Politics Mondays: To Cindy Sheehan with Admiration By Armstrong Williams
If there is one lesson we can all learn from Cindy Sheehan, it’s that the dirty world of politics will embrace your hardships and monopolize them indefinitely. With the Democratic-controlled House and Senate recently approving billions for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is no wonder that America’s most famous peace activist is returning home. After several years of frustrating and exhausting protest work, Sheehan is relinquishing her role as the anti-war leader. She says she is done being the “face” of the movement and plans to return to her family life to “try and be normal.” Sadly, she returns home having worked hard, but accomplishing nothing.
In a 1,245-word missive entitled "Goodbye Attention Whore" posted on the liberal Daily Kos blog, Sheehan formally ended her stance as the face of the anti-war movement on Saturday, May 26th, saying her campaign to end the war in Iraq had strained her relationship with her children, cost her a marriage, and left her nearly penniless. Her letter openly proclaims her discontent and disillusionment with the Democratic Party and the realization that she was being used for votes, by slandering and protesting against the Bush administration.
Sheehan makes it clear that she still opposes war and power mongers who insist on continuing it. Indeed, she saves the harshest of words in her farewell message for these men and women who "move them (United States soldiers) around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction" and are “worried more about elections than people." Naturally, this includes the Democrats as well as the Republicans; the former being the core of Sheehan's dejection. She put her heart and soul in the Democratic Party as a way to effectively fight for justice for her son. She believed the Democrats were different because they played an active role in her protests. Now that they have proved her otherwise, she is ready to give it all up and, by doing so, hand the forces of war a victory that they will surely relish.
Sheehan, who watched her 24-year-old son Casey go off to war and never return, gave up her life, her family, and her soul to organize Americans in the fight against President Bush and his war tactics. One can only imagine the pleasure this Administration is partaking in as they no longer have to worry about another pesky war-casualty mother.
We can undoubtedly expect cries from Democrats defending the Party and exclaiming their discontent with the Iraq war. We can assume they will claim theirs is not the party of war, so she should hang in there with them. However, with the 2008 elections coming up, we should expect the highest Democratic leaders and elected types to remain silent about Sheehan, leaving supportive cries from party rank and file, as Sheehan pointed out in her letter.
In her “resignation” letter, Sheehan directs her anger and frustration at the so-called leadership of the anti-war movement. “I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won't work with that group; he won't attend an event if she is going to be there.... It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions."
Sheehan clearly allowed her conscience to be clouded by those who do not possess the drive and energy she did and allowed herself to become disheartened. After being routinely abused by both conservatives and liberals and accused of being an "attention whore", it is no wonder that the face plate of the anti-war campaign has shut herself out so abruptly.
The most poignant paragraph in Sheehan's statement begins with her sad acknowledgment that her son died for absolutely nothing. One can only imagine the emotions that come from this realization, the constant grief for having lost a child, and having her vigilant reputation so strongly assaulted. Her discovery that "(her son) Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months" was difficult.
Was Cindy Sheehan a naïve puppet for the Democrats, anti-war mongers and other leftist groups? Unequivocally yes! The Democrats have consistently shown their true colors in this Iraq war. They have no backbone to stand on, they flip-flop on stances, and they have never offered a true alternative or valid exit strategy. Simply put, they are just thankful the botched war enabled them to win back Congress. And no doubt, they are hoping it can win them the White House in 2008 as well.
If there is one thing Sheehan has done, albeit unintentionally, it is to expose the Democratic Party’s shortcomings, thus leaving the American people in continuous wonder of exactly where this great nation is headed - and who will be leading it.
Note: Armstrong Williams can be contacted via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit him at www.armstrongwilliams.com
Monday, June 4, 2007