Cindy Sheehan

I am very concerned about some of the quotes that I have read regarding Sheehan's position on why her son died. You'll recall that she is the woman whose son was killed in Iraq. She is currently camping outside of Bush's ranch in Texas.

You can find some background on her here, here and here.

My heart goes out to a mother who has lost her son. It wouldn't matter what the cause is/was, that is an unspeakable loss and truly no parent wants to live long enough to see their child die.

So I can forgive and understand some of her actions as being the result of unimaginable pain and grief. But I cannot condone nor reconcile all of her words because she is straying into areas that border very dark places.

I have pulled some quotes and information from a variety of sources. The following comes from The Wall Street Journal's Best of The Web Today (August 15th, 2005 edition)
"Sheehan spoke at an April San Francisco State University rally in support of Lynne Stewart, who was convicted in February of providing material aid to terrorists. Here's an excerpt:

I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people . . . since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms: "This country is not worth dying for." If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant. . . .

What they're saying, too, is like, it's okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons. It's okay for the United States to have nuclear weapons. It's okay for the countries that we say it's okay for. We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now. It's okay for them to have them, but Iran or Syria can't have them. It's okay for Israel to occupy Palestine, but it's--yeah--and it's okay for Iraq to occupy--I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it's not okay for Syria to be in Lebanon."

In the same speech she opens her speech by saying:

"We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush."
That is just patently wrong and morally reprehensible. There are a lot of things that you can say about Dubya, but this is just wrong. Of course she likens Rumsfeld to Hitler and Stalin. She said this at at a speech she gave in Venice, California.
"Is there anyone in America who cannot yet see that Donald Rumsfeld is a liar...that he, as with Hitler and Stalin....will say anything so long as he thinks it will help shape the world to his own liking?"
The more that I read the more respect that I lose for her. I appreciate her sacrifice and I am happy to fight for her right to speak her mind, but she is venturing into dangerous waters when she suggests that the US is in Iraq because of Israel.

She is wandering in places that make me wonder if she is really saying what she thinks because I am not so sure that she doesn't want to blame "The Jews" as being responsible. Some people may think that I am being hypersensitive, but I really am not so sure about that, especially given the hysterical rhetoric such as that above.

There is valid and legitimate criticism that can be leveled at the administration for the war and the events surrounding it, but when you start throwing names like Hitler and Stalin out people of good conscience and understanding must be concerned.

Ms. Sheehan, you have had enough press on my blog for now. I am sorry for your loss, but if your true feelings really are of the nature that I suspect than I feel even sorrier for you because in a short time your words will be exposed and those who seek to use you will drop you like a hot potato. And believe me if you do not think that you are being used by certain groups you are sadly mistaken.

12 comments:

callieischatty said...

I agree well said.

stc said...

We disagree about the war in Iraq, but I'm with you here, Jack. She has lost perspective and she is behaving irresponsibly. It just won't do, hiding behind her loss to excuse the statements you've quoted.
Q

Chaim said...

Jack, right on.

Jack Steiner said...

Q,

The thing about our disagreement is that IMO your POV on this is based upon logic. We may not see eye to eye, but I can accept what you have to say because of the logic and the factual support you use.

Chaim,

This woman needs to be outed. I am really sorry about it because part of me feels very guilty about her loss, but it cannot be used as an excuse to do what she is doing.

The Misanthrope said...

I am not sure I agree with everything Sheehan says, but if you look at it from her pov, or the pov that the war is unjust, then Bush is as bad as a terrorist. His actions have directly caused the death of almost 2,000 soldiers and uncounted Iraqis. The more you look into what the US does with an objective view, you see we are not such a sweet country to deal with.

Jack Steiner said...

Misanthrope,

She lost all credibility with me when she came up with the inane and irresponsible comparisons to people like Hitler and the misguided and factual inaccuracies about who is responsible for the war.

PsychoToddler said...

Hey Jack, if she googles herself and finds your site, direct her over to Rose's Story so she can see what Hitler was all about.

Jack Steiner said...

PT,

I'd like to think that might wake her up but my honest opinion is that even if your mother told her the story her ears would be closed to it.

I hope that I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

If you think that she is being anti-semetic because she uses the word 'israel' in a non positive way, then you're being hyper-sensitive. What, Israel can do no wrong? It's intentions are always good?? Israel, like any other country is led by politicians who are human and are therefore prone to be motivated by base human urges, such as anger, greed, pride, envy, etc. We should always look at their actions critically; it's our responsibility as voters.

I think it was wrong for her to use the Hitler comparison, but please remember that in 1938, Hitler was once voted Time magazine's man of the year (as Stalin was the year later!!!). If people had identified his intent via his ideology at that early stage, it would have saved many peoples lives, of all races and religions. But people believe in what they want to believe in. I wonder what people would have said about someone in 1938 likening Hitler to Ghengis Khan?

You are right in thinking that Sheehan risks being used by people with an anti-jewish agenda though. I hope she resists that.

Peace.

Stacey said...

"We should always look at their actions critically"

And while you're doing that, don't forget to do the same with the Palestinians.

Jack Steiner said...

If you think that she is being anti-semetic because she uses the word 'israel' in a non positive way, then you're being hyper-sensitive.

Mark,

I have no problem with people criticizing Israel, but it needs to be legitimate. Her comments are out of line and invalid.

Israel did not attack Iraq. Bush does not get his orders from Sharon or anyone outside of the US.

Her suggestion that it is otherwise is factually incorrect and follows a line of thinking that is espoused by David Duke and other neo-nazis.

There is nothing hypersensitive in pointing out the fallacy here.

She could easily take a critical position of Bush and leave it at that, but she did not and instead veered into a place that tells me that there is something seriously wrong with her judgement, logic and critical reasoning.

Anonymous said...

I'm upset now because I found out my shul's cantor has been asked to speak or sing or something out in Crawford in support of Cindy Sheehan. I hope she doesn't, but I have a feeling she will... (I sent her an email with the link you provided to the WSJ op-ed piece.) Of course, I support her right to act on her convictions. :(

Words On A Page

 Added a few words on a page, some well written, some less so but all with purpose in mind. Can't win the Pulitzer every time, for certa...