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Columnist Able to Read Minds

...Reads Cindy's and Pronounces Her a Liar

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Mother's war protest veers onto wrong path


President Bush could end the shenanigans of the military mom turned antiwar poster child who is camped outside his Texas vacation ranch.

All he has to do is meet with the grieving woman.

If the president spoke with Cindy Sheehan for a few minutes behind ranch doors, he could field her questions about why her soldier son made the ultimate sacrifice.

He could show the world he does have a heart, contrary to public perception. A brief tête-à-tête also would douse the blaze of media that threatens to make the cowpoke town the site of a whoopee-ti-yi-yo showdown.

Mom versus the Prez.

Trouble is Sheehan is not sincerely interested in meeting Bush for a private, heartfelt chat about her understandable anguish and lingering questions.

She wants to make a public splash by allowing critics of the unjustified war in Iraq to use her as a human bazooka against Bush, who got us into this war mess.

That Sheehan would allow her private grief to be plied for a public stunt seems unfathomable even if her underlying message about unnecessary blood being shed by American soldiers hits the mark.

Sheehan already got face time with the president, right here in Western Washington last year -- a fact that folks tend to ignore as Sheehan morphs into the celebrity du jour.

It was in June 2004. Sheehan met with Bush at Fort Lewis. A reporter for a newspaper in Vacaville, Calif., Sheehan's hometown, interviewed her about the occasion.

The mom said at the time that Bush seemed sincere about desiring freedom for the Iraqis and appeared to feel the pain of lost American lives. Sheehan said meeting Bush and hearing his condolences made her family feel better.

"That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness," Sheehan told the newspaper.

Tellingly, when the Sheehan family met with Bush they opted not to share concerns about the war, according to news accounts.

Now Sheehan is sounding a different tune.

She believes Bush lied about the war. She says the war is wrong. She wants to return the presidential "gift" to sender.

"If I can shorten the war by one minute and save one life, that would just give me so much comfort in my grief," Sheehan was quoted as saying this week.

I agree with Sheehan's statement in principle. I do not agree with her form of political protest, which she has the right to do. Her effort just seems like a misguided spectacle.

Sheehan admits that she just wants to lay a question on Bush: Why did you kill my son?

Her accusatory tone suggests that she wants to flog the president with blame and vitriol and not have a meaningful, respectful dialogue.

At the very least, she gets her name all over the news as the mom who tried to stick it to Bush.

If Sheehan wants sober war policy answers, I have a one-word suggestion for her: Google.

She can read up on Bush's shifting justifications for the Iraq debacle. She won't get solid answers, but she will read a lot about a Bush administration that misrepresents facts and lies as a matter of habit.

She also will come across accounts of our "heartless" president crying with families of dead soldiers.

Sheehan's Texas tantrum wittingly or unwittingly abets left-leaning forces that are happy to use her to get at the president. If the anemic antiwar movement needs a mourning mom to lead the charge against this unjust war, then the movement is in dire straits.

Protest marches and demonstrations, which powered public sentiment against the war in Vietnam, have been reduced to this -- a mom with a mic.


My thoughts drift to grieving parents of slain troops who have not even had a chance to meet with Bush.

There are hundreds of soldiers' families -- several in the Seattle area -- in as much grief as Sheehan is over the death of her son, Casey, last year in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

They haven't found the need to shack up near the president's vacation pad to shame him into a confrontation under the guise of seeking sincere dialogue.

Some of these families believe the war is wrong, too.

They just choose to deal with their feelings in a way that doesn't cheapen the memory of their loved ones or turn a grave matter into a media circus standoff that generates more heat than light.

P-I columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. can be reached at 206-448-8125 or

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What a garbage article.
Obviously none of your loved ones have died in Bush's war to fund Cheney, uh Haliburton.
Since you are part of the mainstream media perhaps it would have been better if your son or daughter, or mother or father, or brother or sister, or even all of them, would have died in Casey;s place.
Perhaps that would have taught your that your role as part of the MSM is to ensure the survival of our democracy by exposing the Great Leaders lies about the need to go to war before they defraud the country and not to be a mouthpiece for the war criminals who now squat in the whitehouse.

Sounds more fitting than "yellow journalism"

Mr. Jamieson,
You seem to agree that the war was a mistake, and that the Bush administration lied to us. What would you suggest as a better means to achieve the end?

Sent this email to him:
Mr. Jamieson,
First off, thank you for covering the protest of Cindy Sheehan outside of George Bush's Crawford Ranch. It is an unpleasant site to have a grieving mother standing out in a field, in Texas in August. I agree with many of the basic facts that you present in your column on Saturday, August 13. You did include criticism of both sides in this confrontation in Crawford and made it clear that you felt the war in Iraq was not supported by the majority of Americans.
However, the column did seem to have one glaring omission. Cindy Sheehan like many American mothers of US soldiers has the right to have supported the war a year ago, two years ago or more, and when she learns new facts, not support it today. You didn't make any attempt to address why she might have changed her mind, why Bush's support when from over 60% at it's height to 34% now. The support for the Vietnam war in 1968 was 32%, by the way. There has been a great deal of new information since the beginning of the Iraq war. There were no WMD's, no link to Al Queda and the events of 9/11, no plans by Saddam to attack the US, and no other justifiable reasons for the United States to attack another country without provocation. Why did you miss those facts in your column? And how many times in your column have you mentioned these facts, and the evidence provided by the Downing Street memos, the 9/11 commission, and the weapons inspectors.
Why did Cindy Sheehan need to go to Crawford, Texas and confront the President? The simple reason is that you and your fellow journalist fell down flat on your faces and ignored your duty to the American people. There has been little to no criticism of Bush in the mainstream American press over the last to years. The same press that had nonstop 24 hour coverage of Clinton's scandal with an intern, has turned a blind eye to Bush's illegal rush to war and causing the deaths of more than 1840 American soldiers. Now, you want to come out and criticize the mother of Casey Sheehan, one of those brave young people that served our country. What do you think Cindy Sheehan should do, when she discovers over the past year that her son died for a pack of lies? Should she sit at home and remain silent, while more young men and women die for those same lies. I can't understand where you get the gall to write a column that insults someone like Cindy Sheehan, have you lost a child in war, have you been in war, or have you even served this country.
The simple fact remains is that if the mainstream media had done it's job, and given the American people all the facts prior to this war beginning, then there would have been no support to begin with. I can't say for certain obviously, but it is possible, that the press could helped the American people stop this invasion of Iraq. Instead they were used by the Bush Administration as puppets, to beat the drums of war, and fool the American people into thinking Iraq was a threat to our nation.
So, don't try to guess what Cindy Sheehan is thinking, or what her internal motivations are. Rather, ask the question, why does a dead soldier's mother need to sit in a field, in Crawford, in August just to get to ask the president a question?

Dr. Bryant Lister

Does it dishonor dead pedestrians if a traffic light is installed at the dangerous intersection where they died?

Cindy changing her opinion in light of exposed lies is perfectly sane. Would that the President could make such adjustments to reality in his policies.

It's time to put a red light on the Bush regime.

Melanie Lane

this article is the biggest bunch of crap I have read in a long time. What you're saying about Cindy applies to a lot of people in this country. they supported the war a year ago, but in light of recent revelations, the downing street memo, they don't. The fact is George Bush lied to you, he lied to America, he lied to congress, he lied to the world. I am currently in the Army and a veteran of Operations enduring and iraqi freedom. I haven't supported this war for a long time now. I knew something was wrong when we had proven that weapons of mass destruction weren't in iraq but continued with the occupation anyway. Why don't you spend your time writing about why Bush lied to us, what his motivation for this unjust war is, and answer Cindy's question concerning the noble cause because we would all like to know. When you say what Cindy stands for, you're not just talking about her. You are talking about over 1800 other moms, you are talking about hundreds of widows, you are talking about thousands of soldiers, you are talking about the first amendment and essentially the American way of life.

Your words speak volumes. Thank you.

Just so you know I live in seattle and jamison is very liberal. I have traded emails with him countless times disagreeing with him. Not on this though, he spoke the truth to moonbats. It's amazing how quick you turn on one of your own when they don't tow the "beat on bush" line.

As far as David B is concerned. No one ever said sheehan ever supported the war. What we said is that her recolection of her meeting with Bush has changed drastically. You guys should look at the facts of her own statements instead of beating on one of your own.

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