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August 18, 2005

Holding grief hostage

While the MSM and their local affiliates continue to report half-lies and total falsehoods about Cindy Sheehan's tantrum in Crawford, Texas, other grieving parents are speaking out. WorldNet Daily reports...

One Texas family of a fallen Marine became so enraged with Sheehan's use of their son's name on a protest cross, they drove from the town of Spicewood to Crawford to remove it.

"I went there and had Matthew's name taken off of there," said Matt Matula, whose son, a 20-year-old Marine, was killed by hostile fire last year. "It's fine for people to grieve their own way. It aggravates me to see them using other people's names to further their cause." ...

"Matthew was very proud of being a Marine and proud of his unit and what they were doing," his mother, Toni, said.

Was that reported on the news yesterday? Only in a few sources. Most reported such lies such as the local ABC affiliate which actually claimed Cindy Sheehan has been waiting at Bush's ranch since her son died. (Her son Casey died last April. Cindy Sheehan has only been in Crawford since August 8th.) Or reporting only the handful of anti-war protests, while ignoring those protesting the spectacle Cindy Sheehan is making.

So many people claim Cindy Sheehan's outrageous behavior is to be excused because of her grief, but there's a limit to what society can tolerate in the name of grief. What we see in Crawford, Texas has gone beyond the mild outburst of a grieving mother to a shallow, macabre marketing of the dead body of her son.

Will the request of the grieving mother of Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Dyer be noted and respected by the political activists swarming around Cindy Sheehan?

"Honor me in this way," Kathy Dyer said during a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Dyer, 19, of the Cincinnati suburb of Evendale.

At the funeral at Tri-County Baptist Church, Kathy Dyer delivered what she believed would have been her son's own message: "It has been with the greatest pride I have served ... fighting to preserve freedom."

She said he would want mourners to continue supporting the troops in the war against terrorism.

While the MSM fawns over the increasingly obscene rantings of Cindy Sheehan, they will no doubt ignore the group of Marine Moms that will soon be visiting Crawford in their “You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy” tour.

At least the Wall Street Journal is allowing a grieving father's voice to be heard...

I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.

The fallen heroes, until now, have enjoyed virtually no individuality. They have been treated as a monolith, a mere number. Now Mrs. Sheehan, with adept public relations tactics, has succeeded in elevating herself above the rest of us. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida declared that Mrs. Sheehan is now the symbol for all parents who have lost children in Iraq. Sorry, senator. Not for me....

Ann and Dale Hampton lost their only child, Capt. Kimberly Hampton, on Jan. 2, 2004, while she was flying her Kiowa helicopter. She was a member of the 82nd Airborne and the company commander. She had already served in Afghanistan before being deployed to Iraq. Ann Hampton wrote, "My grief sometimes seems unbearable, but I cannot add the additional baggage of anger. Mrs. Sheehan has every right to protest . . . but I cannot do that. I would be protesting the very thing that Kimberly believed in and died for."

Marine Capt. Benjamin Sammis was Stacey Sammis's husband. Ben died on April 4, 2003, while flying his Super Cobra helicopter. Listen to Stacey and she will tell you that she is just beginning to understand the enormousness of the character of soldiers who knowingly put their lives at risk to defend our country. She will tell you that one of her deepest regrets is that the world did not have the honor of experiencing for a much longer time this outstanding Marine she so deeply loved.

Speak to Joan Curtin, whose son, Cpl. Michael Curtin, was an infantryman with the 2-7th 3rd ID, and her words are passionately ambivalent. She says she has no room for bitterness. She has a life to lead and a family to nurture. She spoke of that part of her that never heals, for that is where Michael resides. She can go on, always knowing there will be that pain.

Karen Long is the mother of Spc. Zachariah Long, who died with my son Kyle on May 30, 2003. Zack and Kyle were inseparable friends as only soldiers can be, and Karen and I have become inseparable friends since their deaths. Karen's view is that what Mrs. Sheehan is doing she has every right to do, but she is dishonoring all soldiers, including Karen's son, Zack. Karen cannot comprehend why Mrs. Sheehan cannot seem to come to grips with the idea that her own son, Casey, was a soldier like Zack who had a mission to complete. Karen will tell you over and over again that Zack is not here and no one, but no one will dishonor her son.

But the most important line in the whole piece is...

How does a mother dishonor the sacrifice of her own son?

Coverage: Right Wing News, Michelle Malkin, Captain's Quarters, WizBang (also here), Jawa Report, Day by Day

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 18, 2005 08:57 AM

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I'm trying to understand what it is you are opposed to. Is it that Cindy Sheehan choseto feal with her grief in her way or the fact thatt the media picked up on it and the effect happens to rub you the wrong way. I felt the same way when the Bush administration and all the "holy-er than though" right disgraced Terri Shiavo for weeks on end to push thier agenda.

bottom line is that your blog and other right wing blogs are not balanced in any way what-so-ever.

By the way I am no peace nick and supported the war in Afghanistan. The Iraq war is a sham.

Posted by: Ron at August 18, 2005 11:57 AM

Where were you when the parents, priests, and Republican politicians shamelessly exploited Teri Schiavo's tragedy? Like most right-wingers, you operate with a double standard.

Posted by: Jim at August 18, 2005 12:49 PM

Agree Ron, the Iraq fiasco has sucked all the oxygen out of the Afghanistan action, which is hanging on by it finger tips btw, and now we have someone acting as focus for all the discontent about the Iraq war. Result: usual Republican tactics demonize your opponent in any way you can. So we have the bloatmeister Limbaugh and his ilk in one corner and Ms Sheehan in the other. I have a feeling that the more the Limbaughs, O'Reilly's, Coulter's, et al pile on the better Ms Sheehan looks. One is never going to get Mr Lewis and all the other apologists for this fiasco to exercise some empiricism, but that is life I suppose.

Posted by: John at August 18, 2005 12:55 PM

Why are the anti-war types displaying religious symbols on public property? They have so alienated religious groups, that unlike the war in Vietnam when the clergy was quite prominent, they have no support. Therefore, the use of religious symbols has no credibility.

Many of the names on these crosses are being used without the knowledge or permission of the families of the brave men and women who gave their lives protecting our country.

Posted by: Steve at August 18, 2005 01:48 PM

Since the beginning of our country noble men and women have fought and died in wars. They never question, they do their duty and we must always honor their sacrifices. However before we send these noble troops off to fight and die for us we must always ask ourselves "is it worth the sacrifice we ask of them?" Are our leaders worthy and is this war worthy enough to sacrifice our kids? When the towers fell on 9/11 it was time to act and we did and America supported Bush going after the terrorists. We and the world stood as one against the terrorists. But then Bush changed the cause and we went into Iraq. The war on terror became the war on Iraq and those are two very different wars. This war on Iraq was a war based on lies and because of those lies good americans die every day. They do not die protecting this country since terrorists are global and they can hit us from anywhere not just Iraq. These brave men and women are dying because of the ranting of a weak stupid man and I and many other Americans are damn sick and tired of it. This country is no safer today than it was the day the towers fell and the only ones dying now are our troops. If we truly love them and if we truly honor them then we must stop this now.

Posted by: wnbresn at August 18, 2005 03:18 PM

Cindy Sheehan is the "PHONIEST GRIEVING MOM" ever!!

All she is doing is "BASKING IN THE LIMELIGHT"
while she DISHONORS her son!

Posted by: Charley at August 18, 2005 05:39 PM

Cindy Sheehan is just another pawn in the never ending democrat plan on regaining power.What next?a movie or book deal that so many others would shun because of its audacity.Grow up you liberal hacks;i`m sick of your childishness.

Posted by: scott at August 18, 2005 06:16 PM

wnbresn, don't ever post anything again. You and the lefties are just all still bitter that the real "weak stupid man" wasn't elected. Its people like you who don't even deserve a voice. I would like to see you tell a U.S. Marine (like my brother) that our commander in chief is a "weak stupid man." It makes you no better than a terrorist.

Posted by: BAS at August 18, 2005 06:23 PM

Weak stupid man doesn't begin to describe what we allowed in the White House. And, we can put a share of the blame on the Democrats as well. Anything close to a good candidate and a well run campign should have given George's political career the same success as his many business attempts.

Posted by: Chuck Bolland at August 18, 2005 06:39 PM

Let those that support the war send their children. I don't see Bush's daughters on the front lines. Those of you that rip Cindy Sheehan, send your kids, so that when they return in body bags, we can give you the same sympathy that you give her. My kids will go to Canada before I let them fight the Bushs' personal war!

Posted by: Gary Benivegna at August 18, 2005 07:04 PM

All this grieving mother is asking is for her President, her son's President and ours and every other American citizen's President to take a few minutes out of his month long leisure time to talk with her. Who is the one being self-righteously stubborn here? If Bush had a bigger heart and had gone out to talk to her in the first place along with his advisers, this woman and her followers wouldn't be all over the news two weeks later. There wouldn't even be a growing group of followers. I don't think President Bush is showing true concern for the suffering of American people. And even if the concept of "if he has to do if for one, he would have to do it for all" occurs, so what ??? He sent them all there, shouldn't he know who he is hurting?

Posted by: Jan at August 18, 2005 07:50 PM

Gary Benivegna,

Are you so arrogant to believe that Americans are the only people on God's earth that deserve freedom and liberty? Ae ryou so blind that you do not see that this war, if not fought in Iraq, could easily and probably would be fought in you backyard, as well as mine? Cindy is disgracing her son's memory because she cannot handle her grief. My heart goes out to her for the loss of her son. I cannot imagine what that feels like, but her son made a choice. He was not forced into service. I hear so many of those opposed to the war comparing it to Viet Nam. Think again. In Viet Nam OUR countries young men were FORCED into service and died for people they they did't know. oNly so those strangers woudl not have to live with the tirany of communism. Ther is a statement all of us Marines heard many time, " Good initiative, poor judgement". This fits well with the Viet Nam war, but not Iraq. This has been a well executed reasonable war. You may not think os, but it has saved thousnads of times more lives that it has cost. I fyou could just get past the main stream media and forget your name calling for a minute and thin about what it means to be an AMERICAN. These people have died to give you the freedoms you so tout at your convenience to fit your agenda. It is funny that the left is so quick to discount GOd, but yet use Him to further their cause as Cindy did with displaying the cross. I beleive that every Americna is good at heart and wants what they think is best for themselves, their families and thier country. Unfortunately some just cannot see the truth because of the garbage the mainstream media is feeding them.

Finally, if my son or daughter had chosen to serve in the armed forces and die4d in the line of duty serving me and every other American) I would not disgrace their memory in the way that Cindy is disgracing her son.

Posted by: Robin at August 18, 2005 07:59 PM

Our children are not dying in Iraq protecting our freedom, not one of the 9/11 terrorist were from Iraq. The majority of them were from Saudi Arabia our so ally. The troops who fought in and are still fighting in Afganistan were/are protecting our freedom. And no less a source than General Tommy Franks stated publicly, if bush had left the troops and resources there we would have caught bin laden and broken his network. But no we were fed a pack lies to justify a personal vendetta and now it is going to cost us for a generation. My father was in the 29th in the first wave on Omaha beach, my brother was 3rd Recon on his 2nd tour in Danang when we lost him to a worthless war. Cindy isn't disgracing her son's honor with her protest, no she is honoring it. If she can make that cabal of draft dogers and divinity students realize the disaster they have caused and find an honorable and expediant withdrawl - more power to her.

Posted by: Steve Harvey at August 18, 2005 08:40 PM

Gary Benivegna I would glady support my children if they would decide to go fight in the war.
Why are you still living here in America? People like you need to move to Canada. Cindy's son was not forced to enlist, hed did on his own, she is sure liking all the media attention she is getting to promote her politcal agenda

Posted by: Irma at August 18, 2005 08:55 PM

Robin, I could not agree with you more, what Cindy is doing is a disgrace to the memory of her son. President Bush has already had one meeting with Cindy, although we do not know what came out during this meeting she should have discussed with him at that time everything that was on her mind. Instead she has let this anger boil inside of her and now wants more answers. This is ridiculous; she should accept that fact that her son and so many others that have died serving our country did this for us, our Freedom. They were not made to go into Iraq or Afghanistan it was their choice to join in the military, every man and woman knew the sacrifices they would have to make when they signed those government papers. My husband is in the military and soon will be deployed to Iraq I support his decision whole heartedly; he is not being made to go, he volunteered when he signed his enlistment papers 17 years ago. When they asked for volunteers to go on this mission he was one of the first ones that volunteered. If something were to happen to my husband at least I would know that he was doing what he loved and wanted to do, that is serving his country and ensuring that our 3 young children will have their freedom. That is what so many do not understand, picture yourself living under the cruel conditions like so many in other countries have lived through. Picture yourself being without your freedom then you decide if it is worth the U.S. capturing Saddam. I feel sympathy and pain for those that have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I am not going to disgrace their memory by displaying this type of behavior, anywhere. I understand that people grieve different ways but, do not disgrace those that are now serving in the military and those that have died serving their country. It is because of these soldiers that we have the freedom we have.

Posted by: Trac at August 18, 2005 09:19 PM

Cindy is not honoring her son, what would she say to him right now. How would she explain her using his name for her gain. Vietnam was not useless,gutless war, people treated the soldiers who didn't ask to go, they went and fought and died, then they came home to people like Cindy and her friends. No respect. I will respect, support and love our armed forces. If you want the fighting to stop, go to where the horrors are and stop it, so our soldiers don't have too. Those civilians that were kidnapped and beheaded were not violent, just innocent people. Its easy to be brave where its safe, isn't it

Posted by: Suzann at August 18, 2005 09:29 PM

How is it, that you bush apologists find a mother that grieves for her son a "disgrace, but have nothing to say about Halliburton showing a 248% increase in profits. Now that's not a disgrace, it's obscene. If a democrat president, lied to get us involved in an elective war, and that presidents cronies profited off a war where we are losing people everyday, I guarantee we would be hearing about it 24/7, from every right wing pundit.

Posted by: Dave at August 18, 2005 10:05 PM

And whose permission should we have to use symbols of faith? Not all people who hold crosses are conservative. I think that the neocons consider themselves the only Christians who matter and it sickens me. Christianity is all about peace. War is an abomination and our President is an Ogre, consuming the lives of our soldiers and 250,000 citizens of Iraq. And for that matter, it is ridiculous for the parents who disagree with the anti war protesters to object to the use of their child's name. As a solider, you are taking on the duty to protect and serve every citizen. It is every citizens right to morn their death as they see fit.

Posted by: Laura at August 18, 2005 10:08 PM

An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan
From Steve Beren www.steveberen.com

Among those who have lost loved ones in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, or on 9/11, there is the same disagreement as exists among the population as a whole.

With all respect and honor and memory to your son, and with all respect and honor and sympathy to you, your viewpoint on Iraq and the war against terrorism is not correct.

I am glad that we acted pre-emptively, preventing Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Regime change has meant that Iraq is headed towards democracy, elections, government, constitution, women's rights, and ethnic reconciliation.

Not only Iraq and Afghanistan, but other countries such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia oppress their own people, and lend support in various ways to terrorism. Backwardness and oppression must give way to democracy and freedom and human rights and modernity.

We need to attack terrorism at its roots, which means helping the people who are most oppressed by the tyranny, oppression, exploitation, poverty, and backwardness in the Muslim and Arab world.

Your son died for a noble cause, helping the oppressed achieve freedom. He and the rest of our armed forces are doing the most wonderful of all human actions - helping those in need.

At the same time, your son and the rest of our armed forces also help America and the world by attacking terrorism at its roots. America benefits indirectly when an oppressed people benefit directly from newly-won freedom.

You are an American citizen, which means you deserve respect and honor from all of us, even if we disagree with you.

Our prayers and love and best wishes go out to you. God's blessing to you.

Steve Beren
Seattle, Washington

Posted by: Steve Beren at August 18, 2005 10:37 PM

I too have lost a son in this war, and she does not speak for me. My son believe in what he was doing which is to ensure Freedom for all of us. He died to protect our rights, to free speech, but that does not give her the right to use other family fallen love ones names in her cause. My son is a hero and i don't want her dragging my son's name in on her "cause". He was a honerable young man, who died for a honerable cause freedom, ours.

Posted by: Kathy at August 18, 2005 10:42 PM

the war in iraq is based on a pack of lies by the bush admin. bush shields the saudi terrorist that attacked our country and still walks hand in hand with the saudi prince what a slap in the face to america i woud havbe backed a war in saudie arabia that is who attacked our country and most of the suiside bombing commited in iraq are of saudie origin not iraq we attacked there country supposidly because of weapons of mass destruction then bush flip floped it to iraqui freedom who how soon we forget. this administration is so full of lies and misrepresentation look at what they did with pat tillman tried to make him into a hero giving him the silver star and telling haw he was killed by the enemy when in actuality he was killec by his own men he owes everyone an apology for getting us into this crap john hessst

Posted by: john hess at August 18, 2005 10:59 PM

I keep noticing the strawman argument that once an American joins the armed services then no matter what happens to him or her,, it is un-American to complain,, Yes we, our sons and daughters do volunteer to serve and defend our country ,, but we do it with the understanding that our leaders will do it for a just cause,, ,, your position appears to be that any cause uttered by our President is a just cause,,, Cindy Sheehan is asking (and we all should be asking).. you have been setting up one reason after another ,, each one disproven ,, so stop changing the reason GWB,,,, quit being a wimp and come out here and discuss it

Posted by: jay at August 18, 2005 10:59 PM

I do feel sorry for Cindy for the loss of her son. I know her son knew exactly what could happen if he went. I too have a son and he is going to Iraq very soon. I have told him from the the day he enlisted, that I would love him and support him and his fellow soldiers. No one wants their child to be in harms way. As parents you will do everything in your power to keep them safe. I had one that was severely injured,after that was healed. He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I worried about what I could or what I shouldn't do. Then I read a poem "Let go and Let God" I still worry but God knows best, it in his hands not the President or anyone else's. It takes more courage to accept what life gives us. Pray to God for strength. Do what I do when I worry and I really not sure. Say to yourself "Let go and Let God.

Posted by: Suzann at August 18, 2005 11:01 PM

I have lost my brother in this war. I know that eveyone has their ideas but really what would the soldiers that were killed there think about this. I am not sure they would like someone saying in so many words they died for NOTHING!! My brother died believeing that he would make a differnce in this world. That he was helping others to have the freedom that we enjoy so much here in our homeland of America. To dishonor him or any other soldier is just unbelievable to me. I have other family fighting this war and yes there were times when I felt the same that this war should not be our fight but really it our business. They bombed us and killed many people who were not soldiers. This war is hard for everyone but please understand these men and women knew they were dying for a good cause and that was so everyone could have freedom to enjoy.Please don't FORGET September 11 that is why we need to finish what we started.

Posted by: Nikki at August 18, 2005 11:01 PM

Why do we even try? We could survive just fine without this war right? If we leave Iraq now some nice guys with the big guns will take over and train people to kill , while we sit home and act like it isnt going on .(like we did in the 90's.) Then when they come here to attack us again we could take them to counciling and it will be ok. or we could just get rid of our government as we know it. make all women wear masks and loose all of thier rights as well as thier self respect.Thats all they want . After the colaps of the USSR they stoped fighting over there.
shoot man why do we even have a military right? They hardly even die anymore, in the civil war we lost more lives in one battle than we have this whole war.Now adays we arent willing to loose less than 5 trained solders a day to protect against 3000 moms and dads dieing in another attack on our country. If we were boxing the way libs want this war to go, we would be running around getting smacked in the back of the head. Instead WE STAND TOE TO TOE administering pain and disorentation to our foe . It looks like its going to go to the late rounds. Even though the oposition still stands, the cards tell who is winning. Anything blow up around hear latly? THANK ALL OF YOU THAT KEEP ME AND MY FAMILY SAFE AND MAY YOUR GOD BE WITH AND PROTECT YOU.

Posted by: MIKE ADAMS at August 18, 2005 11:02 PM

I have friends who were killed or lost family in 9/11. I have followed the updates of all the babies born after the fathers were lost, not to mention the chidren who were old enough to grieve them. I am acquanited with Dawn Anna, who lost her daughter in the senselessness of Columbine, and had friends whose children were in the first school shooting in Moses Lake,WA. I also have 2 nephews who have served and are serving, one who became a first time father in May, the other having 3 girls under 6 and a newborn with birth defects so severe his mom can't even touch him in the incubator,and they are only 24 years old. When these boys were young, they didn't have much going for them. My brother died when they were 9 years and 3 months old respectively. Their stepdads were nearly as abusive as some of the horror stories we've heard from the war. These boys (and they were boys, only 18 and 19 when they first enlisted) wanted to make a difference with their lives, to help people, to be better than the men that raised them and honor the father who didn't get a chance to. They appreciate support. They do not consider Cindy Sheehan to be supportive, and like many other families, do not feel she has the right to use their names in her crusade, if God forbid we lost them. If she wants to do this, fine, but work with the families who contact HER. Don't presume that this includes all families, and don't force your anger stage upon others who have found it an emotion they need to leave behind for the sake of their own peace of mind as they struggle to move forward. And please, let's not forget, those of you who are threatening to send your kids to Canada, this is not a draft, nor does it compare to Viet Nam in many ways. The people involved so far have enlisted voluntarily. Perhaps they weren't as prepared as they thought, I don't think anyone ever can be since what was brought down on our country is unimaginable to any other than the most depraved of souls who perpetrated this violence. But several of the people who have enlisted from my acquaintance, did so after the attacks began. And one of the first killed was an FDNY member who grew up and attended the same high school as my kids, as was one of the most recent. Their families do not stand by this effort either, and while Ms Sheehan has a right to request an audience with our President,she doesn't need to do everything she is. Even her husband is divorcing her because this anger is all she has time for, and I'm assuming he lost his son, too.

Posted by: Patti Purvis at August 18, 2005 11:43 PM

Oh yeah, and perhaps instead of putting all the blame on the Bushes, we should ask ourselves what might have been accomplished in between their tomes in office, if Mr Clinton had spent a bit more time on the important things, and a bit less chasing interns, actresses, etc. The main accomplishments in his time were by the work of his wife behind the scene, and it has been proven there were plenty if things going on with Saddam, Osama, and others, they were just hidden by a man used to hiding many of his actions. And no, I am not a died in the wool Republican, I vote for the better candidate, and more often than not I'm drawn to the Democrats. But I also admit when something ain't right, and his years of shirking responsible decisions, both at work and personally, were the beginning of what Bush #2
has had to try to compensate for. If it was just a Bush Agenda, why was nothing done for 2 terms, and why would America have voted #2 in?

Posted by: Patti Purvis at August 18, 2005 11:53 PM

Ms. Sheehan and her kind reinforce the "liberal" stereotype. Overflowing with vomit, venom and bile. They are it seems, simply incapable of any display of grace or class. While her son and others like him gave thier lives to ensure her right to spew her bullshit, I am not obligated by way of that same sacrifice to respect the bullshit she spews. To Casey Sheehan..Thank you sir. To Cindy Sheehan..go F##k yourself.

Posted by: M.D. Wood at August 19, 2005 12:09 AM


Posted by: JANICE KLIER at August 19, 2005 01:58 AM

i am willing to die for my country. and i think we need to honor our sons, wives, husbands, and childrens decision to serve our country. how ridiciulous to mock something our now dead countrymen believed in strongly enough to die for! we should not be running around bad-mouthing our dead brothers, rather praising them at their courage in the face of danger.

Posted by: Daniel Hawkins at August 19, 2005 02:50 AM

I'd like to address the parents and others who say they are "proud" that their son or daughter has served or is serving in Iraq. Although I am opposed to the war I, too feel a sense of pride and appreciatiuon for those who have served or are serving. It seems a bit twisted, I know, for I agree with Cindy Sheehan and want the troops brough home NOW. What I appreciate about the troops is their bravery - their willingness to place themselves at risk for a cause they may believe in. I appreciate their sense of loyalty to their country. Please don't deny me that. It is why I support the troops.
I note that the troops are not being treated well by U.S. government as VA benefits are being cut and the Pentagon continues to deny the claims of many who were injured. I note that the situation in Iraq may be worse now that it was before the U.S. invasion given that although the Iraqis are free of an awful dictator their infrastructure has been destroyed, there is more poverty and disease there now and most of the leading competitors seeking to govern Iraq resemble the previous regime. Also considering that the United States supported Saddam and facilitated his rise to power I have to believe that the whole mess - from Saddam through the present is largely the fault of U.S. policy. Consider that we also supported the Mujahedin in Afghanistan from which emerged both the Taliban and Al Queda. We created the very threat we now claim we are fighting.
I understand that some ( not all) of the troops believe they are helping the Iraqi people and I appreciate that. I fear the consequences when and if those troops begin to see things differently and may come to feel that they were deceived. I don't think they lack judgement and I don't question their motives or their commitment but I do believe that they and the rest of us have been lied to consistently for decades by our government ( not just Bush but his father, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Johnson, Nixon,etc.).
So if I say that I think our troops are being "used" it's not a poor reflection on the troops, it's an indictment of decades of bad policy and the media failing to question and analyze it.
My deepest hope is for the troops to all be brought home safely and to be treated well as veterans and for a new era of peaceful foreign policy to be initiated wherein wars will be far less likely. I imagine that is a goal that a majority of the troops and their relatives may share. I think we have more common ground between us than the commercial media acknowledges.

Posted by: Evan at August 19, 2005 09:03 AM

There is only so much a country can take in the name of a unjust war. Our very soul is on the line in this war. It was wrong to start it and it is wrong to continue it. If you truly beleived in god you would know we can not win an unjust war.I say you go girl to Cindy. This country needs a real conscience.

Posted by: Harper at August 19, 2005 09:21 AM

you can say all you want about the reason cindy is there. she has the right and if the repubs have their way those rights will be taken away as soon as possible. remember when bush said a dictatorship wouldn't be that bad as long as he was dictator. you all thought he was joking, right? as you can see he wasn't. these socalled religious moral people are neither. they probably have carpal tunnel from patting themselves on the back so much. wait until they try to reinstae the draft. that's when the mess will not only hit the fan, that's when the people will hit the streets. no wmds, no nuclear, notice how it's spelled george,no biological weapons and no roving labs. now why are we at war, oh, that's right, saddam was a bad guy

Posted by: W. Baggett at August 19, 2005 10:40 AM

I have watched with utter disbelief as Ms. Sheehan and others dishonor our troops and the sacrifice that they are making. My husband returned home from Ramadi, Iraq in late March and I can tell you without a doubt that if he had lost his life while in service I would only blame the insurgents for his death. Even so, my husband chose to be a Marine and knew what that undertaking was. It does not matter that when he joined the Marine Corps that we were not at war. It is the life and the sacrifice of a soldier. It absolutely breaks my heart that Sheehan and so many others dishonor our fallen heroes. For it is the sacrifice of our soldiers that allows people to protest the war and speak out against Bush and other leaders of our country. I wonder if they ever stop to think that there are many countries where these same people would not have that liberty. All I ask is that Sheehan and others like her only speak for themselves and do not speak under the pretense of representing those who have not asked them to. I am proud of my husband and many others like him and their selflessness should be an example for us all, including Cindy Sheehan.

Posted by: Kelly Mitchell at August 19, 2005 10:59 AM

Why didn't we her from Ms. Sheehan before her son died? I think should just go home and stay there and grieve for her son. If she wanted our boys home so bad why wasn't she out protesting before her son died? She acts like she is the only parent to lose a son in this war against terror. Well I for one am sick and tired of turning on the news and seeing her face and listening to her sob speaches. It seems to me she has no life and is now more misserable now than before because of the loss of her son. From experience (the loss of my husband in 2001)Ms. Sheehan life goes on after the death of a loved one. Suck it up and keep going on with your life and stay out of everyone else's life. I know a quite a few people that have family over seas fighting now and they do not feel the same as you, even a close family friend that lost a son over there doesn't feel the same as you. I am very proud of this woman and they way she handled her grief, she showed her son honor unlike you. You have brought nothing but dishonor to your sons name and memory. Most of all you are dishonoring our great country and the freedom in which your son and many others have fought and died to make our country so great. Ms. Sheehan if you do not like what our country stands for PLEASE LEAVE and move to another country that thinks like you and stop setting a BAD example to our youth and other PROUD AMERICANS!

Posted by: Karin at August 19, 2005 11:54 AM

It would have been nice if Bush had met with mrs. Sheehan and this mess would all be over with. It's time for her to move on and learn to live with the fact her son is dead. I have a grandson in Iraq, while I do not believe in this war or that it is for a noble cause, I will support him and the troops.maybe some one needs to give her the Serenity Prayer. God grant me the wisdom to accept the things I can not change etc. none of this will bring him back.


Posted by: Patty at August 19, 2005 12:11 PM

I agree that Ms. Sheehan is discrediting her son's honor. Casey made a choice to enter the military and at his age, it was with the knowledge of the the possible outcome. No doubt his outlook was, (as with countless number of young military personnel) "I am proud to serve my country in this way, and to protect my family and friends in this way. I have seen enough of the enemy and whatever it takes, I am willing to do my part". I sympathize with Ms. Sheehan's loss. I, too, have a son who served in the military, so I know the tearing of the heart that occurs. But the truth is, life is about choices. I am proud of the choices that my son made.
As far as those who think that President Bush should spend time with Ms. Sheehan, consider this: IF the President spent ten minutes with every family that lost a loved one in the 9/11 tragedy and the conflicts that have occured since, he would be doing nothing but meeting and consoling families around the clock for over two months!!! Let's let our human (therefore, imperfect) President do the job that we elected him to do. Let's be men and women of character and integrity and support the one who is in charge of this great nation. Let's be the flag wavers and supporters - and yes, voters!! - we should be. Let's never forget those who have willingly sacrificed life for our freedoms. And let us not forget those who were living in bondage in a far away land called Iraq. No, it may not be about finding those who are part of the terrorist cells. But, it is about men, women and children who are experiencing more freedom than ever before in Iraq.

Posted by: ddmg at August 19, 2005 12:32 PM

I pray for Ms Sheehan and her family. From the loss of her son, she has lost her marriage, sounds like she was not proud that her son wore the uniform in the first place, was not proud that he chose to serve. Sounds to me that she cannot place herself in his shoes, to experience the honor of serving your country; sounds like she is stuck like many of us were when the 60's ended with dis-illusionment and mid 70's with betrayal and our country's spirits were dim. Heck, I had talked all my life about joining the Navy and seeing the world before settling down, but after Vietnam, Johnson then Nixon and Watergate, I was down on this country and whatever it stood for. Face it we were going thru a national identity crisis.

But there was hope. It took people like, Ford - who pardoned Nixon & allowed this country to move on (probably the gutsiest decision by any President in the last 200 years), Carter, and Reagan. Fourteen years it took to be proud to be an American again and slowly we started to come together again. We became stronger in our country's spirit - we were not blaming each other any more - we were looking forward - the Cold War ended, The USSR fell with out firing a shot - who would have thought, now were the only super- power left - and we got a bit arrogant - so we have an administration that though we are bombed several times throughout the world does practically nothing, an attorney general who was more interested in politics than preserving our laws and protecting our citizens from terrorists -- because we can't be touched. Then 9/11 happens and for awhile we are all together, acting as one as we heal, our troops, people in uniform (police & fire, etc) are heroes. When the culprits are not found quickly (because Americans have no patience & the enemy knows this)we tend to point fingers of blame at others -- this helps us feel better. This is a similar sequence of events that happened 40 or so years ago. Is history repeating itself? Is Ms Sheehan determined to be that kind of spokes person?

I feel sorry for her, she thinks her problems will be solved if she just talks to President Bush and gets the answers she feels she deserves to get. Well, there are no answers that He can give that will satisfy the hole in her heart at this stage. And I believe President Bush knows this.

You can see the anquish on her face, but don't be fooled, this is a person who is more angry, not at President Bush and the Iraq War, but at God for allowing her son to die. President Bush and the Iraq War are a fix, a form of medicating the pain she feels about losing her son. The more people that listen to her, the more people that join in her so called cause, the greater the fix, but all the same, the hole is still there, it will never go away, the hound of heaven, He will never stop knocking at the Door of her heart.

I know this from experience.

Posted by: Dave at August 19, 2005 01:03 PM

Ok, im confused here, some of you people are saying we should have left saddam in power? do u know what went on there? Since our troops got there and got saddam out of power, people are going to school that have never been. people have running water that never have, and thats just the beginning of what our being there has helped with. now lets move on to "9-11". I grew up in Staten Island New York. Took many a class trip into the city as a kid, my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins work in Manhatten. My cousin worked in the world trade center back when it was bombed in '94. My cousin in a cop in Manhatten. was supposed to have his 1st day off in 16 days. his precinct was one of the first to respond. His best freind was a Fireman, also in manhatten. Jack the Whack, thats what his nickname was.My cousin survived 9-11, but his friend did not. my boss'daughter lives in nyc, she also survived, but we could not contact her for 3 days, my cousin, we heard nothing about him for almost a week. I am very lucky not to have lost a loved one then, but i lost alot thtat day too, i lost my sense of safety, i lost a skyline that i loved as a child, i lost alot of people that i didn't know personally, but a New Yorker is a New Yorker, and we are all family. Our founding fathers gave us the freedom of speech, and thats a wonderful thing. Too bad they didn't garuntee us all common sense. people are worried about the injustice of war, how about the injustice of people being forced to live in absolut squallor, while thier "leader" lived in gold roofed palaces? or the injustice of being killed because a woman shows her hair. or the injustice of letting a man get away who by his own admission helped the taliban? in case you forget the taliban is who bin laden was with when he took over those planes and had them crash into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and that Pennsylvania Field (thank God for the brave souls on that last plane). President Bush may not be a great leader, he may not have been right in the reasons we started on this war with Iraq, but it remains the same, he IS our president, there IS NO draft. My fiance was over in Desert Storm, he is not without his problems from his time over there, but he wouldnt change it, other then to have his friends still be alive. look the point is, this IS America. i'll probably get some nasty responses from this but it's ok, everyone is entitlted to thier opinion, its when you try to FORCE it onto others that it becomes a problem. I support all of our troops and thier families.

Posted by: Stacy at August 19, 2005 01:36 PM

Why do people who can't think beyond the propaganda they read always talk about "limits to what society can accept"? Our founding fathers placed no limits on free speech, yet these "limits" people think of themselves as patriots. They undercut the principles on which this Nation was founded. They degrade the concept of patriot by betraying our founding principles.
Cindy asks a good question. What is the answer? I see a lot of quotes from people about backing their children, but Cindy's question is the real one. Why did we get into this war on false premises of WMD and preventing terrorism? The lies that got us into this war are real betrayal of our troops. The war is illegal. It violates the requirement that war be defensive in nature. There was no threat and the government knew it. So why did we go? The result will be another Islamic republic with close ties to Iran.
Will this honor our dead?
People who fail to ask questions about this war are not patriots, they are sheep being led to the big government slaughter. Cindy is the real patriot in this scenario, whether or not the blind "My president right or wrong" idiots can see it.

Posted by: Tom Walsh at August 19, 2005 01:40 PM

"Limits to what society can accept" refers to the propriety of would otherwise be considered inappropriate discourse, not the enforcement of law. As a civilized society we may endure the outbursts of a grieving mother in anguish, but a year and a half later, in such vile and contemptuous language? While some argue that Cindy Sheehan should not be criticized because she is a grieving mother, many others, both Conservative and Liberal, agree that she has pushed well beyond the bounds that should be afforded any maternal anguish.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 19, 2005 01:54 PM

Being of prior millitary, i wanted to express my condolances, it is hard to think that anyone would have to war in another country, those countries should be able to rise up and take back what is there's, but lets face it, this will happen and there will be bad times, terrorist groups i think will always be around in some way or another. I don't think what cindy sheehan is doing is the right thing to do, also i read on here "well you don't deserve a voice" guess what thats america, if you all love it so much, then let others speak what they feel, after all if there weren't opposition to things such as war and others, this country would be led sometimes astray. If a draft ever where to hit i would be back in the millitary, and if i died doing so then it would be so, proudly. If my mother ever did this I also think I'd be embarrassed, I would not want protest for a cause that i'd die for.

Posted by: Patrick Harnish at August 19, 2005 02:16 PM

This is AMERICA Mrs. Sheehan has the right to prostest ANYTHING. Thats what Americans die for, our feedom. People that have the small mindedness to call this woman names is unbelievable they should understand an not be so critical. I only hope the rest of have the guts to protest how our government is no longer a place where have the right to voice an opinion and that our blue collar workers and our unions are being attacked on a daily basis by people who will NEVER have to worry about money or the price of gas

Posted by: cheryl at August 19, 2005 02:38 PM

I am somewhat confused about your anger. Cindy Sheehan is exercising her rights as an American citizen: the right to free speech, and the right to peaceably assemble. Peaceful protest of government action is a time-honored tradition in this country, one of the freedoms that you, apparently, believe we are fighting for in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan is not interfering with the operation of government, she is not threatening anyone, she is not inciting anyone to violence, she is not breaking the law. The White House itself acknowledges that she has the right to be there. Whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, whether you approve of Ms. Sheehan's message or not, I can't understand why you or any American would consider her actions "outrageous." What's she's doing is patriotism in action.

Posted by: Dymphna at August 19, 2005 05:23 PM

We listen to the left and feel empathy. Loosing ones loved one hurts, but what the country hears is we need to get out.

We need to fight them there or another 911 will happen on our soil. Which would you desire?

Posted by: Leroy A. Rothamel at August 19, 2005 07:25 PM

She can say what she wants to, but don't put my son's name on a cross. He died with honer. When u don't ask these other families to use their loved ones names then she is invading their privacy and their grieve.

Posted by: Kathy at August 19, 2005 07:44 PM

Alright, I'm fairly young, a highschool (senior)student at that. But I have many friends who are in the service, my best friend's fiancee is at basic, as is a friend who is like a brother to me (Both marines). Yet another friend will be going to basic in three months time I beleive (Airforce).I havn't lost anyone directly, but I know that there is a point for this war, and they all chose to go and serve for us.

I completely agree to the right to protest, but sometimes it can be taken too far. The fights that are waged need to be picked carefully. This protest will not bring her son back.

So instead of protesting their CHOICES, she should support and respect them.

I know that I would proudly go serve my country and plan to when I am old enough. It will be my choice and everyone will know it.

Posted by: Hollis, Noel at August 19, 2005 09:55 PM

I am saddened to see so many people confusing the Iraq war with things like "freedom" and with 9-11. American's "freedoms" have been eroded more by the PATRIOT Act and other curtailing of civil liberties than by any external threat. The soldiers who have died in Iraq have not died for anyone's "freedom". If anything the damage we've done and the justifiable anger and unquenchable grief we have caused in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Panama, Haiti, etc. will earn us more fanatical enemies than we'd have had if we had adopted a sensible foreign policy long ago.
Many Iraqis - even ones that never picked up a weapon and who were shot by the U.S. troops ( and there have been many) say that although they are grateful to be rid of Saddam things are worse now under the occupation. It's not about "Freedom" - theirs or ours. It's about control ( of oil, land, military bases, politics, etc.) But it's NOT about the soldiers rights to control their own lives or their parents rights to see their children grow up.
The attacks on 9-11 were perpetrated by wealthy zealots with no regard for the lives of common folks. Can you say, after we bombed weddings in Afghanistan and passenger trains in Bosnia and an aspirin factory in Somalia that in the rest of the world's eyes we appear to be any different?
This is what comes of your blind loyalty and faith in this ( or any) country's leadership. Iraq never attacked us. We attacked them. Why, then would you accept this administration's call to sacrifice the lives of our troops without questioning? You say Cindy Sheehan "dishonors" her son by protesting against the war she feels is un-just. I wonder what it would take to get MORE parents to question the war. Apparently it takes more than just the love they feel for their children.
Wow! That's some powerful conditioning! Should unquestioning loyalty to a president EVER be stronger than the bonds between neighbors and friends, brothers and sisters, or especially between parents and their children?

Posted by: evan at August 19, 2005 11:55 PM

I am completely against this "war" and wish this entire warmonger administration would wake up "over there" one morning --- but I also support the right you have to disagree with that. I know! Why don't you all go see what many of the troops serving in Iraq have to say about their daily lives and how unsupported they have been with regard to their equipment. My nephew was nearly decapitated by a shell that hit his unarmored vehicle. I believe these troops deserve better than that. They are brave and if they want to make this sacrifice, they at least deserve armor like our vacationing cowboy gets in his vehicles. Visit and learn at www.optruth.org

Posted by: Susan Stenger at August 20, 2005 11:14 AM

The war in Iraq is NOT about defending America. Anyone who says it is about that is WRONG. All the evidence available supports the fact that we invaded Iraq. I support the soldiers serving there, but they were not sent their to protect the United States. They were sent there to get Saddam Hussein out of power. It has been proved that Hussein was NOT involved in the 9/11 attacks. Once again, America is NOT being defended by the war in Iraq.

Posted by: Paul at August 20, 2005 12:37 PM

All through the history of our great country there have been battles fought and lives lost and thus we are "free" and the UNITED States of America because of the Great War! The important thing to remember is that soldiers and citizens who have fought and died did so because they were called to do so! If we want to enjoy the benefits of this country we also have a responsibility to this country-to protect its' citizens-to keep it strong-to keep it powerful so our enemies are not emboldened by any sign of weakness! Since terrorists come from everywhere then anywhere we go to destroy them is not aggression it is defense and if we cease to defend we will one day find ourselves the opressed and downtrodden:( Praise our war heroes and thank God there are those willing to serve! A true soldier goes where his commander-in-chief(whomever he may be)sends him no matter what that soldier believes or thinks-he is "military" and knows his course of action-DEFEND his COUNTRY and his FELLOWMAN! I am a proud Mother of a son who serves in the Air Force-he is 45 yrs. old and has four children he is supporting and raising but there has never been a question-if he is sent he will go-that's what our fighting men and women are all about! When you see someone in uniform shake his/her hand-look them in the eye and say "THANK YOU"-it's the very least we can do for those who giving the ultimate sacrifice for us!!

Posted by: captain b. at August 21, 2005 07:58 PM

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