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Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Cindy Sheehan Story

By now, everyone and their pet dog has heard of the "plight" of Cindy Sheehan, the aggrieved mother who lost a son in President Bush's war for oil. She had been camping outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas for several weeks now, demanding another meeting with him and calling for a stop to the "war for oil".

Only thing is, her son Casey would argue that it was a war for the freedom of the Iraqi people from the oppression of Saddam Hussein, not a war to enrich oil cronies of the Bush Administration.

Mrs. Sheehan's supporters would have you believe otherwise - they've been saying so for years.

I must admit that I honestly believed that the press coverage of this matter would go on for, say, three days and essentially dry up. I am frequently reminded of how badly I underestimate the media's ability to flood the zone with wall-to-wall coverage of this story. I had honestly thought "Gee, would the media really go so far as to jam a camera in the face of an aggrieved woman, day after day, even if it were to fit an agenda of their own?" I had seriously thought they wouldn't spotlight it for this long - it would be like a video of a man getting hit by a bus, over and over again - visually and emotionally unpleasant.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

To the contrary, Mrs. Sheehan seemed to thrive on the attention and coddling the press gave her. She's had several thoughts on everything - from the war on Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, you name it! Naturally, liberals swarm to her like bees to honey - she's walking the walk and talking the talking points, as far as they're concerned, and they're looking to encourage that by feeding her statements on those subjects. What they're not concerned with is not looking like goddamn vultures, swirling around a juicy bit of meat.

If I seem angry about this, it's because I am. I am disgusted, beyond compare, that this has been turned into a three-ring circus, just because it fits the anti-war agenda. I am appalled because the anti-war left somehow has no qualm with using this woman's (misdirected, in my honest opinion) grief for their own gain. I mean, if my grandmother were to die tomorrow from lung cancer, would I be OK in using my grief over her death to blame cigarette companies and doctors, suing them left and right with the help of the anti-smoking lunatic organizations?

No, I wouldn't, and do you know why? Because people make choices. Cindy Sheehan's son made a choice to serve in the armed forces - nobody stole him from his bed, gave him a lobotomy, and told him to goose-step to George W. Bush's orders. Those people can choke on their God-forsaken Starbucks coffee if they think like that. Casey Sheehan recognized a calling, a calling to serve this country in a purpose higher than something the Congress, Judiciary, or the Presidency could accomplish by themselves. He fought for the ideals this country was founded upon (and similarly fought for), and believed that democracy should not be kept up in domain of the few. He died in the service of this country, and democracy.

Make no mistake, I have enormous sympathy for Mrs. Sheehan's loss. I understand, to a point, he reasons for wanting to blame the President for her son's death - grief can do a lot more talking than rational thought. What infuriates me is the anti-war left using her as their "cause celebre", and then using her as a puppet for the promotion of their agenda.

How sick do you have to be to put aside morals, principles, and general sense to do such a thing to a grieving woman? Moreover, how can anyone with common decency defend what they are doing? This has turned into a 24/7 GriefWatch! You know what happens when the public interest, invariably, moves onto something else? The tent folds up, the stakes are pulled up from the ground, and the circus moves to a new town.

Only, this time, they're going to leave a woman even more broken and disillusioned than before, and that's the real tragedy here.

If Cindy Sheehan really wants to confront the reason her son had died, Laurence Simon has an on-point assessment as to with whom she needs to speak.

I'll give you a hint, it's not George W. Bush.
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