Monday, August 15, 2005

Spitting on his grave...

Ah, yes, Ms. Cindy Sheehan. You are making quite a spectacle of yourself aren't you. First, you just wanted to talk to President Bush again, since apparrently, meeting with him the first time wasn't enough. But now, now you've turned this into your own private circus.

There was your story about how President Bush 'wouldn't speak your dead son's name', and how it was a big party for him to meet with you, and all of the other families of the war dead. Perhaps he didn't show the remorse and gloom that you thought he should. Pity him then, for not meeting your direct needs that day. If you had just stayed with the 'I want to talk to you about my dead son' story, things might have stayed within the realm of normalcy. But no. You had to get yourself more camera time.

Now you're spouting on and on about foreign policy, impeachment, and tax evasion. I'm sure that times have been hard for you since your son was taken from you, but keep in mind, it's not the President's fault. Your son, and this is the key term here, VOLUNTEERED for service for his country. He wasn't conscripted, he wasn't drafted, he volunteered. Yes, the President sent troops to a dangerous place, but that's what happens when you're in the armed forces. Sometimes you have to go places where people shoot at you.

Do the right thing, Cindy. Go home and grieve with your family, quietly, respectfully, and out of the public eye. Stop being a shill for whatever groups have gotten to you. Your son's legacy deserves that.

11 comments:

Patrick Armstrong said...

You know, I really don't know how I feel about all this. I can't know the greif of a parent who has buried their child. I do know that this war is being fought with men and women who agree and disagree with the President. I know that the familes of those men and women agree and disagree with the President. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

But which is worse: the political overtones of a mother whose son was lost to a cause she thinks unjust, or the political character assassination she is being subjected to by the right wing?

I can tell you exactly what I think of that, but I keep this a family friendly website.

In America, we expect outrageous comments from bereaved mothers and families. We expect keening and wailing and gnashing of teeth. If President Bush was truly a man, and the Southerner he claims to be, he would stand there and own up to it. It doesn't matter if this woman's son volunteered or got drafted, the buck stopps with the President of the United States of America. He is Commander in Cheif. He is the one man who cannot hide from the consequences of his decisions. That's his job.

If he truly believes in the cause he sent this young man to die for, he would beg her forgiveness anyway.

But he lets his media attack dogs do the talking for him, and that's were we get to see the real content of his character. Not the aww-shucks good ole boy that shows up for the cameras, but the aloof Ivy League graduate who puts his publicists between him and consequence.

Isn't this the same sort of thing that was wrong back in the 60's, when families of servicemen were spit upon by anti-war fanatics?

It was wrong then, it is wrong now.

Frankly, after the smear campagins waged against Senators McCain and Kerry, Valerie Plame, and now this bereaved soldier's mother, I can't beleive anything coming from the right. Bush or anyone on his staff, Drudge, O'Reilly, Coulter, Malkin et al: they have got to stop making stories up as they go along if they expect me to give them any credibility. It all comes down to that 'boy who cried wolf' thing. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a traitor.

This woman does not think this war was worth her son's flesh and blood. But what mother would? Some mothers are very strong and go on, knowing that their child's memory and life will live on forever in them and the hereafter. Some mothers never get over something like this. That is why we give grieving families leeway in America.

Her son did what he had to do, she is doing what she has to do. This is no different from any American family anywhere.

I might disagree with her methods, but I am not a parent who has lost a child to this war. I am not a child who has gone to fight in this war. My friends who fight this war, God willing, will all come home. Out of respect for her and her son, I hold my tongue. It is not for me to call this woman names because I might disagree with something she says.

But your media big mouths should show a little bit more respect. I hope the whole nation sees the content of character of those who would call such a woman names, and question her motives.

S.A.W.B. said...

First, a link to the article that Arianna Huffington, and others on the left, claim was 'grossly misquoted'.

For those who are link-impaired/lazy, here's a direct quote from the article:

-------------------------------

"We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled," Cindy said. "The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached."

The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey's sacrifice would make the world a safer place.

But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.

"We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn't have to take the time to meet with us," Pat said.

Sincerity was something Cindy had hoped to find in the meeting. Shortly after Casey died, Bush sent the family a form letter expressing his condolences, and Cindy said she felt it was an impersonal gesture.

"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."

---------------------------------

If that's not facing up to the consequences of his actions, I don't know what is. I'm also at a loss to explain exactly how this woman was 'grossly misquoted', or even 'taken out of context'. Can someone please explain that to me?

From what I read in the article, she states that she and her family are unhappy with the way the war is being run, but was happy to speak with President Bush during their visit, and felt that he felt remorse and sorrow at her loss.

If she's unhappy now, that's a shame, and I feel for her. If she wishes she had spoken her true feelings during her meeting with the President, that's too bad too, but as the article CLEARLY states, "But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act.".

SHE made her choice, based on her feelings, and what she thought her son would have wanted. No one is out to smear this woman. People are merely curious as to why she would say one thing, and then a year later, go off the deep end with this stunt.

As I stated in my original post, had she stuck to her initial story of wanting to talk to the President about her son, then fine, she gets a pass. However, since she's decided to shill for anything and everything anti-Bush, there are legitmate questions as to what her real agenda is.

Oh, and with regard to smear jobs, do the names Alberto Gonzales, Clarence Thomas, and Trent Lott ring a bell? And before you bring it up, Trent Lott makes one inexcusable comment that he never should have made, and he's run out of town on a rail. Meanwhile, Robert Byrd CONTINUES to serve in the U.S. Senate, years after he was outed as a former GRAND WIZARD of the freaking KLAN?

S.A.W.B. said...

And just this once, Slate, for the win.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Ouch. That last one from Slate pretty much did seal the win. Those last few paragraphs were barn burners.

Some things to think about are still there, however:

What types of behavior do we accept from grieving families? I think about all the survivors in history who have, after experiencing loss, gone on to challenge the institution that caused their loss, and we are better for it. Society does accept that those that suffer loss have more moral authority than those who have not, no matter how counterintuitive that may be. But I am also reminded of the thousands of mothers and families who have borne their grief by walking other routes, and using that moral authority to do right by example. Them I applaud, and I think we all agree with that.

What types of behavior do we accept from our President and his Administration when issues like this arise? In this instance, it seems that behavior was appropriate. But, for me, it comes down to credibility. It is very tough to listen to either side, with stories so different, and really figure out the facts. I am reminded how chastened Rumsfeld was when it was discovered he was stamping his signature on condolence letters, and I do remember the whole "Mission Accomplished" photo op. It is very, very hard for me to trust the words of those people.

What types of behavior do we accept from our media? This is a non story with everything else that is going on right now, yet here it is playing out. What makes me mad isn't the actions of the mother, but the actions of media mouthpieces who blow stuff like this out of proportion. Anything takes on a circus atmosphere when you add microphones and cameras.

We can bring up names of all the people who have been smeared for political gain we want to, it isn't right for either side to defame. For my own recollection, I never heard anyone call Gonzales anything close to traitorous, sex criminal or racist, but I could have missed it. So both sides have folks who have been smeared by the other unjustly. I never thought any of it was OK. We aren't aiming for the lowest bar possible. Or maybe I should say that we should not. And we should call out folks when they do. (I've already said my peace on this Byrd individual, if you will recall. The company I placed him in is not what one could call 'high esteem.')

What I don't like about this media cycle and the "you guys do it too" game is that it does lower the bar. We worry about the glamour scandal as opposed to "will so and so do the job right." It is demoralizing, really, to hear nothing but verbal poison about the country's entire leadership structure for the last 40 odd years. Casting the first stone and all that. Name calling is not peer review, it is not critique, it is playground bully bush league hack "journalism."

Have fun with that win.

Buzzzbee said...
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S.A.W.B. said...
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Patrick Armstrong said...

Now, now, now folks. Witty banter is witty banter. Name calling is something else entirely.

One nation's idiot is another nation's genius.

(I still think, with all the discussion of "facts" in this thread, that our two primary citations are the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post - marvels of accurate journalism that they are...at least we now have, with the dictionary quotes, established that the language we are speaking in is, indeed, English) Hah.

As to the topic of this particular bereaved mother, there are some questions now about her press releases actually coming from her, and not just showing up on some hack websites and getting whitewashed into facts. My problem with the whole thing is the distortion and exploitation.

There are more important things going on in the news than this, and there are bereaved mothers who support the war as well as bereaved mothers who are against the war.

What we seem to be doing here is tantamount to Conservo-logic:

"Liberals don't like Bush."
"Mick Jagger doesn't like Bush."
"Liberals are like Mick Jagger, wanky British has-beens who are wealthy and out of touch with reality."

But here's 'our' line:

"Ms. Sheehan lost her son to the war."
"Ms. Sheehan doesn't like Bush."
"People who lost children to the war don't like Bush."

I'm sure people who lost children to the war have a variety of opinions on Bush, but I bet a lot of them aren't spoken for by this one particular woman.

As to the reasons we went to war, and the results of said war: these items are still all up for debate. Because we don't have an actual Declaration of War between the United States of America and Iraq, there is no set, legally defined group of reasons that Bush sent troops into harms' way. There are no set objectives that we can run down a list and check off. All we have are the many things Bush & co said at every speech and press conference for quite some time. It is very little use arguing any one single point, because they can then say, "No, we didn't go to war for that, we went to war for this..." Some folks, like SAWB, believe that the war has achieved some goals. I believe we got lied to, though I can't quite figure out the motives that Bush & co would have to do so. It is a hard thing to pin down.

But we've had /that/ discussion before. I'll just go ahead and ask again, since a new post is coming. Why did we go to war? What were our specific goals, and have those goals been met? Was it worth it?

For the left (and the right who now thinks this is misadventure), I will ask, Why do you think we went to war? What were the specific lies that were told? Why wasn't it worth it?

And let's keep the name calling to public figures who deserve it.

Buzzzbee said...
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S.A.W.B. said...
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Buzzzbee said...
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Patrick Armstrong said...

OK folks. You played with the toy till you broke it, now Daddy has to come and take it away from you. This Blog is reserved for reasonable opinions and frank discussion usually based on facts. This is an educational and communication blog that I usually don't have to edit. The left wing calls conservative pundits dummies, the right wing calls liberal pundits wussies, but we generally all get along with each other. Witty banter and sarcasm are expected and encouraged, but Name calling, cursing, insulting families, being generally offensive and threatening to one another is not. That will simply not be tolerated here.

Everyone who posts here are friends (and their families are usually friends) of mine with opinions I respect. But I will not allow this page to degenerate into the "personal_attacks.com" sites that plauge so many other websites dealing with politics.

That last exchange is what is wrong with this country, left and right. That is the kind of thing that turns people away from politics and civil service. That is what is wrong with the Michael Moores, the Ann Coulters, the Rush Limbaughs, the Karl Roves, the Al Frankens, the Hannities, the Brit Humes, the Al Sharptons, the Jessie Jacksons, the Dick Durbins and Paul Begalas. That is why I hold all of them in the lowest esteem.

That will not happen with a website I maintain, and I ask all of you involved to respect that.

Thank you,

-The Management