But the most promising avenue of attack is likely to be the one sketched out by Fox News Channel eminence Bill O’Reilly on Aug. 9, when he declared that Cindy Sheehan bears some responsibility for “other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.”
Cindy Sheehan arrived at the "Western White House" pretty much alone and vowed to stay there alone until our cowardly "president" came out to parlay. Since then, she has been joined by a handful of likeminded demonstrators. The media picked up on it immediately and turned it into the circus it is today. Sheehan did not start this. Sheehan was not duped by the liberal left wing or al-quaeda. She has been outspoken about the war for a long time. Now, people like Bill O'Reilly are slamming her for taking a stand. She bears responsibility for how others view her? I think not. Those who think she is doing harm to our nation can make their own stand. They can speak out on their own, for themselves. They can greet the press with placards and ribbons and pictures of Terri Schiavo and call themselves "grieving parents for war" and they would be well within their rights. And not one pundit would call them to task. Not one pundit would level charges of treason at their black-creped doorsteps. But let a mother take her grief and her beliefs to the streets in public and challenge our "president" to a High Noon meeting...well, that's just not American. In fact, it's actually more...Chinese. Remember the man who stopped an entire caravan of tanks shortly after the Tianamen Square massacre merely because he could no longer turn a blind eye to the brutal ways of his government? Remember how that became an international symbol for standing up to repressive regimes and dictatorships? How the common person could effect even a tiny bit of change? And how we all should learn a lesson from his naked bravery? How is Sheehan any different? She wants simple answers to simple questions. Methinks even Bush could handle this one without a secret microphone pack under his coat. He can disagree with her beliefs honestly and come away clean. Sheehan would probably thank him for his time and answers even if they don't sound like what she would hope for. But he doesn't. Instead, he hides on his ranch. He rides his bike and tells the press that Americans want a president who is physically fit (color me nostalgic, but I prefer one who is mentally fit). So, now appearing physically fit is the requirement for that job? That is the overriding qualification? Well then, do I have a Governor for you.
But that's getting away from the point. And the point is: what is Cindy Sheehan doing that makes her appear treasonous? What has she said that can be construed by anyone other than right wingers as anti-American or pro-Taliban or -al quaeda? She is horrified by this war and its human cost. She is horrified by the claims for war that have all been demolished by facts. She is horrified by the fact that neither Bush nor any official in his inner circle are willing to speak honestly about their mistakes and misjudgements. She is horrified that her son may have died because of lies. She is asking for clarification. She is asking for a moment of sanity. She is asking for help with the closure she can't yet find. She is grieving. She is, also, being divorced by her husband who is grieving as well. Do you think this is easy for her? Evidently, people like O'Reilly do. It must be easy, because in the world of the right wingers and those who just want reality to go away being against the war takes no courage. It takes no moral fiber. It takes no strength. It only takes a coward and a traitor and a liberal press.
Cindy Sheehan is no coward. She is no traitor. The only thing she is not is a sheep. And there is no liberal press following her around, eating up her every word. There is only a press that, like vultures, descend on the dead or dying in order to feast. Like Bill O'Reilly. The only thing that separates O'Reilly from the mainstream press is that he has no interest in the truth behind the news. He has self-interest and nothing else. The regular press will, at the least, eventually get it right. Even, though, it's often too late to fix the damage.
I just wonder what the White House will dream up next in order to harm Sheehan in the eyes of the public. Bush's popularity is as low as it can reasonably get. Good thing for him he can't run for another term. But Sheehan can continue for as long as it takes and I will support her and those like her who choose to stand as individuals and question those who are supposed to serve us.
We are the owners of this country, not the temps we vote into place.