Monday, August 22, 2005

The Final Smackdown of Cindy Sheehan!

Mark Steyn spells out the madness of Sheehan and what it means for the death-spiraling Democrats in "'Peace Mom's' marriage a metaphor for Dems" which I'm gonna have to resist posting in full cuz it's all brilliant, but here's some of the sauce:

They're not children in Iraq; they're grown-ups who made their own decision to join the military. That seems to be difficult for the left to grasp. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing.

The infantilization of the military promoted by the left is deeply insulting to America's warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd's purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that "of course" they "support our troops," because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.

I resisted writing about "Mother Sheehan" (as one leftie has proposed designating her), as it seemed obvious that she was at best a little unhinged by grief and at worst mentally ill. It's one thing to mourn a son's death and even to question the cause for which he died, but quite another to roar that he was "murdered by the Bush crime family."

Also: "You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana . . . You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out of Palestine."

And how about this? "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for." That was part of her warm-up act for a speech by Lynne Stewart, the "activist" lawyer convicted of conspiracy for aiding the terrorists convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

You can see why Lynne's grateful to Sheehan. But why is Elizabeth Edwards sending out imploring letters headlined "Support Cindy Sheehan's Right To Be Heard"? The politics of this isn't difficult: The more Cindy Sheehan is heard the more obvious it is she's thrown her lot in with kooks most Americans would give a wide berth to.

Don't take my word for it, ask her family. Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins put out the following statement:

"The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect."

Ah, well, they're not immediate family, so they lack Cindy's "moral authority." But how about Casey's father, Pat Sheehan? Last Friday, in Solano County Court, Casey's father Pat Sheehan filed for divorce. As the New York Times explained Cindy's "separation," "Although she and her estranged husband are both Democrats, she said she is more liberal than he is, and now, more radicalized."

Toppling Saddam and the Taliban (Mrs. Sheehan opposes U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, too), destroying al-Qaida's training camps and helping 50 million Muslims on the first steps to free societies aren't worth the death of a single soldier. But Cindy Sheehan's hatred of Bush is worth the death of her marriage. Watching her and her advanced case of Bush Derangement Syndrome on TV, I feel the way I felt about that mentally impaired Aussie concert pianist they got to play at the Oscars a few years.

Yet in the wreckage of Pat and Cindy Sheehan's marriage there is surely a lesson for the Democratic Party. As Cindy says, they're both Democrats, but she's "more liberal" and "more radicalized." There are a lot of less liberal and less radicalized Dems out there: They're soft-left-ish on health care and the environment and education and so forth; many have doubts about the war, but they love their country, they have family in the military, and they don't believe in dishonoring American soldiers to make a political point. The problem for the Democratic Party is that the Cindys are now the loudest voice: Michael Moore, Howard Dean,, and Air America, the flailing liberal radio network distracting attention from its own financial scandals by flying down its afternoon host Randi Rhodes to do her show live from Camp Casey. The last time I heard Miss Rhodes she was urging soldiers called up for Iraq to refuse to go -- i.e., to desert.

But, in the absence of any serious intellectual attempt to confront their long-term decline, all the energy on the left is with the fringe. The Democratic Party is a coalition of Pat Sheehans and Cindy Sheehans, and the noisier the Cindys get the more estranged the Pats are likely to feel.

His mother has now left Crawford, officially because her mother has had a stroke, but promising to return. I doubt she will. Perhaps deep down she understands she's a woman whose grief curdled into a narcissistic rage, and most Americans will not follow where she's gone -- to the wilder shores of anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-Iraq, anti-Afghanistan, anti-Israel, anti-American paranoia. Casey Sheehan's service was not the act of a child. A shame you can't say the same about his mom's new friends.

At Power Line, where I saw the link to Steyn's piece, they ran an e-mail from Air Force Technical Sergeant George Wells. "It is today's must-read email message:"

I am currently towards the end of a very short tour in the desert, and I’ve been following this Cindy nonsense since it began. I can’t imagine a more colossal waste of journalistic, technical, and even sanitation resources than her presence in Crawford. I just read [Steyn's] column on the Sun Times’ website, and I am extremely impressed. He's expressed a good deal of my feelings on this non-issue. Why is it news that a woman who was against the war before her son left would turn so vicious and lose her sanity when her son is killed fighting that war?

As for the left viewing the military as children, the reason the left is so insistent that those who are serving and dying are children is so they can "rationally" say they support the troops but not the war. If those who oppose the war are honest about it all, they would have to recognize that a good portion of us understand fairly well why we're here. Most of us think we should have finished Hussein off the first time, when there weren't so many crimes to convict him of. The majority of us (and I’d say the majority is even stronger among those who are serving in theater) recognize that while Iraq may not have planned 9/11, that horrible day showed us that we cannot sit and wait for terrorists to come to us so we can convict them. Yeah, we know what we’re doing over here.

As long as the left treats us like children, they can claim to support us without supporting what we're doing. This allows them to offer these meaningless statements such as, "I support them by asking to have them brought home." As long as they can convince themselves that we’re not culpable for our presence here, they can continue to cast 100% of their blame on President Bush. To admit that we are adults who are here willingly and with full knowledge of why we are here would mean they cannot focus all of their blame on the President. Of course, that wouldn’t benefit Howard Dean politically now, would it?

Nuff said!!!

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