Sheehan: Opposing War, Opposing America
Charles Krauthammer has a great article on Cindy Sheehan and the anti-war movement, (Via Realclearpolitics). Nobody can break it down like Charles. Put in a few words, the anti-war movement we now see is actually a vestige of the anti-American, pro-communist movement, and they are becoming the face of those who oppose the war. Which is unfortunate, because these America haters do not speak for others who for one reason or another disagree with this war, but still love America, it's values, and its people.
I think the most effective anti-Bush, anti-war, but pro-American figure was Richard Gephardt (D-MO). He voted for the war, and when it was convenient, he stated that he was no longer happy with it, but nonetheless agreed with Bush that we needed to finish the work we began and get the heck out as soon as possible. Nobody can fairly call Gephardt anti-American. His record is too long, and his politics and character too well known. He is no Bush fan, but they are on the same team at the end of the day.
But Cindy Sheehan is different. The girl hates America. She is an obnoxious, and unfortunately fairly dim individual. Her anti-war position stems less from a philosophical disagreement with this present engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, but with armed conflict of any kind. And her disagreement with our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with an isolationist or pacifict viewpoint (check these rallies out--the people involved are not peaceful, but fairly in-your-face and remarkably belligerent), but rather from a belief that attacks like 9/11 are valid paybacks. Our support of the free state of Israel, our opposition of communism during the latter half of the 20th Century, our failure to sign the Kyoto Treaty, tax plans that help only the rich (read: taxpayers), our history of racial inequality...George Washington's failure to assist the French in their Revolution at the request of Edmond Genet. You get the idea.
And if the crowd that Krauthammer describes is the bunch with which one must consort in order to oppose this war, it makes Bush's camp seem a bit more appealing. Karl Rove couldn't have devised something this effective.
Nor her comments about Hurricane Rita, where she complained that the media wasn't fawning on her protest enough, so occupied they were with the hurricane coverage which actually threatened a region, and the economic assets it held which would affect the nation. Cindy doesn't get it, but no surprise there.
But on a much darker note, one thing I cannot get out of my head is the attitude Sheehan takes towards soldiers. She put this quote on the Michael Moore website when she went to New Orleans:
One thing that truly troubled me about my visit to Louisiana was the level of the military presence there. I imagined before that if the military had to be used in a CONUS (Continental US) operations that they would be there to help the citizens: Clothe them, feed them, shelter them, and protect them. But what I saw was a city that is occupied. I saw soldiers walking around in patrols of 7 with their weapons slung on their backs. I wanted to ask one of them what it would take for one of them to shoot me.
These are not the thoughts of a rational mind, but the undercurrent can't be ignored. The National Guardsmen were there to keep the peace and render aid. Cindy despised these National Guard soldiers in New Orleans for no other reason than the fact that they were part of the armed forces. Which makes Cindy's argument that she is just anti-Bush evaporate. She hates the military. And I wonder if she took the same attitude towards her son when he was still here.
Casey dressed and behaved just like those soldiers. And not only did he enlist, but knowing the risk, re-enlisted. He believed enough in his country to give his life for it. And if his mother had the same disgust for him that she had for his bretheren helping in New Orleans, what does that say for her misbegotten and clueless crusade? She despised the cause for which he enlisted, fought and died, that being the cause of freedom. She despised the nation whose uniform he wore, and she favored his enemy over his own country.
She is not the appropriate person to carru his memory. He would not have gotten himself arrested for an empty and selfish purpose. He wasn't un-American. It's a shame his mother made him look that way.