Great Hall of the People, IV

Comment liberally. Pray for Cindy Sheehan. Share your thoughts on China and anything else; it’s an open thread.

The Discussion: 113 Comments

Cindy Sheehan is the backbone of the anti-Bush war. More power to her.

Is there any way to start a website or blog thread to have a sign up petition in support of Sheehan and then send it to all members of Congress, especially those who are up for re-election in 2006?

August 15, 2005 @ 8:18 pm | Comment

Pete, there are a lot of petition and donation sites for Cindy on other blogs. While I respect what she is doing and hope she has a positive effect in awakening the national consiousness, I have too many doubts about some of her messages to feel comfortable setting up a petition or donation post.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

RE: Previous open thread, lin’s comment:
“They should have call Police directly and sued you for the noice violations. Then probably got some money out of YangGuiZi’s deep pocket!”
China has noise regulations?
I guess they’ve gone the way of all the “freedoms” listed in the Constitution.
From what I can tell, people can be as loud as they want here, just as long as they are not a foreigner.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

I’m praying alright…for a really big freaking rain storm. ๐Ÿ™‚

August 15, 2005 @ 9:08 pm | Comment

Of course China has noise regulations:

1. No construction machinery shall operate outside your bedroom window between 12 noon and 2 pm.

2. Buses with silent brakes shall have water sprayed in the wheels until they rust properly.

3. Mobile phone conversations shall be conducted at sufficient volume to transmit to the receiver with or without benefit of electronic amplification.

August 15, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

Sam: It’s funny because it’s true. Especially the mobile phones thing.

August 15, 2005 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

Christopher Hitchens: Cindy Sheehan’s Sinister Piffle: What’s wrong with her Crawford protest

“I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.”

August 15, 2005 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

And here I thought the buses only squealed like that in Chengdu.

August 15, 2005 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

Jeremy, that’s totally consistent with Hitchens’ take on all aspects of the Iraq war. He is a wholehearted endorser and has been merciless to those on the left who challenge it.

August 15, 2005 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

Hitchens does make what I think is a good point- the loss of a loved one does not automatically convey moral authority, nor does it make one an authority on the war. At the same time, he leaves plenty of room for his trademark snide attacks and twisting of opponents’ words (which I admittedly didn’t mind so much when he was on my side). Cindy Sheehan didn’t quite say her son died for a “Jewish cabal”, and by this Hitchens is employing the canard that anyone criticizing the neo-cons is a closet anti-Semite.
I’m pleased that Sheehan has galvanized the anti-war movement, but frankly more than a little ashamed that doing so has required the exploitation of a mother’s grief (I don’t know what else to call it, even if the mother herself instigated it), and that it has taken so long. The facts about the way this war was sold and prosecuted are bad enough; we shouldn’t have to tap a well of sentimentality to get peoples’ attention, but sadly that seems to be what it takes. In a way perhaps the left has taken a page out of the other side’s book; when logical arguments fail, launch your attacks from an unassailable position- religious faith, a mother’s grief. It doesn’t add much to the argument, but as I said, if these tactics are what it takes to get Americans motivated I suppose we’ll have to tolerate them, given the stakes.

August 15, 2005 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

And I’ll buy those points, robuzo. I always look at these things from a PR angle as it is (was?) my business, and from that perspective I think Bush has more to lose by ignoring her than he does to gain, but time will tell.

Damn, I am getting sick of talking about Cindy! Whether you love or hate her, sympathize with her or damn her to hell, she’s certainly dominating international and national headlines, as a quick search of google news (let alone Technorati) will reveal.

August 15, 2005 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Strong earthquake hits northern Japan; tsunami alert issued.

August 15, 2005 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

Absolutely right, Kevin. My pet peeve? Those bloody megaphones in newspaper kiosks screaming out NEWSPAPER! NEWSPAPER! NEWSAPER! NEWSPAPER! NEWSPAPER! NEWSPAPER!

August 15, 2005 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

Today at lunch I walked down Maoming Road and there was a guy riding a bike carrying a shovel. He was letting the shovel drag on the pavement as he rode along, creating one of the most horrifying sounds i have ever heard in my life. I know he’s probably working hard, but couldn’t he put a little thought into it to set it up so that the shovel wouldn’t drag on the pavement and leave everyone walking down the street half-deaf?
Of course, no complaints from anyone. But if I was making even close to that much noise, it would be: “a, nage laowai, so noisy…” blah blah blah

August 15, 2005 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

But if I was making even close to that much noise, it would be: “a, nage laowai, so noisy…” blah blah blah

Posted by kevin at August 15, 2005 11:48 PM


i don’t think shanghainese will ever notice that, my friend tells me that in one way or another he feels like be treated by shanghainese in a similar way towards mingong (migrant workers from other provinces)

August 16, 2005 @ 12:00 am | Comment

Absolutely right, Kevin. My pet peeve? Those bloody megaphones in newspaper kiosks screaming out NEWSPAPER! NEWSPAPER! NEWSAPER! NEWSPAPER! NEWSPAPER! NEWSPAPER!

Grrrr…I think I hate the ones in the supermarkets worse than the newspaper kiosks. They seem to be much, much louder. Could be due to the confined space.

August 16, 2005 @ 12:10 am | Comment

Shanghainese are loud and annoying in their own way. Everybody’s different

August 16, 2005 @ 12:14 am | Comment

if shanghainese have any discrimination towards laowai, that is the same discrimination towards migrant workers, so don’t complain it just because you are a laowai

i have a suggestion to you Kevin, buy a boxing sandbag and hit it when you feel angry with chinese, china, ccp, shanghai, shanghainese, shanghai dialect, chiense ice cream, etc.

August 16, 2005 @ 12:36 am | Comment

just wonder why some of you can not appreciate the good things GW did for the world?

i am not saying all he did is correct, but there must be something good to the world.

couldn’t you hold a more balanced view on his accomplishments?

August 16, 2005 @ 12:44 am | Comment

The following is a list of GW’s positive accomplishments.

August 16, 2005 @ 12:55 am | Comment

GW accomplishment: He makes Nixon look good.

August 16, 2005 @ 12:58 am | Comment

Keir, if it makes you feel any better, the megaphones in by Beijing neighborhood today have all been “umbrellas 10 kuai, umbrellas 10 kuai”. At least it’s variety.

On Cindy Sheehan: There’s a very simple reason why her grief is being exploited. (Alert: PR pro’s opinion coming.) People don’t sympathize with organizations, causes or ideas. They sympathize with other people. Stories are made by what happens to people. So the smart ideologue looking to promulgate an idea always looks for a person who can provide the emotional connection that sells a story in the way that facts, figures and political arguments don’t. What gets people’s hackles up more? 2000 faceless dead soldiers or one, identified mother’s lonely vigil? The answer is pretty clear.

That’s why so many newspaper articles open with an anectdote or recounting of an individual’s experience. That’s why President Bush wheels out “average Americans” when he wants to sell a policy. And that’s why Cindy Sheehan has stopped being a person and become a symbol.

The price of that is that any one individual’s ability to remain the center of that kind of attention is limited, especially in America, land of the three-second attention span.

Cindy will pass, and we’ll all be back to talking about the number of dead Americans and the tragedy of the politics until the next tragic figure comes along.

August 16, 2005 @ 1:13 am | Comment

Will, I agree with what you say, but I think the need to sympathize before paying attention to an issue as important as the war (people are dying- this isn’t about global warming or whales) might be character flaw.
Then again, maybe those of us who had been pretty much in despair about the way things are going (in Iraq in particular as well as in general) needed a tug at the heartstrings, too, and a reminder. And it’s good to see our Fearless Leader offered even more chances to make himself look disingenuous, uncomfortable, and petulant. “I need to get on with my life”- Cindy needs to be thanked just for giving the President of the United States a chance to have a public Oprah moment. How inspiring.

August 16, 2005 @ 1:47 am | Comment

Robuzo, I agree with you. It *is* a character flaw. (One that we, the media and everyone else exploits, but a flaw nonetheless.) We shouldn’t have to reduce the events that effect us and our world to manipulative stories to capture people’s attention. But we do. It’s the way we’re wired. Pretty much explains the entire advertising industry.

The war was awful before Cindy. It’ll be awful after Cindy. More people care about it at this minute because that awfulness is personified.

Sad but true.

At any rate, from my point of view, go Cindy. I think all of us, and the smiling monkey, need to be reminded of the human toll of the war. Whether cynically or not.

August 16, 2005 @ 1:59 am | Comment

So I’ve been living in Urumqi for a while, and the last two months I’ve been studying in Hungary and traveling through the former Yugoslavia. I just heard about this Sheehan woman the past week (yes, Bosnia is a little bit isolating from the news, especially if you don’t read Bosnian and you’re on a bus to Srebrenica). Anyway, a point on the Hitchens thing: I like the guy for his wit and the fact that he refuses to appear on any television program sans martini, but Richard is right. He’s all hawk, and Robuzo is right that he’d pull the anti-semite card in a heartbeat.

Now I haven’t been in the US in a long time; save a single month last year, it’s been three years. I read the papers, but I don’t know the feeling on the ground. But from everything I’ve read about the Downing Street memo all the way back to the Mission Accomplished banner, the administration has been shoveling this stuff for the three years I’ve been gone and it sounds like the majority of the US is still in 9/11 shock and still hasn’t settled down and taken a sensible, calm look at things. If it takes the grief of mother who lost her son to countershock people to their senses, sounds good to me.

August 16, 2005 @ 7:31 am | Comment

the loss of a loved one does not automatically convey moral authority

Someone had better notify Terri Schiavo’s family.

August 16, 2005 @ 1:08 pm | Comment

Vaara, you are a genius.

August 16, 2005 @ 1:14 pm | Comment

Americans at their best.

August 16, 2005 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

The Cindy Sheehan entourage creeps ever closer to Bush. This is really great:

One of President Bush’s neighbors will allow use of his land by dozens of war protesters who have camped in roadside ditches the past 11 days, giving them more room and halving their distance from Bush’s ranch.

Demonstrators said Fred Mattlage made the offer because he sympathizes with them. The protesters’ makeshift camp off a winding, two-lane road leading to Bush’s ranch has agitated other residents, who complained of traffic jams and blocked roads….

Mattlage’s Monday night offer, accepted by protesters Tuesday, will put them about a mile from Bush’s ranch, said Hadi Jawad of the Crawford Peace House, which is helping the group.

Demonstrators said they would start moving their tents, anti-war banners and portable toilets to the new site Wednesday and hope to have the new camp set up in time for a dusk candlelight vigil.

Flightsuitboy must have loved hearing this.

August 16, 2005 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

Found the following at Eric Alterman’s site; the “died for Israel” quote Hitchens used is bullshit:
(CNN interview)
Cooper: you were also quoted as saying, “my son joined the army to protect america, not israel. you get america out of iraq and israel out of palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism.” how responsible do you believe israel is for the amount of terrorism in the world?

sheehan: i didn’t say that.

cooper: you didn’t say that? ok

sheehan: i didn’t — i didn’t say — i didn’t say that my son died for israel. i’ve never said that. i saw somebody wrote that and it wasn’t my words. those aren’t even words that i would say.

i do believe that the palestinian issue is a hot issue that needs to be solved and it needs to be more fair and equitable but i never said my son died for israel.

August 16, 2005 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

It’s the GOP noise machine, captained by Malkin, Druge, Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, the Powerline kidz and sometimes Charles. They can come up with anything to tar anyone who criticizes trheir beloved war.

August 16, 2005 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

I would say Malkin is more of camp follower willing to do anything to be a captain, or even a private, but yeah, it’s the slime machine at work. Hitchens is smarter than they, but his fear of extreme Islam and pride at finally finding himself an insider have twisted him. That’s my take, anyway- I keep hoping Rushdie will talk some sense into him, but as Martin Amis has pointed out, Hitchens is a stubborn, self-righteous bastard, albeit a really, really clever one.

August 16, 2005 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

Agreed, Hitchens is certainly not in Malkin’s camp. He’s an intellectual, she’s a harpie. But unfortunately, he has made his contributions to the GOP noise’n’slime machine ever since we declared war in Iraq. There are times when I truly respect Hitch and read him with a sense of wonder, both at his intellect and his unmatched writing style. But something happened after 911, when he took it on himself as a holy mission to show how wrong his liberal friends at the Nation were to attack Bush’s handling of the crisis. And in so doing he went way overboard, contradicting much of what he wrote in the past and making everyone wonder where he truly stands.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:07 pm | Comment

One thing you may not have noted about the neighbor offering a portion of his land to the protesters is that he didn’t say he supports them..she said he sympathizes with them.

He also said that he likes and respects President Bush and that he is proud to have him as a neighbor.

I think you were reading more into that article than what there was to it. It’s nothing significant. If anything, he’s just trying to help reduce the traffic problems they are creating. I mean, this is the same guy who became frustrated the other day and fired shot from his shotgun over his property.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:14 pm | Comment

I guess we’ll see. If he wasn’t sympathetic, would he offer use of his personal property? Maybe, but it would sure be odd.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:18 pm | Comment

I will “pray for” Cindy Sheehan. Pray that she comes to her senses and is gifted with some class and dignity.

The latest:

As she continues her anti-war protest, Cindy Sheehan is labeling President Bush a “maniac” and a “lying bastard,” and she’s vowing not to pay her federal income tax.

“My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004,” Sheehan told an audience of Veterans for Peace. “You killed my son, George Bush, and I don’t owe you a penny. … You give my son back and I’ll pay my taxes. Come after me [for back taxes] and we’ll put this war on trial.”

Proceed directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and youโ€™ll stop the terrorism.

Does any rational intelligent person atually believe this. Besdies, to the Arabs, getting Israel out of Palestine means the complete elimination of “the Zionist entity” from the Middle East. Indeed, the Crawford Peace House website includes a photo of the entire nation of Israel identified as โ€œPalestine.โ€

Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel.

The Joooos killed my son.

Casey was killed in the Global War Of Terrorism waged on the world and its own citizens by the biggest terrorist outfit in the world: George and his destructive Neo-con cabal.

Bush not Osama is the terrorist.

Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of current events understands that this invasion/occupation of Iraq was not about Saddam being a โ€œbad guy.โ€ If that logic is used, then how many innocent Iraqi people have to die before the citizens of America wake up and know that our government is a โ€œbad guy?โ€

The US government and the Baathist dictatorship are morally equivalent.

Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn’t know anything, and America would already be a fascist state.”

Indeed, if not for the Daily Kos, we’d be worse than the Baathists

“We cannot have [the Bush administration] pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail.”

Imprison the President as a war criminal. That’s certainly a rational nuanced position.

Will someone stick a sock in this deranged harpy?

August 16, 2005 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

One question, Conrad: Source?

Several outright lies have been put in print about Saint Sheehan, attribution of quotes she never said and that can’t be traced to her. You may be right, but if you’re quoting James Taranto or Michelle or other Bush suck-uppers we need to know, as it may be pure falsehoods.

Did you read how that guy the English police shot in the head seven times — the Islamic-looking guy wearing a suspiciously heavy jacket in the London tubes — was not, it turns out, wearing a heavy jacket, and was held pinned to the ground when they shot him in the head? Things at first glance often turn out quite different from reality. I’m willing to believe you, but you, more than anyone, know that you need to tell your source.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

Conrad, you might want check out the CNN interview, part of which is posted above.

Gordon: ” this is the same guy who became frustrated the other day and fired shot from his shotgun over his property” Not the same guy; apparently it was his cousin with the shotgun.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

I just saw Anderson Cooper! Wow. She never said that stuff. And as rebuzo says, it’s the guy’s cousin who made all the trouble, not the one who’s giving her space. The cousins are diametrically opposed to one another when it comes to Iraq. And we all know which one is right.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

“Deranged harpy”? Conrad, couldn’t you make your arguments without resorting to name-calling? I’d like to read what you say and consider it seriously, but I see that and I just stop. The woman lost her kid. I’d be shocked if she didn’t say some harsh stuff. But she’s denied that she made the remarks attributed to her about Israel, and Chris Hitchens – well, he’s an entertaining guy. But how to put it? He drinks a lot (I’ve seen it). He doesn’t always get things right and in fact lately doesn’t seem to try to.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment


You can’t take Conrad seriously because he refers to this lunatic as a harpy, but you can take Richard seriously when he calls her a “saint”?


August 16, 2005 @ 9:50 pm | Comment

Apparently Conrad and I aren’t the only ones who think this woman is a loon, her own husband just filed for divorce.

August 16, 2005 @ 9:52 pm | Comment

Gordon, that’s a page right out of Malkin’s playbook. Nice going. By the way, I think richard is being facetious when he calls her a “saint”. Just guessing. Do you think a nuanced position is possible, or are such ways of thinking only for traitors?

August 16, 2005 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

Well, one is a nice thing to call someone (and I think Richard is being somewhat tongue in cheek) and the other isn’t.

As for the divorce. All I can say is that the death of a child is one of the single biggest stressors that can happen to a marriage. It’s terribly unfair to call this woman deranged because their marriage is breaking up – they were together since high school. How many of us have had relationships that enduring?

August 16, 2005 @ 9:58 pm | Comment

Lisa, so what if Hitchens drinks a lot? Honestly. So did Faulkner, so did HS Thompson. So do I since Bush became president.

August 16, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

On the other hand, maybe it is fair to bring up the divorce since the whole affair is beginning to look like a soap opera farce. The left may have found farce of their own worthy of going head to head with a farcical presidency.

August 16, 2005 @ 10:06 pm | Comment

I dunno, Robuzo…sometimes it affects a person’s work. That said, I take your point. I’d hesitated before writing that and generally when I hesitate about something, I’m better off not saying it.

August 16, 2005 @ 10:08 pm | Comment


I have no doubt that losing a child comes at huge cost to ones marriage, but I’m pretty sure parading around in front of the Presidents house while making snotty demands instead of being at home grieving with her husband isn’t really helpful to their marriage either.

Just a wild guess though…

August 16, 2005 @ 10:08 pm | Comment

“Snotty demands”?

Okay, I’m going to the gym. After all, I have to get on with my life. I need balance. And a part of who I am involves exercising at the gym.

And then I will take a nap. Because you all need me to be crisp, and make crisp decisions.

August 16, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

Huh, my “end snark” command didn’t post…

August 16, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

Sources as requested:

Refusal to pay taxes:

My son did not joint the Army to protect Israel: (from a March 15, 2005 letter from Sheehan to Nightline)

Abandoning Iraq and Israel will end terrorism: ( pro-Sheehan website)

Saddam / Bush equivalency: (from a article published in Common Dreams and written by Sheehan herself)

US as fascist state: (Byron York quoting Sheehan during a conference call among anti-war activists)

US war crimes: (from the leftist pro Sheehan journal Counter Punch)

August 16, 2005 @ 10:38 pm | Comment

Sources Richard? Here’s your sources, and not a
Taranto or Malkin among them.

Refusal to pay taxes:

My son did not joint the Army to protect Israel quote: (from a March 15, 2005 letter
from Sheehan to Nightline)

Abandoning Iraq and Israel will end terrorism qutoe: ( pro-Sheehan website)

Saddam Bush equivalency quote: (from a article published in
Common Dreams and written by Sheehan herself)

US as fascist state quote: (Byron York quoting Sheehan
during a conference call among anti-war activists)

War crimes quote: (from the leftist pro Sheehan
journal Counter Punch)

August 16, 2005 @ 10:39 pm | Comment


I’ve e-mailed you the sources for the Sheehan quotes, which you will see come almost entirely from left of center publications.

I can’t post it here myself because your spam filter is running amok again.

August 16, 2005 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Conrad, I totally redid your comment, turning the tinyurl’s into html, and I still can’t get it to post. Never saw anything like this before. Obviously, even my spam filter is recoling in horror from these made-up quotes.

I’m working on it, seriously, but I just spent 15 minutes trying to correct it. Usually the filter tells me exactly what it’s blocking, but in this case it’s just giving me your name. As Drudge would say, “Developing…”

August 16, 2005 @ 10:46 pm | Comment

When I changed your name to Rabid Republican and added a dummy email address, it went right through. Bizarre – it said your comment required registration – but my site never requires registration. It must be the Democratic gods looking out after my site, protecting it from invasive and healthy right-wing influences.

August 16, 2005 @ 10:51 pm | Comment

Lisa, if you put words in the html brackets, they don’t show up I’m afraid…l

August 16, 2005 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

A new compensation scheme for Chinese journalists:

The regulation, to be introduced on August 20, will tie Chinese journalists remuneration to “credits” they receive on each article they write.

Reporters would gain 50 credit points for being among the top three most-read articles, while 80 credit points would be given to those praised by the secretariat of the Communist Youth League.

Stories praised by state government bodies and provincial leaders would gain 100 points, while acclaim from the Communist Party Publicity Department would be worth 120 points.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:10 pm | Comment

I’ve looked through the quotes, Conrad, and I think Sheehan was right on nearly all counts. Did we go to war with Iraq for Israel? Did Rumsfeld shake hands with Saddam? Is her refusal to pay her taxes that appalling? Right down the line, she’s spot-on, a lone voice of sanity in a maelstrom of tired platitudes and hawkish inanity. Thanks for bringing these to our attention. They are indeed admirable.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:15 pm | Comment

And yes, I was of course being tongue in cheek when I called Sheehan a saint. She’s a tortured, troubled, at times incoherent mother crushed by a loss she at first accepted as the casualty of a reasonable war. When she realized she was betrayed, she freaked out. I would have, too.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:18 pm | Comment

I’m reading the comments in reverse order from everyone else, so bear with me. Gordon, just because her husband is asking for a divorce means she is a loon? That is something you need to elaborate on. Are all women loons if their husbands seek to divorce them?

August 16, 2005 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Hmm, Richard, I’m not so sure. She might be more effective doing the humble grieving mother routine, frankly, rather than the left-wing firebrand. If the goal is widening the spectrum of war opposition as opposed to widening the gap between the right and left, that is. And I think her comments about Afghanistan on Hardball, with the implication that the deaths of soldiers there were/are not in a good cause (however poorly prosecuted) are wrong.
And did she contradict herself on CNN or not?

August 16, 2005 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

No Richard, her behavior and her nutty demands of the President are what define her lunacy.

As much as I despised Clinton, I was still proud to have a picture taken while shaking his hand at the Indianapolis 500 a couple of years ago. I don’t care for Bill, but I respect the office which he served (even if he did bing dishonor to it).

Sheehan has no respect for the President or the office that he holds. I hope it pours rain like hell for the duration of her little camping fiasco.

Maybe the cold water will do her some good.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

Where did she contradict herself on CNN? I saw a portion of Anderson Cooper and I may have missed it. I did hear Anderson saying how the quotes attributed to her were not actually said by her.

I have expressed my own concerns about Sheehan, and said I thought she was making some serious mistakes. In all honesty — and for a moment I’ll stop my affectionate baiting of Conrad and Gordon — I find her a weak spokesperson and there have been moments when I wonder whether she may end up creating a major backfire. But as I’ve said multiple times, the eyes of the entire world are on her. People don’t care so much about her politcal beliefs on Israel or Afghanistan – that isn’t why they are watching. It’s because the nation has been traumatized by Iraq and she is the human face of the tragedy. And you know what? She is already being replicated – I read earlier today (don’t recall the link) how news organizations are now seeking out the families of slain soldiers, trying to put a human face on this conflict. Abd they are finding them! No matter whether you think this is good or bad, responsible or irresponsible journalism is irrelevant. It will become an increasinlg powerful factor when people watch the news and see the real heartbreak all those statistics mean for the actual families next door. They are realizing they are not statistics, they are flesh and blood and sources of endless grief. We could deal with that if it were a legitimate war. But it was needless, Iraq was weak and irrelevant, and we invited the terrorists to pick our boys off (“Bring ’em on”).

Even if Sheehan is proven to be an ax-wielding serial killer, she’ll have made a huge difference. And all because Bush chose to stay away and wait out the storm. He should have met with her before the Sheehan phenomenon had a chance to metastasize.

Updater: Just found the link – check it out and see why even if Cindy passes from sight, there is now a long line of Cindys waiting to take her place in what might be a true domno effect.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:41 pm | Comment

You know, her nutty demand is very simple: she wants to meet with Bush and ask Bush what the noble cause for which her son died is? How is this nutty? Sure, not every American gets to meet with the President simply by demanding it. But asking Bush to define what the noble cause is, exactly, seems pretty reasonable, given the Administration’s shifting rationale for this war.

What’s nutty is Bush’s flat-footed response to the whole thing. Laura could have invited Sheehan to the ranch, they could have talked and that would have been the end of it. I think that Bush has serious problems in dealing with unscripted, uncontrolled situations. Take as an example all of those “Town Halls” where you had to be a supporter of the president to even gain admittance. I think he’s afraid to meet with this woman, and I think he’s given her a lot of power because of this.

I’ve come back from the gym. I am feeling balanced and crisp now.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:43 pm | Comment

Here’s a candidate, Richard, the grandmother of a dead Marine from Kentucky: Comley’s grandmother, 80-year-old Geraldine Comley of Versailles, described herself in an interview as a former Republican stalwart who is “on a rampage” against the president and the war.

She said she would like nothing better than to join Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has been holding a peace vigil outside President Bush’s ranch in Texas.

“When someone gets up and says ‘My son died for our freedom,’ or I get a sympathy card that says that, I can hardly bear it,” Geraldine Comley said.

She said her view, developed before her grandson’s death, is that Bush pushed for war because Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had tried to assassinate the first President Bush, and to get control of Mideast oil.

“And it irritates me no small amount that Dick Cheney, in the Vietnam War, said he had ‘other priorities,'” Geraldine Comley said. “He didn’t mind sending my grandson over there” to Iraq.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

You may not want to accept it Gordon, but she’s the folk hero of our time. It may not last, but she’s now the face of the Iraq war tragedy. Hate her, criticize her, wish her the worst – it won’t matter a dime. My career of the past 20 years has been PR, and she is definitely winning the PR battle. Let’s hope she helps force Bush to level with us. Let us all pray for a moment for Cindy Sheehan and her noble cause. Ready? Okay, 30-second prayer of your choosing. [Pause.][

Yes! It’s as though I were Bush — God talked to me and said Cindy will prevail and force Bush to give us all the answers we so desperately seek. I feel so relieved.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

Wonderful example, Lisa. 21 friggin’ years old. Even in Vietnam we had an objective – to stop communism. Here our objective was to protect us from those lethal weapons and mushroom clouds. Well, turns out those things never existed, just some “weapons of mass-destruction-related program activities” written on some pieces of paper, with no money or resources to fund them. At least the mothers in Vietnam could pretend for a long while their kids were dying for something. Not this time, unless you count Flightsuitboy’s ego as something worth dying for, while he clears brush and his draft-age daughers get high.

August 16, 2005 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

Can’t we talk about China, or maybe recent movies that have come out? I’m getting really tired of Cindy Sheehan.

How aboutthis new story about how in parts of Tibet, women have only two career possibilities, to be a nun or a prostitute. Agonizing. And we think we’ve got problems…

August 16, 2005 @ 11:59 pm | Comment

I posted this earlier from the CNN transcript:
sheehan: i didn’t — i didn’t say — i didn’t say that my son died for israel. i’ve never said that. i saw somebody wrote that and it wasn’t my words. those aren’t even words that i would say.

I was just wondering if she had in fact said that somewhere else. I looked at some of Conrad’s links and didn’t see it, but I didn’t check all of them.
You are right, Sheehan has contributed by making the war deaths less of an abstraction. I’d prefer a society in which an admission by a senior administration official that they are “shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning”*1 would have a similarly galvanizing effect, but there isn’t much I can do about that.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:04 am | Comment

In the European Middle Ages prostitution often overlapped with nunneries. Sometimes whores were sent to nunneries, sometimes they escaped into them, and sometimes prostitution went on in nunneries. (Although this was not consistent. Depended on where it was, who ran it, etc)
Thus Hamlet’s line to Ophelia: “Get thee to a nunnery” was his way of calling her a whore.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:09 am | Comment

Thanks robuzo – that lowering of expectations article was a true bombshell, and all the other newspapers are now doing copycat articles. They are becoming far less afraid, and Sheehan has helped. Suddenly we can ask aloud those questions that have been tormenting Americans for so long, but that they felt were “unpatriotic” to raise.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:11 am | Comment

Are you making that up, Ivan?

August 17, 2005 @ 12:12 am | Comment

Richard, I think Ivan is right about this. I’m not sure why I think this but I dimly recall something of the sort…at least with regards to the “Hamlet” line…

August 17, 2005 @ 12:15 am | Comment

Lisa, just read your comment above on Cindy and why Bush should have met her. You said it so elegantly. Thanks.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:15 am | Comment

More insanity from the harpy (

We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if 9/11 was actually [the neocon’s] Pearl Harbor to get their agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada.

Wolfowitz did it.

We are not waging a war on terror in this country. Weโ€™re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush.

George is worse than Osama.

America has been killing people . . . since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. Iโ€™m going all over the country telling moms: โ€œThis country is not worth dying for.”

Thank God millions of young men and women felt differently 60 years ago.

We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now.

Forget about Saddam’s mass graves, what about the DEPLETED URANIUM!!!!!

And there’s more:

Is there anyone in America who cannot yet see that Donald Rumsfeld is a liar…that he, as with Hitler and Stalin….will say anything so long as he thinks it will help shape the world to his own liking?

Rumsfeld = Hilter AND Stalin.

Our country has been overtaken by murderous thugs….gangsters who lust after fortunes and power. We all know that they are now putting in place, all across this country, a system of voting that provides no way to validate the accuracy of the counting of the votes. These arrogant thugs parade themselves before the entire world, insisting that democracy is worth dying for all the while they are busy here at home overseeing the emplacement of an electronic voting system that invites fraud at every turn, an electronic vote-counting system that provides no way to validate the votes cast, and that, by itโ€™s very design, prohibits recounting the votes.

This woman is deep in the fever swamps now, and plodding even further:

The US government is now ruled by murderous hypocrites…criminals who should be arrested, charged appropriately, confined behind bars, and then tried in a court of law…not only here in our own country, but also in all the other countries which have suffered their incomprehensible greed.

Put Bush on trial before the Taliban.

In their secret hiding places, while celebrating newly won fortunes with their fellow brass, these men must surely congratulate themselves with orgies of carnal pleasure

“Orgies of carnal pleasure”?!?!? Maybe, after a few drinks, I could almost imagine this during the Clinton administration, but Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld at orgies? The mind reels and the stomach turns.

Come on folks, this woman is picking up radio Jupiter on her bridge work. She makes Michael Moore look restrained and Noam Chomsky moderate. Sheehan doesn’t need to be meeting with the President, she needs to be meeting with a psychiatrist.

She’s a looney.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:20 am | Comment

What can one expect but unreality from a faith-based administration? It’s unreality at all levels, from economics through foreign policy; the unreality of Enron bookkeeping, of Intelligent Design and opposition to stem cell research, and the C+ Augustus Imperium. The Bush Administration really seems a blend of two unreal modes of thought: that of the religious fundamentalist who bends reality to fit his chosen myths, and that of the power-mad megalomaniac who believes he can create reality (as Suskind reported).

August 17, 2005 @ 12:24 am | Comment

Hm, the Soviets used to say anyone who criticized the Glorious Soviet System was “mentally ill.”

August 17, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

Ferf*cksakes, Lynne Stewart? Sheesh.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:27 am | Comment

Speak the ugly truth about the Pope:
“She’s a witch!”
Speak the ugly truth about this war:
“She’s a looney!”

August 17, 2005 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Next we’ll find out she spoke at a “Free Mumia” rally.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Oh gawd. You know, I and a fellow lefty once committed the unpardonable sins of questioning Mumia’s “innocence” on our e-group. It’s just like bringing up Taiwan or the War Shrine on a China blog…like throwing chum out for the sharks.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:32 am | Comment

Yes, I was wondering if I’d regret that. Scratch Mumia supporters deeply enough and you’re likely to find that they don’t really care if he killed that cop or not. And I don’t mean to say that I think Lynne Stewart may not have been treatly wrongly by the US government- just that I think what she stands for is loathsome.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:41 am | Comment

Yes, Sheehan spoke at a rally in support of Lynne Stewart, who was convicted of knowingly smuggling instructions from her jailed client, convicted terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman, to his terrorist followers. In other words, Sheehan spoke in support of someone convicted of giving material assistance to the enemy.

And Sheehan has some interesting supporters of her own:

Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost a son in the Iraq War, is determined to prevent other mothers and fathers from experiencing the same loss.

Courageously she has gone to Texas near the ranch of President Bush and braved the elements . . . to demand a meeting with him and a good explanation why her son and otherโ€™s sons and daughters must die and be disfigured in a war. . . .

David Duke

August 17, 2005 @ 12:44 am | Comment

Mumia supporters are great at hijacking unrelated progressive causes. I’ll go along with them as far as supporting his case for a new trial – there were some funky things in the government’s case as I recall – and that I don’t think he should be executed. I don’t believe in the death penalty, and if there’s any ambiguity, I’d prefer to err on the side of not killing people.

I don’t know enough about Lynne Stewart’s case to comment…in principle I believe that everyone is entitled to competent legal representation, and I have some respect for lawyers who hold to that principle. My impression is that she did some kind of dumb-ass if not illegal things in the defense of her client. But I don’t really know this for a fact.

August 17, 2005 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Conrad, if you’re going to start damning people because of their supporters, well, we could be here all night listing nutjob racists who support the President.

I’ve got very little of my night left for working, out here on the left coast, so I’m going to try and do a little work and resist the temptation to go down that road…

August 17, 2005 @ 12:49 am | Comment

Lynne Stewart, using the ruse of attorney client communications, knowingly and laughingly passed messages, including operational instructions, from the notorious blind terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. All of this is captured on tape.

Lynne Stewart also said:

“I don’t have any problem with Mao or Stalin or the Vietnamese leaders or certainly Fidel locking up people they see as dangerous, because so often, dissidence has been used by the greater powers to undermine a people’s revolution.”

August 17, 2005 @ 12:59 am | Comment


That’s an argument that might be pursuasive if this blog and your comments weren’t regularly devoted to condemning Bush for the statements and actions of his most extreme supporters.

What’s sauce for the goose, My Dear. . . .

And what possible excuse can Sheehan give for actively supporting a convicted terrorist accomplice?

August 17, 2005 @ 1:03 am | Comment

Hey, I’m supposed to be working here, not posting!

But briefly (cause I have to do a little work and get some sleep), I condemn Bush outright, not “his most extreme supporters, ” unless you are going to put people in his Administration in that category. And I’m going to take the liberty of speaking for Richard here and saying that his blog does the same thing. We don’t need to go to the extremists who support George Bush to utterly condemn this Administration – we’re happy to look to the President’s very own decisions for that.

As for Lynne Stewart, she sounds like a nut to me, but I’d need to look into her case more before I’d stand on that opinion. As for Cindy Sheehan, if she’s made some mistakes or been less than wise in some of her associations, you know what? It doesn’t invalidate the truth of what she’s saying now, nor does it excuse Bush’s clumsy handling of the whole affair.

Besides, since when did we start holding grieving war widows to the same standards as the highest officials in our government, the people who are supposed to be leading us and representing our interests?

So Cindy Sheehan supported some lefty whack job. Our President spoke at colleges that institutionalized segregation and thinks that “intelligent design” is good science.


August 17, 2005 @ 1:26 am | Comment

excuse me. “Grieving war moms.” It’s late here, and I’m tired.

August 17, 2005 @ 1:27 am | Comment

Conrad, a list of the President’s most extreme supporters would include much of his inner circle, especially with O’Neil and Powell having gotten the boot. OK, maybe Rove and Cheney aren’t ideological extremists- that level of cynicism isn’t usually accompanied by an ideology. How about entirely unprincipled and power-mad?
But no matter what you think of the attorney-client priviledge issues in the Stewart case, she is an extremist, and Sheehan comparing Stewart to Atticus Finch makes me want to puke. I wouldn’t call Sheehan crazy, but she certainly appears deeply misguided.

August 17, 2005 @ 1:27 am | Comment

“Hey, I’m supposed to be working here, not posting!” Hey, me, too! But this is more interesting.

August 17, 2005 @ 1:31 am | Comment

Yeah, but it’s 12:32 AM where I am. How’s about you?

And I REALLY am going to just…walk away from the computer….floss…and get some sleep…

August 17, 2005 @ 1:34 am | Comment

In Lynne Stewart, Cindy Sheehan did not support “some lefty whack job”, she supported a woman found guilty of offering operational support to a convicted terrorist and his organization with a history of prior violent attacks against the US.

That, in and of itself, is grounds for the President to refuse to meet with her.

August 17, 2005 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Then why didn’t Bush offer this as an explanation for his refusal to meet with her? My guess? This is just coming to light – I note that the New York Post mentions Sheehan’s speaking at the Stewart rally in their article of August 16. And I’m sure by tomorrow we’ll be hearing about this ad infinitum.

Here’s a perspective on Stewart’s case that may or may not interest you:

And now I really am signing off…

August 17, 2005 @ 1:54 am | Comment

I’m well aware of Stewart’s case. One of my former mentors, when I was a “baby lawyer”, Michael Tigar, defended her.

He lost. He should have.

August 17, 2005 @ 2:43 am | Comment

Lisa, it’s 3:30 where I am, cloudy Bangkok. I’ll be about ready for a drink just about the time you are going back to work.

Conrad, I dunno, might be awfully magnanimous for the President to meet with a grieving mother who at this point at least seems to represent all the moms uncertain that their child’s death was for a just cause- even one who has herself given support to dubious causes. By the way, I do seem to recall more than a few attorneys of right and left political persuasion concerned about the attorney-client principle aspect of Stewart’s case. I’d go try to look them up but I’m supposedly working (not on anybody’s clock, at least).

I doubt this will put much of a dent in Sheehan’s sentimental value. You’ll still be in lather about her next week.

Miss your blog. Not necessarily the politics, though, nudge nudge.

August 17, 2005 @ 2:44 am | Comment


The only real attorney client issue in the Stewart case was the recording of lawyer client conversations. There is no question, however, that none of the communications used against her were covered by privilege. A lawyers conversations with his client in connection with giving legal advice or preparing for litigation are privileged. Communications from the client to the lawyer passing on non-legal (indeed illegal) instructions to third persons (here a terrorist group) are in no way privileged.

Recording lawyer client communications is sensitive but in the Stewart case, there was plenty of probable cause to believe that she was engaged in unlawful communications.

August 17, 2005 @ 2:53 am | Comment

On this Cindy Sheehan: while she’s busy hanging herself (metaphorically speaking) with her own words, and people rush to bequeath her with “saintly” status because her son died in Iraq (despite numerous others in similar situations with the opposite view: try for a small sample), the forest is being missed for the trees. This is a small media stunt that has snowballed into a massive one. It is not part of a rational debate of the merits of the Iraq war, it’s emotional screaming at and past each other. Members of the right (including MM) have also disgraced themselves…the divorce has nothing to do with this at all.

Meanwhile there’s plenty going on in Iraq, and it’s not all quagmire and Vietnam:

It’s quite pathetic that the anti-war camp have found this woman useful to their cause. If she chooses to exploit her personal tragedy for a cause, that’s up to her. For a bandwagon to develop on that back of it is disgraceful. Like someone mentioned above, it is similar to the Schiavo case but in reverse. Then it was the Christian/right to life movement exploiting tragedy. Now it is the anti-war movement, many of whom were aghast at the Schiavo debacle. Like Marx said about history, the first time is tragedy, the second time as farce.

You can debate whether Iraq should have been invaded until you are blue in the face, but I’ve got some shocking news for you: it’s been over for 2 years. Right or wrong, it’s time to move on.

Conrad, it’s really not worth expounding energy on this woman any longer. Her cause is lost before it even began.

August 17, 2005 @ 2:55 am | Comment

Ventriloquizing the dead

Here is an unambivalent statement: “The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.”

And, now, here’s another:

“Am I emotional? Yes, my first-born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a [Project for the New American Century] neo-con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full well that my son, my family, this nation and this world were betrayed by George Bush, who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agendas after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy … not for the real reason, because the Arab Muslims who attacked us hate our Middle-Eastern foreign policy.”

The second statement comes from Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. It was sent to the editors of ABC’s Nightline on March 15. The first statement comes from Maureen Dowd’s Aug. 10 New York Times column, in which she argues that Sheehan’s moral authority is absolute.

I am at a complete loss to see how these two positions can be made compatible. Sheehan has obviously taken a short course in the Michael Moore school of Iraq analysis and has not succeeded in making it one atom more persuasive. I dare say that her “moral authority” to do this is indeed absolute, if we agree for a moment on the weird idea that moral authority is required to adopt overtly political positions — but then so is my “moral” right to say that she is spouting sinister piffle. Suppose I had lost a child in this war. Would any of my critics say that this gave me any extra authority? I certainly would not ask or expect them to do so. Why, then, should anyone grant them such a privilege?

August 17, 2005 @ 3:13 am | Comment

Can any of the people here in China access my blog at the moment?

I’ve tried to open my site for the last hour now, but it looks like it has been blocked (at least locally).

Please shoot me an email if you’re experiencing the same trouble.


August 17, 2005 @ 3:26 am | Comment

“Communications from the client to the lawyer passing on non-legal (indeed illegal) instructions to third persons (here a terrorist group) are in no way privileged.”

That’s for sure.

Simon sez:
“It is not part of a rational debate of the merits of the Iraq war, it’s emotional screaming at and past each other. Members of the right (including MM) have also disgraced themselves”

True. A faith-based presidency deserves nothing less, even if thoughtful conservatives deserve better.

I agree that this war is two years on and needs to be sorted out in some way that prevents a major civil war or most of Iraq becoming part of Greater Iran (with nukes). At the moment those (or a really fun combination thereof) seem to be two of the most likely outcomes of the Iraq adventure. You won’T be able pin failure on lack of support in the States- another way this isn’t going to be like Vietnam. The planning sucked. The Bush team’s planning. And that as much as anything got Sheehan’s son and thousands other killed.

Does Sheehan’s action contribute anything to the problem of how to get out of Iraq and preventing the above? No. So in that sense it probably doesn’t deserve the fanfair.

Anyway, I’m with the adminstration- maybe I’ll just lower my expectations of the war and the debate about it. Actually, Bushco getting the US out of Iraq without the whole place falling apart- as opposed to becoming a shining beacon of democracy and steady source of petro- at this point would be something of a coup, and would prove they aren’t completely inept.

August 17, 2005 @ 3:31 am | Comment

Robuzo, the thing about Iraq is it is already a functioning democracy. Admittedly in its very early stages, but elections were successfully held in January despite the best efforts of those opposed. The constitution is almost ready and another election will then be due. So far it’s all going pretty much to plan. The post-invasion planning was inept, but the Americans managed to eventually get it right. And it’s having knock-on effects, witness Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s small efforts towards democracy. Again, going to plan. The press doesn’t talk about it, but the plan has held for the past year or more. But you don’t read about that. Another key point to remember is creating a democracy can mean the people will elect those you disagree with. That is a real risk with the Iraq venture so more credit to Bush and co. for creating a democracy rather than installing their own people.

The other thing is this myth about oil. If Iraq was about oil, why is oil at record high prices? Secondly America’s imports of Iraqi oil are a tiny proportion of its total imports…around 1-2% was the last number I saw. Most of Iraq’s exports go to the Far East and Europe. But “blood for Chinese/French/German/Japanese oil” doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

August 17, 2005 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Simon, you are very optimistic. We’ll see. As far as the knock-on effect, presumably that would come from the US looking strong by kicking in the door in Iraq. I don’t think the US looks strong in the post-invasion period, while the invasion itself didn’t prove anything. The enemy had no air force. Not even any drones came after our troops. Even North Vietnam had something like an air force.

As far as oil goes, according to the administration it certainly was about oil- at least you can agree that Cheney and others said that Iraq would pay for itself through oil sales. And that just isn’t happening, for reasons of which I am sure you are aware. That is one minor reason oil is highly priced, and as for the others, even if Iraq were pumping at capacity it wouldn’t make much difference. You are in Asia, right? By the way, I’m sure you know it doesn’t matter where most of the oil from Iraq is shipped, at least insofar as the effect on commodity prices.

Let’s hope you are right about Iraq. I honestly don’t see any reason for optimism there.

August 17, 2005 @ 3:56 am | Comment

Shit, looks like Blog-City is blocked in China today.

August 17, 2005 @ 5:11 am | Comment

I’m in Guangzhou and HM, Paper Tiger, Public Enemy etc are all inaccessable.

Can anyone in China access the blog-city blogs?

August 17, 2005 @ 5:13 am | Comment

Blocked where I’m at, too. I guess Nanny didn’t want Gordon’s story of the non-existent rat to get out…..

August 17, 2005 @ 5:55 am | Comment

Oh, NOW I realize what happened! Gordon’s rat worked for the Ministry of Propaganda….

August 17, 2005 @ 5:56 am | Comment

I’ve contacted Blog-City and the tech team there is working on a solution for getting around the firewall. I won’t discuss what they are doing, but hopefully it works soon.

August 17, 2005 @ 7:04 am | Comment

Okay, I’ve got confirmation from Martyn in Guangzhou, Asiapundit in Shanghai, Imagethief in Beijing and Dave in Hangzhou.

Blog-City is blocked. Somehow I have a feeling that it has to do with a certain little fuckwad that we call Madge.

August 17, 2005 @ 8:05 am | Comment

What the heck are you guys doing in China, it is such an awful place to live! Get out before you can!

/Joke off

August 17, 2005 @ 8:15 am | Comment

Sorry Simon, but Sheehan has won. We can forget about her now, because she will slip into the background, but she has succeeded in raising the national perception of the war to an important new level.

As I said earlier, there’s now a steady line of Cindy Sheehans waiting to have their stories told,and finally the media are actively seeking them out. Even if she is totally discredited, Sheehan opened the pandora’s box, which Bush could have kept closed.

That said, she still seems to be going strong, despite the awful things Conrad pointed to, which on close examination aren’t too awful. As to Lynn Stewart, what a strange and twisted story, a great example of the terror hysteria that’s the hallmark of our time. She could get 30 years for acts that had zero to do with terrorism. Yeah, she was wrong, maybe she should be disbarred, fined and given 6 months, though even that seems harsh. Conrtad uses scary words, making her sound like she was a co-pilot on 911. He did the same thing when Sandy Berger was stopped for absent-mindedly taking copies (repeat, copies) of documents from the archives. He was endangering national security! He’s a traitor! Of course, it all blew away because there was nothing there. Similarly, these scare stories that make Sheehan out to be depraved are superficial and full of emotional triggers (she supported a terrorist!). But there’s very, very little there. I “support” Lynn Stewart in that I think she was given a bum rap in a time of national scaremongering. Does that mean I support terrorism?

Anyway, back to my point of the new Cindy Sheehans, who make the original rather irrelevant. Expect to see many more articles like this.

The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether.

“We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out,” Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.

Schroeder, 23, died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq.

The soldier’s father said his son and other Marines were being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq.

“Our comments are not just those of grieving parents,” Paul Schroeder said in front of the couple’s home. “They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief. Anger is an honest emotion when someone’s family has been violated.”

Palmer accused the president of refusing to make changes in a war gone bad. “Whether he leads them out by putting more troops on the ground or pulling them out โ€” he can’t just let it continue,” she said.

White House spokesman Allen Abney declined comment other than to refer to remarks Bush made last week.

At a news conference Thursday, the president said: “Pulling troops out prematurely will betray the Iraqis. Our mission in Iraq, as I said earlier, is to fight the terrorists, is to train the Iraqis.”

The Ohio couple have long opposed the war and tried to dissuade their son from joining the Marines, but have made their views public only since his death. On Tuesday they urged Americans to voice their opposition to the war.

“We want to point out that 30 people have died since our son. Are people listening?” Palmer asked.

More than 1,800 U.S. servicemen and women have been killed in the war.

On Monday, dozens of people, including several holding large American flags, lined the streets leading to the funeral for Schroeder, known to friends and family as “Augie” based on his middle name, August.

“Yesterday, it was Augie’s day and we didn’t want to intrude upon his day with politics,” Palmer said. “We have to move on and keep his spirit alive by helping to protect his buddies who are still out there.”

The couple applauded Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has camped out in protest near Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, for bringing the war to the public’s attention.

“We consider her the Rosa Parks of the new movement opposing the Iraq war,” Palmer said.

On posterboards, Schroeder displayed photos of his son โ€” being cradled the day he was born; a blond boy eating corn on the cob; and the last photo the couple received of him, smiling in uniform, holding a Pepsi can and a rifle.

Their son went to Iraq filled with optimism about the mission but gradually became disillusioned with the war’s progress, his parents said.

“He said the longer it went on the less and less worth it seemed,” Palmer said. “They’re not doing the job right now. It’s not the fault of the troops. It’s the fault of the plan.”

It doesn’t matter that some Instapundit fans in Hong Kong think Sheehan is through and that she had no impact. Already we see the evidence of her impact, and it will strengthen, not diminish. No matter how wrong or bad or deranged she may be, anyone who can’t see how she has changed the argument and tipped the scales is either very far away from America or divorced from reality (as are most supporters of our war that can’t be won).

August 17, 2005 @ 8:58 am | Comment

It is nice to hear that but do we seriously expect Bush to pull out of Iraq? Permanent bases are being built, so let’s face it, American military will be there probably forever.

What is important is what is best for Iraqi people now, but do we really know? We keep hearing Bush saying pulling out troops now would be disastrous and only when Iraqis are trained that troops could come home (or most will come home otherwise who would stay in the permanent bases), but what are the alernatives if you don’t believe in that line of thinking.

August 17, 2005 @ 9:22 am | Comment

This thread is now officially maxed out. On to the next one.

August 17, 2005 @ 4:28 pm | Comment

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