Saturday, August 27, 2005
I mentioned in one of my first posts to this blog that I had gone to a candlelight vigil in solidarity for Cindy Sheehan. I can't put my finger on exactly why
I went - I guess I just felt compelled.
The truth is, however, that while I support Cindy Sheehan and the message that I think she brings fo
rward, I don't necessarily embrace what she publicly states as what she wants. Sheehan has essentially and unequivocally said that she wants us to get our troops out of Iraq. Now. Frankly, I can't think of a more morally reprehensible thing for us to do. Don't get me wrong - I was against this war from the beginning. I thought the case for war was weak at best, and abetted by a lackadaisical and intimidated press corps too afraid of questioning "the war President". In life, however, some things that are done can't be easily undone and I think that that principle holds true with our involvement in Iraq. We have
broken it and we bear responsibility for returning to the Iraqi people a land not so utterly devastated as that which we have created.
I am certainly not a Saddam apologist. He was and is a bad and evil man capable of inhuman acts for the sake of power. But I find it nauseating to realize that, at this point, we have to step back and ask ourselves if the Iraqi people were better off with the cruelty of Saddam vs. the uncertainty and continual violence under which they now live, post-Saddam. Think about that - we have to legitimately wonder if we have made it worse for these people. As I write this, the interim Iraqi government is deadlocked on the negotiations of some key issues for its Constitution. Chief amoung these will be the role of Islam which, among other things, can and will have a deep impact on the rights of women in Iraq. Iraq was a lot of things under Saddam Hussein and one of those things was one of the most progressive middle eastern nations when it came to women's rights. We may have actually managed to reverse that in our current involvement.
But I digress. The original point of the post was and is Cindy Sheehan. She's been all over the press coverage here for the last three weeks. Last night my husband I sat down to watch Bill Maher and she was the first interview. My husband, a pretty progressive guy (though not as politically indoctrinated as I) expressed a fair amount of distaste for Cindy. She really kind of rubs him the wrong way. He's certainly entitled to his opinion and he asked me mine regarding her. I told him that while I don't agree with her overall message (withdraw now) I am ecstatic about the attention that she brings to the issues of this war and the reminders she provides as to why and how we got into it vs. what we were told. Ultimately, I told him that, thirty years from now, her face and name will be synonymous with the post-9/11 anti-war movement. I think whether or not that is a good thing is a story that has yet to be written.
I believe also that Cindy Sheehan is an uncommonly strong and compelling voice in a sea of voices about the war in Iraq. She certainly hasn't been embraced by the Democratic establishment - you don't see prominent Democratic leaders heading to Crawford to stand with her nor did you see any of them rushing to Crawford to fill in for her, to "carry the torch" as it were, when her mother had a stroke. The silence from the Democratic leadership is deafening and I don't understand it at all. In a political climate that, generally, fails to sharply distinguish between candidates and their parties, this is one where Democrats can and should stand up and support Cindy Sheehan's message.
posted by RenaRF at 2:51 PM