Tags: War | Fought | Mothers | Like | Cindy | Sheehan

A War Fought by Mothers Like Cindy Sheehan

Friday, 19 August 2005 12:00 AM

If Beth Holloway Twitty could focus the nation on the disappearance of her teenage daughter in Aruba, can Cindy Sheehan focus the nation on the death of her son and nearly 2,000 others in Iraq?

Her rhetoric is harsh. It is certain to offend some. She writes of her son Casey's buddies who were "murdered by George's reckless policies." How dare she, you might ask.

The Pentagon, it is reported, is struggling once again with the question of how to provide the young people who are serving our country with body armor that might be adequate to the task of protecting them from the explosives that are killing them at random.

Isn't it a little late for that, you might ask. I would, if it were my kid. I'd be screaming bloody murder, and my kids are babies. Isn't that what Cindy Sheehan is doing?

This is the first war in history where parents are expected to protect their children from attack because the military lacks the resources to do it. So mothers and fathers send the body armor that the military is still figuring out how to provide. Unfortunately, parents can't send tanks.

Marines patrol in vehicles that were never meant for such patrol – amphibious assault vehicles meant for quick assaults, consistent with the original mission of the Marines as a quick attack force, not a police patrol force.

So what happens when they hit a roadside bomb? They die needlessly, because we put them in harm's way and failed to protect them.

And the president chops his wood, rides his horses, pretends the economy is doing great. He doesn't fill his car with gas. His girls aren't fighting this war. He doesn't go to the funerals.

While Cindy Sheehan continues her vigil, the president is reading books about the history of salt – yes, salt, as in the table substance – books about Russian history and the flu epidemic. Even the authors are said to be impressed that the president is reading such weighty tomes.

So George Bush can read. Who said he couldn't? The question is: Can he run a war? Or, more importantly, get us out of one?

On Saturday, while Cindy Sheehan waited for a meeting with the president that has yet to happen, the president went for a two-hour bike ride. He has already broken all records for presidential vacations, having spent 20 percent of his presidency on vacation.

With three and a half years to go, he has broken the vacation record of former President Ronald Reagan, who was well known for his vacations and who served in peacetime. Yet President Bush has no time to meet with a mother who lost her son in his war.

When asked why he has time for a two-hour bike ride, but not for a brief meeting, his answer was that he "had to go on with his life."

Mothers who lose a child don't get to go on with their lives.

Things will never be the same for Cindy Sheehan. Right now, in the heat of the media spotlight, she has a reason to live and a focus for her energies. But the day will come when this vacation vigil ends, when the president leaves Crawford for Washington and the press loses interest in Cindy Sheehan.

There will be some new son or daughter whose death captures the media – some new mother whose plight will be tomorrow's news. Cindy Sheehan will be history, and her sorrow will be her own.

But she will have this for comfort: She will know that she fought as hard for her country as her son did.

Wars are not supposed to be fought by mothers. But this war has been different from the start. George Bush doesn't seem to understand that. But then, he's so busy biking and reading about salt, he can't taste the tears.

COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

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If Beth Holloway Twitty could focus the nation on the disappearance of her teenage daughter in Aruba, can Cindy Sheehan focus the nation on the death of her son and nearly 2,000 others in Iraq? Her rhetoric is harsh. It is certain to offend some. She writes of her son...
War,Fought,Mothers,Like,Cindy,Sheehan
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2005-00-19
Friday, 19 August 2005 12:00 AM
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