The Chattanoogan (Tennessee)
by Bart Whiteman
posted August 11, 2005
Cindy Sheehan is conducting a personal vigil at the end of the driveway to George W. Bush’s sprawling 1600-acre Texas residence. She wants an audience, and she wants it now, with George W. to ask him a few questions and to engage in a polite discussion about the cause and effect of his Iraq War. To date, George W. has been a no-show.
I am always puzzled by big tough guys who claim to want to teach all the bad guys of the world a lesson, but at the same time they shrink from a meeting with an unarmed, middle-aged woman sitting in the shade on a hot August day in a folding chair and wearing culottes. If this menace scares them so much, what would happen if they really had to go toe-to-toe with a very, very bad guy not so delicately dressed? George has avoided using the driveway since the vigil began. Fortunately, he has a personal helicopter to make trips to the drug store and to sign mega-bucks bills related to oil and transportation that are not likely to help the average consumer at all in the near future, but will put gobs of bucks in the hands of his corporate cronies in a hurry. Let’s see, is there a tie between oil and transportation? Oh, I get it.
George can peer down at Mrs. Sheehan from the chopper and wish that she would go away.
So much for the average citizen’s right to have a face-to-face with their elected officials. Once some people get elected in this country they start acting like they had some divine right to hold the position.
George W. can probably safely duck one woman for awhile, maybe forever. But what if another mother with a son killed in the Iraq War joins Cindy Sheehan? What if two join? Three? Four? Five? Six? What if some children whose fathers aren’t coming back join the crowd? What if all the people in Iraq who have needlessly had family members killed by George’s actions find a way to get to Texas? Crawford could start looking like a big city.
What if the father of an American daughter killed in Iraq joins the growing metropolis? George might consider moving to New Mexico.
So far, George attempts to console the grieving have been about as lame as they come. It would appear that he has never suffered a moment of grief in his entire life, which may be true. The thin consolation he offers is becoming less palatable with each passing day. Fewer and fewer people are going to accept his sad testimony as a reason to just keep on going and add to the body count and add to the grief. He will have to offer more. He may even have to meet with all the Mrs. Sheehans at the end of his driveway. What a sacrifice he will have made.
Meanwhile, Bush is willing to meet with his dwindling crew of supporters to decide what to do next. Somehow, no one in his camp has had a quiet moment to sit with him during the past few years to say: “Look, George, forget about an exit strategy for the war. What about an exit strategy for yourself? You have walked into a boxed canyon. No one made you do it. You did it all by yourself.