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A Bereaved Mother's Crawford Vigil

TIME reporter visits an antiwar protest outside the President's ranch
By Hilary Hylton/Crawford, Texas

Wednesday's rains are gone, now, and Cindy Sheehan, who's been ensconced outside President Bush's ranch since last weekend protesting what she calls the needless death of her son in Iraq, shades her eyes as she sits on the roadside along Prairie Chapel Ranch Road. She's doing two interviews simultaneously, one on her cell phone and another with a reporter on the scene. Sheehan is surrounded by some 60 supporters and a small roadside field of white crosses. Signs saying "Jesus Wept," "Bush: Meet with Cindy" and "Iraq = Arabic for Vietnam" line the country road, along with bongo drums and small lean-tos for shade.

The protestors are supplied with large jugs of water and iced tea by a volunteer shuttle service based at the Crawford Peace House, in this tiny Texas town some 20 miles south of Waco. Tracy Sivacek, the 40-year-old wife of an Army Apache helicopter pilot, delivers water to Sheehan's busy outpost. Sivacek left behind her husband and disabled five-year-old son on Monday and drove nonstop from Fort Rucker, Alabama to Crawford, pausing only to sleep in a Waffle House parking lot. Her husband served one tour in Iraq and, she says, he has not been handling the adjustment back home well. Despite his reservations, she felt she had to support Sheehan's anti-war protest.

"It's not unfair for us to ask questions,' Sivacek says, adding she'd been concerned about the war even before her husband was posted to Iraq. "(War) is just too much for any person," she says. In addition to the pressure of raising a disabled child, Sivacek says her uncle, a Vietnam veteran, had committed suicide in June of this year, compounding her fears about America's fighting forces and military spouses.

Sivacek's concerns about the war led her to start posting on antiwar web logs, though up til now she had never even joined any protests. As she watches law enforcement officers drive by periodically to ensure protestors remain in a designated area about two miles from the Bush ranch, Sivacek says she's become more confident now that she's met up with some of her virtual friends. She intends to stay at the protest site at least until Saturday — or until she and her fellow protestors are arrested or run off.


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That guy Cindy wants to talk to doesn't give a rats ass about what people think, now that he has his votes and second term, and you can't embarrass arrogant people. August will end and none of this will come to fruition until the issues of lying to Congress and the American people about reasons to send troops to war MAKE IT TO THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS for inquiry, and a majority of Congress votes to draw up articles of impeachment. Until then, he could come out tomorrow and even say, yeah I did wrong and deserve impeachment,and still he wouldn't be held to account until Congress puts the inquiries it should into motion.
It will take enough Cindy Sheehan's as there are Congresspersons turning a blind eye to this, setting up in Congressperson's driveway's like they are set up in Crawford,TX, to effectively PUT THE PRESSURE WHERE IT WILL COUNT. That's a tall order, and unlikely.
The depressing thing about it all is that the Congresspersons have all the evidence, and shouldn't need prompting from us. If they are afraid because they voted for the war, we'll excuse them on that, if they would just do the job we elected them to do and hold the liars accountable. While Congress strung up Nixon for syping on the other party, and Clinton for taking an unauthorized sex break in the office, these things were like, as they say, "storms in a teapot".
Now we have REAL and GRUESOME CONSEQUENCES of a president lying, where troops were sent to die and leave a family behind on the basis of patent lies--and there's little reaction.
THAT is the disturbing part for this country: A president's lying about anything should not be tolerated by any U.S. citizen regardless of political party, but it is and the MECHANISM TO CORRECT IT, Congress, is largely letting it happen.
Not all in Congress are avoiding the problem. Some have boldly told it like it is and identified the problem clearly: Ted Kennedy said even before the Downing Street Memo's came to light that the Iraq war was "a fraud". John Conyers, Barbara Lee, John Kerry, and others of courage have spoken out, but their hands are tied until they can have enough of their complacent colleague's vote for an INQUIRY (such as the measure Rep. Barbara Lee has put forth) to have the issues presented to them in Congress where they can probe them, expose the fraud, and vote for impeachment. Until then, while the protests are a nag to the president, he and his staff can dance around the issues and deflect them with spin shots, and we may as well spit into the wind.
Only until the people are informed--and the EVIDENCE IS MADE JOLTINGLY CLEAR to them through the DSM and other documents--will they wake up and feel moved to spur on the Congress to do something.
That is why, since the Crawford protest has the attention of the American people--It should use that advantage to MAKE KNOWN THE EVIDENCE of the lies and manipulation that got us into the Iraq war and caused so much needless heartache to so many.


Cindy,I love you and stay strong.

Let's hope others with big names join you,so your voice is louder.
You are now the voice of millions of MOM's in America and Iraq.

A big responsibilty,but I see a strength and honesty in you,....
You are speaking with your heart and you will win.
We have a whitehouse with no heart,and that is why your son died!


I hope all of you Bush Lover's are so happy & satisfied with YOUR PRESIDENT Let's be real the only reason the anti christ in the white house wanted to go to war was to fill his pockets with money.
You Bush lover's take the cake how many more have to die needlessly before your brains come out of where the sun doesn't shine?

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