Monday, August 15, 2005

A poor, misguided soul

With apologies to Steve McCrosky , looks like I picked the wrong week to stop blogging, it was quite a week.

I will start with Cindy Sheehan, since that is (literally) pretty close to home. On the one hand, this is certainly a woman worthy of our sympathy, as her son heroically gave his life in defense of his country. On the other hand, it is sad to see somebody become so unhinged and irrational for any reason, be it from uncontrollable grief or from having fallen prey to the brainwashing of what is essentially a cult. Certainly, for whatever reason, her stance on her son’s death has taken a radical turn in the last year since her meeting with President Bush. Yes, she has already had a meeting with the president and left it satisfied, that what she is seeking is a second meeting is a fact that is often glossed over or ignored by the Bush-hating mainstream media.

To review, here is an excerpt of the account, from her hometown paper the (Vacaville, CA) Reporter, of Cindy’s first meeting with the president in June 2004:

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

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


The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.

For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.

For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.

"That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together," Cindy said.

[End excerpt]

Now, some 16 months later, she has changed her story sharply from that account, giving the impression that she is making things up for maximum shock value as she goes along these days. Her rhetoric in general has gone so far over the top that it is impossible to take her seriously any more. The man she once referred to as “a man of faith” she now calls an “evil maniac.” Where she once said "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," now it’s “if he even starts to say ‘freedom and democracy’ I’m gonna say, ‘bullshit.’” She says that her son died for oil, or to make Bush’s friends rich, or for imperialism. She calls the US a fascist state. She says that this country is not worth dying for. She claims that we are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now (?!?) She throws in a non sequitur about getting Israel out of Palestine, as if that has anything to do with her son’s life or death. Somebody has to have filled her head with this kind of idiocy. We can start with a couple of America-haters with whom she is closely tied, Lynne Stewart and Michael Moore, but my guess is that is just the beginning. The organization she has aligned herself with this month, the Crawford Peace House, has been exposed as just another garden-variety anti-Semitic group. I can’t say for sure whether these radicals are who caused her to become so far detached from reality, but if nothing else we can say she picks her friends poorly.

Lest there be any confusion, Cindy is not protesting on behalf of her son’s beliefs or the family’s wishes, they have been quite conspicuous by their absence.

She has claimed that son Casey was tricked my military recruiters. Not true; he voluntarily re-enlisted in the Army at age 24, having served his first stint successfully.

Husband Patrick has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, with Cindy herself saying that the war and her activism was the reason for their separation (although, in fairness, this is yet another case of her story changing; she had previously said it was over stress over the loss of their son).

Her other children, despite almost daily breathless accounts that they are on the way, have yet to show up in Crawford, nor is there any indication that they will (her two daughters are in Europe).

And the rest of the family has made their feelings known with the release of this statement: “The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect. Sincerely, Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins."

It is truly sad that Cindy Sheehan has been unable to cope with her son’s death and has chosen to dishonor him in death. It is also sad that she has allowed herself to be used by people who hope that soldiers like her son will die so they can use it for political gain, having after all never felt anything but contempt for him and his fellow soldiers in life. When she becomes too much of an embarrassment for them or she is no longer useful, they will simply discard her. Let’s hope that there is somebody there for her then, because once she realizes that she was just a pawn you get the feeling she will be crushed all over again.


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