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August 26, 2005

On Cindy Sheehan, honor and dishonor...

The world has gone nuts over Cindy Sheehan, who wants to ask President Bush, "Why did my son die?' in Iraq.

How nuts? Here's one measure: Searching on the phrase "Cindy Sheehan" on Google gets "about 4,360,000" results. Yup, four million three hundred and sixty thousand. That's as of 4 p.m. Aug. 26. Number will probably be bigger by the time you read this addition to the hurricane of news and commentary. Amongst all that she is praised, damned and everything in between. Overall, more heat than light, I'd say.

Still, it's a good question, one that's being asked by nearly 2,000 other American mothers and by tens of thousands of Iraqi moms. However each individual answers, it is time -- past time -- to ask it.

My answer is "no good reason." That's what I thought about going to war in Iraq in 2003 and that's what I thought when I urged people to vote against Mr. Bush in 2004. Revelations and events since then have only reinforced my belief that we were lied into an unnecessary and ultimately self-defeating war.

Even before the 2004 election, Mr. Bush had admitted that, ``Much of the accumulated body of our intelligence (about weaons of mass destruction) was wrong and we must find out why.'' The "why" was pretty clear even then to anyone with eyes open enough to see the straws in the wind. In fact, the straws were pretty obvious before the invasion, but the allegedly liberal mass media, led by the New York Times and Washington Post, were so busy cheerleading the drive to war they missed them all.

The intelligence was wrong, as Mr. Bush surely knew, because he and the coterie of neo-cons he raised to power were determined to invade Iraq and "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," to quote the Downing Street memo in which British diplomats reported to Tony Blair what was going on in Washington in 2002, eight months in advance of the invasion of Iraq.

The memo surfaced May 1 of this year without creating the stir it should have -- though it probably has played at least some role in the growing disenchantment with the war here.

Now, faced with an anti-war movement energized by Ms. Sheehan and her question, Mr. Bush explained this week that to call off the war now would be to dishonor her son and the others who have died so far.

No, Mr. President. It is impossible to dishonor the men and women, like Casey Sheehan, who answered the call.

The only dishonor possible would be for a free people to continue to send them into harm's way without questioning leaders who "fix" the facts to justify a war for which there is no justification.

Posted by jcb at August 26, 2005 04:53 PM


I suggest you put your money where your mouth is jcb, so to speak. Why don't you answer the call of Greg Mitchell in E&P, and write an editorial calling for the USA to get out of Iraq now, and damn the consequences?

I dare you. I double dog dare you.

Posted by: paladin at August 26, 2005 06:20 PM