12 August 2005 at 8:25:19 AM
Andy Stern: Cindy Deserves Time With The President
Statistics: a suicide bomber today killed 10 and wounded 43. It is easy to be numbed by statistics, by counting, and the constant drumbeat of war. And then there is Cindy. People. Phone calls at night and knocks on doors -- relief or disaster, joy or life-changing tragedy, mothers and sons never to be together again. In a war, a war of choice.
I love this country, and honor those who like Casey serve it. They deserve much better from America. They deserve the truth. They deserved a plan to win the peace. They deserved the armor to protect themselves. They deserve to be joined by the sons and daughters of others who make the choices to send all of the Casey's into harm's way or maybe, instead, they all deserve to be kept safe at home.
Cindy deserves her time with the President. She has earned it by her courage and determination. She is the voice for too many mothers who are voiceless. For too many sons never to come home. Americans gave the President our trust to wage war -- with consequences that leave many of us now questioning: why? Cindy paid a Mom's ultimate price. She deserves to be able to complete her mission, and ask her Commander in Chief, What is the plan to bring all of the other Mom's sons -- their Caseys -- home safely?
Norman Lear: An American Mother Loses Her Son
An American mother loses her son in a war, travels to Crawford, Texas to park herself in proximity to her President and dead son’s Commander In Chief, seeking the opportunity to meet with him and share her feelings. What is the worst that can happen to him? He has the Secret Service and the FBI and local cops up the wazoo to be certain she’s “clean.” And if she came at him with no weapon, woman-a-mano, the man’s been tilling the soil, sawing logs, working out -- what’s one undernourished, grieving mother going to do to him?
From his and his Administration’s POV it seems to me just plain dumb for the President, especially the compassionate conservative in him, not to have made Mrs. Sheehan welcome in the first hours of her attempted visit. And where was Mr. Rove? Out to lunch? Or too caught up in the Plame game?
P.S. I see now that “The Sheehan Family” has issued a statement distancing them from Mrs. Sheehan, because they “…support the troops, our country, and our President…” Is there anything Mrs. Sheehan is doing that would suggest to any reasonable person that this Gold Star mother doesn’t support our troops, our country, and the office of the President? No American -- let alone a Gold Star mother -- is required to agree with every decision her president makes in order to secure her good name as a citizen and as a supporter of our troops and our country.
Sarah Jones: Moms Like Cindy Sheehan
George W. and his feckless flock of draft-dodging warhawks somehow wrested control of our country away from sane people by telling the public that they are what America stands for. They are what this country's all about, the heroes of folksy, all-American stories conjuring images of apple pie, baseball, and Mom.
Except when it really comes down to it, they don't give a damn about Mom, especially not Moms like Cindy Sheehan who have made the sacrifice our phony ranch-hand-in-Chief pretends to understand in press conferences right before he gives everyone the bird.
What's he afraid Mom might say to him when he's not being carefully coached through a scripted, hush-hush meet 'n' greet with the parents of this country's fallen cannon fodder? What might happen if he's forced to look into Mom's eyes with his own beady peepers and see the unvarnished truth about this war and what America has become? There isn't a vacation long enough, a spin-zone warped enough, or a red state backroad twisted enough to keep Cindy Sheehan's story at bay, because thanks to W and friends, hers is the real American story.
Bush's Remarks -Cowardly Bush talked about Sheehan only when asked, and used her as the prop to mouth his trite, oft-used words about peace and freedom in the world... while leaving out that the war premises were false and the "peace" comes at the point of war weaponry that kills both our own troops as well as innocents.
BTW, in photo, above, why is Cheney wearing a coat?
Q Thank you, sir. You're increasing U.S. troops -- increasing U.S. troop strength in Iraq for the upcoming elections. What happens -- is it possible those troops will be asked to stay on longer if needed to help improve security? And if I may, what happens if Iraq misses the deadline for drafting the new constitution?
THE PRESIDENT: ..... As for the troops, no decision has been made yet on increasing troops or decreasing troops. I know there's a lot of speculation and rumors about that. We did, as you might recall, increase troops for the Iraqi election and for the Afghanistan elections. It seemed to have helped create security, and I know the Secretary of Defense is analyzing that possibility.
I also know there's a lot of folks here in the United States that are, you know, wondering about troop withdrawals. They're concerned about the violence and the death. They hear the stories about a loved one being lost to combat. And, you know, I grieve for every death. It breaks my heart to think about a family weeping over the loss of a loved one. I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place.
I also have heard the voices of those saying, pull out now, and I've thought about their cry, and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree. ....
Q Just to make clear, you're referring to Mrs. Sheehan here, I think?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm referring to any grieving mother or father, no matter what their political views may be. Part of my duty as the President is to meet with those who've lost a loved one. And so, you know, listen, I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. She feels strongly about her -- about her position. And I am -- she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position. And I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, get out of Iraq now. And it would be -- it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long-run, if we were to do so.
But no, Steve, I've met with a lot of families, and I have done my best to bring comfort to the families and honor to the loved one, and get different opinions when you meet with moms and dads and sons and daughters and wives and husbands of those who have fallen. One opinion I've come away with universally is that, you know, we should do everything we can to honor the fallen. And one way to honor the fallen is to lay the foundation for peace.
Another way to honor the fallen is by preserving the lives of those who are in a trumped up war now, and bringing them home. Bush's supposed grief rings hollow, plus his refusal to make the effort to meet with Ms Sheehan, who is in his back yard, is foolish and short-sighted.
VIDEO of Camp Casey from Thursday
|Quinn Timmers, 6, of Fort Worth, Texas, runs through a maze of white crosses that were placed at the makeshift campsite of anti-war protesters near the ranch of President Bush, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas. Timmers was at the site with her mother Hillary. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) |
|Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, places a flower on one of the nearly thousand crosses that were placed by the roadside camp near the ranch of President Bush, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas. Zappala, whose son Sherwood Baker died in the Iraq war on April 26, 2004, is at the location in support of the anti-war protest being led by Cindy Sheehan. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) |
|Cindy Sheehan (R) who lost her son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan who was serving in Iraq, is comforted by Bill Mitchell, whose son Mike also was killed in Iraq, during their vigil near the ranch owned by U.S. President George W. Bush in Crawford August 10, 2005. REUTERS/Jason Reed |
|The faces of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen who have died in Iraq are shown during an anti-war protest near the ranch of U.S. President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas August 11, 2005. About 50 anti-war protesters have set up camp near the president's ranch, calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. REUTERS/Jason Reed |
|Marie Pugh, left, of Cado Mills, Texas, Kathleen Hernandez, center, and Woody Hastings, right, both from California, wade through the mud to place crosses by a roadside camp near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005. The crosses were in memory of soldiers killed in the Iraq war. The protest by Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in the Iraq war, is gaining momentum. About 50 people have now joined Sheehan in her vigil near President Bush's Central Texas ranch near Crawford.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) |
|McLenan County health inspectors, center with badges, are escorted by a sheriffs deputy through a roadside camp of anti-war protestors near the ranch owned by President Bush, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas. The inspectors were checking the food and living conditions of the camp. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) |
|First lady Laura Bush waves as she steps out of her pickup truck to join President Bush at a gathering of his defense and foreign policy teams, meeting on their ranch in Crawford, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005. The house in the background was their first home on the 1,600 acre Prairie Chapel Ranch and is referred to as the 'governor's house'. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) |
|President Bush smiles as he arrives at Caterpiller's Aurora facility in Montgomery, Ill., to sign the $286.4 billion highway and mass transit legislation that Congress voted overwhelmingly to pass just before the summer break, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005. The 1,000 page bill includes funding for some 6,000 pet projects for lawmakers in their home districts and took nearly two years for Congress to reach a compromise the White House would accept. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) |
|U.S. President George W. Bush (R) smiles as he is introduced by Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), speaker of the House of Representatives, at the Caterpillar-Aurora Facility in Montgomery, Illinois, August 10, 2005. Bush signed into law H.R. 3, The Transportation Equity Act, during a ceremony at the factory. REUTERS/Jason Reed |
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