Skip to comments.Cindy Sheehan ("Rosa Parks")Arrested on Sidewalk Outside White House
Posted on 09/27/2005 1:37:49 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
It's not easy being a professional peace momespecially when everyone wants a piece of you. "I've been staying in a different place every night," says Cindy Sheehan, the 48-year-old California housewife who galvanized the anti-war movement and starred in the march against the Iraq war on Saturday in Washington, D.C. Since she left her now famous Camp Caseynamed for the 24-year-old son she lost in Iraqoutside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, four weeks ago, Sheehan has been barnstorming the country, touring in a caravan of rented RVs and cars with some three dozen other military families and Vietnam and Iraq war vets. She and her fellow activists have been prowling the halls of Congress, insisting on face time with legislators. On Monday, Sheehan and several other parents of fallen soldiers were among some 300 activists arrested in a mass civil disobedience on the sidewalk outside the White House.
While right-wing critics like Rush Limbaugh like to suggest she's being bankrolled by Move On, Michael Moore, and other elements of the "limousine left," Sheehan's crusade is still very much a grassroots affair. When she and the rest of the Bring Them Home Now tour hit Washington this week to challenge Bush to meet with them and put the heat on Congress for funding the war, they crashed on couches and slept on bunkbeds at an international youth hostel.
That kind of dogged authenticity is the root of Sheehan's power. At Saturday's massive anti-war demonstration, she electrified the crowds with her plea not to let any more moms suffer the agony of losing a child in a war she says is unwinnable and "founded on lies." "We are here today because we don't want to see any more kids come home in coffins," she told the tens of thousands massed before her at the Ellipse. "How many more of other people's children are you willing to sacrifice for the lies?" she demanded, turning her anger toward Congress. "Shame on you for giving [Bush] the authority to invade Iraq."
It's a potent message, and one even hawkish supporters of the war like Senator Hillary Clinton are being forced to acknowledge. Not wanting to fall into the trap of looking callous for refusing a grieving mom, Clinton, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid, and even the chief of staff of Senate Majority leader Bill Frist agreed to sit down with the military families and Iraq war veterans who trooped through the Capitol all week. On Monday, Sheehan met with Indiana Democrat Dick Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committeepart of a grassroots lobbying push that drew 700 antiwar campaigners to the Hill. Republican senator John McCain is scheduled for a meeting on Tuesday.
For extra motivation, the pols can turn to the polls. A record two thirds of the American public now disapproves of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, and 52 percent think we should get out "as soon as possible." That's in contrast to an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken two months ago, when 58 percent of those asked said they supported keeping troops in Iraq "until civil order is restored, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties."
Saturday's march, estimated by police at something more than 100,000 people and by organizers at around 300,000, marked a revival of protest on a scale not seen since the start of the U.S. invasion in 2003. More significant than the size of the march was its tone. In contrast to the almost giddy Bush-bashing of previous demos, there was a sense of somber urgency brought by the presence of hundreds of military families and alienated Iraq war vets. Their voices have given the movement a new center of gravity.
"Just like Rosa Parks, Cindy Sheehan has triggered a public policy debate that's bigger than her as a personality," Reverend Jesse Jackson said backstage. "She's unleashed a dynamic that is calling into question the basis of this war.
"You can be against the war and win re-election now. You can be against the war and get elected," Jackson continued. "We have Republicans who are starting to turn on Bush. That was not true a year ago, before Cindy Sheehan and before Katrina."
And that's also why the right is doing its best to derail the Cindy bandwagon, casting her as an anti-American, "professional griever." Beyond dredging for dirt in her personal life, Republican operatives are now trotting out their own pro-military moms in an effort to blunt Sheehan's message. They launched a "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" cross-country bus tour, which arrived in Washington on Sunday.
Their rally drew only several hundred supporters to the Washington Mall, where they held up signs like "Freedom Isn't Free" and "Saddam Is a WMD" as they listened to speakers like Watergate thief-turned-radio-pundit G. Gordon Liddy, who accused Sheehan of "whoring the good name of her son" and carrying out a "left-wing socialist agenda."
Also speaking out was Temple, Texas, native Gary Qualls, whose 20-year-old son, Lance Cpl. Louis Qualls, was killed in Falluja last year. Qualls brandished a small white cross, pulled from a memorial Sheehan's group had set up in Crawford, with his kid's name painted on it. "This is the very first cross repossessed from Cindy Sheehan's unholy camp!" he declared, his face red with anger. "We need nothing but pure honor and respect for our service members and for our leader George Bush."
Sheehan offers no way out of this political conflict or this war, and it's hard to say what will become of her iconic status now that she's spun into the orbit of the anti-war left, with both national campaigns like Win Without War and every wing-nut wannabe seeking to glom on to her cause. Monday's civil disobedience ran the gamut of Code Pinkers and Naderites, anarch-kids and feminist boob-flashers, along with some guys roaming around in prison garb, with Abu Ghraib hoods over their heads.
"The whole world is watching," chanted the crowd of supporters as Sheehan took the first bust, blowing a kiss to her followers when the cops loaded her into a van before a scrum of media surging to capture the shot. "The whole thing is scripted," the anarch-kids chanted back.
For now, Sheehan pledges to keep talking, believing more and more people are listening. "It's hard to tell these stories," she says of the sons and husbands that she and other military families have lost. "But we do it to heal ourselves and to heal this country. We do it because we have been broken, and we don't want anyone else to be broken. We're doing it for the innocent Iraqis in harm's way, and we're doing it for the other families, so they don't have to hear that knock on the door."
(in-fighting among "grassroots" anti-war organizers)
Sept. 25, 2005 | Though yesterday was the first day a permit had been granted for an anti-war march past the White House since the Iraq War began, one could be forgiven for having low expectations for the protest.
To begin with, the event's joint organizers, International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), feud so regularly that they had to sign a pact promising not to attack each other until the event was over.
Then there was ANSWER's rejection of message control -- its leadership demanded that each of its component organizations be allowed to protest issues besides the war. Starting at 9 am, therefore, the Palestinian boosters took over Farragut Square with their own signs and chants, while bands of anarchists, affordable housing advocates, and Hugo Chavez supporters staked out intersections around D.C.'s downtown.
......In the frequently carnivalesque march that looped around the White House and downtown, one could spot just about any slogan imaginable, from the 9/11 conspiracy theorists to the simply unintelligible: Riding a green ladies' bicycle, a white-bearded hippie sanctimoniously coasted down a line of stationary D.C. cops, holding aloft a poorly lettered sign reading "WHY? (expletive deleted)." Four of D.C.'s finest double over laughing in his wake. "The city prefers the officers to keep a straight face," their sergeant said. "Sometimes that's hard."
Earlier that afternoon, a group of anarchists splintered off the parade route onto K Street NW, overturned newspaper boxes and, according to Jeremy Hammond, a self described "anti-capitalist traveler," controlled the street for two hours. The police arrested one or two, and chased the rest out on motorcycles. Later, Hammond says, the anarchists regrouped in front of a military recruiting office, and succeeded in being shot at with rubber bullets. (The skirmish has not appeared in any other published accounts.)
A large U.S. flag with a peace sign on it lies in Lafayette Park in front of the White House during a protest in Washington September 26, 2005. U.S. military mother Cindy Sheehan, whose vigil outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch drew attention to the anti-war movement, was arrested on Monday at a White House sit-in after she refused to obey police orders to leave. REUTERS/Molly Riley
*** ..If others could understand your truth, you would not think of yourself as a "vanguard." You would no longer inhabit the morally charmed world of an elite, whose members alone can see the light and whose mission is to lead the unenlightened towards it. If everybody could see the promised horizon and knew the path to reach it, the future would already have happened and there would be no need for the vanguard of the saints.
That is both the ethical core and psychological heart of what it means to be a part of the left. That is where the gratification comes from. To see yourself as a social redeemer. To feel anointed. In other words: To be progressive is itself the most satisfying narcissism.
That is why it is of little concern to them that their socialist schemes have run aground, burying millions of human beings in their wake. That is why they don't care that their panaceas have caused more human suffering than all the injustices they have ever challenged. That is why they never learn from their "mistakes." That is why the continuance of Them is more important than any truth.
If you were active in the so-called "peace" movement or in the radical wing of the civil rights causes, why would you tell the truth? Why would you tell people that no, you weren't really a "peace activist," except in the sense that you were against America's war. Why would you draw attention to the fact that while you called yourselves "peace activists," you didn't oppose the Communists' war, and were gratified when America's enemies won?
What you were really against was not war at all, but American "imperialism" and American capitalism. What you truly hated was America's democracy, which you knew to be a "sham" because it was controlled by money in the end. That's why you wanted to "Bring the Troops Home," as your slogan said. Because if America's troops came home, America would lose and the Communists would win. And the progressive future would be one step closer.
But you never had the honesty-then or now-to admit that. You told the lie then to maintain your influence and increase your power to do good (as only the Chosen can). And you keep on telling the lie for the same reason. Source
Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan (R) of Vacaville, California holds a picture of her dead military son Casey as she pokes out her tongue while waiting at the gates of the White House to meet U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington September 26, 2005. Sheehan, whose vigil outside Bush's Texas ranch focused attention on the anti-war movement, was arrested on Monday in a sit-in at the White House after refusing to obey police orders to leave. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan (C) of Vacaville, CA, holds a portrait of her dead military son Casey, as she stands at the gates of the White House in Washington to ask for a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush September 26, 2005. U.S. military mother Cindy Sheehan, whose vigil outside Bush's Texas ranch focused attention on the anti-war movement, was arrested on Monday in a sit-in at the White House after refusing to obey police orders to leave. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Man is that B**ch fugly!
Suicide watch on Cindy starts now.
I think about that too.
Somehow I don't think he'd be surprised.
I feel sorry for her other children.
Must see: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1491832/posts
Posted by one of our own, Mom Of Two Soldiers, who is from Vacaville, California where Cindy Sheehan lives:
OPEN LETTER TO CINDY SHEEHAN:
Residing in the same town as you once resided and knowing your family, I must ask you, "Whatever are you thinking?"
Your son was the one who encouraged my youngest son to enlist. You were very proud of Casey and what he was doing then and he believed very much in what he was doing.
After Casey was killed, my eldest was one of the local airmen who brought him home, facing hostile fire to do so, so you would not not have to wait.
My daughter comforted you and your family. You two spent hours and hours engaged in heartfelt grief. At that time, you were very, very supportive of the President, of our soldiers and of what was occurring in Iraq.
Cindy, you've changed since the Kerry campaign contacted you in early July of last summer. You're not the same grieving mom, especially after you started traveling on the road to support John Kerry's campaign.
You've turned into a political puppet for those who are exploiting you and its not pretty nor does it do anything for Casey's memory. You're not the same, quiet compassionate woman we saw at church or downtown, when you proudly sat as the entire town showed up on Memorial Day to honor Casey and Mike Williams.
How can you justify berating the President for honoring the soldiers who died while protecting America and following the directives of the Congress and the Senate? How can you consistently state that you don't want your son's name to be acknowledged by him and on the same hand, turn around and use the name of Joe Williams' Mike, as an example for your cause despite the many requests of the family for you not to do so? How could you print Mike's name in your anti-war advertisement in the newspaper even after seeing the grief and effort his mother went through to go to Crawford to personally remove it from your cross. You knew it caused them pain.
Mike died honorably and his father, a Vietnam vet is very proud of him. He believed in what he was doing, just like Casey. How could you bring so much pain to the Williams family and so much pain to a nation because of your own anger?
Cindy, how can you do this to your kids who don't know how to explain your actions to anyone here in town? They went through a lot last summer and still are.
The hours, days and weeks following Casey's death were emotionally gut wrenching as many of us with children, husbands, wives, friends and other loved ones in the military comforted you while living with the fears for our own loved ones over there. Everyone went above and beyond because we all believed and still believe in how very right, honorable and courageous our loved ones are in their mission to keep America safe.
We all went through considerable anguish when Casey died and I suspect none moreso than you. But how can you justify your anguish and place it on a higher level than that of Joe Williams?
The treatment you've returned to everyone is inexcusable. Placing Mike Williams' name on a cross despite the family's objections was unforgiveable and the reaction of Mike's mother when she saw it was heartbreaking.
What you are doing to neighbors, to friends, Casey's battle buddies and to a nation of people who are having to relieve the ugly pain of the late 60s and the 70s is unfair.
This is about you, Cindy. Not about anyone else. When you turn your back on your neighbors, your friends, your family and act in this manner, it only evidences that there is no consideration toward anyone or anything else.
Finally, and most disturbing, how can you support a group that supported John Kerry, who on April 7th, on National Public Radio stated that Al Sadr had a "legitimate voice" and that the Coalition (including your son) should not have closed down his newspaper after he called for the deaths of U.S. troops.
You know better than anyone else, Casey was killed in Sadr City by the Al Sadr militants. How can you join ranks with those who support the terrorist who called for the death of your son?
Its beyond me, Cindy, and something I suspect, someday in the future, you'll look back on and with considerable pain.
We don't want that for you. I believe you need to sit down and think about it long and hard. You are bringing so much pain to this nation and its people.
Mom Of Two Soldiers just posted that today, BTW. It deserves widest dissemination.
today=yesterday in that last post
Just heard that myself.
A sad day in anti-America land.
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