Friday, August 19, 2005

Over the Line?

So, is Cindy Sheehan's protest outside the Bush ranch going to win the hearts and minds of the great American Middle?

Not with these comments:

COOPER: Cindy, I was reading some of the essays that you've been writing about the war over the last couple of months. In one you say the war is blatant genocide and you go on to say, and I quote, "Casey was killed in the global war of terrorism waged on the world and its own citizen by the biggest terrorist outfit in the world, George and his destructive Neo-con cabal." Do you really believe the president of the United States is the biggest terrorist in the world?

SHEEHAN: I believe that he's responsible for the needless and senseless deaths of more people than any other organization right now. There was 3,000 people killed on September 11th, which was a tragic day. Our nation still mourned it. I still mourn for those people and their families. But tens of thousands of innocent people are dead in Iraq, Anderson, and there was no reason for the war. The war was based on lies and we know that now.

COOPER: But when you say that the president, I mean you're essentially saying the president is a terrorist. I mean I think a lot of people would hear that and think what are you talking about?

SHEEHAN: Well, you know, I've heard a lot of -- a lot of definitions of that and it's the definition they kill innocent people, you know, and his policies are responsible for killing innocent people and I say the organization is killing innocent people and it needs to stop.

We know that he said there was weapons of mass destruction and we know he knows that there weren't. There was no link between al Qaeda and Saddam and we know he knows that there wasn't, so we need to stop the killing now and I'm here to confront him.

COOPER: You said that it's blatant genocide. I mean you really think the United States is trying to eliminate an entire group of people, all Iraqis?

SHEEHAN: There's 100 -- there's an estimate 100,000 to 200,000 innocent Iraqis dead because of our occupation, either by bullets and bombs or by disease, malnutrition and he says we're doing it for the Iraqi people. How many do we have to kill before we convince them that what we're doing is right over there?
From Anderson Cooper's 360.

Now it's one thing to say that the President has botched this war, or that he was wrong to go to war in the first place. I say that all the time. But it is a whole different thing to say that the President is a terrorist, that kills innocent people. I wouldn't doubt that there has been some deaths that can bve attributed to Americans, and we all know about Abu Gharib. But, what the insurgecy has done is far worse. They have sought to kill innocents. And the people behind the New York, Madrid and London bombings sought to kill innocents and kill as many as they can. These are terrorists, not the President.

As for genocide, again, I see no evidence. I haven't heard of deliberate killings such as what is going on in Darfur or what happened in Rwanda or Bosnia.

These comments sound like comments made by some on the far left which are so ridiculous that they aren't worth debating.

I want to believe that Ms. Sheehan is being manipulated by the far left. I don't want to believe she true believes this. Either way, this will not connect with Middle America, who might be fed up with the war, but don't think that Bush is the greatest evil the world has ever known.

I don't think this was a necessary war. With that, I can agree with Ms. Sheehan. But I can't agree that this President, as much as I disagree with him, is a terrorist that is perpetrating genocide. To do so, would be morally suspect in my view.


At 10:12 PM, Blogger The Truffle said...

Dennis, where did Sheehan ever say that Bush was a terrorist or was guilty of genocide?

And where is the evidence that Sheehan is being manipulated by the far left?

Please, stop following the extreme right talking points.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger halfback jack said...

I have to agree with the truffle here.

She is (IMHO) become yet another pawn for the far left and the far right to use as each sees fit.

Reality will hit hard when she has to go home eventually and face her personal misfortunes (ill mother, divorce filing). I wonder who will be there for her then?

Whether or not you agree with her, she is forcing many of us to revisit the question of whether or not the Iraq war is going to succeed...or even come to a draw. Or are we going to leave with out tails tucked like we did in Vietnam? My gut tells me tails tucked after thousands of American men and women have sacrificed themselves.

One other outcome you can bet on: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is gonna get opened for oil exploration.

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At 8:48 AM, Blogger Fishiferous said...

Bush clearly is one of the worlds greatest terrorists today. A terrorist is one who uses force and/or threats of force to instill fear in others. By definition he has done that with his shock and awe campaign. Osama killed ~3000 civilians. Bush's unnecessary, illegal wars have killed between 50-120,000 civilians.

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At 9:27 AM, Blogger The Truffle said...

I don't see how the far left is exploiting Mrs. Sheehan. Are we supposed to believe she can't think for herself? Are we really supposed to believe she doesn't know what she's doing?

This whole "loonie left exploits grieving mom" meme" is just another form of sexism, IMO. "This poor mother is so blinded by grief that she can't see she's being taken advantage of! Waaaaaaaaah!"

At 10:28 AM, Blogger halfback jack said...

Oh geez....its a two-way street, truffle. The right is doing the same darned thing. At least the left is empathizing with her. Nothing sexist about that as far as I can see. All you have to do is turn on your TV and watch. If you can stomach it, that is.

She can think for herself, of that I have no doubt so don't resort to your own brand of whining. My only caution to you and others would be that nothing in life prepares you for the loss of a child.

Nothing. It happened to me some years back.

I at least had the ability to move all of the tubes and kiss my young son goodbye. Still hurts to this day after 15 years. (And, for the record, yes I did end up doing the counseling gig and I still have a marriage to show for it.)

Sheehan did not get to say goodbye; she got a knock on the door. I would guess that she is in what I would call the "numb" stage right now. You've buried your child, sat up all night and wondered what you have done to deserve this kind of pain.

She made a conscious choice to go public to try and do something about this stupidity that Bush has us in. When she did, she knowingly opened the door for all types and sizes of support, criticism, etc. irrespective of her gender, age, etc.

Her path is a very difficult one truffle and one that she will ultimately have to travel alone.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Hey there. If "Shock and Awe" isn't terror from the skies, I don't know what is. Cindy Sheehan has a point.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger The Truffle said...

halfback jack, I'm so sorry about the loss of your son. I guess what I object to is people claiming that Sheehan has been manipulated and exploited.

As it turns out, there are other relatives of Iraq soldiers speaking out. Here's a piece by Missy Comley Beattie, whose nephew, Chase Comley, was killed in Iraq:

Missy's mother (Chase's grandmother) is so angry over this war that she wants to make the trip to Crawford.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger halfback jack said...

Thanks truffle! I think it is fair to say that the "exploiting" comes in the form of quotes, misquotes and taking things out of context.

You are right about Ms. Sheehan's influence in terms of getting others to speak out. In addition to Ms. Comley-Beattie's grandmother, a Minnesota State Senator (Becky Lourey) who recently lost her son in Iraq is also reportedly making the journey to Crawford. Even if they do not say one word, the message that they send by their mere presence is a powerful one.

All we can hope and pray for is that this does not become an annual pilgrimage with the numbers of parents swelling with each passing year.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Kirkrrt said...

I believe that Mrs. Sheehan didn't know what would happen when she started out. You really can't know or anticipate these things.
Is she a left wing loonie?
Is she being manipulated by the liberal press?
Can she control it?
The only thing she can control is what comes out of her mouth.
I too want to hear Bush's answer to the nobel cause question.
Is Bush a terrorist? No more than Clinton who maintained the sanctions regardless of demonstrable compliance.
It is estimated over 250,000 Iraqis died because of the decade of sanctions.

At 6:23 PM, Blogger _H_ said...

Defining terrorism is always a subjective thing

the french resistance were freedom figters to us and terrorists to the nazis

in my view bush is a terrorist (by the dictionary definition) as was clinton yes , though i think you may underate the numbers of casualties ,

in my country the terrorists were called the "IRA" but to their supporters they were freedom fighters

even your battle of independence with England could be viewed two ways

to the british , the americans were terrorists , but to the americans they were of course fighting for freedom

the issue is very complex , and it is a pleasure to see it being debated

saying that i am a diry smelly ,extreme leftie , so ignore me if you wish :-)


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