by Rep. Jim McDermott
The Huffington Post
If we weren't watching this tragedy unfold in Texas with our own eyes, who would believe that a sitting President who had ordered soldiers off to war would not meet with the grieving mother of a fallen hero. Who could imagine that America could turn so cold and callous in a searing hot and dusty place?
Yet, in the heart of Texas sits a President and an Administration who show themselves to be compassionless conservatives. They remain heavily guarded behind a security fence, but so insecure in their position that they see a national security risk in the face of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Army Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was killed in action in Iraq.
Instead of respect, the Administration threatens arrest. Instead of a kind word spoken in person, subordinates are dispatched to deliver a stern ultimatum. If it is grief you have, it is silence we prefer. These are the trappings of heartless power, when the grief of a mother is trampled by the indifference of a President who will not see, or hear, or console.
If only we had a leader. If only he had a heart. The wounds that have killed, maimed and injured thousands of American soldiers in Iraq have been ripped open again deep in a heartless part of Texas. We grieve with Cindy Sheehan. We grieve over all the fallen heroes. As a medical doctor, I know that the process of grieving must reach closure. I can only hope that someone in this Administration comes to their senses and welcomes Cindy Sheehan in with open arms.
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