Cindy Sheehan has certainly given at the office, so to speak. She lost a son in Iraq, sacrificed her marriage and has gone into debt in the name of ending the war in Iraq. For two solid years she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the peace movement, which seeks to end the war. During that time, Ms. Sheehan has become the public face of a movement that can no longer count on her services. When one considers the emotional and financial cost to Ms. Sheehan, who can fault her for wanting to remove herself from the front lines? Sheehan must therefore be counted as yet another casualty of the war in Iraq.
Cindy Sheehan first came to public attention by camping out in front of the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, in hope of meeting with the President. Her request was a simple one, she wanted the President to personally tell her why her son had to die in Iraq. Needless to say, her request was never granted, though she continued to dog the President’s steps. Sheehan’s efforts were derided by the likes of Conservative pundit Ann (I’m a man baby) Coulter, who lost no one in Iraq, nor sacrificed a thing because of the war. Ms. Coulter, who proudly wears the Conservative banner like whore on display in Times Square, has profited from the war. Ms. Sheehan’s conviction that the war in Iraq is unnecessary and wrong is heart felt. Those misguided souls who still support the so-called war in Iraq, needn’t take any undue joy in the fact that Ms. Sheehan will be missing from the front lines. Opposition to the war is growing louder each day. This month alone, May has proven to be the third bloodiest since the war began. We’ve lost over 100 troops in this month alone. The death toll is 3, 400 and change and it doesn’t take into account the wounded and the maimed.
With most of the country opposed to the war, it took Cindy Sheehan to put a public face on the anti-war movement. She represented the reality of the cost of the war to family and loved ones. As Mr. Bush clears the sage brush on his ranch, soldiers die needlessly and are otherwise having their lives altered because of the conflict in Iraq. Apparently this does not weigh too heavily on the President’s mind because, he remains resolute and unyielding in his determination to stay the course in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan served to point out that the course that Mr. Bush has us on is a long and winding road leading to further death and destruction. It is said that over 67,000 Iraqi civilians have died because of the war in Iraq. That figure must be the number our government is willing to accept under the collateral damage rubric. A study suggests over half a million Iraqi civilians have actually died as a consequence of the war. Inevitably, the occupation must come to an end. It stopped being a war when we defeated the Iraqi army and captured their merciless dictator Saddam Hussein, none of which had anything to do with Nine-Eleven or the so-called war on terror. The overriding desire on the part of the President, certain members of his administration to financially benefit from Iraq’s oil reserves is what is fueling this conflict. The men and women who put their lives on the line daily are merely pawns and rooks in the war profiteer’s chess game. Cindy Sheehan came to realize this. For that reason she stated her son died for nothing. He clearly didn’t die to preserve, truth, justice and the American way. Under the Bush administration these noble values have completely been abandoned. The American way under that son of a Bush is to preemptively strike those we don’t like, lie as a matter of course and to pervert and politicize our justice system.
Those who would be quick to have words of distain for Ms. Sheehan’s assessment of her son’s death, would do well to objectively examine the facts. Everything we’ve been told about this so-called was has been a lie. As the President should know, you can’t defeat terrorism with an army. Terror is a stratagem a tactic, if you will. Terrorists don’t wear uniforms or march to a single drum beat. Declaring war on terror is a misnomer at best and ruse at worst. Fear has proven an effective weapon on both sides of the so-called war on terror. The President continuously evokes Nine-Eleven to justify his stubbornness. Terrorist use fear to achieve their ends, that is to keep us unbalanced. We have yet to catch Osama been missing, who the President by his own admission doesn’t spend much time thinking about. The Taliban is on the rise in Afghanistan because of insufficient troop deployment and we are bogged down in Iraq as hated occupiers. All of this has made Cindy Sheehan feel like she is rolling a snowball up hill. Is there any wonder why she has tired and withdrawn? Indeed, count Cindy Sheehan as another casualty of the war in Iraq.
Cedric McClester is an award winning journalist who has written for local, national and international publications. He has a Masters of Science Degree in Education from New York's Fordham University. The Boston born journalist is married and resides in New York. Mr. McClester is the author of the leading selling book on the topic of Kwanzaa, the African-American cultural holiday. His latest effort is a childrens book entitled: The Legend of Nia Umoja, on the Gumbs and Thomas imprint.