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Protesting moms want children to return from Iraq


By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

NAMPA, Idaho -- A day after she put her 20-year-old Marine son on a plane for his second tour in Iraq, Brenda Mansell came to Nampa for her first anti-war demonstration.

"This has to stop," the Boise mother said Wednesday, holding a photo of her son, Scott, and a sign calling for his return home. "Maybe if it starts with the mothers, the rest of the world will follow."

Mansell joined Laura McCarthy of Eagle - whose 21-year-old son Gavin has been serving with the Idaho Army National Guard in Kirkuk, Iraq, since December - in a designated "peace pen" just outside the Idaho Center sports arena as part of about 150 people who protested President Bush's speech on the war on terror.

"There were quite a few people who asked me, 'Isn't your son ashamed of you?'" Mansell said. "But a Marine in full dress blues said my son was his brother, and he respected me. I gave him a hug."

The city of Nampa, which operates the arena, allowed just two people to stand in the pair of free-speech zones next to the line of military members and their families that filed into the center for Bush's speech. The rest of the demonstrators gathered along a sidewalk about 200 yards away from the building, waving signs at passing traffic.

Mansell and McCarthy said they typify what they believe is a maternal groundswell against the U.S. war in Iraq, crystallized by Cindy Sheehan, the California "Peace Mom" whose son's death in Iraq last year spurred her quest to speak with Bush about the occupation of Iraq. Sheehan returned to her vigil outside Bush's Texas ranch Wednesday after caring for her ailing mother.

McCarthy said she warned her son that she would be publicly speaking out against the war during the president's visit to Idaho and she fears that her anti-war activism could generate animosity toward him among other members of the Idaho Guard's 116th Brigade.

"It's a tragedy I have to have an inkling of worry that something I say will affect his safety," she said while holding a sign that read, "Bring Home My Son Alive and Whole." "I have people caution me all the time to watch what I say, but he's been raised to understand freedom of speech."

Bush told members of the Idaho National Guard and the 366th "Gunfighters" Wing stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base and their relatives that America appreciates the service and sacrifice of military families.

"There are few things in life more difficult than seeing a loved one go off to war," Bush said.

The president also recognized another Idaho military mother, Tammy Pruett of Pocatello, whose four sons Eric, Evan, Greg and Jeff are in the 116th Brigade now in Iraq while her husband Leon and another son Eren returned from Iraq last year. Bush quoted Tammy Pruett saying that if one of her sons is killed in Iraq, "they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country."

Supporters of the president's war policy also demonstrated outside the Idaho Center, with a banner unfurled from the roof of a nearby office building that read, "God Bless President Bush." Jamie Hastings of Meridian attached a 35-foot-by-22-foot American flag to the pumping boom of his concrete truck parked outside the arena and extended it 165-feet skyward.

"We're just trying to be patriotic," said Hastings, adding that Bush pumped concrete from a similar boom pump rig during a 2002 visit to a federally funded housing project in Atlanta.

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NAMPA, Idaho -- President Bush today took direct aim at Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war protester who has set up camp near the Bushes Texas ranch and purports to speak for military moms who, like her, have lost a son in the Iraq war.

Speaking to hundreds of Idaho National Guardsmen, the president singled out military mom Tammy Pruett of Pocatello, Idaho, whose husband and five sons have all served in Iraq.

"Tammy has four sons serving in Iraq right now with the Idaho National Guard: Eric, Evan, Greg and Jeff. Last year her husband, Leon, and another son, Aaron, returned from Iraq, where they helped train Iraqi firefighters in Mosul.

"Tammy says this -- and I want you to hear this -- 'I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country.'

"And I guess you couldn't ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in. America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruetts."

The crowd, made up mostly of military family members, broke into cheers and chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

I read someplace they had applause signs. Don't know how true it is. Probably had cheer and chant signs with the words written on them.

bushnitwit is the most disgusting man in the world

Every one of our "fallen" soldiers died serving their country. Our sons and daughters fighting in Iraq are the only noble thing about this rotten war.

not noble, the fallen ARE noble. The grieving deserve justice for their fallen sons and daughters.

The fact that this war is put on by people who didnt serve their country and who do not even think of sending their children to war is really disgusting. barbara bush has 18 grandchildren not one in the military. bush didnt finish his service, cheney was a draft dodger, rove, wolfowitz or pearles didnt serve in the military. Fife, oreilly, limbaugh, hannity? Give me a break; chicken hawks all.
Yet somehow they got millions to believe that John Kerry,Max Cleland and John McCain (all decorated veterans) were not patriots. They were all smeared by the bushco propaganda machine. The bubble boy is now hiding in idaho with a bunker mentality. Absolutely shameful.
This has to stop.

Does this remind anyone of you know what, ie amerika uber alles?
You know who.... ? The parallels are astounding.

Does this remind anyone of you know what, ie amerika uber alles?
You know who.... ? The parallels are astounding.

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman," she told him.

"I don't understand," he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."

Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"

"All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he asked God. He said, "God, why do women cry so easily?"

God said:

" When I made the woman she had to be special.
I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort.

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

"You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."

Freedom Of Speech, RIP
By Judy Andreas
8-21-5

Freedom of speech is dying an excruciating death. Watching it die is difficult enough, but knowing that, somehow, by my silence, I am complicit in the death, is unbearable. One thing is certain. I cannot stand by and do nothing. I cannot stand by and watch our freedoms die. I cannot stand by in tacit silence, while what's left of our freedom wriggles and squirms and gasps for air. There has got to be a mass resuscitation. There has got to be a way to breathe life back into our Bill of Rights. We are careening down a slippery slope into a disaster, the magnitude of which nobody has ever witnessed. You know I am right, don't you? You can feel it too, can't you?

How is this happening and when did it first begin? When did the first amendment wind up under the boot of fascism? When did "politically correct" become synonymous with censorship? When did the label "hate crime" become our new censoring device? When did "critic" become synonymous with "terrorist?" When did the ruling elite remove the word "free" from "free speech?"

All my life I have heard people question, "Why did people "follow orders" in Nazi Germany?" Look in the mirror folks. Maybe that's where the answer lies.

"Either you're with us, or you are with the terrorists." George Bush struggles to string his words into a coherent sentence. But is it coherent? Since when are questions and criticism verboten? Since when is honest dialogue and discussion a crime?

In our culture, it is totally admissible to question a variety of things. There are many people who publicly question the existence of God. There are people who write volumes insisting that Jesus Christ never existed. There are books that claim that religion is mind control and that the Bible was written by men in order to control other men. And yet, these people are not behind bars...and well they shouldn't be. These people have been awarded the right to question history and religion.

Why shouldn't historical facts be open to public scrutiny and debate? Why isn't there a place for rational discourse? Why are unpopular views being labeled as "terrorism?" After all, if something is true, it will stand up under the light of careful scrutiny, won't it?
There is something terribly wrong with this whole tragic story. And yet, I wonder, is this only the beginning?

What will happen? I don't know. The muzzling of questions and concerns is spreading like a deadly cancer.

The world is filled with problems which appear to be insurmountable. I don't know how to solve these problems, but one thing I do know: it is imperative that we examine all the possibilities. The solution will never come through fear and intimidation.

The solution will never come from shutting people up, scaring them, threatening them and imprisoning them because they merely dared to question.

We should all be questioning.

As I listened to George Bush yesterday on CNN speaking to the national guard unit in Idaho, I just kept thinking, what a maniac, what a sick maniac! I have to ask myself over and over, is there anyone out there in our government who will stand up to George Bush and his administration and say, enough is enough? Republican or democrat? As this lunatic controls our country, now assasinating Cindy Sheehan and more or less telling all the mothers in America, if you are against this war then the service of your son or daughter was not as honorable as this mother sitting right here supporting me and my cause. I felt as if he was campaigning again. I felt as if he was spitting on the soldiers who's mothers or fathers did not agree with his war. George Bush IS the most dangerous man in the world and if someone out there in our Government dosen't have the balls to stand up to this maniac I think we should fire them all. I can see them starting to distance themselves from Geroge Bush because unlike him, their all coming up for re-election. Instead of keeping silent and trying to save their own asses they should all be fighting for the American people and seeing that justice is served for our soldiers who have died in Iraq. The dirty rotton bastards are more interested in saving themselves then doing what is moraly right. The media is controlled by big business, the newspapers are controlled and if you don't think thats the case then why have we not heard a word about the "Downing Street memo's"? The whole fricking country is being controlled by George Bush and his rich base of big business. The American people have got to stand up together and say, "We the people of the United States have had enough" Get our Government off their sorry asses and do something moral and good for a change!!!

One day after bush introduced us to tammy pruett of pocatello, cnn had a special on the four boys in iraq ready for viewing. Although all the boys are from different units, they have them walking shoulder to shoulder in the mold of great john wayne movies. How long did it take to stage that show?

Our media is absolutely corrupt, in the hands of too few corporations.

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