Sunday, August 14, 2005

'Mother' Sheehan*

I've basically stayed away from the whole Cindy Sheehan mess, with the exception of a short reference to her in the FrontPageMag link from yesterday, but it's damn near impossible to watch any news program now without seeing her face. She posts to Michael Moore's web site, has almost every anti-war celebrity writing about her on the Huffington Post site (and has a post on there as well), and has the majority of the MSM bending over backwards to tell her 'story'.

While you have to allow the women to grieve for her son, her campaign against the Bush administration has long ceased to be about Casey Sheehan and has almost certainly turned into the Cindy Sheehan show.

Like most people commenting on this story I never knew Specialist Casey Sheehan but there are some things about his character that are pretty easy to pick up from his personal history. For the record, something Ms. Sheehan seems to always manage to ignore in her tirades against the administration, Casey Sheehan voluntarily joined the army in 2000, after serving 3 years he decided to continue his career in the military and in 2003 re-enlisted (once again voluntarily), even though he knew that might mean a deployment to Iraq. While that doesn't necessarily make him an avid Bush supporter, it does seem to indicate pretty strongly that he did not share his mother's anti-war viewpoint. In fact it has been reported that Ms. Sheehan had attempted to get her son to go AWOL to Canada prior to his deployment but that he refused.

To make his character all the more clear are the facts about the tragic mission that resulted in his death. As a mechanic he was under no orders to enter a 'hot zone' and was therefore not required to enter into a situation where he might have to engage enemy forces, but when members of his unit found themselves under fire from insurgents he quickly volunteered (there's that word again) to join the rapid rescue team and attempt to save his fellow soldiers. It was during that rescue operation that he was killed by the insurgents (not President Bush as Ms. Sheehan repeatedly claims). Without ever having personally met Specialist Casey Sheehan, I can tell you this, he was a man who was willing to put his life on the line to save others without a moments hesitation. That, by all accounts, makes him a true hero.

But you will rarely see a story that focuses on Casey Sheehan whenever his mother gets involved. Instead, she requires all eyes and ears be on her, with the exception of a baby picture of Casey she pulls out from time to time, so that she can spout her anti-war message while claiming to just want to meet with the President to ask a few questions (can't be any harm in that can there?). She, as well as the vast majority of her supporters, rarely mention the fact that she has already met face to face with the President last year** and less than a month ago she met with the National Security Advisor and the Deputy White House Chief of Staff, that meeting lasting over 45 minutes. Can you name any other grieving family member who can make those same claims?

From all accounts even a great number of her own family members are getting fed up with her antics even going so far as to having to release a statement distancing themselves from her to the press. Now in all fairness this seems to be mostly from Casey's father's side of the family which, since they appear to be predominately Bush supporters, are not permitted to air their displeasure at what they see as shameful abuse of a beloved family members name to promote a personal agenda; or so says the anti-Bush crowd. It's truly amazing how hypocritical these people can be without ever realizing it. Apparently anti-war family members of a volunteer soldier are more justified in using that soldier's death to promote themselves and their cause then other family members are to simply ask them to stop.

The outrage with Ms. Sheehan's 'grieving' (while I believe she is still grieving for her son I, as stated above, also believe this has long stopped being about Casey) has been pretty widespread across the right side of the blogosphere. Here are just a few of the posts that finally pushed me over the edge and inspired me to break my Sheehan silence (for good or bad, you decide):
  • Varifrank has probably one of the most heartfelt posts on this subject you will ever read.
  • Although it's already linked above, I figure I'll add a second link to the post over at the left wing echo chamber, Attytood just so you can see the compassion that the anti-Bush crowd truly feel toward Casey's family members.
Update:
It's only been a few hours since I wrote this original post but since that time I've been reading a few of my regular websites and boy oh boy, the Sheehan posts are just piling up. Just thought I'd add a few more quick links to help save you time:
  • Jeff over at Protein Wisdom continues to add his particular style of discourse to the party here, here and here.
  • Little Green Footballs has some pretty good links focusing on how the other side views the Sheehan story as well as some more of Ms. Sheehans more controversial, and little publicized beliefs, here, here, here, here and here. (warning: some of these posts directly display the mad rantings of Daily Kos members. Just thought I should warn people in advance.)
  • Michelle Malkin has an interesting post pointing to a new Newsweek article that appears to paint a slightly different view of the President and how he deals with the grieving families than the one Ms. Sheehan is currently presenting to the press. Although it is oddly reminiscent of Ms. Sheehans original comments about her meeting with President Bush; odd coincidence that.
Update II:
Just a quick welcome to everyone coming over from the MSNBC/Newsweek 'BlogTalk' page.

Update III:
Just adding a few more links:

* For an explanation of the title 'Mother' Sheehan and to see what depths anti-war protestors are willing to do to use Casey Sheehan's sacrifice see this LGF post. It's almost too sad for words.

** You can look up innumerable web sites (Michelle Malkin has a good summary) that go into detail about how her recollection of her and her husbands Presidential meeting changed from him being 'sincere' to him acting 'like it was a party'.

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