Poor Cindy Sheehan, the famous anti-war mom who camped outside Bush's Crawford Texas home following the death of her son in Iraq. News comes today that she's all but "resigned from the protest movement":http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070529/ap_on_re_us/cindy_sheehan. She posted the following "on her Daily Kos blog":http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/28/12530/1525
bq. The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party... However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."
The sad truth is that she was used. Much of the power and money in the anti-war movement comes from Democratic Party connections. Her tragic story, soccer mom looks and articulate idealism made her a natural poster girl for an anti-Bush movement that has never really been as anti-war as it's claimed.
Congressional Democrats had all the information they needed in 2002 to expose President Bush's outlandish claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But they "authorized his war of aggression anyway":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution. More recently, Americans gave them a landslide vote of confidence in last November's elections but still they step back from insisting on an Iraq pull-out. The Nonviolence.org archives are full of denunciations of President Clinton's repeated missile attacks on places like the Sudan and Afghanistan; before reinventing himself as a earth-toned eco candidate, Al Gore positioned himself as the pro-war hawk of the Democratic Party.
Anti-war activists need to build alliances and real change will need to involve insiders of both major American political parties. But as long as the movement is fueled with political money it will be beholden to those interests and will ultimately defer to back-room Capital Hill deal-making.
I feel for Cindy. She's been on a publicity roller coaster these past few years. I hope she finds the rest she needs to re-ground herself. Defeating war is the work of a lifetime and it's the work of a movement. Sheehan's witness has touched people she'll never meet. It's made a difference. She's a woman of remarkable courage who's pointing out the puppet strings she's cutting as she steps off the stage. Hats off to you Cindy.
Nonviolence.org's fundraising campaign ends in a few hours. In four months we've raised $150 which doesn't even cover that period's server costs. This project celebrates its twelfth year this fall and accurately "exposed the weapons of mass destruction hoaxes":http://www.nonviolence.org/weapons_of_mass_destruction/ in real time as they were being thrust on a gullible Congress. Cindy signed off:
bq. Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it. It's up to you now.
Sometimes I really have to unite with that sentiment.