August 21, 2005


'Left of left' in Congress writes Bush on Sheehan (, August 21, 2005)

Cindy Sheehan is getting some help from far left Democrats in Congress, who are urging President Bush to meet with the so-called "Peace Mom."

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan penned a letter to Bush making that request, and it was signed by 38 other members of the House of Representatives, all of whom are Democrats with the exception of Vermont's Bernard Sanders, who is an Independent.

"We write to respectfully urge you to meet with Cindy Sheehan and other relatives of fallen soldiers who request a meeting to discuss their deep concerns about the war in Iraq," Conyers writes.

Recall the sentiments these Democrats now officially associate themselves with, Cindy Sheehan (Military Families Speak Out; Goldstar Families for Peace; her son Casey was killed in the Iraq War) (Transcript of Pro-Stewart Rally, April 27, 2005)
The following is a transcript of comments made by featured speakers at a pro-Lynne Stewart rally held on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 at San Francisco State University. Among the sponsors of the event were the National Lawyers Guild, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the International Socialist Organization, and the Campus Antiwar Network.

First, I want to give my little story about Lynne. Of course, you all have read To Kill a Mockingbird. Lynne is my human Atticus Finch. He did what he knew was right, but wasn’t popular. And that’s what Lynne is doing. {applause}

We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush. {applause}

How many more people are we going to let him kill before we stop him? I’m going to talk about free speech and recruitment. Do you know that it costs $66,000 to recruit one recruit? That’s continuing all of their – you know, the recruiter’s salary, the recruiter’s bonus, the place that they rent to recruit and things like that. All the perks they get and everything. That’s not even training the recruit. It costs our government about $6,000 a year on each child in California. $46,000 a year to house a prisoner in our state. Our priorities are seriously screwed up, as I mentioned.

I really want to thank you guys for doing this, especially the young people. It gives me so much hope to know that there’s young people who care more about who’s our next American Idol – less about that. You guys care more about people being killed. There’s too many that care more about the next American Idol. Too many people in our country that don’t even really know we have a war going on. You know, they never have to think of the war, and I’ll never, ever forget this war. I can never forget it, even when I’m sleeping {tears} I know that we’re in a war and I know that George Bush and his band of neo-cons and their neo-con agenda killed my son. And I’ll never, ever, ever forget.

I take responsibility partly for my son’s death, too. I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people, like my sister over here says, since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bull**** to my son and my son enlisted. I’m going all over the country telling moms: “This country is not worth dying for. If we’re attacked, we would all go out. We’d all take whatever we had. I’d take my rolling pin and I’d beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. {applause} We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if {applause}. 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant. {applause}

Please – teach your babies, teach your babies better than I taught my babies. When Congress gave George Bush the right to go to war, they abrogated their constitutional responsibilities and they basically made our constitution null and void. We have no checks and balances in this country. We have no recourse. If they’re going to what they did to Lynne, they don’t have backs they call names, what we need to be is, we the people, we’re their checks and balances. We’re the only checks and balances. We have to stand up and say, Not only is this our school, this is our country. We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog **** in Washington, we will impeach all those people. Our country needs to {unintelligible} we need to start over again.

I just want to say that you students, Students Against War, you have all my support and all my organization’s support. I told Kristen if you have any actions and you need a ringleader, that I only live about an hour away. I’ll be here. If I can sleep on somebody’s floor, we can have this, we can camp out, do whatever we need.

And I just want to way to George Bush and I want to say to the people who are here, that are still sheep {unintelligible} and following him blindly: if George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bull***, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free? It doesn’t make us more free. It damages our humanity. The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go this war. They need to fight because a just war, the definition of a just war, and maybe you people here who still think this is a just war, the definition of a just war is one that you would send your own children to die in. That you would go die in yourself. And you aren’t willing to send your own children, or if you’re not willing to go die yourself, then you bring there rest of our kids home now. It is despicable what they’re doing. {applause}

What they’re saying, too, is like, it’s okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons. It’s okay for the United States to have nuclear weapons. It’s okay for the countries that we say it’s okay for. We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now. It’s okay for them to have them, but Iran or Syria can’t have them. It’s okay for Israel to occupy Palestine, but it’s – yeah – and it’s okay for Iraq to occupy – I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it’s not okay for Syria to be in Lebanon. They’re a bunch of f***ing hypocrites! And we need to, we just need to rise up. We need a revolution and make it be peaceful and make it be loving and let’s just show them all the love we have for humanity because we want to stop the inhumane slaughter.

{wild applause}

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2005 7:33 PM

Sheehan has the framework and some of the facts correct, she's just mistaken about what the conclusions should be.

America has been killing people [...] since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction.[...] Im going all over the country telling moms: [...] If were attacked, we would all go out. Wed all take whatever we had. Id take my rolling pin and Id beat the attackers over the head with it."

Yes, Europeans have been killing since they first arrived in the New World, but as Sheehan herself notes, there are circumstances in which it's entirely reasonable and acceptable to kill.

There is a very good argument to be made that killing Native Americans was NOT done under acceptable circumstances, but that argument is a Twentieth century one, and not one that would find much support during the Eighteenth.

[W]e the people, were their checks and balances. Were the only checks and balances. We have to stand up and say, [...] this is our country.

That is exactly correct, as noted on July 4th, 1776:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [...] [W]hen a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

"We the people" have had an opportunity to throw out the rascals who are responsible for initiating the Iraqi pacification, and we chose not to do so.
Instead, we threw out some of those who opposed the Iraqi adventure.

Bush has been balanced, and found, (barely), to be worthy; Congress was found to be slightly off-kilter, and was corrected.


[T]he definition of a just war is one that you would send your own children to die in. That you would go die in yourself.

If we accept this definition, then it becomes obvious that almost a million people in the U.S. HAVE DONE EXACTLY THAT: Gone to Iraq and risked dying, or sent a child or spouse to Iraq.
We do have a volunteer military, after all.

So, Sheehan is using some commonly accepted ideas - what she doesn't grasp is that most Americans take a position opposite hers on all of them, and have recently taken actions which should have made that clear.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 21, 2005 9:52 PM

Well, that's a fancy way of saying that Cindy Sheehan doesn't understand (or care) about elections. John Kerry (and John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, etc.) do, which is why they voted for the war (even if they voted against it later). :>)

Perhaps Cindy should meet with them. Or maybe that's why she talked about impeachment so much. Barbara Lee for President!

Of course, maybe that (the dissembling) is what Cindy did when she gave Bush glowing reviews in her local paper after meeting him. I even saw a picture of him bussing her on another website. I wonder if she calls him Judas today.

Still no comment from Howard Dean or Al Gore.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 21, 2005 10:36 PM

Yes, but Cindy speaks accurately for the core of the middle class white blue state Democrats.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 21, 2005 11:01 PM

While I don't doubt her mother's illness, it would be interesting to see who's visiting with Cindy while she's visiting her mom in California. It would be an ideal time for a strategy session and a "repackaging" by her public relations handlers of the anti-war crowd's flavor of the month, to try and hide the awful aftertaste of speeches like the one at the Lynn Stewart fundraiser if she's really going back to Crawford or heading for Washington in September (and laying low for 3-4 weeks so some of those comments fade into the background before she reemerges could be part of the strategy).

Posted by: John at August 21, 2005 11:41 PM

"Yes, but Cindy speaks accurately for the core of the middle class white blue state Democrats."

If that is true (and I doubt that it is), then the "core" doesn't know what accuracy is.

Posted by: Wyck at August 22, 2005 9:46 AM