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Peaceful Siege Makes Chicken Hawks Squawk


"A helicopter flew overhead lower than others we were accustomed to. The helicopter had an agent riding outside with a weapon trained on us, but once the motorcade passed he moved on as well. The motorcade went by us twice, very fast, and a few of the vehicles had rifles pointed out open windows, I was thankful no one made any sudden moves." This is what we've come to in the land of the free.

Published on Friday, August 26, 2005 by the Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY)
Peaceful Siege Makes Chicken Hawks Squawk
by David Rossie

Nowhere is that more apparent today than in the case of Cindy Sheehan, whose peaceful siege of Prairie Chapel -- a reverse siege of the Alamo, with the good guys on the outside this time, and the bad guys on the inside -- has polarized the nation, or at least a part of it.

Who would have thought when Sheehan set up a roadside camp a few weeks ago, hoping to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the squire of Prairie Chapel, that her presence would have such a powerful polarizing effect?

Well, not the Bushies, that's for sure, and not the timorous members of the White House press corps, who figured on nothing more than the usual August stories about the squire's biking and brush clearing. But then something happened that none of them anticipated. Cindy Sheehan became a symbol for the heartache and frustration that this war has engendered.

On one side of the road, the grieving mother of a soldier son cut down in his prime. On the other side of the road, a self-indulgent, insensitive little man masquerading as president of the United States.

All of a sudden, it wasn't even about Cindy Sheehan, it was about Spc. Casey Sheehan and the 1,800-plus men and women like him who have had their lives stolen by men who have never had to face what they faced, and those who are yet to die in a war that was begun on false pretenses and with no end in sight.

Cindy Sheehan was supposed to wilt in the cruel Texas heat, give up and go home. Instead, she became a magnet, drawing scores of like-minded men and women: Other Gold Star mothers, war widows and veterans of the Iraq fighting, as well as anti-war activists.

The true measure of her mission, though is in the desperate counter-attack by a legion of right-wing ideologues: Intellectuals such as George Will and Christopher Hitchens; hacks like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Fred Barnes and the rest of the Fox News Network propaganda machine, and America's most famous drug addict, Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh likened Sheehan to Bill Burkett, the Texas Air National Guard officer who fed 60 Minutes those apparently forged records about Bush's Guard service. "Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett," the junkie proclaimed. "Her story is nothing more than forged documents."

Including, perhaps, the document that begins: "The Secretary of Defense regrets to inform you ..."?

In an example of a great mind getting right to the heart of a matter, O'Reilly wrote last week: "No one in their right mind would want Michael Moore, George Soros or Cindy Sheehan calling the shots in the war on terror." Granted. Then again, could they botch the job any worse than the people now calling the shots?

It's not just the chicken hawks who have overreacted. Mary deJullis, a columnist for the Muskogee (Oklahoma) Phoenix, visited Camp Sheehan and witnessed this incident when the squire's convoy rolled by on the way to a GOP fundraiser on the afternoon of Aug. 12 with a Secret Service escort:

"A helicopter flew overhead lower than others we were accustomed to. The helicopter had an agent riding outside with a weapon trained on us, but once the motorcade passed he moved on as well. The motorcade went by us twice, very fast, and a few of the vehicles had rifles pointed out open windows, I was thankful no one made any sudden moves."

This is what we've come to in the land of the free. Rather than continue camping in Crawford, Sheehan would be better off getting in shape and practicing for next year's Tour de France. Win that and she gets her interview with the great man. Guaranteed.

Meanwhile, let's see which happens first, a Bush/Sheehan meeting, or the first Democratic member of Congress to show up at Camp Casey in support of Cindy Sheehan.

Don't hold your breath waiting for either one to happen.

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You wrote about the helicopter that was protecting our President seemed to be sent just for you and the Crawford Peace House group.

Did you have any way to measure how much "lower than others we were accustomed to" this helicopter was? Did you notice that this helicopter just came down for you, then went back to the regular altitude (whatever that means)? Please be a little more specific, please.

If you think that you are singled out, you're riding way too high on your horses! I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure that they weren't just singling out your miniscule group. Potential terrorists could be hiding anywhere, and that's why you saw some steel. Just remember Madrid, London, and even downtown Bagdad, and you'll know it could be anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Now, let's get real. Stop calling Cindy a "grieving mother". She doesn't grieve for her son any more. Grief is defined as: intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one (especially by death). She likes the cameras, the pulpit, and she waves her "grieving mother" flag like a wounded peacock. Grief is tears, private, and meant to say goodbye to a relative or loved one. Ms. Sheehan's "grief" is more like a way to exploit her son and his death. Kind of like dancing on his grave, I'd say.

If she would stop calling Bush a terrorist and seek meaningful dialog with the president, then maybe she would gain credibility and a chance to talk to him again (remember, she had her chance earlier and blew it...). But by calling Bush a murderer, a terrorist, and chanting "Blood for Oil", of course she won't get a meeting. Would you invite me to dinner next week? 'nough said.

I hope all of you get a chance to watch the 9/11 retrospective produced by CNN, just like I did yesterday (three times, to be exact). You'll have a chance to remember the day and those days following the attacks. Bomb threats, anthrax packages -- anything could have been done just after those attacks. And anything could happen to our leaders today as well. That's why there are gunships and bullet proof limos, hoping to give our president one more day to govern.

I completely disagree with Ms. Sheehan, and with most of the statements found on this website, but I'm always open to meaningful dialog. I hope that some of you get a clue and start looking for truth, and stop parroting cheap platitudes that sound egalitarian, but in the end wouldn't stand up in a 7th grade debate class.

Speaking of debating at the 7th grade level...

Um... Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11

I hope you are open to signing up and fighting the Iraq war you so strongly support. They need more soldiers I hear, and most of us would prefer not to send our offspring to Bush's illegal war based on lies. He just has more power to squash people right now. More and more people are realizing this is a politician's war designed to make his rich buddies more money & so he can kiss Saudi kings' behinds, while ignoring heart broken Mothers who lost sons or daughters in Bush's folly. Bush lied, and thousands have died. The evidence of DSM proves it.

Yes, teh Anthrax story disappeared in a hurry once some clever fool disclosed that military grade Anthrax could easily be traced back to its point of origin . .. which in this case was a US Military Installation.

So, can you explain that . . . in 7th grade terms, of course? ;-)

tj,

Why is it so important for America to be in Iraq? For 227 years, America got by perfectly well without being in Iraq. What has changed that makes it so necessary for us to occupy Iraq? I'm perplexed?

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