Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Takes on Goliath

Cindy Sheehan is lucky, but then, of course, she is unlucky, too.

She's unlucky because somehow her son Casey was convinced that signing up a job in the military was a good opportunity. Sheehan says that when Casey signed on in 2000, at the age of 19, he had no idea he's actually have to go into combat. So Sheehan is unlucky in that her son was naive and didn't see the real purpose of the military behind the flashy ads showing glitzy tech and a proud sense of belonging to something bigger than he was.

He just didn't know how big it was - and how, once in, there is sometimes no good way out. And I'm pretty sure Cindy Sheehan didn't know her camping out near Crawford would bring so much attention to her taking on an imperial Goliath. Now, like her field of dreams, many are making to pilgrimage to stand and sit in the shade and scratch at the chiggers with her.

And so Ms. Sheehan is also lucky in that, as opposed to many who sit at home and sulk, she got off her duff and made her son's death her cause. It doesn't have to have been his cause or anyone else's. By showing up alone she proved that. And for better or worse, the parents of children who have died young (let's say under 35) have a special sway in the public consciousness. It's Cindy's life, and she gets to do what she wants to do. Sheehan does best when she asserts that she is speaking for herself, and she does so well enough and better than most who have suffered sucha loss and aren't quite sure what to make of it. Ms. Sheehan has now come into her own and has decided she does know what to make of it. That's why she's fast becoming the Rosa Parks of the simmering anti-war movement in this country. Cindy Sheehan is famous for sitting down when and where she'd draw attention all around the nation (and now all around the world), just like Parks.

Ms. Sheehan has got a high soap box because her beef is not so much with death as it is about deceit and lies. Misguided motives and maligned morals are all too often at the crux of war.

Cindy Sheehan is lucky to have a cause and now a voice and a growing audience. She's not just a victim. She is finding a heroic strain within herself, and others are showing up and talking about her to prove she's onto something. It's nice to be hurting and be angry and not be left alone. A week ago, she was nearly alone on that little, out of the way road to Rancho Busho, and why? The anti-war movement had become a footnote over the past year, right where Tricky Dicky and the Rove Hound wanted it, but then Ms. Sheehan sat down in the ditch to give it a face and a new birth of compelling news power.

I've been to Crawford. I attended an anti-war rally on the first anniversary of the War Against Iraq, March 20, 2004. Bush wasn't there, and so even with about a thousand of us there, we only got a smidgeon of news coverage. But Sheehan hit it just right, with the prez in rez and a bunch of reporters hanging around in the slultifying heat with nothing better to do.

Turns out Casey Sheehan's mom didn't have anything better to do, either, and those of us opposed to this war from long before it began are thankful.


Starting this Wednesday, there will be well over 300 vigils coast to coast in honor of Cindy Sheehan and Camp Casey and all who ask for a wrong war to be put right with our sincerest apologies, best wishes and farewells. Ask about a vigil in your area, and please, join some of your friends who see the sense in peace.


At 8/18/2005 4:59 AM, Anonymous rq said...

Hurrah for Cindy Sheehan and her courage. Wish I were there!


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