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The Passion of Cindy Sheehan
The protest in Crawford has far greater meaning than just ‘one woman sitting in a ditch’
~ By ANDREW GUMBEL ~
CRAWFORD, Texas – I’ll be honest: I went to Camp Casey this past weekend, the last of the summer before President Bush leaves his Texas ranch for the White House, with distinctly low expectations. I have absolutely no argument with Cindy Sheehan’s grief over the death of her son, or the emotionality of her appeal to the president to explain to her exactly why he had to lay down his life. She has brought the humanity and suffering of the war into American living rooms like nothing else since the fall of Baghdad, and for that alone her initiative deserves to be roundly applauded.
I did worry, though, that the very personal sense of disconsolate anger that has made Sheehan so attractive to the news networks might not be the most solid of foundations on which to build an antiwar movement. I also worried about the integrity of a protest so glaringly exposed to the media limelight. Would I find evidence of a genuine popular uprising in the making, crossing the usual lines of party and political ideology, or just the usual depressing spectacle of Jesse Jackson and a gaggle of other celebrity media whores mugging for the television cameras?
My first impressions were not entirely encouraging. I drove straight into a traffic jam created almost entirely by counterdemonstrators called to Crawford to show the world not everyone considered Casey Sheehan’s ultimate sacrifice to have been wasted. “Casey was our son too,