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CNN's American Morning On Cindy

Thursday, August 25, 2005

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: The war of words over Iraq escalates on the home front. Cindy Sheehan made an emotional return to Crawford, Texas, on Wednesday to resume her protest at "Camp Casey." President Bush also sent out a message Wednesday, meeting with military families in Idaho and enlisting the support of a military mother of his own. Are we seeing a new battle emerge, that of military moms?

Mike Allen of "The Washington Post" is just back from Crawford, Texas. He joins us now in our Washington bureau.

Welcome, Mike.

MIKE ALLEN, "WASHINGTON POST": Good morning, Carol.

COSTELLO: Well, let's talk with Tammy Pruett, because the president brought her up in his speech. She has four sons serving in Iraq. Four. After the president brought her up in his speech, she spoke out. Listen.


TAMMY PRUETT, MILITARY MOTHER: We stand firm that we stand behind the president, that we continue this battle until it's done, and we al of our boys and women home safely.


COSTELLO: And when you see pictures of her four sons serving there, it's just so powerful. I mean, clearly, this was President Bush's way of saying military families do support the war and do support my policies. But who's winning?

ALLEN: Well, Carol, in addition to the four sons, she had another son who had been over there earlier and her husband had been over there. So, she said good-bye to seven loved ones going over to Iraq.

The White House viewed this as sort of a Paul Harvey "rest of the story." They felt that the majority of military families who support the president had been ignored or, at best, given passing coverage by the news media.

As you mentioned, I was in Crawford over the weekend. And out at the coffee station that all of your viewers have seen at that big crossroads, there were military families there who support the president. And they really felt railroaded by the coverage.

So, the White House here is saying, look, if you want to play this game, we can play, too. We have more military families than you do. And you saw on the video on your air yesterday the amazing response that Tammy Pruett got from that National Guard audience.

So, the White House theory is if you put the president in friendly settings, show that Cindy Sheehan does not speak for all military families that although they're never convince the activists in Crawford that the broad American people might have a different idea about how the military feels.

COSTELLO: Cindy Sheehan has a few more weapons in her arsenal, though. I mean, every place the president stops to talk about support for the war, these ads are playing. So let's allow our viewers to listen to one of them.


CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTIWAR MOM: You were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction. You were wrong about the link between Iraq and al Qaeda. You lied to us. And because of your lies, my son died. You said he died for a noble cause. What cause?


COSTELLO: And then Cindy Sheehan returned back to "Camp Crawford." A large picture of her son was hung up by her supporters. And you can see, she just broke down and cried. She need medical treatment right at the scene. I mean, scenes like this are quite powerful as well. So will her message gain momentum?

ALLEN: Well, Carol, you're right. It's very difficult to watch that video and not be touched by that and realize for the loss that she has faced and that 1,800 other families have faced.

But what Republicans will tell you is that Cindy Sheehan is a flawed messenger for this message. As you know, she has said the president is a war monger. She said that he's a terrorist. She said that he killed her son. The very words in that video, I think, point to her as an activist as opposed to someone who wants to have an honest conversation with the president.

Now the question is: Has she become sort of a logo of her bigger idea? Is her idea something...

COSTELLO: But, you know, Mike, even if she has, the president is fighting back with other military families. He's trying to get the message out that most military families support the war. But in the broader sense, if most of the American public doesn't support the war, does that message really matter?

ALLEN: Right. And that's why these next couple weeks are very crucial for the president. As you point out, in polls support for the war has been going down. Support for specifically for how the president has conducted it has been going down.

And so, in these two weeks before Labor Day, the president is giving three speeches, trying to remind the American people that the 9/11 Commission said that every time al Qaeda wins, that every time that a free nation shows a weakness that that emboldens them. He's trying to put these ideas to take a very complicated and difficult situation and point it in stark terms that to withdraw is to concede. We're going back to the election, where the idea is you're with us or you're with the terrorists.

COSTELLO: Oh, I wish we could continue, but we cannot. But thank you for joining us. Mike Allen of "The Washington Post."

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Reporters and Bush have been putting the wrong message out there. Cindy isn't saying he has to bring the troops home now, even though she believes that would make sense. What she IS asking, that no one seems to be reporting is WHY were these family members sent IN THE FIRST PLACE???!!! WHAT IS THE HONORABLE REASON THEY ARE THERE? Let's support our troops by TELLING THE TRUTH!!!!!!

It is almost too sweet to read, the military family with all her sons offered up to the nobility of protecting freedom around the world with their blood if necessary. If we were to follow the lead of this event, we would be moved to tears, cock our heads like Ronald Reagan in some old Western, and give that knowing smile.

I must be getting old, but not long ago, I think I remember when every Clinton fart was investigated and harshly discussed. This, folks, lest anyone be confused, is pure propaganda... "Tell lies over and over and the masses will believe you, (giggle)" Goebbels

I am so regularly incredulous at what is offered up in programs called "News"... Well, I guess the execs don't wanna' lie anymore; they're calling it.. The Situation Room or Softball with Republicans, hosted by Chris Mathews, erstwhile one a Democrta. I think he's officially in the British Whig Party. The era of "big news" is over.

Bush is trying to co-opt the military mother message by having his White House teams find anyone who might still blindly support him. By bringing forward these families, they hope to counter questions about whether we should support the continuation of the war. They think that if they muddy the water enough on the issues of families still supporting the war, that the support for the quagmire of Iraq will be regained.

Bush and his WHIG group will smear anyone who opposes their war in Iraq. Why? Smearing your opponent is the number one tactic of the Bush White House. Whether it is Paul O'Neill or Cindy Sheehan, if you can silence any voices of dissent as unpatriotic, unamerican, or as opponents with axes to grind, you can act without any real opposition.

For Bush, those days are over. Every day, Americans are learning about the lies of WMD, about the DSMs and the push for war, and the Plame CIA scandal. His spouting of empty platitudes and slogans cannot keep the truth from the people.

Bush's cardhouse of lies is teetering and the strong wind of truth is upon us.

That's what Cindy is asking. And along with all that is the question of truth: Did he fabricate war for oil? Did he commit treason? How and when will he protect the troops? AND furthermore, his war plans are going nowhere just killing more and more. If there is a noble cause then what was it? AND if there is a noble cause why aren't the twins over there supporting it?

Yes i agree with what you say!
I would only add this. The only noble cause is getting out of Iraq and getting out {NOW}.Bush is trying to turn this around,thats what this is all about.
There isn,t a honest person in goverment and we must remember that always.We most NOT let them in or have anything to do with our noble cause.If we let them in our cause is DEAD!
If we understand and keep our eyes open will see them coming in saying were here to help with your problem.Thats spin,because we know the made this problem to begin with. We most keep this in mind all the time,because thats what they will being doing from now till this war is over with.
Keep at it,but keep your eyes open....Steve


Cindy Sheehan continues to stand up to Bush. Mr. Bush has taken to making speeches and resorting to emotional ploys for continuing the Iraq War. The Republicans and Bush are up to their old Rovian ploy of using emotions rather then reason. In an attempt to make us believe unless we support him and his views, we are dishonoring the dead, Bush claims more must die to honor the sacrifice of some that already did lose their lives. If we disagree and follow the FACTS we are dishonoring our soldiers’ lives!

The facts show us terrorism has increased 300 fold in a year all over the world, the insurgency is very much alive as is OSAMA, al-ZAWAHARI, and al-ZARQAWI! Republican Senator Hagel describes the Iraq quagmire as another Vietnam, and finally a lone Democrat Senator Feingold calls for a timeline of withdrawal of our troops!

Iraqi citizens themselves are more worried about security and living conditions then a past election or a current unresolved Constitution crisis that has left Iraq in the beginnings of a civil war. One Iraqi citizen states his feelings that could be the general feeling among all as he says,
"What constitution are you talking about?" Mr. Sami, a Shiite, said sardonically. "We are fed up with this thing! We would prefer to solve our problems first, such as electricity, water and security. How come they gathered to approve the constitution while Iraqis are slaughtered?"

Some others have used the statement of “Swift-boating Cindy

Norah O'Donnell

Reluctantly and sadly, I am coming around to the conclusion that America and Americans are a hoplessly lost cause.

There are honourable exceptions, of course. In fact, almost all Americans I have spent time with as individuals are as warm-hearted and as friendly as any people anyone could hope to meet. But the American collectivity seems to impose some intractible sense of exceptionalism and self-absorbed narcissism that simply refuses to accept the possibility of any fundamental flaws in "America the Beautiful" and its system of "Freedom and Democracy".

Oh sure. There are many Americans who can readily see the immediate problems incurred by any particular "governement of the day". But those who perceive deeper problems or who are prepared to advocate solutions beyond occasionally swapping Tweedledum for Tweedledee are few and far between so far as I am able to discern, even amongst the so-called "progressives". More insightful voices (one example here) when heard at all, are like faint and distant cries in the wilderness.

In that context, I have been intrigued by the comments on this site (amongst many others) in response to the illegal and immoral US-led "shock and awe" invasion and occupation of a country that posed no actual threat at that time, the slaugter of tens of thousands of its people and the indefinite detention and torture of others.

The casualties amongs U.S. troops is, quite naturally, a widespread major concern amongst Americans, and there are certainly some who deplore the full range of consequences of the war and the lies that precipitated those consequences. But I see little inclination toward broader and deeper analysis of underlying causal connections between the current situation and the system of governance that permits and even encourages war-making as a benefit to its politcal interests and those of its supporters.

Without that kind of serious and profound re-examaination, I fear that America may well be doomed to an endless repetition of similar mistakes until they and the system itself simply become unsustainable.

the piece is well-written and reflects the division and polarization that exist (crazily enough)in this country currently. while i understand both sides of arguments, i have yet to understand how and why "killing" is acceptable; why a certain sector of Americans feel compelled to "qualify lives" - (i.e. the US vs Them theory of survival). last i checked, the 6th commandment was simply expressed: Thou Shalt Not Kill. and finally, i thought these quotes were appropriate to consider in light of the current events that are taking place. i would just caution that it seems that, as anger flares on both sides of the issue from military families, there is a diversion being played out. the attention is being diverted; the energies being played against each other, but the true culprits continue with their planning, manipulation and implementation as status quo behind the headlines of the "clash of military families".

here are the quotes:
David Friedman:
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.

Dwight Eisenhower:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

April 16, 1953

Hermann Goering (a key player in A.Hitler`s Third Reich and creator of the Gestapo):
Naturally the common people don`t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. quote verified at

Howard Thurman:
During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism.

Jeanette Rankin:
You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

John F. Kennedy:
Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer be of concern to great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and waters and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.

General Omar N. Bradley:
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.

Ralph Bunche:
There are no warlike people, just warlike leaders.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.

Theodore Roosevelt:
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. (1918)

Thomas Jefferson:
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

Thomas Paine:
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

These are the musings of some outstanding people in history who understand the perceptions and depth of our connectedness. The Truth is One - those who see beyond the veil of the false words and convoluted statements to dupe others are indeed at peace with themselves and others. How do you know where you stand? Put yourself in the place of the "other"? How would you feel? Empathize. You will see and feel where you stand.

Excellent list of quotes. I like Thomas Paine's one ver much.

Another good quote is...

"If any question why we died. Tell them, because our fathers lied."

- Rudyard Kipling

I agree, Arvy. I tend to think of WWII as when this country really went kind of insane and it hasn't recovered yet, if it ever will. I think it is self-sustaining because of our physical isolation and the false hubris afforded by the most extravagant military machine ever developed -- we spend almost as much on our military as the entire rest of the world combined. I shudder to think what kind of lesson it would take to straighten US out.

The parents still willing to sacrifice their kids to war profiteers need to prove to me that partisan politics has no influence over their choices. They'd better hope we don't need their sacrificial pawns here at home.

Mostly, I want to ask these people why they're willing to sacrifice their kids for a war started by all, but one politician that refuses to sacrifice their own children. Are the Bush twins and those other fortunate sons and daughters more precious than our kids?

Let's get serious about this military family.

Dad's in the military, all the sons are in the military. This my friends is a military family. They've been brain washed from birth.

I'd like to ask each of these young men, away from pa and ma what they really think about dying for their country. I'd first show them the Downing Street memoes. Show them the quotes by republicans when Clinton was in office, and we were in Kosovo. Make them read articles on no WMD's, no connection to 9-11. Read articles on how we let Bin Laden slip away.

There are numerous articles these kids should be exposed to.

I want them to tell me why Iraq isn't fighting for their own freedom. Explain to them how long we have been training Iraqi's to take over their own armies. And we still have so few trained. But, we send an American to a few weeks of boot camp, hand them a gun, put them on a plane and say go fight for Iraq's freedom. They won't do it for themselves.

I'll bet some of these kids would unwrap themselves from the flag and say "hell no we won't go."

The mainstream media continues to pull its punches and cover for the president. Questioning whether or not Cindy Sheehan is 'has become an activist as opposed to someone wanting to have an honest conversation with the president." I mean IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THIS PISSES ME OFF THEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION!!!!
This president has never had an honest conversation with anyone!!
How can anyone hope to have an honest conversation with this man?
He refuses to meet with her, she HAS to take an active stance, what are her alternatives? This man who arrives at the ceremony honoring her son and the others who died, saying, okay, who are we honoring today as if he were at some kindergarten awards ceremony. Mainstream have no credibility with me. You make me sick with your cowardly ways. I would love it if just one mainstream media would stand out there with the rest of us who refuse to keep quiet any longer and just say it. Just tell the truth about what they know, what they observe, about what is. Just have an honest bit of reporting going on. What do you call someone like yourselves? You do not have honest reporting going on, can't call you activists...are you liars? Are you disingenious? Are you revisionists? Are you blind cowards? Beholden to the big corporations? You certainly don't speak for America!

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