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'Right-wingers'' criticism of protesting Sheehan is 'in horribly bad taste'

Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Editor:

Upon reading Daniel Gwinn's letter ("Left wing clings to 'poster child' Cindy Sheehan") on Aug. 24, I just seethed with rage and had to reply.

First of all, Gwinn (like most pro-war Republicans) likes to harp on the "mainstream" media and blame them for any negative or "non-positive" GOP reporting.

Someone should point out to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and their programmable-minded listeners and readers that the "mainstream" media they like to consider to be liberal is bought and owned by major corporations like Disney, Westinghouse, Viacom, News Corp., Time Warner, et al. You can turn on any cable news channel and see a right-wing "pundit" on the screen, from the recently chased-off Bob Novak on CNN, to Tucker Carlson on MSNBC to nearly the entire cast on Fox News Channel.

More importantly, I think it's time somebody pointed out to the right-wingers that their insatiable desire to paint Cindy Sheehan in a negative light is in horribly bad taste. This woman lost her son to the war in Iraq, and all Limbaugh, Hannity and their followers can do is denigrate her. I say, please continue. As America continues to turn against your views on this war, you only aid the trend with such vicious and venomous tirades at the expense of a mourning mother searching for answers.

Gwinn, as many other GOP'ers have attempted to, tried to again tie our military action in Iraq with the events of Sept. 11, 2001. I'll again point out for you, and anybody else not in-the-know, that Iraq had no involvement in the attacks of that day. That's been proven time and again. It's also been proven, time and again, that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and was indeed, not an imminent threat to our nation's security.

The White House has had to change our "reasons for war" with each faltering ideal, and Republican followers latch onto it like the gospel each time. Now we hear the talk radio hosts and their listeners speak of "liberating" an oppressed nation as reason enough to be there. Sure, now that we're there, we have to fix what's messed up; we do owe that nation that much. But we in this country need to ask and (as Sheehan wants) get answers to this question: "what were we doing there, to begin with?"

The "noble" obligation of liberating a nation isn't enough. It's not what our brave men and women sign up for our armed forces to do. It's not what we as a nation expect of our service men and women to do, either. But if so, there are oppressed people in the Sudan, Burma, North Korea, just to name a few (million oppressed people).

Gwinn's mentions of past American war efforts is misleading, and doesn't apply here. In World War II, we were provoked into the theater. In Bosnia, we joined with our allies and the United Nations to try and stabilize a region. In Iraq, we cast aside our allies ("you're either with us or against us," said our fearless leader with no active duty military combat time to his record) and have brought our "war on terror" to the backyards of an Iraqi nation that didn't invite it. We'll more than likely end up with an Iraq mired in religious squabbles, a Muslim-influenced government, and, when put in the hands of the people, will turn anti-American as soon as our tanks aren't staring 'em in the face. That'll make a nice block of anti-American nations from (east to west): Iran, Iraq and Syria.

So Cindy Sheehan asks "why" across from Bush's grounds (I won't call it a "ranch" because he has no livestock), and I think hers is a valid question. What it lacks, so far, is a valid answer.

Ron Roberts

Alexandria, La.



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