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Peace Mom draws both sides to rallies here

Chicago Sun Times
September 8, 2005

A month ago, Cindy Sheehan stood vigil near President Bush's Texas ranch with a message: Bring home the troops from Iraq so no other parent feels the anguish of losing a child there, as she did.

This week, she delivered that same message to the Chicago area, invigorating supporters who see her as a Gold Star mother leading the cause against a war she claims the Bush administration started based on lies.

"I'm back in love with my country because of you," Sheehan said Wednesday night at a candlelight vigil in Wheaton.

But the California woman was in DuPage County -- Bush country -- and the president's supporters turned out to say their piece, too.

"We support our president; we support our troops, in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Lois Finkel, 68, of Glen Ellyn. "I feel after the terrorist attack of 9/11, I think it's important to confront the terrorists on their land, and so far, I think it's working. So far we haven't had any other terrorist attacks in our land."

Finkel was among a handful of Bush supporters in a crowd of hundreds who attended the vigil at the Danada Equestrian Center organized by Sheehan supporters.

But Sheehan, 48, disagreed, telling the crowd the war in Iraq was not about fighting terrorism but about oil and handing off lucrative contracts to Bush's "buddies" to repair the war-torn nation.

"I have been working for peace, working to expose the lies, for months and months and months," Sheehan said. "I don't believe invading a country that is not a threat to the United States is a noble cause."

One mom sparked a movement

In August, she said, she was "fed up" and decided to head to the Crawford, Texas, ranch of the vacationing president, camping out and demanding to meet with Bush about the Iraq war and the death of her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, who was killed in Baghdad in April 2004. The numbers of her supporters and detractors mushroomed.

The president has said he sympathizes with Sheehan but has made no indication he will meet with her. Some critics, including other Gold Star families and many in the Bush administration, say Sheehan is exploiting her son's death to promote a left-wing agenda.

Her efforts shone the light on a movement of veterans and families and friends of soldiers who oppose the war.

Earlier in the day Sheehan and dozens of others picketed in front of the Batavia offices of U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Sheehan's limited tour of appearances concludes with a rally Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C.

She said Wednesday that the sluggish federal response to victims in a flooded-out New Orleans was linked to the war in Iraq. Sheehan said funding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could have been used to shore up the city's collapsed levees was diverted to the war effort.

'There's no end in sight'

Many of her statements were greeted by cheers from the crowd, some of whom pumped their fists and held up signs that read, "Where was the National Guard last week?"

But another sign, held by a woman holding an American flag in one hand, read in part, "Freedom isn't free. Cindy disgraces her son and our troops."

Aaron Kaat, a 20-year-old Wheaton College student who attended the vigil, said his opposition to the war has makes for interesting dinner conversation with his family now that his younger brother has enlisted in the U.S. Marines. Kaat fears the possible outcome.

"That's scary for me, considering there's no end in sight," he said.


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This statement shows so little understanding!

"I feel after the terrorist attack of 9/11, I think it's important to confront the terrorists on their land, and so far, I think it's working. So far we haven't had any other terrorist attacks in our land."

WHy doesn't he realize that the planning for 9-11 took many many years. They didn't just look up and say, "my, looks like a good day to highjack 4 airplanes and run them into the pentagon, the wtc, etc..."

This man clearly doesn't believe that the terrorists are killing British, Americans abroad, and soon will have the plans and finances to attack here becuase Bush only hires incompetent people to hold office.

Can you give me the time date and place of any terrorist attacks that have occured on American soil since 9/11. Yes, the planing did take many years... unfortunately for you his statement does not even brush that issue. And, the fact that the planning took many years is disturbing... why didn't Bill Clinton do anything to investigate terrorism? Afterall, he was the President for 8 years almost directly prior to 9/11. His statement suggests nothing about anyone abroad... so what is your point? And what does the level of competence of our countries leaders have to do with terrorists raising funds. In fact our countries leaders are very competent... otherwise they wouldn't have been elected. Maybe you are trying to say that the leaders of this country aren't competent bakers and therefore the terrorist bakesale will do better than the trained American diplomat bakesale. I don't know what point you are trying to make... all of your information and points are non-sequitor and therfore are invalid.

No, you are wrong and your Republican talking points redundant. Bring your proof that the Bush Cartel did not lie to Congress to start an illegal Iraq war...Prove that Bush's lies did not cause thousands of deaths and dreadful injuries...But, if you are such a supporter of the Bush regime, then please sign up and fight the illegal war. They need more soldiers.

Iraq had nothing to do with 911.Saudi Arabia contributed 15 hijackers to 911.Saddam was a bad guy who had NOTHING TO DO WITH 911!
The white house says Cindy by promoting peace is supporting a left wing agenda.Does that make WAR a right wing agenda?
If Bush is right than Jesus is wrong:
1.Love your enemy's,Turn the other cheek 70x70 (pretty sure that means you don't go half way around the world and kill thousands)
2.You will surley know them by their fruit. (War,Poverty,Greed)
3.These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me. (Bushco)
4.Blessed are the peacemakers. (Cindy and Co)

I do not approve of Cindy Sheehan coming to my hometown. I do not approve of her peace movement at all. I think Casey Sheehan is a hero, he died fighting for our country. If Cindy wants to drive around the world preaching that her son died for nothing that's fine, but I don't think it's very considerate to the parents of other fallen soldiers. Most of the parents think that their child died for a good cause and I agree. What about the soldiers that died doing what they loved and what they wanted to do? That's why they enlisted in the first place, to serve our country. I think most parents are proud, how dare you take that away from them.

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