Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cindy Sheehan: The Politics of "Private Grief"

CNN's midday "Your World Today," broadcast from London, has just called for comments via e-mail about Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey, the insuing social scene and media blitz outside Crawford - as well as, of course, Sheehan's requesting Bush to answer her question, "For what noble cause did Casey die?"

Some fault Ms. Sheehan for making her "private grief" public - and for making it political, as if there were something wrong with that.

It would seem good of all of us to share the grief and political implications of every violent death, whether military or civilian. Whether Casey died in Baghdad or in a car wreck in Bakersfield, violent death is a public concern.

Why should grief be private? To say it should stay private seems to me a politically correct way for the irritated public to say, 'hey, keep it to yourself.'

And when the death is caused by employees of the public, all the more reason to make even one death a public cause. Of course some are irritated by Sheehan's plight and by her persistence. It reminds us that we are responsible, however indirectly, no matter how small are our cogs in the great machinery of the military-industrial complex. But it's up to us to exercise and maximize our freedom to speak freely.

Because not only do we have the right to speak freely, we have the responsibility to speak up and speak out. As Thomas Jefferson said early on in this American experiment, becoming informed and getting involved are essential to the health of any and every democracy.

And in that vein (or is it, in this case, vain?), here's the e-mail post I just sent to CNN:

Hello CNN,

RE: Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey

Some are criticizing Cindy Sheehan for turning her stay near Bush's
ranch into a media spectacle, somehow taking advantage of the media.
Well, that's exactly what President Bush has done since taking office -
taken advantage of media attention to create his own telegenic moments
to push his own causes - the most infamous of which was his landing on
the deck of an aircraft carrier over two years ago to declare victory, a
bit premature, to put it politely. At least Sheehan's press conferences
and sweat seem much more sincere and truly peaceful than the president's.

Lawrence Walker
Kerrville, Texas

Bush uses tricks, I'd say to push his media-mongering events/propaganda.

I am very glad that Sheehan is, by no trick of her own, getting the publicity that so many proponents of peace and an immediate end to this war have deserved for several years.



At 8/18/2005 4:39 AM, Anonymous rq said...

Hurrah! Tour de Crawford! Let's go. Glad you're supporting Cindy Sheehan. Me, too, in my heart.


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