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Cindy Sheehan Proving One Person Can Make A Difference


By James Donahue

Aug. 12, 2005


When Cindy Sheehan first showed up at the gate to President Bush’s ranch near Crawford, Texas, she was one of an estimated 2000 angry mothers (some say more like 9000) suffering the loss of a son in America’s inane war in Iraq.


She said she just came to ask Mr. Bush to explain to her why her son, Casey Sheehan, had to die in that place. Perhaps if Bush had responded right away with a few words of sympathy, that might have been the end of it. But he didn’t. Sheehan was ignored. Later there was an effort in a classic Karl Rove styled attack campaign to discredit her. Sheehan’s own family announced they want nothing to do with her lonely protest and just want to be left alone to grieve. And finally she was threatened with arrest in the interest of national security.


Sheehan, with the cold determination of Irish grit, stood her ground. She has now set up camp on that spot along with an estimated 100 supporters who have chosen to join her campaign. In the meantime, President Bush remains entrenched on the fortified ranch with his aides, taking what has turned out to be a month-long “working” vacation away from Washington.


Of course all of this has gained the attention of the national media. Overnight, Sheehan has become a symbol of an American protest against what is clearly the most questionable war our troops have ever been involved in.


She has a legitimate question that should be answered by Mr. Bush. This issue no longer requires a private consultation between Bush and Sheehan, but on a national level, for everybody to hear. I believe every mother in the nation who has lost a son or daughter in that ugly conflict should travel this week to Crawford and join Sheehan in this protest.


Mr. Bush and his cronies should not be allowed to hide from the spotlight this brave woman has established at the ranch gate on that dusty Texas road. And Karl Rove and the gang should be ashamed of themselves for the hatchet job they have been attempting to do, and probably will continue to do on this grieving mother.


And where are the wives of our dead servicemen? And the husbands of the dead service women killed or maimed for life in what was clearly an invasion of Iraq two years ago under false pretenses.


We were told that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction and that we had to stop him before he brought war and terrorism to our door. That has since been proven to have been a bald-faced lie by our president. Instead of rising up in anger, demanding that this unjustified war be stopped and Mr. Bush be impeached and possibly tried as the war criminal that he is, we are rushing ahead with a trial by kangaroo court of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.


Hussein is expected to be tried, convicted and executed within weeks.


Everybody knows our real reason for invading Iraq was for control of the oil deposits there. Some believe the stage is set for further invasion eastward into Iran. The only thing stopping us is the growing anti-war sentiment and the refusal by young men and women to join the service to continue this unfair and unjustified war.


Our military is running out of manpower and support to even stay in Iraq, let alone expand the war into new territories. And if anybody is guilty of harboring weapons of mass destruction, it might be Iran. The evidence is quite clear that they are busy developing atomic weaponry if they don’t have it already.


All the Bush Administration has accomplished in Iraq is that he managed to make a bunch of Moslems very angry. Instead of easing a terrorism threat against the United States and the world, he has succeeded in increasing it.


Americans need to not only support Cindy Sheehan at her lonely vigil in Texas this month. They need to join her in one voice, not only this month while Bush is vacationing in Crawford, but after that, they need to carry the protest right to Washington.


We stopped the Vietnam War that way. It can be done again. After enough body bags come home, it is bound to happen. We are surprised that it is taking so long for Americans to wake up to what has happened to them.

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