The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Suzyq and DelicateMonster Take on Cindy's Chickenhawk Critics

Suzyq at dailykos has this to say:

I've answered the last troll post on a Cindy Sheehan thread. I've had it with you, and the Republican spin machine trying to tear Cindy down.

It must feel nice to be on the side that attacks grieving mothers as hard as it attacks quadraplegic veterans who hold key senate seats. Real brave and honorable of you.

But enough of the cheap shots. I need to address your arguments on their merits.

1. Cindy is disrespecting her son

The premise here is that Casey went to war in full support of the mission. We don't know that, actually. Casey is dead and cannot speak for himself. His mom knew, however. From what she has said, he supported the war when we attacked Afghanistan, but began to seriously question our efforts when we invaded Iraq and certainly as the occupation dragged out.

But let's say he died believing 100% in what he was doing. Should we respect that? Certainly. Should we continue in Iraq just to "honor" Casey's service? Well, don't we have to use some other, more objective criteria for determining whether to spend more lives and treasure on this enterprise? To do less than that is to engage in superstition. Now, I know many of you right-wing nut cases are into "intelligent design" and other superstitous ruses. But it's been my experience that superstition makes for lousy policies. Staying in Iraq doesn't bring Casey back. And then, there's my mom's admonishment that "two wrongs don't make a right." Listen to mom.

2. Cindy is "politically motivated."

OK. What the hell does that mean? She's not running for office. She's not profiting from this. If you think she is, the onus is on you to prove it. She's politically savvy. Good for her. It's her right as an American citizen to speak up for what she believes. Now why should we be any more critical of Cindy than we are of our own elected and 100% accountable President? Was the invasion of Iraq and subsequent massive loss of life politically motivated? I think it is and I don't need to re-state the incredible amount of evidence that backs that up. You can read the other diaries yourselves. There's a Downing Street Memo you can start with.

3. Cindy's relatives are against her.

This is my favorite one of all. Please show me the extended family of in-laws, outlaws, aunts, uncles, teens and tots that are all in complete agreement and harmony with each other and I'm sure it's because they're all dead. Living relatives are often a source of embarrassment, disagreement, but rarely, accurate information about you or me. I could give a rip about Cindy's relatives.

4. Cindy is being disrespectful to the President."

Ok all you Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson wannabes. (I mistakenly caught a piece of Gibson's radio show subbing for O'Reilly today. He attacked a veteran who thought the war in Iraq was wrong. "What about Saddam Hussein?" Gibson asked.

The vet replied "We managed to control the Soviet Union for 40 years without invading them and they had nuclear weapons."

How did Gibson respond? By saying the guy was an idiot and questioning his military credentials. Gibson, ye of no military credentials whatsover:


Sorry for digressing. Why should we respect the President? Millions of you felt no qualms about disrespecting Bill Clinton after he had some sort of sex in the Oval Office with an intern. Where was the respect for the office five, six years ago?

Well I've got news for all of you. I have lost all of my respect for a President who would ignore the real threats and enemies to this nation in favor of going after a nation that posed no threat to us whatsoever.

He either did this because he is stupid or because he has other designs and motives in the Middle East that he's just not sharing with the rest of us.

I was scared shitless on 9/11/01. I was depressed for weeks about the future of our country. Now I'm angry because my President told me he'd keep us safe and bring the perpetrators to justice. No justice has been served. He started a discretionary war and plenty of young American men and women are dying because of it. And an entire nation of innocent people is decimated.

I am to respect that?

Hell no.

While DelicateMonster had this to say:

run in with a troll. He said that...

"Being in the military I can tell you a very small minority of relatives (parents, spouses, etc.) hold her views, and even fewer would vocalize them the way she has for fear of destroying the very principles and goals our soldiers are fighting for"

I responded like so:

What exactly are the principles and goals you reference in your statement? Sounds really, really important, but you never bother to mention them. You don't lay those out, and that's exactly the problem. Cindy's question is exactly that: what is the noble cause for her son's death?

Since you don't seem able to articulate anything thoughtful on this, let me help you out with some guesses as to what you might be thinking...

Guess number 1 ....Democracy?
Hmmm. So we invade a sovereign nation to bring it Democracy? Geez, we've only got China and most of the rest of the non-Western world left. Oh, and word has it we did our best to throw that last Iraqi election. Maybe we should start Democracy improvement at home, first? Start working on those diebold machines and the like.

Guess number 2.... Freedom?
Oh that word just fills me with joy. I hear Rocky's theme whenever a rightwinger ennunciates it with all the adoration and piety of a true believer. FREEDOM! Tra lalala! Only, rightwingers apparently mean something like freedom to make money by snookering poor folk. That other stuff, freedom of press, freedom of speech, privacy, that's just terroristic ammo, that is, we've got to limit that. Keep those prisoners in Gitmo without trial! Why? To protect our 'Freedom'! Drop cluster bombs on Baghdad. Why? To protect our Freedom! Torture and murder innocents in Bagram and Abu Ghraib. Why? Protect our Freedom!

What utter horseshit.

As to 'freedom' in Iraq...

Let's ask how many Iraqis feel free enough to walk their own streets? Are you in Iraq? Do you feel free enough to walk anywhere outside the Green zone? Furthermore, freedom to do what? Have your newspapers confiscated? Have your homes broken into and your brothers and husbands dragged away? Have the honor of sucking down some of our DU powder? Maybe have the honor of electing a slimy US handpicked crony? Have the honor to be unemployed? Be hungry, thirsty and ill educated? Oh please, spare me your dimwitted cross-eyed freedom speech. Your the kind of low life hierarchial honoring suck up who will lick Bush's ass, throw innocents in jail all over the world, shut down presses in Iraq, and talk about 'freedom' because we imprisoned Saddam Hussien--whom, by the way, we actually helped to create. Maybe we should focus a bit more on not fucking so much up, first, eh, before we provide all this high minded 'freedom' that tends to kill a disproportionate number of brown Iraqis. Liberating souls from bodies is what McKinley did in the Philipines. Let's not try to match his stupidity and cruelty in Iraq.

Guess number 3... Free Market Capitalism?
Sure, as long as the fat contracts go to the Americans and our 'coalition of the willing(ly duped)'. This feature, however, is otherwise known as crony capitalism, in which, I must say, this administration is amazingly successful.

Guess number 4....WMD?
Um, no. Can we lay that to rest now?

Guess number 5....Stop Terrorism?
Chuckle. I know, you didn't dare to bring that one up... Because, of course, far from stopping terrorism, it's increased it dramatically and Iraq is on its way to becoming a failed state in the middle of a vicious civil war precisely because -- precisely because -- we invaded it. In short, even if these were our noble goals (and they weren't) they've made matters significantly worse, not better.

Now, here's what I think the nobel cause was--strategic positioning of military bases in the Middle East to ensure control of Middle Eastern Oil. We got kicked out of Saudi Arabia, so we needed to hang our hat somewhere else. Plus, of course, jr had a hard on for Saddam since before 9/11. In fact, the plans for Gulf War II had been drawn up and -- from Bush and the neocon's perspective -- 9/11 was just a 'happy accident' that allowed the neocon's dirty little war to go forward. If you bothered to read the Downing Street Memo, you'd realize the Brits knew this and tried to talk Bush and company out of rushing illegally into the Iraqi war. But thanks to boneheaded cheerleaders like yourself, the US went anyhow. People who think the way you do really ought to put your lives where your mouths are and sign up for Iraq and leave it at that. You can serve quietly and valiantly and when you die,we'll miss you and say what a nice if gullible guy you were, but don't come crying to me about your boneheaded ideas and how a mother's protest is going to "destroy the very principles and goals our soldiers are fighting for" You apparently don't have a clue what we're fighting for. You're just doing talking points stenography, that's all. If you actually thought through what we're supposedly fighting for, I suspect you wouldn't like it anymore than Cindy Sheehan does.

But let's move along. You mention this:

"It is curious that you bring up Rosa Parks, because her act, while individual in nature, was the result of a greater movement of which she was a part."

I read a little while ago a brief remark on Powerline and Paul was going on about how 'one protestor' is insignificant. What the right, and in particular the Republican right don't understand--and I think the Democrats don't understand either sometimes, nor you either,apparently --is that at bottom, our lives matter more than the politician's lives. The politicians are OUR servants. They work for US. Cindy is dead right because she understands that the correct relationship between constituent and politician is employer to employee. BUSH and this utterly dysfunctional congress are supposed to be in our employ. Yikes. What a bunch of thugs we've hired, eh? I certainly wouldn't have an employee who starts a war, sends my kid to die, than decides to vacation for a month.

Yet, Cindy is the first one to really call him on it. To crystalize what everyone on this site is feeling. And in addition to the majority of the people in this country who now oppose the war, we have the support of the rest of the world. Bush and his cronies cannot indefinitely ignore the 10 million people who protested around the world on February 15 2003.

Just the act of a single protestor? Not hardly. The expression of 10 million people who opposed this war and continue to oppose this war, more like it. Cindy makes that protest human.

Howard Zinn in the Guardian said:

"There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that governments cannot suppress."

Cindy Sheehan is not acting alone. She's acting for all of us--you included, like it or not.


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