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Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The cries of the chickenhawk fill the air

Patrick McFawn, for conspicuous
bravery for attacking a grieving
mother while still a college student

Sheehan's protest oversimplifies debate
By Patrick McFawn

By now it would be almost surprising if one had not heard about the Cindy Sheehan media spectacle occurring outside of the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas. For those who have hid under a rock and sheltered themselves from the political news media, Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Casey Sheehan, 24, who was an Army specialist and one of the honorable men who have fallen while in combat in the war in Iraq. She is asking to meet with the president again for a one-on-one discussion about the war in Iraq and "why our sons are dead," because she wants the troops pulled out immediately.

Since the beginning of her protest, Sheehan has called President Bush "that filth spewer and warmonger." In addition, she has opined, "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started," and "the killing has gone on unabated for over 200 years." Sheehan says the U.S. government is a "morally repugnant system" and easily lets varying media outlets know that "this country is not worth dying for."

Because of the political component of her protest, Sheehan has teamed up with anti-war activists such as Michael Moore and Berkeley-based Former Green presidential candidate Ralph Nader has also publicly supported her.

The Casey Camp, named after Sheehan's son, has brought many organizations interested in broadcasting her poignantly political message to Crawford. Fenton Communications, a San Francisco-based public relations firm for liberal interests has joined Sheehan, along with True Majority, a non-profit group set up by Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Democracy for America, Howard Dean's political group and Code Pink, the organization founded by San Francisco's Medea Benjamin.

My first reaction upon hearing of this vigil protest and Sheehan's demands was to ask myself where this protest and its followers have been for the past several years. Yours truly actually debated this same exact topic in a class two years ago. While there is no question as to the right of Sheehan to protest, the war in Iraq and its justification is an old debate and, since then, no landmark paradigm or new knowledge has prompted the necessity of a re-evaluation of the choice to go to war. The only difference between now and two years ago is the fact that Sheehan can fend off opposition by referencing the grief resulting from her son's death.

It is necessary to sympathize with those who have lost loved ones; however, if all went according to Sheehan's requests and she was able to meet with the president, nothing tangible would result. Bush would state that he believed Sheehan's son died for a noble cause and that the war in Iraq is justified, just as he has previously stated to the media. In return, Sheehan would inform the president that her son died for a lie and that she wants the troops pulled out of Iraq, just as she has previously told the media. This basic outcome assumes that cameras would be present. If that assumption was false, then there would be two stories reported in the press: one of the president's and one of Sheehan's. Therefore, it seems reasonable to ask, what is the purpose of this political exhibition?

I sent along this little note:

Mr. McFawn,

I can only assume from your column that you are a member of ROTC. After all, if the war on terror is so critical, I'm sure you're planning to take an active part in it, as a platoon leader in the Airborne, perhaps, maybe in a Marine rifle company? If not, then I am assured you have made plans for enlistment after graduation. Because stopping Islamofascism isn't just a job for someone else, right?

I'm sure, a young man like you would actively seek combat duty after he gets his degree. After all, you would never be content to let someone else, perhaps a graduate of Los Angeles City College, fight in Iraq in your stead.

After all, men like you are strong enough to resist the emotional appeals of grieving mothers like Cindy Sheehan, and we need iron-willed men like you on our front lines, stopping Islamic terror where and when it shows its face. How wily of Sheehan to use the death of her eldest son as a political point. After all, she does have three other children. What's the loss of one in combat? A tragedy, but life goes on, right?

While I'm sure we need to debate Iraq, I know someone like you believes in action over words. You want to confront Islamic terror, not discuss it as residents of East LA and Compton get all the glory of stopping it.

Good luck in Iraq or Afghanistan, where I am certain you will be in the next few years.


Steve Gilliard
The News Blog

posted by Steve @ 8:41:00 AM

8:41:00 AM

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