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I am betting on jail, Sheehan predicts.
August 6, 2005 10:26 PM   Subscribe

Unwanted guests in Crawford? Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, and is now very active as a founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, is at Bush's ranch as he starts his 5-week vacation. "I want to ask George Bush: Why did my son die?" She's not leaving until she gets to meet with him personally, altho it won't be the first time she met the President. Former Senator Max Cleland-- who lost both legs and an arm during the Vietnam War, didn't have any luck when he tried to get through to Bush at Crawford last year. Will this grieving mother do any better?
posted by amberglow (120 comments total)

 
from her last meeting with Bush: ..."His mouth kept moving, but there was nothing in his eyes or anything else about him that showed me he really cared or had any real compassion at all. This is a human being totally disconnected from humanity and reality. His eyes were empty, hollow shells and he was acting like I should be proud to just be in his presence when it was my son who died for his illegal war!" ...
posted by amberglow at 10:29 PM on August 6, 2005


People who don't sign up for the Republican agenda don't count as real Americans.

Better luck next time.
posted by clevershark at 10:29 PM on August 6, 2005


I'm looking forward to see what he does. A grieving mother of a soldier? It's not easily ignored.

He rushed back to DC from vacation for Terri Schiavo--he can meet with Sheehan.
posted by amberglow at 10:34 PM on August 6, 2005


The SS will shoot her when she looks out a window. Problem solved.
posted by forrest at 10:44 PM on August 6, 2005


CNN has video of it (WMP, have to view an ad, click on WATCH)
posted by amberglow at 10:44 PM on August 6, 2005


CNN has  video of it  lousy detection code in a pop-up window that doesn't work at all to play any video. I've unsuccessfully tried to trick it, but I'm getting really, really tired of this kind of shit programming.
posted by odinsdream at 11:04 PM on August 6, 2005


worked for me--sorry odin. (I just hit play anyway when that comes up)
posted by amberglow at 11:06 PM on August 6, 2005


dude. spellcheck. it's an FPP.
posted by trinarian at 11:11 PM on August 6, 2005


I'm against the war and really am sympathetic to your point, but that lewisnews article read like the mirror opposite of a Newsmax article. To clarify, that is a very bad thing.
posted by aburd at 11:42 PM on August 6, 2005


dude. spellcheck. it's an FPP.

I hate to give this any legs, but I feel obliged to point out that there are no misspellings in the post...?
posted by Bokononist at 11:45 PM on August 6, 2005


Bush said : "I can’t even imagine losing a loved one, a mother or a father or a sister or a brother.’ Uh... didn't he lose a sister?
posted by Clay201 at 11:49 PM on August 6, 2005


Sorry, didn't mean anything personal by it. Try opening the same link on Safari or Explorer or Firefox on a Mac, even with windows media player "installed", I get this super-informative screen. (no guarantee that what you see at that location is what I see, because of said crappy detection code.)
posted by odinsdream at 11:56 PM on August 6, 2005


Wow, Clay201... excellent point.
posted by odinsdream at 11:59 PM on August 6, 2005


On a somewhat related note, it must be completely excellent to be able to spend 2 months a year on vacation.
posted by wakko at 12:33 AM on August 7, 2005


I feel obliged to point out that there are no misspellings in the post...? - Bokononist

Yes, yes there is. We'll make it like a game, and see if you can find it, although...perhaps it's hidden in slang.

The LewisNews article was dreadful, was it not? Such hyperbole generally cannot be found outside of a novel with embossed titles.

Bush said : "I can’t even imagine losing a loved one, a mother or a father or a sister or a brother.’ Uh... didn't he lose a sister? - Clay201

Nice catch, Clay!
posted by dejah420 at 12:35 AM on August 7, 2005


But remember how compassionate he was toward the World Trade building widows?
Grieving women don't fit the narrative. Too complicated for the simple story they're trying to tell.
posted by maryh at 12:38 AM on August 7, 2005


His sister died when he was 7 years old -- I don't that gives him insight into how it feels to lose a loved one as an adult.
posted by davidmsc at 1:05 AM on August 7, 2005


I'm no huge Bush fan, but I have to agree with davidmsc that losing a loved one when you are 7 and losing one as an adult are far different experiences. He should see her, but I don't think he will. Who knows, maybe he'll surprise us all.

And on the spelling argument ... although I wouldn't spell "altho" that way, it is an accepted variant and the Mefi spell check doesn't catch it. Petty thing to worry about anyway, isn't it?
posted by Orb at 1:45 AM on August 7, 2005


Unwanted guests in Crawford?

I was so hoping that this article would tell me that the former supermodel has VD.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:07 AM on August 7, 2005


She is exploiting her grief for political ends.

What is the precedent for this? How many other war time presidents were required to meet with family members who disagreed with the war?
posted by bevets at 5:32 AM on August 7, 2005


> "I want to ask George Bush: Why did my son die?"

The reason people's mouths move in response to questions like this, but no content comes out, is that the answer is so glaringly obvious that if the questioner doesn't get it all by himself, there's no use explaining.

The answer: We aren't drafting prople these days. Your son, a consenting adult, volunteered to join the military and go in harm's way. Deal with your grief in private, madam.

And re. Max Cleland: I have considerable respect for the former senator, but the fact remains that he also volunteered for service in Viet Nam. Therefore what he is giving us now is hindsight. If it's all so obvious, why wasn't it obvious to him then? Alternative and leftist newspapers of the time were full of articles about how the Gulf of Tonkin incident was trumped up so LBJ could railroad his resolution through Congress.
posted by jfuller at 5:56 AM on August 7, 2005


How many other war time presidents were required to meet with family members who disagreed with the war?

How many other wartime presidents never attended a fallen soldier's funeral? How many said "bring it on" to a dangerous enemy? How many, for that matter, took the country to war on the basis of a series of huge lies to the American people? (OK, LBJ and Nixon, perhaps.) How many took repeated weeks-long vacations during "wartime?" How many continued to work to provide huge tax breaks and giveaways to the richest Americans in a time of supposed shared sacrifice?

She is exploiting her grief for political ends.

The president exploited our nation's grief and fear for political ends the day after 9/11, and hasn't stopped doing so yet. Change the verb. She is putting her grief over the senseless loss of her son in the service of challenging the charade for which he died. What *should* she do with her grief? Go away and cry in private and let more sons and daughters die, and more mothers and fathers have their worlds torn out from under them?

This woman gave her son for Bush's war. She is accompanied by dozens of veterans who gave limbs, years of their lives, and a lot of their peace of mind for you and me. Unless you served in combat, or lost a child who served, that comment is incredibly crass. We are owed some kind of explanation for why it was necessary for the administration to tell so many lies to get us into a war that has now cost over 1800 American soldiers, uncounted Iraqi civilians, and the reputation of the United States on the world stage.

The charge of "exploiting" emotion for "political ends" is a nigh perfect description of the SOP of this administration. Its boosters have some nerve objecting when the favor is returned. When "support the troops" is used as a cudgel to beat anyone who opposes the war in which those troops are dying, it's totally righteous for someone whose "support" exceeds anything you or I could ever do to ask why we're fighting and why our troops keep dying, and to expect a personal response.

Go Cindy, go!
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:00 AM on August 7, 2005


This woman gave her son for Bush's war.

Her son gave himself. Training, money and benefits in exchange for him performing whatever vile act was asked of him, including shooting people to protect US business interests. I can see why she's upset, but basically instant karma got her son and she needs to grieve like a normal person instead of like a performance artist.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:16 AM on August 7, 2005


Your son, a consenting adult, volunteered to join the military and go in harm's way. Deal with your grief in private, madam.

Wow. Support the troops indeed. Never served yourself, apparently.

In my universe, volunteering to serve is perhaps the pinnacle of honor, not deserving of "sorry, you sucker" responses. We are no less obligated to these volunteers than we would be to draftees, but as your comments reveal, the all-volunteer army has certainly limited our national accountability. This is why Charles Rangel and others want us to return to a draft, so the kind of folks like us who sit around and debate war on our computers would bear more of the cost and thus ask for a voice in the decision to waste so many lives.

The president has no more right to send volunteer troops into harm's way for a mission based on lies and apparently not only irrelevant to our national security, but directly harmful to it, than he would if we had a conscripted force in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan's complaint only has *more* force for the fact that her son walked into the recruitment office and said "sign me up, I want to fight to defend our national security and the constitution."

What planet is it where you can "respect" Casey Sheehan or Max Cleland for their service and sacrifice, but deny our country's obligations to them, and their survivors? I'm floored. And man, do I want the draft reinstated.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:17 AM on August 7, 2005


in exchange for him performing whatever vile act was asked of him, including shooting people to protect US business interests

You. Don't. Know. Bupkus. Read the enlistment oath someday. You do not volunteer to "do whatever is asked of you" when you sign up. You volunteer to follow legal orders to protect the US from its enemies. You are bound first and foremost by the constitution of the United States, which rather precludes "shooting people to protect US business interests" unless those same people are also actually a threat to the nation's security. This is an extraordinarily ignorant line of reasoning, and I hope there are at least a few active duty folks on MeFi who can tell you why in more specific terms, and perhaps in more colorfully service-appropriate language.

Chickenhawk bullshit is what it is.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:22 AM on August 7, 2005


And to add, I apologize for losing my temper somewhat in the above post and using somewhat stronger language that is my wont.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:32 AM on August 7, 2005


Realcountrymusic, I always find inspiring your ability to remain articulate, reasoned and persuasive when discussing things that inevitably reduce me to rage-gargling fury. Thank you for your comments, always.
posted by Haruspex at 6:53 AM on August 7, 2005


Will this grieving mother do any better?

Not a chance.
posted by crunchland at 7:00 AM on August 7, 2005


so the kind of folks like us who sit around and debate war on our computers would bear more of the cost and thus ask for a voice in the decision to waste so many lives.

Uh... unless your daddy is rich enough or can pull the right strings to get you into the Texas National Guard, where you may or may not even have to show up for your tour of duty.

While I see your point, you make it sound like a simple thing. And it's not. Or at least it hasn't been so far. Not even 140 years ago, when there was a draft in the 1860's, where $300 could get you a ticket out, or 40 years ago... The sad fact is that in our "classless" society, the majority of people who end up fighting in our wars usually are there because they have few options open to them. Options that the rich folks -- like the guys up on Capitol Hill or Pennsylvania Avenue -- don't give a second thought to.
posted by crunchland at 7:10 AM on August 7, 2005


realcountrymusic, your points were very articulate and you have nothing to apologize for.
posted by tizzie at 7:27 AM on August 7, 2005


This story really doesn't add anything to the debate aside from calling into question the president's personal compassion.

Since the primary source seems to be politically inclined to deface the president, what helpfull info does this conjecture really provide? Now if meetings with presidents are always filmed and open to the public (I think they should) then we could see the presidents souless expressions ourselves. That would be something.
posted by parallax7d at 7:52 AM on August 7, 2005


Some pics and a diary from someone there (kos)

parallax, it's not about defacing the president-- it's about stopping the occupation and continuing death of so many. it's about finding out why her son and so many other parents' kids had to die for the lies Bush told. Putting the President on the spot is valuable--we need to know that he's answerable. He is responsible, for her son's death, the deaths of all the other soldiers, the wounding of many many more, and of many thousands of Iraqis--an ongoing thing which many feel needs to stop.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 AM on August 7, 2005


and real, you rock--no need at all.
posted by amberglow at 8:15 AM on August 7, 2005


thanks Haruspex, tizzie, and amberglow for the kind words
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:20 AM on August 7, 2005


"My daughter was killed in a car accident. Cars should be banned!"

No, I'm sorry. Tragedy about her loss, but stuff happens. As was said by the Chinese police officer who gave an American pedestrian in Beijing a traffic ticket after he was hit by a man on a bicycle: "Had you not come to visit China in the first place, this accident could not have happened. Therefore, you are also at fault."

What inspired her son to join the military? Money? A chance to get an inexpensive education? Something that looks good on a resume? Patriotism? Peer pressure?

Apparently he made a bad, no, not really, an *unlucky* choice. Many people who have made that same choice got lots of benefits and little or no risk to themselves.

And now he gets a great memorial. Did she talk to the people he served with and ask them how her son died, and what did he do before he died, and was it for a good purpose? No. Does she even care about the great number of military and non-military people in Iraq who do think they are doing a great job, helping millions of people (remember, only a tiny minority are fighting on both sides), and helping an entire mostly thankful nation to be peaceful and prosperous?

She already knows that he died for no reason. That he helped no one. That he accomplished nothing. That his peers were either distant or facilitated his getting killed. That it is someone else's fault that he is dead. And that no one should ever do such a thing because it serves no purpose. That if we just look away, bad things will no longer happen, and people like her will never again have to feel pain. She just knows these things.

Thanks, mom.
posted by kablam at 8:20 AM on August 7, 2005


While I see your point, you make it sound like a simple thing.

I'm being idealistic, of course. We need a draft, with no exemptions. Fat chance, I know. Among the simplest and most stunning facts is that no one in the administration or in congress, that I am aware of, has lost a child in this war. I believe only a couple of reps even have kids serving. And as we all know, most of our republican overlords conveniently avoided service when they were of an age to hear the call.

Impugning Casey Sheehan's motives for joining up is an insult to every single serving serviceperson. Of course he expected the benefits as well as the consequences of his decision. He, unlike anyone posting to this thread (I am assuming, since no one has claimed a service record) put his life on the line for the United States. We pay people for that, and we are supposed to honor them as well. Getting a paycheck for service doesn't mean you are ineligible for honor. Support the troops my ass. We see some true colors on display here.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:29 AM on August 7, 2005


kablam, even tho her son joined of her own free will, that doesn't mean that a president can lie us into war and occupation. This is an unjust war and occupation built on lies. Even if other soldiers there think they're doing good, that doesn't make this war and occupation ok or right. Her son, and all the soldiers in Iraq, are not defending our country, or even stopping others from hurting Iraqis--they're occupying a country that was thoroughly contained and no threat to us, and they're inciting continuing, daily violence and destruction against themselves and innocent Iraqis by their presence.

Bush is directly responsible for her son's death, and all the deaths associated with this debacle. It's only right that she get to confront the man who has her son's blood on his hands.

You're actually right--her son died for no reason. There was no reason for us to be there in the first place, and there still is no reason for us to be there. That makes it even worse.
posted by amberglow at 8:32 AM on August 7, 2005


Realcountrymusic, that idea about a draft is genious. It would really bring the reality of the situation to the goverment, and populace who put them there. Perhaps only then would needless future wars be avoided.
posted by parallax7d at 8:46 AM on August 7, 2005


Lol, poor is the man who misspells genius.
posted by parallax7d at 8:50 AM on August 7, 2005


*genius.
posted by parallax7d at 8:51 AM on August 7, 2005


It would never bring it home to the old white guys who send the kids into war in the first place, because they're safely ensconced in their secret locations, far away from any actual harm, moving the chess pieces around on the board. The only danger they're in is maybe a brow-beating from the mothers who lose their sons, and, I'm betting even that is avoidable, too.
posted by crunchland at 9:29 AM on August 7, 2005


I've often thought that after a war, we should financially support veterans 100% for the rest of their lives (or any active service). Or their surviving family. Why? Well, for one, in an ideal world, they would be the ones protecting us from harms way, and god damnit, they would deserve it.

But the other reason, perhaps the more important reason; we americans would object to stupid wars if we saw this happening. People would get pissed off that serviceman joe schmoe down the road doesn't have to work another day in his life because he was involved in some bullshit political war.

And conversely, if the solders were REALLY protecting the US from forces seeking to do the US harm, then they would be seen as deserving every penny of it.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:58 AM on August 7, 2005


RealCountryMusic's posts on this thread = best of the web.

Thanks, RCM.
posted by OhPuhLeez at 11:20 AM on August 7, 2005


If this president were a leader he would be attending funerals and meeting with parents of dead soldiers and explaining to them - and us - why this war is worth the loss of their children. If..if..if...

Have we sunk so low as a country that we accept - even justify - that it is okay that our president not even walk up the road from his damn ranch to make the symbolic gesture to this mother that would be natural for a leader to make?

This is what we are accepting from a president these days?
posted by trii at 11:39 AM on August 7, 2005


don't you know that it is unpatriotic to interrupt the (p)residents 5 fucking week long vacation?

damn you insensitive morons.

i think the resident should take his holiday in iraq
(apologies to the dead kennedys)

i'll shut it now, because unlike realcountry, i cannot remain so coherent with my blood boiling.
posted by coyote's bark at 11:56 AM on August 7, 2005


You do not volunteer to "do whatever is asked of you" when you sign up. You volunteer to follow legal orders to protect the US from its enemies. You are bound first and foremost by the constitution of the United States, which rather precludes "shooting people to protect US business interests" unless those same people are also actually a threat to the nation's security.

Okay, the oath has a lot of niceities in it. Great. He went overseas to shoot people in order to protect our oil interests. In exchange for money.

"Protect the US from its enemies" indeed.

And you're misappropriating "chickenhawk." I'm not a hawk at all. And I'm not chicken-- I didn't enlist because I'm opposed to being shouted at by illiterates. And I'm too principled to kill people for petroleum.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:58 PM on August 7, 2005


Curley, poor people have been tricked, cajoled, and forced into fighting for rich people's interests since time immemorial, and it's great that you're too clever/wealthy/fortunate/etc. to fall into that role. You're still an idiot if you can't see that the socioeconomic deck is stacked against these folks in nearly every way. I hope your halo fits well.
posted by stenseng at 1:17 PM on August 7, 2005


Not to mention the fact that while you're too morally superior to do the fighting for that petroleum, my guess is you don't have too many sleepless nights enjoying the myriad benefits of it's acquisition. Try a little reason, compassion, and decency.
posted by stenseng at 1:19 PM on August 7, 2005


Gee, I'd had the great wisdom not join the armed forces, too. Bully for me. Well actually, I'm not allowed to serve, and I was raised in a state with a viable economy and educational system, so I didn't need to get out. How smart was that to be born there! I am also enough of a cynic to realize that my country might lie to send me into war, and that they might not take care to arm and protect me. So really, other people should just take what comes to them. Fuck, do stupid people really even deserve armor?

This woman's campaign zeros in on the real hypocracy of this war. Our presidents (totem and acting) chose not to serve. They have strategically avioded any personalization of soldiers-- no memorials, no mention of any specific names. They keep the whole thing abstract.

20% vacation time. Must be nice. I bet even Elizabeth II works harder. Why do we but up with this lazy asshole.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 1:39 PM on August 7, 2005


i'll shut it now, because unlike realcountry, i cannot remain so coherent with my blood boiling.

.

.!

posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 1:44 PM on August 7, 2005


Curley, poor people have been tricked, cajoled, and forced into fighting for rich people's interests since time immemorial, and it's great that you're too clever/wealthy/fortunate/etc. to fall into that role. You're still an idiot if you can't see that the socioeconomic deck is stacked against these folks in nearly every way. I hope your halo fits well.

When did capital Ell Liberals become so soft? You'll condemn the Bush Administration for their foreign atrocities, but you refuse to condemn the people who are actually doing it? You won't because you know it would be unpopular. Do I blame Bill Clinton for this "don't take a left position unless it's salable" attitue? Or do I blame "First Blood" for making people feel bad about the treatment of veterans? Seriously, how the hell did the mainstream left get backed into a position of "War for profit is bad, but the people who wage war for profit are good"?

These people who were somehow forced to enlist in protecting business interests aren't culpable for anything they do? If they put down their guns and refused to kill, there wouldn't be a war. They won't, of course, because they're still getting paid.

Killing for profit is bad whether you're the CEO of Haliburton buying the government to do the top-level stuff, or you're in the desert wrecking lives.

Remember real defiant leftist thought? Remember poor Phil Ochs? Remember his "Is There Anybody Here", where he asked "is there anybody here who thinks that following the orders takes away the blame?" It used to be an obviously rhetorical question for leftists.

Give up, dude. Register as a republican. They won and you're helping them.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:45 PM on August 7, 2005


amberglow

Bush is directly responsible for her son's death, and all the deaths associated with this debacle. It's only right that she get to confront the man who has her son's blood on his hands.

Does the guy who made the bomb that killed her son hold any responsibilty?

There has never been a feel good war. Liberals LOVE to wallow in the misery of war. Wars, by their nature, cause pain and suffering, but this does not mean that war should ALWAYS be avoided at ALL cost. Nor does it mean that this war should have been avoided.
posted by bevets at 1:58 PM on August 7, 2005


But bevets, what if the unborn are harmed in the course of the war? You would be against it then, right?
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:12 PM on August 7, 2005


There has never been a feel good war. Liberals LOVE to wallow in the misery of war. Wars, by their nature, cause pain and suffering, but this does not mean that war should ALWAYS be avoided at ALL cost. Nor does it mean that this war should have been avoided.
posted by bevets at 1:58 PM PST on August 7 [!]


Not true. The US revolutionary war. It was the every day joe VS. Big Government. It was the minutemen and freedom fighting militias that won this country.

But in Iraq, we are the Big Govt., and we are fighting the minutemen. Some people can't see the distinction.
posted by Balisong at 2:15 PM on August 7, 2005


We support just wars, and we supported going into Afghanistan as well. Too bad they only wanted to invade Iraq instead. The misery of war is real, and not to be ignored. It's not "collateral damage" or whatever other euphemisms you'd prefer--it's real people on both sides. If Bush knew what war was really like maybe he'd have thought twice before this horrendous mistaken invasion and occupation.
posted by amberglow at 2:36 PM on August 7, 2005


Iraq is a bullshit war fought by incompetent idiots. They deserve to be punished for both launching an unnecessary war, and then fighting it badly.
posted by cell divide at 2:40 PM on August 7, 2005


These people who were somehow forced to enlist in protecting business interests aren't culpable for anything they do?

Yeah, why did all those people choose to be born into circumstances that would eventually require them to pick between working for minimum wage at Walmart or enlising in the military? Why didn't they choose to be millionaires? They sure are dumb!
posted by crank at 3:11 PM on August 7, 2005


Yeah, why did all those people choose to be born into circumstances that would eventually require them to pick between working for minimum wage at Walmart or enlising in the military? Why didn't they choose to be millionaires?

Or why didn't they work for minimum wage at Walmart, where you never have to kill people and you're rarely shot at.

(Yes, yes, supporting Walmart's business practices is worse than sticking a gun in someone's face and killing them, Bush=Hitler and free East Timor, man!)
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:22 PM on August 7, 2005


And you know how conservatives are always saying that Liberals absolutely don't believe in personal accountablility? They're absolutely right.

Of course, conservatives don't believe in corporate accountablility, and that's at least as bad. But if you don't believe that those soldiers are accountable for their atrocities, you don't really believe in free will.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:28 PM on August 7, 2005


not all soldiers commit atrocities--why do you hate America(n troops) so much, Mayor? ; o
posted by amberglow at 3:37 PM on August 7, 2005


Well, usually I cry/whine about these Iraq posts, but today I'll wade in.

As to the question of why didn't Bush go to this son's funeral or another soldier's funeral, I can't answer for him. Maybe he really is afraid of parental response, maybe he doesn't respect those who died, maybe he respects those that died too much. A past president said that although he'd like to attend soldiers' funerals (in a diff. war), it becomes too difficult to handle: for one, the president's attendance detracts from the purpose of the funeral - to honor and lay to rest the dead. For another, unless you're going to attend every soldier's funeral (a difficult prospect), how can you decide whose to attend? Ignoring for a moment that some won't want the President to attend, those funerals that don't see the President attend will wonder "Was my son/daughter not good enough for him to attend?" I saw a while back that perhaps the administration could split up attendance duties among the administration and cabinet, but that leads to the same issues - "Why didn't the President attend my son's funeral? Why did he send the HHS secretary instead? Is my son not important enough?" Press involvement would also cheat the memory of the son or daughter being laid to rest as well, IMHO.

I can't answer for President Bush, but attending funerals does lead to trouble down the road. Were I in his shoes, I would have had a cabinet member or something attend each one, but I'm not making those choices.

As to the discussion on who is culpable for going off to war: the soldier is partly to "blame", although I'm very hesitant to use that word because it IS the wrong word for the thought I'm trying to convey. A group of friends of mine reupped enlistment to go to Iraq not because they were financially unable to do anything else, but because they wanted to go. They're volunteers, and although their sacrifice would not have been less noble for having been drafted, they did decide to join. Clearly, it is partly on their hands that they decided to sign up for the military. Curley and others are right in that you cannot absolve them of all responsibility for their decision because you disagree with the war.

I'm also not very sympathetic to cries to pull our troops out, although I understand the sentiment, and daily I wonder where the line for "We're done here" truly is. To pull out now is to accept the consequences that such an action would entail, for ourselves and our children and our children's children that may have to deal with such an action.

I have more to say, but I better break this up into seperate posts.
posted by Drylnn at 3:49 PM on August 7, 2005


But in Iraq, we are the Big Govt., and we are fighting the minutemen. Some people can't see the distinction.

We can debate this point back and forth, by posting articles back and forth on "who the insurgents are", but I would rather avoid doing such. That said, every resistance movement does not become the moral equivalent to the minutemen. Keep in mind, I'm not saying that the people fighting the troops don't have good reason for doing so, and I'm not trying to render your comparison moot. I'm just saying, making direct analogies like this is dangerous when we don't have a concrete grasp on the majority of insurgents' motives (I refuse to call them "terrorists" without knowing).
posted by Drylnn at 3:54 PM on August 7, 2005


(Yes, yes, supporting Walmart's business practices is worse than sticking a gun in someone's face and killing them, Bush=Hitler and free East Timor, man!)

No, I never drew a moral comparison between the two, turd. They're both shitty ways to make a living.

You're lucky you never had to make that kind of decision. You might be surprised to learn that most people who join the military in order to "protect business interests," as you put it, have never heard of Chomsky or Zinn.

And while in your own mind the top three reasons these people might have joined the military are:
1. Kill brown people
2. protect the elite's business interests
3. kill brown people

the simple reality is that they enlisted for the following:
1. money for college
2. an opportunity to get out of a nowhere town with no prospects
3. or maybe they had an idealized notion of what it means to join the military and 'protect America'

From what you've written it seems you'd also be surprised to learn that plenty of soldiers killed in Iraq weren't there in a combat capacity. Are soldiers killed while driving a supply truck evil too?

And you know how conservatives are always saying that Liberals absolutely don't believe in personal accountablility? They're absolutely right.

They also say liberals 'hate the troops.' Guess what? They're wrong about that too.
posted by crank at 3:56 PM on August 7, 2005


Thanks, RCM.

Thanks for the kind words, ohpuleez.
posted by realcountrymusic at 4:03 PM on August 7, 2005


Getting back to the article though, that one from LewisNews is more of an editorial than an article. I'm not saying that Bush is a good person or a bad person, but I can imagine why he's not chomping at the bit to meet with this lady again with comments like this:

"I spoke with John Warner after his interview and told him unless he was prepared to sacrifice even a good night's sleep over this senseless and criminal war, then he should work on ending it, not prolonging the carnage. He told me that I was "entitled to my opinion," but he would respectfully have to disagree with me. That was awfully Constitutional of him!

"Well, you know what? I ache for her blindness and for the millions of ‘sheeple’ who have had the wool pulled over their eyes by this bunch of hypocritical, bad shepherds who are running a disastrous herd over the world. I have distressing news for the ‘Soccer Safety Moms’ and the ‘NASCAR Dads’ who are such ardent supporters of this administration and war:

Regardless of if she's right or not (and I disagree on the "sheeple" bit, but she could be right), I can imagine why the administration isn't going out on a limb to meet with her. And if I were his advisors, I wouldn't have any type of public meeting with her: it's guarrenteed to be a press bonanza, and I would bet she'd be inviting them if they didn't hear about it on their own. She's already met with the President once, she obviously won't be satisfied until all her goals are met. What would be the point of meeting her again? They aren't going to see eye to eye, they'd be lucky if the conversation remained civil.

I wish her luck in her goals, but I completely understand why the White House doesn't want to deal with her. I wouldn't want to, and I understand everything that she's saying.
posted by Drylnn at 4:04 PM on August 7, 2005


They also say liberals 'hate the troops.' Guess what? They're wrong about that too.

Excellent point. Let's not fall into too much labelling. They usually don't fit.
posted by Drylnn at 4:06 PM on August 7, 2005


Rosemary Palmer and Paul Schroeder, the parents of Lance Corporal Edward Schroeder, who was one of the 14 Marines that were recently killed in Iraq, did a moving interview on Hardball (transcript).
posted by kirkaracha at 4:27 PM on August 7, 2005


It's amusing to see a story on CNN's front page and know with certainty it will be posted on metafilter. No matter how many throw-away links are added, it's still a dog.

Throwing away the logical problem of Bush meeting every parent of every soldier lost in the war, it does seem like it would be a nice gesture.

But would it change any minds in this thread? If Bush meets with the mother, will the nay-sayers in this thread suddenly give him a slap on the back? Acknowledge the act with approval? No, because the idea behind the post is more political axe grinding, not an interest in this mother's plight.

As for the mother, does she really simply want a conversation with Bush, to ask a few questions? I can certainly relate to the need. However, if that's what she really wants, she might want to arrive in a vehicle without 'the impeach tour' written on the side, and she might want to tell her fellow protesters to quiet the "W. killed her son" chants.

Then again, this isn't about Bush answering her questions. This is about her crusade to attack Bush and the war, much like the poster of this link. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that. But let's not pretend it's something else. Don't pretend Bush can tell her anything that will satisfy her.

Her son was an adult when he joined the military. We don't know if he agree with the war, if he felt he was fighting for nothing, if he would join again if given the chance. She's speaking for herself, not her son.

Curley, poor people have been tricked, cajoled, and forced into fighting for rich people's interests since time immemorial, and it's great that you're too clever/wealthy/fortunate/etc. to fall into that role. posted by stenseng

And you know how conservatives are always saying that Liberals absolutely don't believe in personal accountablility? They're absolutely right. posted by Mayor Curley

They also say liberals 'hate the troops.' Guess what? They're wrong about that too.posted by crank

I'd say the evidence shows otherwise.
posted by justgary at 4:32 PM on August 7, 2005


As a liberal living in a red state this is exactly the reason the majority of people living in this country have a hatred for liberals. Are we trying to preach to the choir or convert?

Correct or not, the general sentiment is that people have free will in regards to joining the military. Saying that Bush was directly responsible for his death, in the minds of many Americans, is tatamount to taking away the freedom of choice that our culture holds so high. If this were a draft situation this would be much different, but it is not and I believe any person joining the military is well aware of the risks and benefits associated with the job.

The basic fact is that he was killed fighting a Islamic extremists, those who favor the most kind of dispicable type of government by Western standards (no women's suffrage, no homosexual rights, cruel punishment, etc.). Whether we should have gone, unfortunately, became a moot point at the point where the Saddam dicatorship collapsed.

Even if we were to have voted Bush out of the last election we'd still be left with this state affairs. Instead of pissing off the moderates who sway left or right, we should focus on bringing to light in everyway possible current issues (social security, the CIA leak debacle, misused contracts). Right or wrong, this looks like liberal whining to everyone else and ultimately undermines our position.
posted by geoff. at 4:32 PM on August 7, 2005


Mayor Curley, you're leaving out the bit about the government lying to those who enlisted (along with the rest of us). They signed up to go after Osama and stop WMDs.

In the case of a lying government, it's the government who is accountable.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:51 PM on August 7, 2005


tho, I have to agree with justgary and Drylln. The lady isn't going to see Bush again. I still find her account of the initial meeting (if honest) pretty damning.
posted by es_de_bah at 5:19 PM on August 7, 2005


joining the military is exactly taking away his freedom of choice, as he immediately loses his free will and has to do as he's told. We trust that the powers that be won't squander that trust and waste our troops this way. That's what was betrayed here, and it's why recruitment is way way down--parents know, even if the kids don't.

What counts is not that this mother is taking a stand--what counts is that at least someone is holding Bush accountable, and is getting attention for it--when those many millions of us worldwide pre-war were not able to stop it, nor were we able to get attention for it. She's turning her grief into something positive--stopping other people from losing their children for the lies. That's worth more than any knocking of her. Way way way more.

Then again, this isn't about Bush answering her questions. This is about her crusade to attack Bush and the war, much like the poster of this link. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that. But let's not pretend it's something else. Don't pretend Bush can tell her anything that will satisfy her.
It's pathetic that you don't think stopping future deaths is worth anything--and terribly amoral and telling. Every day that this mistaken, false war is allowed to continue ("stay the course") means more deaths for lies. That should mean something to you--something more than knocking her--or me. Too bad it doesn't.
posted by amberglow at 7:03 PM on August 7, 2005


Right or wrong, this looks like liberal whining to everyone else and ultimately undermines our position.

Right or wrong? A statement prefaced by "right or wrong" requires only a simple answer. Do what is right. If it is right, then perception of "whining" be damned. This is a soldier's mom. There are over 1800 like her. Have you seen her speak? She is a powerful everywoman, and clearly motivated by grief and anger, not "whining."

I could not disagree more with the premise of your point, that some majority of Americans (what majority is that again? The newest polls put support for the war at under 40 percent) think "you signs up and takes your chances." Bull. I think people know the difference between dying by accident, dying for a noble cause, and dying for a lie and find the last choice the least tolerable, especially when the dead are our honored warriors and we face so many more real threats than Iraq ever posed that have not only not gone away, but gotten worse.

Jessica Lynch spoke to AFP today and said straight up that she was "used" as a symbol of a good war and that it used to piss her off, but she's put it behind her. You do know the story, right, about her supposedly brutal "captors" denying care to Iraqi wounded to treat her, and going out of their way to tell the Americans, at great cost to their own safety, how we could get her out. Yet another Bushco lie, and that one deserves to be called propaganda of the basest sort.

Your comments actually enshrine the much bigger problem facing the liberal cause, namely, that we appear to be quite elitist when we become afraid to speak the truth and advocate only saying what is politically expedient, or what the people are capable of understanding. I challenge the assertion that there is a majority of Americans who would be unmoved if they knew who Cindy Sheehan was, heard her words, or put themselves in her place. And I think the majority who would be moved -- and she is getting tons more press than anyone suspected -- are fully capable of weighing her arguments (which she presents passionately and eloquently) about why her son died for a lie. The left needs a thousand more like her. In "red" states.
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:05 PM on August 7, 2005


"The families of the fallen can rest assured that your loved ones died for a noble cause."
And "We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission."

The first statement is so blatantly false that it angered me for a couple of reasons. First of all, what is the noble cause? The cause changes at will when the previous cause has been proven a lie. Secondly, because many people in America, when they hear such drivel, allow themselves to be "assured." A lot of people heard that falsehood and said: "Whew, 14 Marines in one incident, that's bad, but the President said they died for a noble cause. We can get on with our consumering now"
George Bush has spewed the second filth many times and each time it upsets me more. As a mother, why would I want any other mother (American or Iraqi) to go through the same pain as I am suffering through?
--Cindy Sheehan, dailykos
posted by amberglow at 7:19 PM on August 7, 2005


... Her success in drawing so much attention to her message - and leaving the White House in a face-off with an opponent who had to be treated very gently even as she aggressively attacked the president and his policies - seemed to stem from the confluence of several forces.
The deaths last week of 20 Marines from a single battalion has focused public attention on the unremitting pace of casualties in Iraq, providing her an opening to deliver her message that no more lives should be given to the war. At the same time, polls that show falling approval for Mr. Bush's handling of the war have left him open to challenge in a way that he was not when the nation appeared to be more strongly behind him. ...
--NYTimes, Of the Many Deaths in Iraq, One Mother's Loss Becomes a Problem for the President, 8/8 (pay attention to how it's treated as a PR problem for him)
posted by amberglow at 7:35 PM on August 7, 2005


That should mean something to you--something more than knocking her--or me. Too bad it doesn't.

Amberglow, read what you want to read into what I said why don't you.

My point was that this wasn't about her meeting with bush. So let's stop acting as if bush meeting her is what's at stake.

You said a grieving mother is hard to ignore, so it will be interesting what he does. Really? So if bush meets with her you'll be happy? Of course not.

And the mother wants more than bush to answer her questions. She wants the war to be stopped. Two completely different agendas. How have I knocked her? And knocking you? I simply disagree with you, almost as much as I disagree with realcountrymusic. For once stop playing the victim.
posted by justgary at 7:39 PM on August 7, 2005


I am late here, I have read the comments; and I hate to throw a damp towel on everything, but why would Bush want to meet with somebody that has nothing but a negative agenda? What can be resolved by meeting with her? It is a no win agenda to even acknowledge her.

I hope she takes some of her sons SGLI life insurance and does something with it other than spend it flying all over the country and hounding Bush. I do have strong beliefs that she will give none of it to disabled war veterans or other veteran support programs.
posted by buzzman at 7:56 PM on August 7, 2005


buzz, donating to veterans programs won't stop more Americans and Iraqis from dying daily--for lies (or being grievously wounded). She's trying to stop this. If he doesn't listen to her (and i don't have any faith that he will) then at least the publicity will show that even a grieving mother can't talk sense into him.

He can't afford to take that chance, nor can the GOP congresspeople up for reelection. She's playing hardball, and she's playing the media, and it's a smart move--a move that should have been made ages ago, so that more could have lived. That's what's sticking in people's craws, i think.
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on August 7, 2005


People think that a grieving mother of a soldier (or wife or kid, etc) should sit quietly and weep or something or just go away--well, that's not happening, and i bet she has more and more company as this debacle goes on.
posted by amberglow at 8:31 PM on August 7, 2005


I honestly feel she is schilling her position, and being so blatant in her words and actions just alienates her from less extreme opponents to the war. I may be wrong, but I can still state my opinion.
Drudge is treating her like a real neo-lib this evening, and I imaging Limbaugh will berate her for three hours tomorrow.

Iraq is a huge mess. And we could have spent the billions on solar, wind, hydrogen, and bio-fuels instead of (blunt) warfare and death.

War is a terrible way to fuel an economic "recovery".
posted by buzzman at 8:34 PM on August 7, 2005


As a parent and a fellow human, I empathize with Mrs. Sheehan. I also agree with her that this war was entered hastily and unnecessarily. I opposed the invasion of Iraq. But to now call for American withdrawal is tantamount to signing a death sentence for tens of thousands more Iraqis. Does she not have any empathy for the Iraqi men, women, and children who our Armed Forces have put in such a precarious position?

I may not agree with Mayor Curley's style, but he doesn't seem all that far from the mark. The solution is not a Vietnam-like withdrawal.
posted by Cassford at 8:37 PM on August 7, 2005


Sharp reality Cassford. I'm going to take those words with me as I take in a walk.
posted by buzzman at 8:43 PM on August 7, 2005


So if bush meets with her you'll be happy?

No, I'll be amazed. He never does anything slightly out of character, just as he never admits making a mistake. He is a wooden man of weak character. A real leader would in fact walk down the driveway and meet Ms. Sheehan, invite her in for a drink, and listen to her. If he did, he'd go up 10 poll points tomorrow for the gesture of respect, even if he did nothing but try to understand where she is coming from without smirking or calling her "mom" (as he did in her first, formal meeting with him). Instead, he'll hide and his men will bluster and "Drudge will paint her as a real neo-lib" (whatever the hell that means, and if Drudge slimes you, you know you're hitting bone, so good work Cindy) . . . Matt Drudge isn't worth Cindy Sheehan's hatband.

I do not advocate a Vietnam-style retreat. I do advocate a plan for a staged withdrawal and a renewed effort to internationalize the peacekeeping that will be necessary (fat chance, given the way this strategically-impaired moron has handled international relations). We broke it, bad, and we bought it. But the president must be held accountable to the people, as must his staff, for what they've managed to screw up here. That's mostly what I hear Cindy Sheehan saying., too. Stopping the war is the goal, but the first step toward a change of policy is some accountability for all that's gone wrong. It will take new leadership to get us out of Iraq. And I mean in this country.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:54 PM on August 7, 2005


I opposed the invasion of Iraq. But to now call for American withdrawal is tantamount to signing a death sentence for tens of thousands more Iraqis.
Staying there is doing the same exact thing--so what do we do?
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on August 7, 2005


Decorum. Tact. Rationality.

As the brother of a soldier serving in Kuwait and Iraq, I can only hope that I will have these traits if the worst happens and the media focus their attentions upon me.

This grieving mother is entitled to be sad. I find her confrontational style repulsive and unpersuasive.

Maybe if she keeps it up, Hillary will lose in 2008 to people with more refined supporters.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:29 PM on August 7, 2005


Witness a large scale Bay of Pigs type fiasco as we pull out and watch from a distance as our props colapse?
posted by buzzman at 9:30 PM on August 7, 2005


Philosophical differences about the war and various things aside, she has put Bush in a difficult spot (and I like it). One Republican senator has said publicly that he should meet with her.

If he does not do so soon, this has the feel of a story that will only get bigger as days go by--Cindy Sheehan, Day X; Cindy Sheehan, Day X+1; etc. This time of year tends to be slow-news days and it is a compelling story.

It would also get bigger if she is joined by more people who have lost family members in Iraq.

If he meets her tomorrow, I could see that it could motivate others like her to take similar action.
posted by ambient2 at 9:40 PM on August 7, 2005


He won't do it i bet--she's smart enough to know it has to be in public, in front of cameras, so the world hears what he slings.
posted by amberglow at 9:45 PM on August 7, 2005


she's smart enough to know it has to be in public, in front of cameras

So, I'm confused. She suppossedly wants answers. So does she now want answers, or does she want answers in front of the camera?

I'm being silly of course. She doesn't want answers regardless of her claims. She wants a pullout, plain and simple (which is another claim).

She should just drop the "I want answers." and stick with her second point, which is "I want the war to end." But then she shouldn't be surprised when Bush doesn't talk to her about it. That's why she keeps the "I want answers" part of her statement. Without it, she has little chance of keeping pressure on the administration, because she moves from "Concerned parent who wants answers" to "Antiwar protestor" in the media's eyes. They lose the angle and won't follow her "crusade."

I guess that's where I have a problem. It's kind of an "the ends doesn't justify the means". The fact that the war has a lot of problems doesn't justify using the "I want answers for my boy" cry to make people think that's what you want.

I know people on here have tried to claim "I'd have respect for Bush if he met with her...", but that's not really the point that others have stated. The fact is, you'd still either be against the war or for it, and for many (not all) of the "against the war" people, nothing Bush could do short of some sort of pullout would be enough. Let's not be disingenuous and talk about how Bush meeting with her would make much of a difference in your opinion of him or the war.

But the president must be held accountable to the people, as must his staff, for what they've managed to screw up here. That's mostly what I hear Cindy Sheehan saying., too. Stopping the war is the goal, but the first step toward a change of policy is some accountability for all that's gone wrong

Ostensibly the last election was about accountability and direction, and he did win that election. To a degree, his party is accountable in the next election because if they don't like the direction, they'll vote a Democrat into office. There's not going to be a trial held to decide if Bush lied, so if you're holding out for that, you're in pipe dream land, no matter how unfair it might seem.

People are pointing to the polls, but I can almost guarrentee, if another Fallujah type operation were to be successfully carried out, the polls would go back up again. Wars should not be carried out on the whim of the American people and whether or not American Idol has distracted them from this week in the news. The polls for support will have up times and down times, we can sit here and spit numbers like they have some sort of meaning on a monthly basis. The question should be, what are our objectives now, and will they be accomplished by pulling out or staying in. There is something to be said for the idea that Bush and company need to let us know what our current objectives are, and for that, I sympathize with those who want us to pull out. There's also something to be said for acknowledging how much worse/better things can get in Iraq for future generations if we pull out versus staying in. That is what needs to be said, not soothing the feelings of this mother who rides in on the "Impeach Bush" bus. She'll NEVER be soothed or satisfied except with a pullout. With all due respect to her loss, we need to look at this somewhat impartially, not with the emotion that she's experiencing.

I'm sorry if this sounds cold. As a person with close friends in Iraq, I don't intend to be cold. But we can't evaluate these types of decisions on twists of emotion or whims. That doesn't mean pulling out is the wrong decision, it just means we need to think carefully.
posted by Drylnn at 10:08 PM on August 7, 2005


the simple reality is that they enlisted for the following:
1. money for college
2. an opportunity to get out of a nowhere town with no prospects
3. or maybe they had an idealized notion of what it means to join the military and 'protect America'


Why do they get a free pass for being poor? Bush (who is revolting) hasn't actually killed anyone and liberals want to run him through. I reiterate-- he's gross. But so are his minions who would rather kill and lie to themselves than work in a tire warehouse. If life deals you a bad hand, it still isn't excusable to kill foreign people to right it.

And I hate to mention it (because some idiot will yell "godwin!" because they have a whiff of what I'm getting at), but how effective was "just following orders!" for a bunch of born-poor people at Nuremberg? Should they have been exonerated because their second-best option was working in the 1930's equivalent of Walmart?
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:42 PM on August 7, 2005


Curley, what color is the sky in your world? The reality is that we here in the US have a standing army, much as does pretty much every other nation in the world. That army exists at minimum out of ugly necessity. We can debate the relative merits of what the army does and who it benefits all day long, but that won't change the reality that it exists, and it's basically a necessary evil.

Further, if you can agree that having a standing armed force is a necessary evil, which you may well not, then you'll likely understand that for that force to be effective, those guys have to be trained to, and have to expect to pretty much unquestioningly follow orders save for really obviously wrong stuff.

IE - expecting a soldier to refuse an order to kill an unarmed civilian is totally reasonable.

Expecting a soldier to refuse orders to be shipped to Iraq to fix humvees, when he's being told that they've got WMDs, and yadda yadda, that's not a reasonable expectation. These guys have to
The US armed forces are a tool, much like a gun, sometimes used for good, sometimes (I'd say far more often) used for ill. But USED is the operative word. And the people that comprise these armed forces come from the bottom of the socioeconomic heap, and they are indoctrinated with propaganda telling them that their service is honorable, good, etc. People with limited education, experience, etc. lack the perspective to have any metric for guaging whether simple participation in the armed forces is right or wrong. War crimes? Yes. Abu Ghraib shit? You bet. Anyone who can't tell that that ain't right has problems. But joining up as a goddamned humvee mechanic?

The reality is that having a standing army is unfortunately necessary, and soldiers ARE responsible for their actions on an individual level, but when it comes to general policy, particularly in this case when the executive lead this push for unecessary and illegal war, the President is culpable for that policy, and the aftermath of it.

Putting that blame on the soldier's shoulders is plain wrong.
posted by stenseng at 12:08 AM on August 8, 2005


And the people that comprise these armed forces come from the bottom of the socioeconomic heap, and they are indoctrinated with propaganda telling them that their service is honorable, good, etc. People with limited education, experience, etc. lack the perspective to have any metric for guaging whether simple participation in the armed forces is right or wrong.

So you're saying "Yes, poor people are held to a different moral standard than I am?" Did I read that right? Because I'm pretty sure that you just said that being poor pretty much means you're ignorant, and that ignorance is an acceptable excuse for destroying others.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:23 AM on August 8, 2005


Let's not be disingenuous and talk about how Bush meeting with her would make much of a difference in your opinion of him or the war.
I still don't see anyone talking about how their opinion of Bush would really change--what it would do is show he's a man who cares about those he sends to die. And someone who can acknowledge their mistakes and lies. What's disingenuous is that Bush continues to lie and mislead all of us.

And Sheehan is clear about what she wants--she wants to meet with him to pull the troops out and stop the war, so that no other child dies.
posted by amberglow at 5:33 AM on August 8, 2005


from Frameshop: Stolen Honor On Wednesday August 3, President Bush issued a statement in which he made the deaths of American soldiers a key reason for remaining in Iraq:

"We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission. [So that] the families of the fallen can be assured that they died for a noble cause." ...

posted by amberglow at 6:39 AM on August 8, 2005


OK, so please explain to me what constitutes a completed mission...I don't see this insurgency ending until the US (and other coalition troops, I suppose) leave and the Iraqis become 100% responsible for their own internal security. I've read elsewhere that the US-trained Iraqi police and military are very gradually becoming more capable, but if the US pulled out tomorrow or for the foreseeable future, what would happen?
posted by alumshubby at 7:25 AM on August 8, 2005


amberglow: "she wants to meet with him to pull the troops out and stop the war, so that no other child dies."

You mean "no other American child who has grown to adulthood and joined the Armed Forces, " don't you? Because if we pull out, many, many Iraqi children will die. You are right, if we stay Iraqis will also die --mostly at the hand of insurgent bombs and some at the hands of the US military. But if we leave, much more blood will flow and any chance for liberation and avoiding a medieval theocratic state, slim as that chance is, will be gone.
posted by Cassford at 11:02 AM on August 8, 2005


From kos:

"Cindy Sheehan phoned me from Texas a few minutes ago to say that she's been informed that beginning Thursday, she and her companions will be considered a threat to national security and will be arrested. Coincidentally, Thursday is the day that Rice and Rumsfeld visit the ranch, and Friday is a fundraiser event for the haves and the have mores. Cindy said that she and others plan to be arrested."
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2005


She means us and she means Iraqis--our presence is causing death to them now.
When we're gone, there won't be bombs every day targeting us and those that work with us (collaborators). Whatever bombings there are if we leave will be internal. Our very presence is causing most of the bombs that are killing them.

There was never much chance for avoiding a medieval theocratic state there--and our actions since arriving have ensured that it will be one. The most we can do is allow many of the Iraqis most harmed by that theocracy (gays, women, etc) asylum here in the US.
posted by amberglow at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2005


There was never much chance for avoiding a medieval theocratic state there

That's not true at all. Hussein's "government" was secular; the Iraqi people, despite being governed by a dictator, had a great deal in common with the Turks.

The most we can do is allow many of the Iraqis most harmed by that theocracy (gays, women, etc) asylum here in the US.

Hell, if we did that, we'd have to allow half of Saudi Arabia into our country for being oppressed by a theocratic regime. (I know, but we didn't invade Saudi Arabia...) Right, but our presence in Iraq, NOW, is to ensure future stability. Despite there being a lack of WMDs, there is no lack of fundamentalist zealots who would seek power and use Iraq's resources to create additional instability and chaos in the region and abroad. A cut-and-run strategy in today's world of interconnectedness is impossible; economic and political policies are fused together all over the world.

An anarchic Iraq is a threat to Kuwait, Israel, and our regional interests. Forget the Iraqi oil; assume we never see a drop of it. The region's stability is based upon a handful of leaders who, in Democratic standards, wouldn't stand a chance in hell of being elected. Our presence is important because it ensures a modicum of regional peace. Yes, Iraq is still a mess. Yes, we are making a lot of mistakes (due to bad government policies, greed, corruption, etc.) but a Vietnam exit in such a volatile and important region of the world is impossible.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:26 AM on August 8, 2005


Now, why the US isn't relinquishing control to the UN is beyond me. I'd imagine because we (our government) has some selfish motives in maintaining a leader we can trust. For that I believe we have no excuse. The US made a terrible blunder in the world's eyes and we should at least make the concession of allowing the UN to rebuild the country.

This woman represents an impossible strategy and she is presenting her case in such a way that is disingenuous and remarkably partisan. Her son made a choice, which he knew could lead to his death. NO ONE joins the military without knowing that death is a possibility. She is using his corpse as a flag to wrap around her body, which I find disgusting. And something tells me that her son would probably be ashamed as well (yes, that's speculation; no, i can't be sure that that is true...however, my mother is ambivalent towards the war right now but if I joined and died, you can bet that she'd be outraged and call for a full withdrawal as well).
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:33 AM on August 8, 2005


She is using his corpse as a flag to wrap around her body, which I find disgusting. And something tells me that her son would probably be ashamed as well

Yow. Only a period separates the two halves of his brain.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:11 PM on August 8, 2005


Amberglow, is that your gut prediction or does it rest on knowledge or data? I'm not being coy: I've seen no convincing evidence that leaving Iraq would save more Iraqi lives than staying until the country is more stable. Plenty of opinions, but no data. I'm open to it if you have it.

I think the best solution is the internationalization realcountry mentioned. But Bush just sent an anti-UN ambassador to the UN. So, I don't see it happening. So, we have to stay and throw more soldiers into the maw and try to fix what the US broke.
posted by Cassford at 1:28 PM on August 8, 2005


I still don't see anyone talking about how their opinion of Bush would really change--what it would do is show he's a man who cares about those he sends to die.

That's what it would show you and people who have bought into Cindy Sheehan's campaign. What it would show others is that Bush is willing to cave to the emotionally-charged demands of a shrill protestor in order to avoid bad press from people who give stock to shrill protestors protestations -- and worse, that he'll cave for no good reason, because nothing Cindy Sheehan says is going to end the war in the fashion that she is demanding. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive as a schoolgirl.

Frankly, I'd be dead chuffed if the response to Sheehan was "We understand her agenda, and obviously disagree with her position. We will not be meeting with her, because there is nothing that we can say that will satisfy her, and nothing she can say which will change administration policy toward Iraq at this time, because she is speaking from a position fueled by personal and emotional interest, not military interest nor the interest of the Iraqi people."
posted by Dreama at 2:08 PM on August 8, 2005


Amberglow, is that your gut prediction or does it rest on knowledge or data? I'm not being coy: I've seen no convincing evidence that leaving Iraq would save more Iraqi lives than staying until the country is more stable.
The only data available is the daily body count, and the perpetrators. They've all made it clear that they don't want us there, and will keep attacking until we're gone. No one has data on things that haven't happened yet. We know for sure what we're costing them and us in lives, and we know why our soldiers and those Iraqi collaborators are attacked daily. That's more than enough knowledge when you add it to the proven lies we at home were told. Letting more bodies pile up when we're the trigger for these attacks is immoral and wrong, much like this whole thing has been. Every day that we stay there means more dead Iraqis and Americans.
posted by amberglow at 2:10 PM on August 8, 2005


...because she is speaking from a position fueled by personal and emotional interest, not military interest nor the interest of the Iraqi people."
The Iraqi people have made it overwhelmingly clear by every yardstick--from polls to interviews, etc--that they don't want us there. Military interests have all said they don't have enough soldiers to do this policework they're doing--not enough US soldiers and not enough Iraqi soldiers.
posted by amberglow at 2:13 PM on August 8, 2005


Her diary at kos--day 3 ...I was supposed to do: The Today Show, MSNBC live interview, Connected Coast to Coast (MSNBC) and Hardball (MSNBC). The Today Show just never showed up and the other 3 MSNBC shows cancelled for no reason. ...
Another big story that was going on today was about my first meeting with Bush in June of 2004. For you all I would like to clarify a few things. First of all, I did meet with George, and that is not a secret. I have written about it and been interviewed about it. I will stand by my recounting of the meeting. His behavior was rude and inappropriate. My behavior in June of 2004 and is irrelevant to what is going on in 2005. I was in deep shock and deep grief. The grief is still there, but the shock has worn off and the deep anger has set in. And to remind everybody, a few things have happened since June of 2004: The 9/11 commission report; the Senate Intelligence report; the Duelfer WMD report; and most damaging and criminal: the Downing Street Memos. The VERY LAST THING I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS IS: Why do the right wing media so assiduously scrutinize the words of a grief filled mother and ignore the words of a lying president?

In the early afternoon, we got word that if we were still there by Thursday, we were going to be deemed a "security threat" to the president. Condi and Rummy are coning in on Thursday for a "policy" meeting. Don't they mean conspiracy to commit crimes meeting? I just don't understand why we will be a security threat on Thursday when we aren't now? ...

posted by amberglow at 9:19 PM on August 8, 2005


The Iraqi people have made it overwhelmingly clear by every yardstick--from polls to interviews, etc--that they don't want us there.

And I want a bathtub full of vodka-spiked caramel frappucinos, a carton of Luckys and a cheesecake from Juniors.

I think the Rolling Stones once had something on point to say about wants, I just can't quite recall the phrase...
posted by Dreama at 9:30 PM on August 8, 2005


You're advocating us staying where we're not wanted? where we're dying daily? and causing their deaths daily? sad. beyond sad. We're not their parents. We invaded and are now occupying their country--and it was sold to us with lies. It belongs to them, not us.
posted by amberglow at 9:34 PM on August 8, 2005


This woman is a fucking liar. She thought the President was great last year. Ignore her.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:36 PM on August 8, 2005


Even Nixon had the balls to meet with protesters: ...he met with anti-Vietnam protesters after Kent State...

This woman who lost her son--she's too much for him, huh? Gives chickenhawk a whole new meaning.
posted by amberglow at 9:43 PM on August 8, 2005


a fucking liar ? ...then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted. ...

I guess there's a lot of that going around.
posted by amberglow at 9:53 PM on August 8, 2005


amberglow, have Howard Dean and John Kerry meet with her. Actually, the two of them and Saddam--that'll make her feel better.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:03 PM on August 8, 2005


One Mother in Crawford (NYT Editorial today) --...But most of all, she is tapping into a growing popular feeling that the Bush administration is out of touch with the realities, and the costs, of the Iraq war. ... More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve. The administration seems reluctant to have the president take part in events that would direct widespread attention to soldiers' funerals or to the thousands who have returned with serious injuries.
Perhaps most troubling, Mr. Bush is not leveling about where things stand with the war. ...
But it does mean that many Americans are with her, at least figuratively, at that dusty roadside in Crawford, expecting better answers.

posted by amberglow at 6:11 AM on August 9, 2005


...A presidential spokesman said the time in Crawford is a time for Bush to 'shed his coat and tie and meet with folks in the heartland and hear what's on their minds."

This week, the president will meet with his economic advisers and foreign policy team, go to a fundraising lunch, and attend a Little League championship game. So far, Sheehan is not on his agenda. But he knows what is on her mind, and that is his excuse for declining to meet with her. ...
(Boston Globe Op-Ed today)
posted by amberglow at 6:18 AM on August 9, 2005


She thought the President was great last year. Ignore her.

Last year there were no Downing Street Memo minutes. There is no shame in admitting you have been decieved, and no decent person would criticize another for it.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:17 AM on August 9, 2005


Amen to that, sonofsamiam. This president doesn't know how to admit he screwed up, and he's certainly not about to do anything about it.

ParisParamus, "have Howard Dean and John Kerry meet with her. Actually, the two of them and Saddam--that'll make her feel better."?!?!

You have got to be fucking kidding us, right? (I don't generally swear unless I am wicked pissed off, but your comment just about did it...)

I am so tired of the "well, if you don't like this country, leave!" people. That comment places you squarely in their camp. You're basically painting anyone who agrees with Cindy Sheehan as a terrorist-lovin', librul with a capital L who wants nothing but to spin some badassed PR against the prez, and who, presumably, needs the help of Dean, Kerry and your other librul bugaboos to do so. God, that's sick. People are still entitled to their own beliefs, thoughts, and free speech in this country. If she wants to protest, good on her. You don't need to paint her as a nutjob just because you don't agree.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2005


UpbeatDefiance is following it all, and reports that more military families are joining her in Crawford.
posted by amberglow at 6:20 PM on August 9, 2005




> Now, why the US isn't relinquishing control to the UN is beyond me.

The UN had a chance to show what it could do in Rwanda. And oh Granny, did they show us.
posted by jfuller at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2005


jfuller, have you read Philip Gourevitch's book that the excerpt is pulled from? I highly recommend it. You might also want to read this from the site you linked to: Interview with Gourevitch: "The Clinton administration--and one should always remember that in the United Nations Security Council, the United States is essentially the 800-pound gorilla that sits where it wants and can bend others to its will. It's the great power. The Clinton administration's policy was, 'Let's withdraw altogether. Let's get out of Rwanda. Leave it to its fate.'"

So, you see, it is more complicated...
posted by Cassford at 7:32 PM on August 10, 2005


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