And What Did They Die For Once Again?
By Daniel Ruth
08/19/05 "Tampa Tribune" -- -- This may come as something of a shock to some of those yahoos down in Crawford, Texas, who are so upset with antiwar Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside the president's Godforsaken ranch, but if they were to look real close they'd discover she is committing first-degree, premeditated citizenship.
You see, we have this nagging, irritating, troublesome document called the U.S. Constitution. It's all the rage - or at least those dead bodies in Arlington National Cemetery thought so.
There, right at the top of the Constitution, there's this thing called the First Amendment.
Stop Drooling And Read
And if some of you goobers who have been shooting shotguns in the air to intimidate Sheehan and trampling white crosses in the ground honoring the dead troops who have sacrificed their lives for George W. Bush's war in Iraq could stop drooling for just a moment, here's what the First Amendment states:
``Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the FREEDOM OF SPEECH, or of the press; or the RIGHT OF PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.''
Sheehan has a grievance - her son Casey died in Bush's war and thus she has petitioned the Clausewitz of Skull and Bones to explain why, especially since the administration's alibis for invading Iraq turned out to be more bogus than Burt Reynolds' hair, more than 1,800 American families had to lose a loved one.
Alas, the MacArthur of Arbusto has been busy, busy, busy on his vacation, riding his bike with Lance Armstrong, attending chi-chi big-ticket fundraisers with silk-stocking GOP types and chopping brush.
We're talking way big fun.
At any rate, with that kind of breakneck pace of relaxation, the Wellington of Waco simply has been unable to find a few moments to spend with a grieving mother.
The problem, obviously, in meeting with Sheehan is that the Commander-In-Sleep might possibly be exposed to someone who disagrees with his policies, an occurrence even more rare with this president than a Texas Air National Guard flight physical.
As annoying as Sheehan's presence may be to the Patton of Kennebunkport, what is going on down there on that desolate ranch 40 miles west of where Moses lost his knickers is precisely what makes this such a great country.
Average citizens are still free to embarrass their president.
Cindy Sheehan has proved that dissent, protest, loud loyal opposition can still happen under an administration with a reputation as a bigger control freak than Joan Crawford.
The bickering factions in Iraq could learn a thing or two from Cindy Sheehan, were she not one of those second-class citizens - a mere lowly woman.
Were the Robert E. Lee of the Beltway to meet with Sheehan, perhaps he might be asked to explain this comment about the role of women under a new Iraqi constitution: ``Hopefully the drafters of the constitution will understand our strong belief that women ought to be treated equally in the Iraq society.''
Maybe he might have to explain why 15 percent of the women serving in the U.S. military in Iraq, as well as the nearly 50 American women who have died in combat, put their lives on the line defending a country where they would not have the same rights as men.
And that may explain why clearing brush is preferable to looking into the eyes of a grieving mother and discovering more than 1,800 souls staring back at him.
Reach Daniel Ruth at (813) 259-7599. You can hear him from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays on WFLA, 970 AM.
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