Plaming Cindy Sheehan
By Ahmed Amr
A few weeks ago, David Frum - the neo-con author of the 'axis of evil' doctrine - had the audacity to call Cindy Sheehan an 'anti-war crazy.' The neo-cons are good at that sort of thing. When they come up against compelling arguments for which they have no canned retort, they never hesitate to go for the jugulars. As Ambassador Joseph Wilson or Hans Blix can attest, they have a nasty habit of viciously Plaming dissenters to teach them the proper etiquette for addressing impertinent questions to our White House governors.
Within forty-eight hours after Cindy marched on Bush's Texas ranch, the long knives were being sharpened. Instead of answering her questions, the Rove squads made the decision to give her the 'Valerie Plame' treatment. Plaming is a two step process - first you denigrate the offending serf in the public square. You then call in the mass media muscle guys to dump the remains some place where the victim can safely be ignored. In keeping with the game plan, CNN and FOX are back filming the endless soap opera in Aruba and monitoring shark attacks and Tsunamis. If only they could spare that kind of coverage for Cindy Sheehan - George Bush would be permanently retired in Crawford and the neo-con brigades would be sharing bunks in a federal penitentiary.
Not one to be easily deterred, Cindy Sheehan has managed to lay siege to Bush's hideout. Instead of flame throwers, she launched her campaign armed with nothing more than a few uncomplicated questions. If Bush wants to break the siege, he only needs to spare a little time to explain why her son had to die in Sadr City at the age of twenty-four. Like many others who served in Iraq, Casey Sheehan went into battle believing he was on a mission to disarm Iraq of fictional lethal WMDs. Saddam was also said to be plotting with Bin Laden to set off mushroom clouds over New York and Washington. Many of Casey's comrades and officers carried in their pockets pictures of the WTC in flames. As they laid waste to Iraq, they killed and died in righteous anger in the belief that Iraq was in some way connected to the 9/11 atrocities.
Cindy Sheehan is asking life and death questions that we all need answers to. She obviously isn't falling for the 'intelligence failure' scam. She wants to know why the administration felt the need to conduct elaborate and costly misinformation campaigns to market this conflict. If it wasn't about WMDs and it wasn't about links to Al Qaida - why did Bush take us to war? Forget about writing off this quagmire to "intelligence failures" - Ambassador Wilson and the Downing Street Memos have blown that cover-up scam to shreds. As for the malarkey about 'promoting democracy in the Greater Middle East' - can it be that our soldiers are still dying in Iraq to install a theocratic Republic in the Iranian sphere of influence? Did we really need to invade Iraq to prod Saudi Arabia to hold male-only elections for half the seats on a few municipal councils?
Before he launched this bloody misadventure in the Gulf, George Bush seemed certain enough about cause and consequence. Back then, he knew little enough about the Middle East to have a firm opinion. Lest we forget, Bush confessed to getting his battle plans from God. Now, one mother of one fallen soldier wants to know what really motivated the President and his neo-con Praetorian guards to lie about WMDs and non-existent Iraqi links to Al Qaeda.
Bring on the answers, George. Give Cindy the minutes with the secret agendas. Tell her the truth, George. "It was for oil, petro-dollars, Greater Israel and making Saudi Arabia safe for absolute monarchy."
Tell her a little more, George. "We knew we had to close the bases in Saudi Arabia and lift the genocidal sanctions. We realized after 9/11 that my dad made a terrible mistake by building permanent bases on Saudi soil."
Keep going, George. "The build up to the war also allowed us to build a high tech replacement base in Qatar."
What else do you have up your sleeve, Mr. President? "Frankly, we didn't think the war would cost that much in blood or treasure. My neo-con advisers assured me it would be a cakewalk. We expected our forces to sustain under 100 fatalities. Again and again I was assured by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz that there was no threat of an insurgency."
What were you thinking, George? "Honestly, I believed Ahmed Chalabi would be president by now and out tanks would be deployed in downtown Damascus and Tehran."
So, did Casey Sheehan die in vain, Mr. President? "Casey was a foot soldier in the imperial army of the United States of America. Empire - especially in that region of the world - is vital to the economic health of the nation. As you can imagine, we find it hard to motivate our young men to go to distant lands to defend the currency of their country by securing our control over the oil plantations. So, we came up with the WMD hoax. The truth is, Americans can't handle the truth. We do not maintain a military presence in that region for charitable reasons."
George can't spare the time to discuss the war with Cindy because they both know the questions and they both know the answers. He doesn't want to talk about it and Cindy wants the whole country in on the conversation.
The loss of a child is traumatic enough for any mother. But Cindy Sheehan has to deal with the additional burden of knowing that her son might still be alive if Bush had made different policy decisions. Driven by the weight of that burden, she is now on a mission to prevent the Pentagon from wasting another mother's child in the deserts of Mesopotamia. To the everlasting gratitude of tens of thousands of Iraqi mothers, Cindy also insists on holding the President responsible for the many innocent Iraqis who have perished as a result of his decision to invade and occupy a country that posed no threat to American national security.
Casey Sheehan did not die in vain. His mother is making sure of that. In his name, many other American and Iraqi lives may yet be saved. In his name, Cindy has driven millions of Americans to demand answers for questions that the eunuchs in Congress and the mainstream media never ask. This one courageous woman is sending a message to the policy makers at the Pentagon and the White House. Before they send more young Americans to kill and die in distant lands, the big boys in Washington will have to come up with some legitimate and compelling answers for the Cindy Sheehans of the world.
There is precious little we can do to bring Casey Sheehan back. But we can lend a hand to his mother. Cindy shouldn't be out there alone braving the scorching heat of a Texas summer while Bush luxuriates in the regal splendor of his ranch. We can all assist Cindy in her quest for straight answers about this illegal and unnecessary war. While Cindy is having a go at the President, you can call our Congressmen and Senators and spoil their summer vacations by asking a few uncomplicated questions of your own. Let them feel some Baghdad heat till they demonstrate their support for the troops and start bringing them home.
Ahmed Amr is the editor of NileMedia.com This article may be published and distributed at will.
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