One thing I’ve noticed is that Cindy Sheehan is getting treated quite poorly by most people talking about her. I’d like to change that.
Most of the coverage she has received, along with most of her supporters, spend nearly all their effort on discussing WHO she is and WHAT she has experienced, but give short shrift to what she actually says. I think that’s unfair; she has stated, clearly and repeatedly, her beliefs and opinions, and they should not get such short shrift.
Mrs. Sheehan says she wants a one-on-one, face-to-face meeting with President Bush. She says she wants to ask him “what noble cause” her son’s death served.
But while she’s there, perhaps she’ll take a moment or two to bring up a couple of other matters. She might ask President Bush why he’s the “biggest terrorist in the world.” She could inquire why he “and his indecent bandits traitorously had intelligence fabricated.”
Maybe she can discuss jsut who we’re fighting in Iraq? You know, the ones who killed her son? Are they terrorists or “freedom fighters?” And does she really believe that “America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for.”?
And while she has the “lying bastard” and “maniac’s” undivided attention, she might bring up her solution to the Middle East problem — “you get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism.”
Let’s look at that last one a little more closely. according to her allies and hosts at Crawford Peace House, “Palestine” is defined as all the land between Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean — in other words, all of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israel itself. So her solution would seem to be to cut and run Iraq, abandon all those Iraqis who have pinned their hopes for freedom on us, and — oh, yeah — let the Israelis be either slaughtered or driven into the sea.
Mrs. Sheehan has suffered a great loss, and as a nation we should honor that and respect her. But that does not give any special credibility or authority or legitimacy. Her ideas should be looked at objectively, and evaluated fairly and honestly.
And in that light, her own words do a far fairer job of discrediting her cause than I could — or would — ever do.
(Tip of the hat to Dave Kopel, whose Volokh Conspiracy citation of his column for the Rocky Mountain News inspired this piece. I didn’t read the actual column until after I wrote the above, but I’m glad to see that I didn’t inadvertently plagiarize the essence of his piece.)