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Time for a mom?
Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont)
He's had time to go fishing.
He's had time to go on a two-hour bike ride.
He's had time to watch a Little League baseball game.
He's had time to take naps, catch up on his reading and go to Republican fund-raisers.
What President Bush hasn't had time for this month is a meeting with the grieving mother of a soldier killed in Iraq.
Bush was asked by reporters over the weekend why he had time for bike rides and fund-raisers but no time to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the California mother who has been camped outside the gates of Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, since Aug. 6.
His answer? "I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life. I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy. And part of my being is to be outside exercising."
Those words drip with arrogance.
They are the words of someone who thinks he is above the rest of us, who doesn't have to or want to be held accountable by one mother who wants to know why her son had to die in a war that has turned out to be a fraud.
Casey Sheehan was killed in an attack in Baghdad on April 4, 2004, five days after he arrived in Iraq. His mother wants to ask one question of Bush, a question shared by nearly 2,000 American families.
"What did my son die for?"
Cindy Sheehan told reporters recently that Bush said "my son died for a 'noble cause' and I want to ask him what that noble cause is. ... You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don't tell me my son died for freedom and democracy."
Americans are growing more disgusted by the day with the lack of leadership and straight answers by the Bush administration. They see a war without end in Iraq, a war based on lies and wishful thinking.
And into this void stepped Cindy Sheehan. One woman, standing in the hot Texas sun, demanding answers from a man who believes he is accountable to no one. (That hot Texas sun is heating up the concerns of local residents, too. This evening, some area residents plan to show their support for Sheehan during a vigil at 7:30 at Wells Fountain on Main Street in Brattleboro.)
Cindy Sheehan has vowed to stay in Crawford until Aug. 31 or until Bush meets with her, whichever comes first. She may never get her meeting with President Bush. She may never get a straight answer from him. But Sheehan and her growing band of supporters aren't going to be going away any time soon. They have given voice to the millions who demand an end to this war.