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Cindy Sheehan: More Harm than Good?

April 23, 2008

Guest: Cindy Sheehan
I in no way doubt Cindy Sheehan’s profound grief at the loss of her son Casey serving in Iraq nor her powerful desire to end the Iraq War as soon as possible. But I do wonder whether others — with additional and darker agenda — are not using the notorious “Peace Mom” to achieve their aims, not hers. By co-opting Sheehan, I worry that these allies — including known terrorist organizations — are not harming Sheehan and the entire movement to end the United States’ occupation in Iraq.
At a recent rally in Washington to end the War — a goal supported by more than 60% of the American Public — less than 0.0001% (a ten-thousandth of one percent) of those opposed to the war showed up. If 1 in 100 Americans who opposed the war had showed up, the march would have had 1.8 million people. Instead the 23 groups organizing the rally (including Code Pink) had less than 180 show up.
It is my view that Cindy Sheehan and others like her harm the anti-war movement by linking it to other, more nefarious objectives that neither I nor the vast majority of Americans support. After all, I didn’t show up at the rally either, even though I fervently want this war to end.
Today, I will challenge Sheehan on the hijacking and harming of her peace movement and encourage her to focus on the uniting principle of getting America out of Iraq rather than the agenda of her unsavory allies.

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  • The Masked Poet May 1, 2008 10:07 am

    Cindy Sheehan thrust her grief into the vortex of a public situation–to what end? Perhaps more confusion–if her intent was contrived
    But heaven doesn’t forget the disenfranchised cries of the victims of war–THAT’S BEYOND POLITICS–when the hurt is real–and the only cure is tears shed for truth
    A Personal Protest
    invisible amidst the comic chaos,
    through many long-haired hippie barkers
    shouting bull-horn slogans
    spieling their respective radical causes
    in carnival air,
    incognito through the college crowd of student protest
    angered by the Kent State killing,
    but confused as to a real course of action
    against something bigger,
    pervasive and surrounding,
    silently what was not my fight,
    for I was already another part
    of the political spectrum
    of the national tragedy
    being played out
    to history’s dismay
    of early year-of-our-lord, nineteen-seventy,
    inside the Rot-Zee building,
    I soaked in the energy
    of the evolving scene,
    took a token peanut-butter sandwich,
    and bid adieu
    through a third-story window,
    down a wall-side fire-ladder,
    in lieu
    of facing a force of campus police,
    unchallenged, this short-haired combat vet
    would live to grow his scalp
    and protest war another day,
    in his own way,
    with words
    some would even call poetry.

  • Vicky April 30, 2008 5:32 pm

    Or maybe it’s you who is being naive, Mark.

  • Mark Levine April 30, 2008 2:59 pm

    I think Cindy Sheehan did amazing good in helping Americans see the pain the Iraq War has caused and continues to cause and to rally opposition to it.
    It’s because I think she once was such an effective anti-war spokesperson that I am so disappointed in some of her recent alliances with terrorist organizations (that, I recognize, she does not realize are terrorist organizations).
    I’m afraid her naivete and her exploitation by the Muslim Brotherhood and others has harmed the anti-war movement. And I was hoping (though I failed) to bring her focus back to opposing the Iraq War by distancing herself from some of these nefarious groups she has, wittingly or unwittingly, allied herself with.

  • John G April 30, 2008 12:28 pm

    On the other hand we shouldn’t forget how big a difference she made. The time Cindy Sheehan first came on the scene felt like a major shift in opinion about the war…suddenly it was OK to oppose it.