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Cindy Sheehan Has a Claim

Cindy Sheehan lost her son to the Iraq war and she grieves for him. She is camped on the road leading to Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, waiting to hear from the president why her son died. Bush, who makes many speeches to friendly audiences, does not have the decency - or is it nerve - to talk to Sheehan. Instead, the Republican noise machine is attacking Sheehan in vile ways. Because Sheehan has lost a son in a war declared by George W. Bush, she has a claim on his attention. If there is any humanity in him at all, Bush must talk to Cindy Sheehan.

Bush often speaks to veterans and their families, lauding them for the sacrifices they made and are making for our country. Why will he not speak to Sheehan? Because she disagrees with his policies? This is not a good answer.

Sheehan suffers terribly. I know. I have some idea what she is going through. My daughter died from cancer at the age of 20. My wife and I grieved for years. We were upset that there was no cure. But at least we knew the reason for her death. Sheehan thinks there was no good reason. She would like the president to explain why her son's death was necessary. Regardless of what he tells her, she will grieve, but he can ease her pain a little. Bush thinks of politics only. Where is his compassion?

His actions are cowardly. He believes in one-way communication: He makes speeches and all citizens must listen. However, not all citizens agree with him. So he sets up "conversations" with hand-picked audiences; everyone agrees and there are no distracting naysayers; then the word goes out that the public agrees with Bush. This is the way he ran the Republican Conventions. Ths is the way he spread the word about how easy it would be to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein. This is the way he ran the many "conversations" in the Kill-Social-Security Campaign.

Bush is a control freak. He must control all communication with American citizens. How dare someone like Sheehan start a conversation? This is not on the schedule. Why should he, as president of the U.S., modify his schedule in order to talk to someone who disagrees with his policies? Wrong message.

Bush's buddies in the Republican noise machine add their insolence to this grieving mother. Drudge claims that Sheehan changed her mind: she praised him before and now criticizes Bush. This is false. Bill O'Reilly made this statement:

"I think Cindy Sheehan is being used by far left elements who object to our way of life."

Not only did he knock Sheehan, he managed to make an abominable statement about liberals.

This is the way the Republican noise machine always reacts. If anyone says something that differs from the Republican Party line, the machine attacks, smears and destroys them.

But Cindy Sheehan still grieves for her son and Bush avoids talking to her. He does not care. He knows that his 2 daughters are not stupid enough to enlist in the Iraq war. He can rest easy. He has no need to worry. He can act peremptorily, like a king.

George W. Bush: Don't be King George. Be President George. Talk to grieving Cindy Sheehan because she has a claim to your attention.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 11, 2005 5:40 PM