy

By Sandra Jurgensen
Cross Posted at The Huffington Post

Clearly, Cindy Sheehan has struck a nerve in this country, and her willingness to speak truth to power resonates as a model of courage and dedication to us all. One way I believe all of us can help her cause – even those who cannot travel to Crawford, Texas – is by writing our local papers to support her and her efforts to meet with the president.

I have written a letter to my local newspaper, and set up a form on my web site that will allow readers to submit their own words simultaneously to all the papers in their region. I will be able to keep track of the number of letters submitted through the site, and have set an initial goal of 1,000 letters and/or guest editorials.

Networks: Lower Your Anchors!

Remember When Network Anchors Used to Report Stories on Location?
Ask these new models to go to Crawford:

Click to write them all.

Or go here for more contact information.

Another Right Winger for Peace (Sort of)

Cindy Sheehan: Anti-war catalyst
By Patrick Buchanan

When he flew off to San Clemente, Calif., in the summer of 1969 for his August vacation, Richard Nixon was riding a wave of popularity.

He had announced the first troop withdrawal from Vietnam. He had met the Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on touchdown in the Pacific. He had become the first president to visit a captive nation with a triumphal tour of Bucharest. And he had just proposed a sweeping reform of welfare praised by both parties.

But when Nixon returned in September, a storm had broken. Wrote David Broder: "It is becoming more obvious with each passing day that the men and the movement that broke Lyndon Johnson's authority in 1968 are out to break Richard Nixon in 1969.

Families bid for Iraq war inquiry

The Guardian (UK)
Press Association
Wednesday August 17, 2005 8:08 AM

The families of 17 soldiers killed during the Iraq war and one who took his own life after returning to Britain are launching a legal bid to secure an independent inquiry into the legality of the conflict.

Their lawyers will lodge papers at the High Court in London seeking a judicial review of the Government's refusal in May to order an inquiry.

They argue that, under human rights laws, if the UK state is involved in the use of lethal force there must be an independent inquiry. The court will also be asked to decide the remit of any inquiry.

Let your representatives know how you feel about the war in Iraq

Fauquier Times Democrat (Virginia)
By Bill Day, Warrenton

There are times when an issue facing our country is so significant that writing a letter to an elected official is not sufficient.

Leaving a message with the official's staff and becoming a tick on a list of "pros" or "cons" is also inadequate. There are times when a face-to-face meeting is necessary.

On July 28, I joined a group of citizens from Virginia's 10th Congressional District to meet with Rep. Frank Wolf in his Capitol Hill office.

Congressman Wolf had been invited to come to Warrenton the previous Saturday evening to meet with a larger group of which this delegation was a part, but he had been unable to attend or to provide a statement addressing the group's concerns about information revealed in the Downing Street Minutes (see the Aug. 20 and Aug. 27 issues of the Democrat, or http://www.afterdowningstreet.org).

Don't Go to a Vigil Without Phoning the Local Media

By Philip C. Restino

It is 4 pm here in daytona beach, fla ... i am not an organizer, just a participant, but i thought i would phone the newspapers and major tv stations here in the daytona beach market about tonight's candlelight vigil at 7:30 pm supporting cindy sheehan ... even though it is a national story and a national effort ... 1,450 vigils scheduled around the country ... not one of the 4 tv stations new about it and the major newspaper did not know about it ... the only one who knew about it was the local newspaper serving the black community ... please get the word out to the organizers of the vigils to phone up their local tv stations and newspapers and get the fax numbers for the respective news desks so as to fax over details ... i have a feeling that some of us may be taking media coverage for granted ... ok, gotta go

Will celebrity-addicted America miss the point?

© 2005 Mike Ferner

“Some people are trying to paint her as one crazy woman against the war, and she’s not. A lot of people feel like her and want to know what the noble cause is,

New tool to Promote Action in Senate

Contributed by the BackBoneCampaign

Local Pressure on Senators: Use This Form:

Example Legislative District Resolution to Senators to urge Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chair of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to Initiate Phase II of Promised Investigation into the use or misuse of pre-war intelligence:

WHEREAS the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on intelligence, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) determined that the investigation into pre-war intelligence would be carried out in two phases: Phase I investigating the quality of the intelligence and Phase II the use or misuse of that intelligence; and

New Tool to Promote the Resolution of Inquiry

Contributed by the BackBoneCampaign

Local Pressure on Congress Member: Use This Form:


A Resolution by the (your legislative district or caucus)
Urging (your Congressional Representative) to Co-Sponsor H. Res. 375

WHEREAS we are concerned regarding the rationale which precipitated the extensive and ongoing injury and loss of life suffered by over eighteen hundred of our nation’s military personnel and countless thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, and

WHEREAS the information in the Downing Street Documents strongly suggests that President Bush intentionally deceived Congress about the reasons for war, and

A 10,000-Word Picture

Demand Action from Congress

Cindy Sheehan has riveted the nation's attention, but Bush is unlikely to reverse course. And Congress will not act unless we push them. Now is the moment to demand that every member of Congress support a Resolution of Inquiry into what the Bush Administration was saying about its justifications for war three years ago. Did Casey Sheehan die for a noble cause? Let the President show us what it was. Please read this letter from AfterDowningStreet member Mike Hersh:


Rep. Barbara Lee introduced a Resolution of Inquiry [H.Res. 375] to investigate Bush Administration deceit and wrongdoing leading up to the Iraq War. The After Downing Street Coaltion (www.afterdowningstreet.org) is working with Rep. Lee's office and others implementing an ongoing strategy to gain Congressional co-sponsors for this Resolution.

Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001

National Security Archive Update, August 17, 2005

State Department experts warned CENTCOM before Iraq war about lack of plans for post-war Iraq security

Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001


Washington, D.C., August 17, 2005: Newly declassified State Department documents show that government experts warned the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in early 2003 about "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance," well before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

In a February 7, 2003, memo to Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, three senior Department officials noted CENTCOM's "focus on its primary military objectives and its reluctance to take on 'policing' roles," but warned that "a failure to address short-term public security and humanitarian assistance concerns could result in serious human rights abuses which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally." The memo adds "We have raised these issues with top CENTCOM officials."

From PDA- Virginia

August 16, 2005

We are happy to announce that we will have two guest speakers at our monthly PDA Virginia meeting this Saturday:

Ven Neralla, Legislative Director for Rep. Barbara Lee of California. Lee introduced a resolution a week before the summer recess, which by law must be taken up and voted on, up or down, within 14 legislative days (meaning by Sept. 16), demanding from the Bush Administration all the documentation of interactions with the British government on matters concerning Iraq, during most of 2002, as a means of assessing the validity of the Downing Street documents. Pushing Congress members to support this Resolution of Inquiry is extremely important and should be a focus of all anti-war activities. It already has over 40 sponsors. Ven has agreed to talk to us about the state of play of this and other Congressional resolutions aimed at ending the US occupation of Iraq.


"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."

Nominate Cindy Sheehan

CNN American Morning
'Extra Effort'
Do you know someone who is making a difference? Someone whose extra efforts are having a positive impact? "American Morning" wants to tell the stories of these unsung heroes. If you know someone who deserves recognition for his or her unique contributions, e-mail us! Then watch "Extra Effort" on "American Morning," Fridays at 9 a.m. ET.

Join a vigil tonight in your community

Click below to select from more than 1,400 vigils nationwide.

Dear MoveOn member,

Last September Melanie House of Simi Valley, California was the proud wife of Petty Officer 3rd Class John House, who was deployed to Iraq as a Navy medical corpsman. Eight months ago, on January 26, she became a widow at age 27 when John House died in Iraq. This week, after hearing the story of Cindy Sheehan, Melanie signed up to organize one of 1,400 vigils scheduled for tonight to honor her husband and the sacrifices of all who have died in Iraq.

Tonight at 7:30, thousands of us will gather solemnly to express our concern about the war. You can find a Vigil for Cindy Sheehan (and Melanie and all military families) near you by clicking on the link below.

Cartoonists for Peace!

Here are dozens of more brilliant cartoons. Click the image.

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