Thursday, August 18, 2005

CINDY SHEEHAN UPDATE

Might the Cindy Sheehan spectacle backfire? I think so. While the media alternate between pretending it's the Vietnam era again and taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other, everyone else is busy seeing through all their hype.

James Lileks
hits the nail on the head when he says:
Some people think that any time you argue back, you're Stifling Dissent. For them, merely discussing Ms. Sheehan's views is the rhetorical equivalent of sending her to Abu Ghraib.
Of this piece in National Review, Robert Tracinski of TIA Daily offered the following commentary.
This report shows how anti-war rallies are dominated by anti-American types who oppose any defense of this country, even the overthrow of the Taliban. But the most important detail reveals the conventional morality that makes these protests possible: Christ's injunction to "love thine enemy"--a slogan whose significance this author, writing for the religious-right National Review, chooses not to analyze.
The following, by a pro-war father grieving for his fallen son, was mentioned in today's RealClear Politics.
I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.
Christopher Hitchens drops a bombshell at the end of this column.
I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? (a claim that has brought David Duke flying to Ms. Sheehan's side.) This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.
In the end, all this could backfire (via TIA Daily).
For Bush, a reinvigorated protest movement presents obvious dangers as he struggles to bolster flagging public support for the mission in Iraq. But such a challenge could present opportunities for the White House.

If a revived antiwar movement promotes alternative policies that the public resists -- such as the immediate withdrawal of all American troops, which Sheehan favors -- Bush could garner support for his course, some analysts say.

"If it's a message that he is able to portray … as a fringe opposition group, I think he can use that as a foil," said Christopher Gelpi, a Duke University political scientist who studies public opinion during wartime. "On the other hand, if the movement's [message] is picked up by other politicians or prominent opinion leaders, that could be very damaging to him."
For a good roundup of earlier news, please visit Cox and Forkum at the link below. -- CAV

Show of Grief