Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville California is angry with President Bush because she lost her son in Iraq. She wants the President to come talk to her, to tell her why her son died because as far as she can tell there is no good reason. She wants to know when the rest of the soldiers can come home. She doesn’t believe in the ‘course’ Bush refers to in ‘stay the course’ and who can blame her?
Bush keeps insisting that we are winning against the insurgents and yet the death toll due to terrorism in Iraq and in the rest of world doesn’t support that claim. Once in a while we have a ‘good’ month where the number goes down a little but by and large the monthly casualty count has been trending up since the beginning of this undeclared, unapproved war predicated on false pretense. Some mothers respond to this by declaring their dead children heroes and patriots and I don’t fault them that. If they can’t believe that their kids are dying for their country then they have to believe they are dying for no reason. Cindy Sheehan is in that sad camp. She believes that her beloved baby boy, the one she cooed and smiled to, the one with the round little tummy she blew on to make him laugh, the one who gave her plaster of Paris hand prints he made at school, the one who sat at the breakfast table one morning casually stroking his peach fuzz while striking an air of mature nonchalance, the one who one day found himself looking down at the top of her head and smiled wryly, the one who stood patiently in his first tuxedo posing for endless prom pictures and hamming it up for the camera, the one who wanted to serve his church and his country since he was a small boy, died for no good reason. She speaks about how Caesy died looking much as he did as a baby and about how painful losing him has been for her. She is angry and she believes that George W. Bush owes her some answers that consist of something more than rhetoric about ‘the war on terror’ and the need to remove a despotic despicable leader who was never a threat to her country. She went to London to testify on the need to investigate the Downing Street memo and she is in Texas trying, once again, to get some answers.
She has said she will wait outside of the Bush ranch until the President comes out to speak with her directly. Members of his staff have spoken to her and told her that Bush really cares but she wants to hear it directly from him. She wants him to stand up and answer for the casualties of this war. Sadly, that means she will be out there for a full month waiting in vain while the most vacation happy President in the history of this country continues to get all the R&R he feels entitled to in spite of the many crises his war has generated. She will do this because that’s what mothers do – they stand up for their children in life and in death. The press will forget about her and we will all go about our lives, continuing to muddle along day by day, living in a country that doesn’t know how to rid itself of a despotic, despicable leader.