Cindy Sheehan Leaves the Peace Movement
From Cindy’s diary at DailyKos:
“Good Riddance Attention Whore”
I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such “liberal blogs” as the Democratic Underground. Being called an “attention whore” and being told “good riddance” are some of the more milder rebukes.
I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.
The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system?
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.
As I commented on Counting the Cost, I do not believe Casey died in vain or that Cindy failed.
If the reason behind Casey Sheehan’s death in Iraq was nothing more than to act as a spur, so that his mother and others would fight for peace, then he did not die in vain.
And Cindy most assuredly did not fail. At a time when Bush had decent approval ratings and his war was thought to be a good thing, though maybe it wasn’t going so well, Cindy called on him and on America to tell her why her child and other children – Iraqi and American – had died. There were no WMDs, there were no ties to 9/11, there was no reason for American troops to be fighting and dying on Iraqi soil.
Through her steadfast determination to stop this war, to stop the killing, to stop the endless quest for power and oil, she created a movement that will continue until all our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers are brought home. Every last one.
If anything, it is our country that failed. It is us who have failed.
Seventy percent of us might oppose this war, but not all of us have done more than register our disapproval. We failed to stand up, and we continue to do so. Until and unless we all – all of the 70% – join together, to write and call our CongressCritters, to join protests in our hometowns and on the National Mall, to insist our supposedly Democratic-controlled Congress does the will of the people, then nothing will change.
Cindy, I can only say “Thank you.” For teaching us to stand up, even when the polls and the pundits said you shouldn’t. For inspiring us, even when the media excoriated and abused you. For continuing, even in the face of hateful attacks by your fellow citizens.
I truly believe that when the time comes for you to join Casey in the life hereafter, he will greet you with a hug and the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”