August 31, 2005

Democrats Must Condemn Anti-Israel Statements of Cindy Sheehan and the Anti-War Left

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to the Republican Jewish Coalition's news release about the Democrat's "blame Israel" mentality. The press release was in response to the Democrat's failure to criticize or condemn some anti-Israeli statements made by Cindy Sheehan. The RJC stated, in pertinent part, the following:

[Cindy Sheehan] has been heralded by Democrats such as Joe Trippi, campaign manager for Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean’s campaign for President, Michael Moore, and organizations such as Democrats.com, MoveOn.org, True Majority, and Democracy for America.While Democrats are busy making Cindy Sheehan their spokesman and avatar of their views, we see her as yet another example of how critics of Israel within the Democratic Party have taken control of the party's agenda. If Cindy Sheehan’s ideas are what the Democrats have to offer, then more and more American Jews will continue to see that there is no place for them in the Democratic Party.

In response to that post, I received a comment from Joe Trippi stating that the RJC was wrong - he was a supporter of Israel and "have been blogging about Disengagement for months." (evidently, in reference to Israel's disengagement from Gaza). Joe Trippi posted a rebuttal to the RJC's press release on his blog (see here) to deny the allegation that he and other Democrats were anti-Israel. He focuses on his support for a "two-state solution" and Sharon's disengagement from Gaza. I certainly have not read enough of the body of his work to know whether or not that is necessarily true, so I will take his statement at face value.
My question for Joe Trippi and the Democrats: does Israel have the right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism? Or, do you believe that such efforts merely add to the "cycle of violence" in the Middle East? Do you believe that there is a difference between Israel's targeting of terrorists and Palestinian suicide bombers killing innocent Israeli civillians? Do you believe that Israel is the party that must continuously make further concessions to the Palestinians when the Palestinians have not upheld their end of the bargain - renouncing and ending terrorism? Do you believe in holding the Palestinians accountable? If you truly support Israel's right to exist (even alongside a Palestinian state), then you cannot engage in moral equivalence or otherwise deny Israel the right to defend its citizens. I have read nothing yet from Joe Trippi that would make be believe that he comes up on the wrong side of these questions. Unfortunately, it is a question that I truly believe that the Democratic Party, as a whole, must address.
However, this brings us to the other side of the problem. The Democrats have tolerated anti-Israel remarks from members of their party and groups that they have affiliated with. With respect to the Democrat's support of the anti-Israel views of Cindy Sheehan and her supporters, Joe Trippi asserts:

Fourth — No one has made Cindy Sheehan a spokesperson for the Democratic Party. She speaks for herself and she speaks to a nation.

Fifth — I do not agree with everything Cindy Sheehan says — but that misses the point.

True enough. The statements were made by Cindy Sheehan. No political party should be ultimately responsible for the statements of its members (Republicans would surely agree - e.g., Trent Lott). However, where is the condemnation of her statements? Merely stating that Cindy Sheehan's views are not the views of the Democratic party (or that she is not a spokesperson of the Democratic Party) is not the same as rejecting her statements regarding Israel.

It is a real problem that (a) the Democrats associate with people and groups that have very vile anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views (e.g., Cindy Sheehan, James Moran, Cynthia McKinney, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, International ANSWER, International Solidarity Movement, Code Pink, Crawford House), and (b) do not loudly condemn anti-Israeli propaganda among such individuals and groups. Unfortunately, the Democrats appear to be too concerned with not upsetting the radical left to do so.
Other Democrats either e-mailed me or posted comments on this blog stating that we should be careful not to criticize Cindy Sheehan because the authenticity of the statements was questionable. Ms. Sheehan had tried to disclaim the statements, which were purportedly written in an e-mail from her AOL account. Even Democrats like Susan Estrich aren't buying that explanation:

Did an ABC staffer insert the following lines in an email sent by celebrity antiwar mother Cindy Sheehan? ''Am I emotional? Yes, my firstborn was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel." That is what Sheehan is claiming. If you don't believe that explanation -- if you don't believe an ABC staffer set about to put anti-Semitic words into Cindy Sheehan's mouth -- then your hero, my liberal friends, is a raging, ignorant anti-Semite. Sorry, but what are you doing hanging with that crowd?....

But I will not stand silent and see anti-Semitism masked as opposition to Israel and Israel blamed for George Bush's mistakes, if that's what they are. She did say this, apparently: "What they're saying, too, is like, it's OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons. ... It's OK for Israel to occupy Palestine ... for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it's not OK for Syria to be in Lebanon. They're a bunch of (expletive) hypocrites." Anyone who cannot tell the difference, in any terms, between Israel on the one hand and Syria and Iran on the other is not someone who, as my grandmother would put it, is "good for the Jews" -- or for the country, I'd like to add.

If they want to keep their support fromJewish voters, the Democrats must learn to unequivocably condemn each and every anti-Israel statement from people, like Cindy Sheehan or Code Pink, regardless of whether the Democrats find common ground with them (such as the opposition to the Iraq war). Moreover, the Democrats should not associate themselves with such people.

Cindy Sheehan Is Glad Bush Didn't Meet With Her

A few days ago, I wrote in this very blog that Cindy Sheehan had no real interest in meeting with President Bush:

For those of you on the left, who continue to ask "why doesn't Bush meet with her?" in the hopes of painting Bush as not being compassionate, there is a simple answer. It wouldn't do any good. You see - this is not about "finding out why [Casey Sheehan] was killed". What is it about? It is about Cindy Sheehan's 15 minutes of fame. It is about the fact that each and every major news organization in the United States is now covering her story (notice - not Casey's story) and that they are hanging on her every word. "'I'm just so honored that the universe chose me to be the spark that has set off a raging inferno,' Sheehan said." It is about a political protest. According to Cindy Sheehan, a mere meeting would not be sufficient for her to stop: "If George Bush came out and spoke with me today and we went home, this wouldn't end."

I like being proven right:
A woman who led an anti-war protest for nearly a month near President Bush's ranch said Tuesday that she's glad Bush never showed up to discuss her son's death in Iraq, saying the president's absence "galvanized the peace movement."

For weeks, the television cameras showed her crying and pleading to have President Bush meet with her to explain "why Casey died". I don't doubt her grief over the death of her son, but cannot escape the conclusion that these little incidents were made for the cameras.

From the beginning, this was intended as a publicity stunt to gain media attention - similar to when John Kerry sent Max Cleland to Bush's ranch to protest the Swift Boats.

August 30, 2005

I am Swamped

I have 2 closings tomorrow and a major securitization closing towards the end of this week. Needless to say, I am swamped so I will not likely have time to blog until tonight.

August 29, 2005

Flat Tax - Equality In Taxation

From the Wall Street Journal's Opinionjournal.com:

Next month's report of the White House tax reform commission will likely stop short of advocating a complete scrapping of the tax code. But look for it to have warm words for how well the flat tax is promoting economic growth in the more than dozen places--ranging from Ukraine to Hong Kong--that have adopted variations of it.

Any realistic discussion of whether a Flat Tax would be good for America would necessarily depend upon knowing the specifics of any given proposal. For example, what would be included within taxable income? What types of exemptions would be permitted? What would the tax rate be?
However, I have to admit that I really, really love the concept of a Flat Tax.
Under the current system, American citizens are not taxed in an equitable matter. Income tax rates increase as a citizen's income increases. For all of the Democrats' whining about George Bush's "tax cuts for the rich", those people in the highest income bracket are still paying 35% of their income to the Federal Government in taxes while the lowest income bracket merely pays 10% of their income to the Federal Government in taxes. Think about that. Over a third of an individual's income must be paid to the Federal Government. When you add state income taxes (which are similarly structured), property taxes, and sales taxes, an individual can end up paying over half of his/her income to the government in taxes. The current system essentially penalizes those that work hard to make a better life for themselves (o.k., I guess it also does penalize those members of the "lucky sperm club" e.g., Paris Hilton, that merely inherit their income).
I have no problem with paying a larger amount of taxes than those that make less money than I do. However, why should I pay a much higher percentage of my income than they do? Do I consume more in governmental services? No. Do I require greater protection from the armed forces? Of course, not. I have a bigger bank account.
Clearly, no one could disagree that the "rich" and upper "middle class" pay a higher percentage in taxes - after all, the percentages are black and white. However, let's take a quick look at two taxpayers to drive the problem home. One taxpayer, who is married and files jointly, earns $55,000 in taxable income and is within the 15% tax bracket. Another taxpayer, who is married and files jointly, earns $180,000 in taxable income and is within the 33% tax bracket. The first taxpayer would end up with a tax bill of $8,250 while the second taxpayer would end up with a tax bill of $59,400. In other words, the second tax payer pays $51,150 more in taxes than the first tax payer. Is this fair? Of course, not... unless you believe that the government has the right to redistribute wealth amongst its citizens.
Under a Flat Tax, everyone would pay the same percentage of their income in Federal Income Taxes. People would be treated equitably.
Let's assume that a hypothetical Flat Tax would be 17%. Under our example above, the first tax payer, who earns $55,000 in taxable income, would pay $9,350. This is a slight increase due to the increase in rate from 15% to 17%. However, the second tax payer, who earns $180,000, would still pay $30,600. While the second tax payer would have a significant savings in taxes ($28,600), the second tax payer is still paying $21,250 more in taxes than the first tax payer.
For as nice as a Flat Tax may be, I sincerely doubt it will ever come to fruition. Why? Politics. Does anyone honestly believe that the accountants and tax lawyer lobby would not throw a lot of money at the politicians to avoid losing their cash cow.
Moreover, the Democrats will characterize a Flat Tax as "tax cuts for the rich" (after all, the rates paid by the highest income groups would fall, so therefore tax liability would fall as well). Under the example above, the Democrats would characterize the first taxpayer (i.e., the one making $55,000 in taxable income) as somehow being required to shoulder a larger burden in taxes - even though the second taxpayer (i.e., the one making $180,000) would still be paying over $21,250 more in actual taxes. It will make no difference that the increase in rates for the lower income earners or reduction of rates for the higher income earners would be done to equalize the tax percentages or that the higher income earners would still be paying a substantial amount more in taxes. In the Democrat's view, the higher income earners should be footing a larger percentage of the bill. For example, after Bush's tax cuts lowered the top rate from 39% to 35% the Democrats angily derided such a reduction as evidence that his entire tax cut policy was meant to profit Bush's wealthy contributors - even though the lower rates were reduced as well. The Democrats have no interest in tax equalization and will use any such proposal as proof positive that the evil Republicans are somehow out to screw the poor. The Democrats have made a huge investment in class warfare. It defines their entire tax policy.

August 27, 2005

The Racism of the Anti-War Movement

Jim Forsyth on the racism of the Anti-War movement:
Like most Texas reporters, I have made the pilgrimage to interview Cindy Sheehan and her anti war comrades parked in front of Crawford. One of the made-for-television signs held up behind Cindy during the news event I attended was particularly disturbing. “Iraq,” read the sign held aloft by two prosperous looking white women,“is Arabic for Vietnam.”

By holding this sign, I presume they would favor that the Iraq war end the same way the war in Vietnam ended. I also presume that this means they would not oppose the same fate for the people of Iraq that befell the people of Vietnam and Cambodia after the end of US involvement there, which was one of the more horrible in the sorry annals of twentieth century tyranny. But in 1975, we were told by the anti war crowd that, after all, they were only Asians, they probably couldn’t understand democracy anyway, and knew it wouldn’t work ‘for them.’ Its sad to see the same attitude repeated today, that its not worth the blood of white Americans like Casey Sheehan to win freedom and democracy for ‘those people,’ in this case, brown skinned Arab Muslims.

Even if you drink every last drop of the anti war Kool Aid, even if you are convinced that President Bush was ordered by the Chairman of Halliburton to start the Iraq war and that he intentionally lied to the American people about the existence of weapons of mass destruction, the simple fact is that today, there is demonstrably more freedom for the people of Iraq and for the people of Afghanistan, some 50 million brown skinned Muslims. Yes, there is dawdling over the drafting of an Iraqi constitution, but before April of 2003, metal shredders and rape rooms awaited any Iraqi who breathed the word ‘constitution.’ Yes, a brutal insurgency continues to threaten the Iraqi people, an insurgency which has killed some 25,000 Iraqi civilians since April of 2003. But Saddam Hussein, even by conservative estimates, butchered 1.5 million Iraqis during his 25 years in power (not counting the one million who died in the war he started with Iran). So Saddam and his goons killed an average of 60,000 people a year, while the insurgency has killed 25,000 in two and a half years. Despite the hand-wringing over the insurgency, the devil’s arithmetic would indicate that life for the average Iraq is actually safer today than it was under Saddam. But they’re brown skimmed Muslims, so not worthy of America’s notice, let alone America’s sacrifice.

President Bush is actually the greatest liberator of Muslims in history, considering that there weren’t 50 million people in the entire MIddle East when Saladin beat back the Crusader hordes. But to the anti war activists, providing freedom from slavery, democratic and economic opportunity to brown skinned people isn’t worth the sacrifice of white Americans. Good thing they weren’t around when Lincoln was drafting the Emancipation Proclamation.
Wow. Read it all.

The Democrats position on Iraq is essentially that Bush lied in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. Put simply, Bush told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; however, none were found after the invasion. Does this mean that Bush lied? The Democrats believe so. And as a result, many Democrats feel that we should immediately withdrawal to rectify this wrong.

The Bush "lie" allegation is ridiculous. In order for Bush's statements on WMD's to have been lies, Bush would have had to know that Saddam, in fact, had no such WMD's and continued to make claims that he knew were false. Everyone - Republicans, Democrats, France, Germany, Russia, the U.N., etc. - believed that Saddam had WMD's and that Saddam was not complying with the U.N. inspection requirements. Were Clinton and Gore lying about Iraq? Did the Democrats, who lead the charge on the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, lie about the WMD's and the need for regime change? Why did Clinton risk our airmen to enforce U.N. resolutions if there were no WMD's and intelligence was readily available to reveal that there were none (as would be required in order for the "Bush Lie" theory is to work).

Did Bush make a mistake? Did the CIA do a really lousy job of gathering intelligence? Evidently, they did. Was Bush pre-disposed to see the intelligence in a certain way? Maybe, but most of the world believed Saddam had WMD’s and clearly, intelligence analysis is not an exact science. However, the idea that Bush knew there were no WMD's or that Saddam had little nuclear capability is nothing more than a conspiracy theory perpetuated by the Democrats to vilify Bush.

WMD's was only one of many factors that Bush cited in making his case for war. Of the many rationales he offered to support his case for war, was the liberation of the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator that raped, tortured and killed his own people. Our soldiers have found the torture rooms and the mass graves. This is a fact never refuted by the Democrats because they would have you believe that the single reason we went to war was WMD's.

No matter whether you believe the United States should or should not have invaded Iraq, it is irrelevant. We invaded Iraq over two years ago. The issue is not "should we have invaded Iraq?", but instead, "now that we have invaded Iraq, what comes next?"

We are currently in the process of assisting the Iraqis install a democratic form of government while attempting to destroy a brutal terrorist insurgency that has killed more Iraqis than Americans. Are American efforts succeeding? Only time will tell.

The Democrats, however, have grown increasingly hostile to our efforts in Iraq. While most Democrats continue to criticize the Administration's every move in Iraq and the increasing American casualties, a large number of Democrats now insist on our immediate withdrawal and are actively rooting for either the failure of the fledgling Iraqi democracy or the utter defeat of our military operations.

If the U.S. were to withdraw immediately, it is more likely than not that the fledgling democracy would be no match for the brutal Bathist and Al-Qaida insurgency. Upon gaining power, a brutal dictatorship would emerge whereby rape, torture and murder would, once again, become a fact of every day life for Iraqis. What would happen to the Iraqi citizens - especially, those now in government or those who assisted American forces? Do I really need to answer that question? Thousands would be tortured and killed.

If you advocate withdrawal, you must answer the question: “what will happen to the Iraqis?” Will withdrawal from Iraq result in a catastrophe similar to Vietnam and Cambodia after 1974? If so, aren’t we justified in staying to at least finish the job?

For all Democrats, who consider themselves feminists or at the very least sensitive to women's rights, it is important to remember that an Al-Qaida run country would be a nightmare for Iraqi women. As Al-Qaida adheres to the extreme Wahabbist form of Islam, Iraq would become no different than the Taliban-run Afghanistan. Women would have no rights, but would instead become the property of their fathers and husbands. Women would be forced to wear burqas. Women would be unable to attend school, practice any professions, travel outside of the country without their father or husband's permission, or drive cars. The "honor killings" that are so rampant among Islamic extremists would be tolerated. Is this a satisfactory result? Is the protection of Iraqi women not enough of a noble purpose for fighting this war?

The Democratic Party that I knew (and was previously a member of) was the party of human rights. It was the Democrats who were most vocal about torture and death dealt by cruel dictators in far away places. It was the Democrats who were most passionate about providing assistance to our fellow human beings. It was the Democrats who passed the Iraqi Liberation Act (thereby making regime change in Iraq an official U.S. governmental policy). The Democratic Party that I knew was not the party of isolationists that they would seem to be today.

The Democrats are not the isolationists that they would appear to be and have previously supported military interventions in other countries such as those in Bosnia and Liberia. Each such intervention was intended to protect the human rights of the civilians in these respective countries.

If, as a Democrat, you believe in the advancement of human rights, then why are you not applauding the Administration’s efforts in Iraq? Saddam Hussein was responsible for the sadistic torture and deaths of millions of people. Is the hatred of George Bush so intense that you cannot admit that even he could be capable of doing good?

Are the Democrats, who are involved in the anti-war movement, racists? I would not label them as such unless they do, in fact, actually believe that either (a) democracy will never work in Iraq or (b) the lives of Iraqis are not worthy of our protection.

Many of the anti-war activists are anti-Israel and largely anti-Semitic (International ANSWER, Code Pink, and the Crawford House to name a few). This, however, will be the subject of an upcoming post.

For others blogging about this subject: Environmental Republican, Ultima Thule; Notes of a Nervous Harpist; Wide Awake Cafe; Digital Irony; Cyber-Conservative; Gay Patriot;

Christopher Hitchens - The Accomplishments of the Iraq War

Christoper Hitchens discusses the positive aspects of the Iraq War:

DOES THE PRESIDENT deserve the benefit of the reserve of fortitude that I just mentioned? Only just, if at all. We need not argue about the failures and the mistakes and even the crimes, because these in some ways argue themselves. But a positive accounting could be offered without braggartry, and would include:

(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi's Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction--a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.

(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.

(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.

(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)

(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.

(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region--the Kurds--and the spread of this example to other states.

(8) The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.

(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.

(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.

It would be admirable if the president could manage to make such a presentation. It would also be welcome if he and his deputies adopted a clear attitude toward the war within the war: in other words, stated plainly, that the secular and pluralist forces within Afghan and Iraqi society, while they are not our clients, can in no circumstance be allowed to wonder which outcome we favor.

Read it all.

August 26, 2005

The Marketing of Cindy Sheehan

Just in case anyone still held onto the belief that the Cindy Sheehan protest is something more than the crass exploitation of one woman's grief, they should read this ABC 7 News' investigation, which reveals the massive "marketing machine" that has been assembled to make sure that she dominates newspaper articles and television news programs. And, of course, there is the financial support provided to keep "Camp Casey" ongoing. After all, Cindy Sheehan is no longer employed - who is paying for her month long vigil and pending bus tour? Well, you will not be surprised:
Cindy Sheehan kneels before a cross with her son's name on it, touches his picture, wipes her tears. It's an outpouring of emotion that is part of a scheduled news event organized daily for the television, radio and print reporters who crowd in to capture a mother's grief. Cindy Sheehan: "I'm never going to see him again, I'm never going to hold him again, I'm never going to hear his voice again."

Sheehan's message hasn't changed since she got here, but the support staff interested in getting that message out to the world has grown considerably. Organizers are set up in a house trailer. Their meetings closed to reporters ... Leading the group is Fenton Communications employee, Michele Mulkey, based in San Francisco. Fenton specializes in public relations for liberal non-profits.

Their bills are being paid for by True Majority, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen -- of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream fame. Ben Cohen, True Majority: "People are willing to listen to her and we want to do as much as we can to make her voice heard." Cohen's group has teamed up with Berkeley based MoveOn.org, an anti-Bush group co-founded by Joan Blades. Earlier this month, MoveOn helped organize anti-war vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan. Current Democratic National Party Chair Howard Dean's organization Democracy for America is also involved, as is the more radical anti-war group Code Pink organized by San Francisco's Medea Benjamin. Money donated through these groups and others is helping to pay for Gold Star families whose children have been killed in Iraq to attend anti-Bush protests.

This week Simi Valley California Gold Star wife Melanie House flew to Idaho for a protest and then flew to Crawford. ABC7's Mark Matthews: "Can you tell us if you're getting help in airfare to come down here?" Melanie House: "What difference does that make?"

There is real reluctance to talk about who's paying, and the P.R. machine that's promoting Cindy Sheehan, but not everyone here is completely comfortable with it. Gold Star mother Karen Meredith came here from Mountain View. Her son Ken Ballard died last year.

Karen Meredith, Gold Star mother: "Sometimes things don't feel quite right to me. They don't feel wrong, but maybe that's how they do it in the marketing business."

ABC7's Mark Matthews: "You feel you're part of a marketing business?"

Karen Meredith: "Possibly. Yeah I think so."
It is nothing more than a Washington D.C.-style political production meant to produce soundbites for the various news outlets and prey upon the emotions of the electorate.

For more, see these blogs:

Instapundit ("I can't say I'm surprised: the "grassroots" antiwar movement keeps turning out to be MoveOn/A.N.S.W.E.R. astroturf. But I bet that if a GOP group were to send servicemen's families to picket Democrats it would be getting more play. And more negative play."), Dean's World ("The 21st century anti-war movement is not your parents' anti-war movement. The current anti-war movement is a rainbow coalition of hate; they claim to be anti-war while supporting the Palestinian war against Israel, the Intifada; Stalinists join hands with neo-Nazis, anarchists praise peace and threaten destruction, the head of the DNC proudly declares that he hates a large proportion of the American public."), Decision '08 ("Note to Mrs. Meredith: if you’re conscience is bothering you, that’s probably a good sign you’re being used…"), ChrisCam ("Of course, none of this is a real surprise to those of us who haven't been deluded by CNN and the New York Times."), The Pirate Review ("In the same sense that many on the left claim President Bush squandered the good will of the world after 9/11 Cindy Sheehan has smothered any sympathy from me with her constant drama for the cameras and frequently turgid yet illuminating remarks"), Case In Point ("This is BIG BUSINESS to the anti-war crowd."), Hobby Geek ("I've been of the opinion that Sheehan's been a tool for these people for some time. This article confirms it."), Shooting the Messenger, Ankle Biting Pundits ("It’s a vast leftwing conspiracy folks, not just some lil’ ole’ grieving mother."), Broked UP ("all the money going to catering Sheehan’s protests (what would Rubin think of a catered protest?) – imagine what that money could do for kids who can’t affort college, hell, junior college. Priorities, you cockswallowers. Get some."), Rooster Cashews ("Sheehan's message is no longer her own. She is now a mouthpiece for the left, and does not make a move unless it is carefully scripted"), Confederate Yankee ("Grief pays, and it pays well."), Pub Crawler ("PR is right. If the real Cindy Sheehan was being reported on then people would be appalled."), What the Hell is Wrong With You? ("But why isn't the rest of the mainstream media showing this putrid display of partisan hackery for what it is, a PR campaign."), JackLewis.Net ("While it's pathetic that she's exploiting her son's death this way, it's even more sickening the way the anti-America movement is exploiting an obviously sick woman to further their cause.").

Cindy Sheehan Is Now Channeling Her Slain Son

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is now purportedly "channeling" her slain son, Casey, from heaven, suggesting he's calling President Bush "an idiot," and she claims to have "tens of thousands of angels" supporting her cause to bring home immediately American troops serving in Iraq.

"When I get up [to heaven], he's gonna say, 'Good job, mom,'" the California woman said in a speech last night upon her return to Crawford, Texas. "He's not going to say, 'Why'd you make me spin in my grave?' you know. And I can just hear him saying, 'George Bush, you are really an idiot. You didn't know what you were doing when you killed me. You didn't know what you were getting into.'"

I am not going to comment very much on her claim to have communications with her dead son and tens of thousands of angels other than to say this is getting really goofy. Anyone else wonder whether she is playing with a full deck... ?
Kind of funny that we have yet to hear her acknowledge that the sniper who killed Casey was a member of Al Quaeda and not George Bush.

George Will - The Cindy Sheehan Problem for the Democrats

From George Will:

Sad yet riveting, like a wreck by the side of the road, Cindy Sheehan, a plaything of her own sincerities and other people's opportunisms, has already been largely erased from the national memory by new waves of media fickleness in the service of the public's summer ennui. But before she becomes fully relegated to the role of opening act for more durable luminaries at antiwar rallies, prudent Democrats -- those political snail darters, the emblematic endangered species of American politics -- should consider the possibility that, although she was a burr under the president's saddle for several weeks, she is symptomatic of something that in 2008 could cause the Democratic Party a sixth loss in eight presidential elections. That something is a shrillness unlike anything heard in living memory from a major tendency within a major party.

Many warmhearted and mildly attentive Americans say the president should have invited Sheehan to his kitchen table in Crawford for a cup of coffee and a serving of that low-calorie staple of democratic sentimentality -- "dialogue." Well.

Since her first meeting with the president, she has called him a "lying bastard," "filth spewer," "evil maniac," "fuehrer" and the world's "biggest terrorist" who is committing "blatant genocide" and "waging a nuclear war" in Iraq. Even leaving aside her not entirely persuasive contention that someone else concocted the obviously anti-Israel and inferentially anti-Semitic elements of one of her recent e-mails -- elements of a sort nowadays often found woven into ferocious left-wing rhetoric -- it is difficult to imagine how the dialogue would get going.

He: "Cream and sugar?"

She: "Yes, please, filth-spewer."

Do Democrats really want to embrace her variation of the Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11" school of political discourse? Evidently, yes, judging by the attendance of 12 Democratic senators at that movie's D.C. premiere in June 2004, and by the lionizing of Moore at the Democratic Convention -- the ovation, the seating of him with Jimmy Carter.

If liberals think that such flirtations with fanaticism had nothing to do with their 2004 defeat, they probably have nothing to learn from what conservatives did four decades earlier.

Indeed.

August 25, 2005

Anti-War Protestors Harrass Wounded Soldiers

The anti-war protesters have reached a new low:
Washington (CNSNews.com) - The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the current home of hundreds of wounded veterans from the war in Iraq, has been the target of weekly anti-war demonstrations since March. The protesters hold signs that read "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton.

The anti-war demonstrators, who obtain their protest permits from the Washington, D.C., police department, position themselves directly in front of the main entrance to the Army Medical Center, which is located in northwest D.C., about five miles from the White House. Among the props used by the protesters are mock caskets, lined up on the sidewalk to represent the death toll in Iraq.

Code Pink Women for Peace, one of the groups backing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas, organizes the protests at Walter Reed as well.

Cindy Sheehan: Calls her Son's Killers "Freedom Fighters"

Cindy Sheehan has now returned to Crawford, Texas to continue her protest against President Bush.

Anyone who reads this blog knows by now what I think of Cindy Sheehan. After listening to her tirades about how the Iraq War is a "War for Oil", a "War for Haliburton", or, my personal favorite, a "War for Israel", I really didn't think that her statements could get any more bizarre. However, I was wrong. According to Cindy Sheehan, the insurgents in Iraq (i.e., the same forces who killed her son - Spec. Casey Sheehan) are "Freedom Fighters".
Um, no, because it’s not true. You know, Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. I mean, they’re not even a threat to the United States of America. Iraq was not involved in 9/11. Iraq was not a terrorist state.

But now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open. Uh, freedom fighters from other, um, countries are going in. And they have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country.

The terrorism is growing. And people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their, out of their country.
The video is here.

How can anyone take this woman seriously? They are "Freedom Fighters"?? The terrorists in are largely from other countries and tend to target and kill more Iraqis than U.S. troops. Iraq was not a terrorist country?? Evidently, she watched a few too many showings of Farenheit 911. What about the $25,000 that Sadaam paid to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers? What about the fact that he gave refuge to such terrorists as Abu Nidal?

This woman has been so brainwashed by the anti-war movement that she now sympathizes with the same people that actually killed her son. Yes, I know...in her mind, George Bush killed her son. After all, he ordered U.S. troops - including her son - to invade Iraq. The "Freedom Fighters" evidently must have been justified in killing him to get "the United States of America out of their, out of their country." Give me a break. At first, I was disgusted. Now, I feel nothing but pity for her. Someone in her family should really conduct an intervention.

For those of you on the left, who continue to ask "why doesn't Bush meet with her?" in the hopes of painting Bush as not being compassionate, there is a simple answer. It wouldn't do any good. You see - this is not about "finding out why [Casey Sheehan] was killed". What is it about? It is about Cindy Sheehan's 15 minutes of fame. It is about the fact that each and every major news organization in the United States is now covering her story (notice - not Casey's story) and that they are hanging on her every word. "'I'm just so honored that the universe chose me to be the spark that has set off a raging inferno,' Sheehan said." It is about a political protest. According to Cindy Sheehan, a mere meeting would not be sufficient for her to stop: "If George Bush came out and spoke with me today and we went home, this wouldn't end."

Bob Sale re-publishes Cliff May's Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan.

See also: Sweetness and Light; Patterico's Pontifications, Patterico's Pontifications Part II, David Limbaugh, Jawa Report ("Because nothing says I'm just grieving for my son's death more than calling the men who killed him freedom fighters"), Foundations, Creative Conservative, njvawoar, Common Folk Using Common Sense, Promethean Antagonist, Palmetto Pundit, Blogs for Bush, Leaning Straight Up, Celtic Wolf's Lair, Second Shift Reflections, Right Thinking ("Freedom fighters? Freedom is the last thing these terrorists are fighting for!"), The Straight Scoop ("Whose freedom are they fighting for?"),

August 24, 2005

Media Bias and the Air America Scandal

Johnathan Gurwitz of the San Antonio Express News examines the mainstream media's stunning silence regarding both Air America's awful ratings and its recent financial scandals:

Despite some initial success, ratings have been underwhelming, even with an unpopular president who makes an inviting target and an unpopular war generating political discontent. In the fall of 2004, in Air America's home market of New York City and with the presidential election inflaming liberal passions, Franken's show trailed his on-air nemesis Rush Limbaugh by a substantial margin. Since then, the ratings picture has gotten worse. Air America supporters have their explanations. Some are entirely reasonable — building a radio network from scratch is bound to entail pitfalls. Some demonstrate a disturbing arrogance — ratings don't matter because Air America listeners are too sophisticated for plebeian radio, choosing webcasts and podcasts instead.

But Air America and its minions are having a much tougher time explaining how the network pocketed $875,000 intended for poor kids and Alzheimer's sufferers in the Bronx. That revelation stems from an audit by New York City's Department of Investigation into the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club. The city determined the organization to be a "non-responsible" agency and suspended funding.

Why "non-responsible?" As the New York Sun reports, the agency is accused of making "inappropriate transactions" beginning in early 2004, including the transfer of said $875,000 to Progress Media, the former parent company of Air America, and its chairman, Cohen, who also happened to be a board member of the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club.

Unlike the personal foibles of Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, and in contrast to Air America's celebrated start, the network's financial impropriety has received scant attention in the mainstream media. A handful of bloggers, led by syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, have put the issue in the public eye.

Conservatives, however, have just as keen a sense of irony as liberals. If conservative moralizers deserve their comeuppance, why shouldn't the Enron-like scandal of liberal do-gooders taking money away from needy minority kids and old folks merit equal treatment?

Perhaps because the American media are not so dominated by conservatives as Air America's promoters suggest.

August 22, 2005

Daily Kos Has A Secret Plan to Destroy the Democratic Leadership Council

Evidently, Markos “Screw Them” Moulitsas Zuniga of the Daily Kos has a top secret plan to destroy the Democratic Leadership Council:
Ultimately, this is the modern DLC -- an aider and abettor of Right-wing smear attacks against Democrats. They make the same arguments, use the same language, and revel in their attacks on those elements of the Democratic Party that seem to cause them no small embarrassment. Two more weeks, folks, before we take them on, head on. No calls for a truce will be brooked. The DLC has used those pauses in the past to bide their time between offensives. Appeals to party unity will fall on deaf ears (it's summer of a non-election year, the perfect time to sort out internal disagreements).

We need to make the DLC radioactive. And we will. With everyone's help, we really can. Stay tuned.
Heh. Somehow, this reminds me of something that Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame would say.

Evidently, Markos believes that the Democratic Leadership Council is too conservative or "right wing" to represent the Democratic Party.

Personally, I cannot wait to see how Markos and his Daily Kos sycophants are going to attempt to drive the remaining moderate Democrats into the Republican party. This should be interesting.

Will there be a "Civil War" amongst the Democrats? Will the "Far Left" take over the Democratic party? Well, actually, I guess that they already have... After all, Howard Dean - you know, the candidate of the Far Left - is now the chairman of the Democratic Party. During the last Democratic Party primaries, the Democratic candidates raced each other to obtain the support of the Far Left. The Democratic candidates fought each other over who was more liberal and who had more anti-Bush credentials. I guess that Daily Kos envisions a narrow-based Democratic Party that only appeals to the Far Left.

If anything, Markos' post reveals that he is more interested in hearing himself talk (or, in this instance, reading his own writing) than winning elections. Otherwise, he is too politically naive to be taken at all seriously. What Markos evidently does not understand is that a political party must be broad-based to win national elections. After all, does he really think that there are over 50 million members of the Far Left? Neither Howard Dean nor Wesley Clark, who were the favorite Democratic candidates of the Far Left during the campaign, could even find enough Democrats to win the candidacy of the Democratic Party. Does he really think that the Democrat's problem in the last election was that the Democrats were too moderate?? Does he really believe that either of these two candidates could have defeated George Bush?

The Republicans were successful in the last few Presidential elections by reaching out to both moderate Republicans and members of the Far Right-not by lurching to the Far Right and telling moderates that they can go to hell.

In reality, the majority of voters-whether Democrats or Republican - are moderate in their political beliefs. The Democrats need the DLC to put a much more moderate face on the Democratic Party.

The DLC, for all of its many problems, at least can claim to have elected a member to be the President of the United States.

Given the Daily Kos' abyssmal record of supporting losing politicians(he has never endorsed a politician that actually ended up winning his/her election), however, I cannot imagine that anyone at the DLC will lose too much sleep.

Hat Tip: Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs.

More from Michelle Malkin, Shooting the Messenger, The Hedgehog Report, William Woody.

L.A. Times "Fawns" Over Cindy Sheehan

For as much as I dislike the L.A. Times, I do have to give them credit for being able to take criticism. Read this column, which was written by Patrick Frey of Patterico's Pontifications and published in the L.A. Times:
Ironically, columnists Jonathan Chait and Margaret Carlson evidently assumed that The Times had informed its readers about Sheehan's contradictions, and ran columns that unconvincingly tried to reconcile Sheehan's varying versions. But even the Washington Post — no bastion of the fabled vast right-wing conspiracy — saw discrepancies between Sheehan's former and current descriptions of her meeting with the president. Lending credence to Sheehan's earlier positive account, Newsweek has reported that families in similar meetings have been impressed by Bush's "emotionalism and his sincerity." Inclusion of that fact would certainly have changed the tone of any story about Sheehan in The Times. Sheehan's changing accounts of her meeting with Bush are relevant to understanding the president's decision not to meet with her again. So are her descriptions of the president in a Dallas speech reported by leftist newsletter Counterpunch as a "lying bastard," a "maniac" and the leader of a "destructive neocon cabal." In an article for CommonDreams.org, she called that supposed cabal "the "biggest terrorist outfit in the world."

She also has turned her son's death into a tax protest, refusing to pay her income taxes for 2004, the year her son died, reportedly saying in the Dallas speech: "You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a penny." Sheehan's use of such inflammatory rhetoric sheds light on why Bush likely sees little upside in a public confrontation with her. But you would never know about these statements from reading The Times' news pages.

Nor would you learn that Casey Sheehan reenlisted after the war started. And only The Times' April 2004 obituary for the 24-year-old Army specialist noted that he bravely volunteered for the rescue mission in which he was killed by terrorists.

Likewise, while The Times reported that Cindy's husband, Patrick Sheehan, has filed for divorce — which may or may not pertain to her recent activities — it has not mentioned that other members of Sheehan's family have clearly distanced themselves from her protest, as reported in the San Jose Mercury News.

Of course, hundreds of mothers across the country also continue to support the war despite having lost their own sons in Iraq. These mothers have no less moral authority than Cindy Sheehan, but their views have been sorely lacking in The Times' unbalanced coverage of Sheehan's protest.

Also missing is the perspective of Iraqis who lost loved ones to the bloodthirsty reign of Saddam Hussein, during which 300,000 to 1 million civilians were slaughtered. An Iraqi named Mohammed at the blog Iraq the Model (iraqthemodel.blogspot.com) recently explained the importance of that fact, in a moving message addressed to Sheehan: "Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it every day on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours. Our fellow countrymen and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs….

"I ask you in the name of God or whatever you believe in; do not waste your son's blood."

Sheehan probably would gain more from a single meeting with Mohammed than a second meeting with Bush. Times readers also would benefit from occasional exposure to perspectives such as Mohammed's — as well as the missing facts about Sheehan's antiwar activism.

But in its apparent zeal to portray Sheehan as the Rosa Parks of the antiwar movement, the Los Angeles Times has omitted facts and perspectives that might undercut her message or explain the president's reluctance to meet with her again.

Rational people can disagree whether the war in Iraq is justified. But a newspaper's job is to report all relevant facts and present different perspectives, not just those that suit one particular viewpoint.

By that measure, The Times has woefully failed its readers with its one-sided coverage of the Cindy Sheehan story.
Great column. Read it all.

The L.A. Times has been disgraceful in its coverage of the Cindy Sheehan spectacle. Unfortunately, it is not alone in the mainstream media. However, I will at least give it credit for allowing some criticism of its coverage to grace its pages.

San Francisco Shows Support For The Military...Errr, Maybe not.

The San Francisco City Council has refused to allow the U.S.S. Iowa a home in San Francisco's maritime museum:

The USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Teheran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later, suffered one of the nation's most deadly military accidents.

Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific. Instead, it appears that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's annual asparagus festival.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home. But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.

"If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

Feinstein called it a "very petty decision." "This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in," Feinstein said.

San Francisco's maritime museum already has one military vessel _ the USS Pampanito, an attack submarine that sank six Japanese ships during World War II and has about 110,000 visitors a year.

This is completely asinine. I cannot imagine a more misguided attempt to protest the Iraq war than to boycott the U.S.S. Iowa. The U.S.S. Iowa did not even fight in the invasion of Iraq.

Moreover, the boycott does nothing but dishonor the many veterans who served on the U.S.S. Iowa. These brave men, who served on this historic battleship, fought and died to protect the United States throughout 3 wars and other conflicts.
Of course, I am sure that the supervisors "support" our troops. I wouldn't dare question their patriotism. [sarcasm intended]

GOP Blogger is an excellent resource to find contact information for the San Francisco supervisors.

For more, see Don Surber'sblog, Classic Values, Aarrgghhh, Random Responses,Penraker, Almost A Democrat, A Dose of Common Sense, North Dallas Thirty, andAnnika's Journal,

Christoper Hitchens on Cindy Sheehan - Part II

When are the bureau chiefs of our newspapers and networks going to snap out of their own vacation-induced trances and send some grown-up correspondents down to Crawford, Texas? For weeks now, Cindy Sheehan has not been asked a single question that is any tougher than "How does it feel?" The media have been acting as her megaphone. After Slate published her real opinions on politics (a weird confection of pacifism with paranoid anti-Zionism) last Monday, she was eventually asked about her statement that her son Casey had been killed in a war for Israel, and she denied ever having made it. So, we must now say that, as well as being a vulgar producer of her own spectacle, and an embarrassment to her family, Cindy Sheehan is at best a shifty fantasist.

After Slate published an extract from a letter that she wrote last March to ABC Nightline, Anderson Cooper of CNN asked her about the anti-Israel remarks the letter contained. She denied making them and proceeded in her blog to assert that someone had gotten hold of her original letter and somehow doctored it. This dark and murky allegation—evincing further paranoia on her part—has been easily and convincingly refuted, as can be seen in this sidebar. Cindy Sheehan, not content with echoing the Bin-Ladenist line that the president is the real "terrorist" and that he is the tool of a Jewish cabal, has dug a pit of falsehood around her own wild story....

What do these people imagine that they are demanding? Would they like a referendum to be held, among the relatives of the fallen in Iraq, to determine the future conduct of the war? I think I can promise them that they would heavily lose such a vote. But what if the right wing were also to demand such a vote and the "absolute moral authority" that supposedly goes with it?...

Then there is the question of humanitarian or pacifist emotion. Some have perhaps been drawn to "Camp Casey" out of reverence for life. Their demand, however, is an immediate coalition withdrawal from Iraq. Have they seriously asked themselves how humane the consequences of that would be? The news of a pullout would put a wolfish grin on the faces of the "al-Qaida in Mesopotamia" brigade, as Mr. Zarqawi's force has named itself in order to resolve all doubt. Every effort would be made to detonate every available car-bomb and mine, so as to claim the withdrawal of coalition forces as a military victory for jihad. I can quite understand Ms. Sheehan's misery at the thought of her son being killed on some desolate road. But will she be on hand to console the parents whose sons are shot in the back while being ordered to surrender and withdraw?

I hope I don't insult the intelligent readers of this magazine if I point out what the consequences of such a capitulation would be for the people of Iraq. Paint your own mental picture of a country that was already almost beyond rescue in 2003, as it is handed back to an alliance of homicidal Baathists and Bin-Ladenists. Comfort yourself, if that's the way you think, with the idea that such people are only nasty because Bush made them so. Intone the Sheehan mantra—repeated this very week—that terrorism is no problem because after all Bush is the leading terrorist in the world. See if that cheers you up. Try it on your friends. Live with it, if you are ready to live with the consequences of what you desire.

This is an argument, about a real war, that deserves moral seriousness on all sides. Flippancy and light-mindedness have no place. Cindy Sheehan's cheerleader Michael Moore has compared the "insurgents" in Iraq to the American minutemen and Founding Fathers. Do I taunt him for not volunteering to fight himself in such a noble cause? Of course I do not. That would be a low and sly blow. Do I say that he is spouting fascistic nonsense? Of course I do. Is Cindy Sheehan exempt from any verdict on her wacko opinions because of her bereavement? I would say that she is not. Has she been led into a false position by eager cynics who have sacrificed nothing and who would happily surrender unconditionally to the worst enemy that currently faces civilization? That's for her to clarify. While she ponders, she should forgo prayer, stay in California, and end her protest.

Read it all.

Mark Steyn on Cindy Sheehan

Mark Steyn has another great column about Cindy Sheehan:

They're not children in Iraq; they're grown-ups who made their own decision to join the military. That seems to be difficult for the left to grasp. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing.

I get many e-mails from soldiers in Iraq, and they sound a lot more grown-up than most Ivy League professors and certainly than Maureen Dowd, who writes like she's auditioning for a minor supporting role in ''Sex And The City.''

The infantilization of the military promoted by the left is deeply insulting to America's warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd's purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that "of course" they "support our troops," because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.

I resisted writing about "Mother Sheehan" (as one leftie has proposed designating her), as it seemed obvious that she was at best a little unhinged by grief and at worst mentally ill. It's one thing to mourn a son's death and even to question the cause for which he died, but quite another to roar that he was "murdered by the Bush crime family."

Read it all.
We no longer have a draft. Every member of the military chose to enter military service voluntarily. It would be comical to suggest that a person, who joins the military, does not understand that by enlisting, he or she may end up serving in a military conflict. It is in their job description. It is what they are told that they will be training for... It is why they learn how to fire weapons.
Our military personnel know and understand the risks involved in their chosen profession. Yet, they continue to enlist and re-enlist (e.g., Casey Sheehan re-enlisted on his own volition even knowing that he might be sent to Iraq). It is because these people believe in their country and their mission.

August 19, 2005

Democrats Fail To Capitalize on Bush's Drop In Approval Ratings

The Democrats are not capitalizing on Bush's drop in approval ratings:
Democrats hoped they would be scoring political points in this year's election cycle as a result of increasing terrorist violence in Iraq and skyrocketing gasoline prices that have combined to send President Bush's job-approval ratings plunging into the low 40s. But things are not turning out as they hoped. The Democrats are beset by internal division over the lack of an agenda, carping from liberals who say party leaders are not aggressive enough in challenging Mr. Bush's nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court, bitterness among abortion rights activists after criticism by Democratic leaders that forced them to pull a TV advertisement attacking Judge Roberts, and complaints from pollsters that they have no coherent message to take into the 2006 elections.

Independent pollster John Zogby says that although Mr. Bush is not doing well in the polls, the Democrats aren't doing any better. "The Democrats aren't scoring points in terms of landing any significant punches on Bush or in terms of saying anything meaningful to the American people," Mr. Zogby said.

In a slap at his party, Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg said earlier this month that his surveys show that "one of the biggest doubts about Democrats is that they don't stand for anything." ...

Eager to show that they can be competitive in congressional races, Democrats are pointing to Paul Hackett, who received 48 percent of the vote in the Aug. 2 special House contest in Ohio's heavily Republican 2nd District. But analyst Stuart Rothenberg says Democrats have exaggerated the significance of the race, which Republican Jean Schmidt won. "Hackett's race may well be an aberration rather than a model for the future," he wrote in Roll Call. "Few serious GOP candidates next year will run efforts as inept as Schmidt's." Other analysts agree. "Democrats dream of a 2006 turnaround, but the odds against it are daunting," Congressional Quarterly said this month in a state-by-state review of next year's contests.
It is absolutely amazing to me that the Democrats have been unable to capitalize on the negative news over the past couple months coming out of Iraq or rising gas prices. Of course, maybe I shouldn't be suprised as the only thing that they really have stood for over the past year was being anti-Bush. They need an agenda that they can sell (i.e., no more insane Bush hatred) and they need it fast.They have been fairly reactionary and have offered very little in the way of policy initiatives.

The Republicans must resist the urge to play down to their obviously inept competition. From a Republican perspective, the Bush administration has done a very poor job in communicating our mission and our progress in Iraq (even though the media is fairly unfriendly - there are ways to get the word out). The Bush administration needs a new energy policy with more emphasis on alternative fuels and hybrids.

Daily Kos Insinuates That Joe Scarborough Is A Murderer

Via Little Green Footballs:


"Markos Moulitsas “Screw Them” Zuniga is accusing MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murder: Daily Kos: FL-Sen: Scarborough asked to challenge Harris."

Read his post. Keep in mind that the official cause of death was heart failure, Joe Scarborough has never been named as a suspect and that he has no other connection to the dead congressional aide other than it was his congressional aide and that she died while in his Florida office.

Pretty weak in my book. There is no need to slander Joe Scarborough by insinuating that he had any connection with the death. If the investigation leads that way, fine...then talk about it but don't present it in such a manner that assumes he was involved or covered up a murder.

The comments are priceless examples of how unhinged many on the left have become.

Senator Kennedy on Judge Roberts

Senator Ted Kennedy has a column in the Washington Post today on why Judge Roberts' views matter. Primarily, he is arguing for the release of certain memoranda Judge Roberts prepared while advising the White House as Deputy Solicitor General. Senator Kennedy spends about 9 paragraphs questioning Judge Roberts' positions on several issues (from the Voting Rights Act to Abortion) and ends with this plea:

No one has an automatic right to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. A nominee to the high court must first demonstrate that he has a core commitment to constitutional rights and liberties. He must show that he is in the mainstream of modern judicial thought and that he would not use an ideologically motivated interpretation of our Constitution or laws to reverse the hard-fought gains we have made to make this nation more just. Judge Roberts's early record raises serious questions about his commitment to core constitutional values, and the Senate must have the requested information to fully and faithfully execute its constitutional obligation.

No, Senator Kennedy. You want the memoranda so that you can smear Judge Roberts by taking something, which he wrote years ago on a particular matter while he was serving as an advocate for a Republican administration, completely out of context. It is more than evident that Senator Kennedy has already made up his mind as to whether he will vote for Judge Roberts (especially after reading this piece). The only problem is that he doesn't have enough votes or public support to stop the nomination from being confirmed.

The "Moral Authority" of Cindy Sheehan

Jonathan Chait of the L.A. Times has an interesting piece on Cindy Sheehan and the "Moral Authority" claims being made by those arguing her case. I am no longer a fan of Jonathan Chait, who makes his visceral hatred for George Bush and all things Republican no secret in his writing. However, I will grudgingly admit that, on this occasion, he does have a point:

The left seems to be embracing the notion of moral authority in part as a tactical response to the right. For years, conservatives have said or implied that if you criticize a war, you hate the soldiers. During the Clinton years, conservatives insisted that the president lacked "moral authority" to send troops into battle because he had avoided the draft as a youth or, later, because he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

So adopting veterans or their mourning parents as spokesmen is an understandable counter-tactic. It was a major part of the rationale behind John Kerry's candidacy. The trouble is, plenty of liberals have come to believe their own bleatings about moral authority. Liberal blogs are filled with attacks on "chicken hawk" conservatives who support the war but never served in the military. A recent story in the antiwar magazine Nation attacked my New Republic editor, Peter Beinart, a supporter of the Iraq war, for having "no national security experience," as if Nation editors routinely served in the Marine Corps.

The silliness of this argument is obvious. There are parents of dead soldiers on both sides. Conservatives have begun trotting out their own this week. What does this tell us about the virtues or flaws of the war? Nothing.

Or maybe liberals think that having served in war, or losing a loved one in war, gives you standing to oppose wars but not to support them. The trouble is, any war, no matter how justified, has a war hero or relative who opposes it.

Sheehan also criticizes the Afghanistan war. One of the most common (and strongest) liberal indictments of the Iraq war is that it diverted troops that could have been deployed against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Are liberals who make that case, yet failed to enlist themselves, chicken hawks too?

When the Cindy Sheehan spectacle started, it was not uncommon for Maureen Dowd and other liberal commentators to try to deflect all criticism of Ms. Sheehan's tactics or her radical views by claiming that she alone had the moral authority to speak on the war because she lost a loved one in the war. It was a very stupid argument. It was only inevitable that many families of servicemen, who do not agree with Ms. Sheehan's views and support the mission that their loved ones died for, would come forward to challenge Ms. Sheehan.

The real cynical side of me wonders if Jonathan Chait would have written this column and challenged the "Moral Authority" argument if the pro-war family members of fallen soldiers had not come forward. However, in this case, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Democrats Failing As An Opposition Party

David Ignatius weighs in:

This should be the Democrats' moment: The Bush administration is caught in an increasingly unpopular war; its plan to revamp Social Security is fading into oblivion; its deputy chief of staff is facing a grand jury probe. Though the Republicans control both houses of Congress as well as the White House, they seem to be suffering from political and intellectual exhaustion. They are better at slash-and-burn campaigning than governing.

So where are the Democrats amid this GOP disarray? Frankly, they are nowhere. They are failing utterly in the role of an opposition party, which is to provide a coherent alternative account of how the nation might solve its problems. Rather than lead a responsible examination of America's strategy for Iraq, they have handed off the debate to a distraught mother who is grieving for her lost son. Rather than address the nation's long-term fiscal problems, they have decided to play politics and let President Bush squirm on the hook of his unpopular plan to create private Social Security accounts.

Because they lack coherent plans for how to govern the country, the Democrats have become captive of the most shrill voices in the party, who seem motivated these days mainly by visceral dislike of George W. Bush. Sorry, folks, but loathing is not a strategy -- especially when much of the country finds the object of your loathing a likable guy.

Good to know that I am not the only one that has noticed.

The Left Needs To Stop the Whining

From Scott Randolph:


I actually felt myself become a republican today. It was around 10am, when I read the latest update of the Cindy Sheehan saga in CNN.com. I then shot over to read some blogs about it, and perused the comments in some of them, which was nothing but a long series of petty (albeit entertaining) partisan bickering.

Then it happened. The good little democrat in me tied the little noose around his neck and jumped off the stool. He just couldn’t take it anymore.

Take what? The whining. The constant whining by the extreme left about the reasons for war, the incompetence of this administration, and how we’ve all been lied to, and how we should pull out of Iraq immediately, because, *gulp* our soldiers were in danger.

Guess what folks….they signed up to join the Army, not the boy scouts. Anytime your orientation to a new job involves an automatic weapon, you should be smart enough to figure out there’s danger involved. I actually read some people’s comments about many of the soldiers over there being naive….they weren’t expecting to go to war, so, they should be allowed to go home. Wow.

Soldiers know, when they enlist, that it is entirely possible they will be shipped out and never come home. It’s part of the job. The fact that people still walk in to recruiters’ offices and sign that piece of paper make them heroes. To imply that they are simple kids who didn’t know what they were getting into, or even worse, that they died for no reason, or an immoral reason, does a horrible thing. It strips their sacrifice of the honor that it deserves. Even though those folks sitting out there in the Texas fields claim to honor and support the soldiers, they obviously have been blinded by their own selfishness as to the real way to support them.

Because, long story short, we can’t end this war now. That would send the message that those bastardly little terrorists have won. It doesn’t matter if the adminstration told us the desert sand was made of gold, and we are going over there to collect it in little buckets to bring home, the concrete fact that we are at war doesn’t change. We are there, and we have a job to finish. We’ve toppled a regime that was dangerous not only to its own people, but also to the rest of the world. Now, we are there fighting the same terrorists we are fighting in Afghanistan. We’ve given liberty to millions of people, and we’re trying to help create a government, in an area that is very volatile, that will be a bastion of freedom and hope for an entire race of people. I hate the fact that our boys are getting killed over there, and I wish it didn’t have to happen.

But, it is, there’s nothing we can do about it, except for doing everything we can to offer support and hope to the folks fighting over there. Arguing and whining about the reasons we’re there, and the need to come home not only kills morale, but it is a complete waste of time.

August 18, 2005

Sad But True

Arnold Ahlert of the New York Post asks an intriguing question - what if Babe Ruth's career was covered the way that the media covers the war in Iraq?
August 18, 2005 -- HERE'S Babe Ruth's career — covered the way the mainstream media cover the war in Iraq:

A troubled child abandoned by his parents at the age of 7, Ruth was labelled "incorrigible" during his 12 years at St. Mary's Orphanage. His first marriage to waitress Helen Woodford was a failure, compounded by her tragic death in a house fire in 1929.

In his final years, Ruth's dreams of becoming a major league manager were dashed over and over again. After his retirement from baseball, he was reduced to giving talks on radio, at orphanges and in hospitals, and shilling U.S. War Bonds during a conflict in Europe.

Ruth's 22-year career in baseball was punctuated with stories of binge eating and bouts of alcoholism. He died in 1948, after a two-year battle with throat cancer — no doubt the result of his abusive lifesytle.

His lifetime batting average was .342, a 65 percent failure rate at the plate.

Think all news out of Iraq is bad? Contrary to what you may think, U.S. troops are having both military and civil successes. Read this on a weekly basis.

Cindy Sheehan Leaves Crawford

Cindy Sheehan has evidently left Crawford

The grieving woman who started an anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch nearly two weeks ago left the camp Thursday after learning her mother had had a stroke, but she told supporters the protest would go on. Cindy Sheehan told reporters she had just received the phone call and was leaving immediately to be with her 74-year-old mother at a Los Angeles hospital. "I'll be back as soon as possible if it's possible," she said. After hugging some of her supporters, Sheehan and her sister, Deedee Miller, got in a van and left for the Waco airport about 20 miles away. Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey died in Iraq, said the makeshift campsite off the road leading to Bush's ranch would continue.

The camp has grown to more than 100 people, including many relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq. After Sheehan left, dozens of the demonstrators gathered under a canopy to pray for her mother.

Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., had vowed to remain at the camp until Bush met with her or until his monthlong vacation ended.

Hopefully, her mother pulls through.

Now, hopefully, we can get back to the real news...

Lileks on Cindy Sheehan

James Lileks takes issue with argument that it is inappropriate to criticize Cindy Sheehan:

Might as well get it out of the way: This is a cruel, false, chicken-hearted attempt to smear Cindy Sheehan, the protesting mother who lost a son in Iraq.That's not the intent, but that's how some will respond. Some people think that any time you argue back, you're Stifling Dissent. For them, merely discussing Ms. Sheehan's views is the rhetorical equivalent of sending her to Abu Ghraib.

Just for the record, then: She has the right to her opinions, she certainly has the right to her grief, and she has the right to say provocative things. She even has the right to ask for a second conference with the president in order to accuse him of killing her son. This is not about that. No one is suggesting she be stripped of the First Amendment and forced to sing patriotic Irving Berlin tunes.

Now that the preambles are done, a question: Is anything she says subject to criticism at all?

Your first response might be a wince and a shrug: Who are we to judge, the woman's clearly in pain, best to leave it be, please change the channel. But if she wants to be a spokesman for the anti-war cause, is it beyond the pale to examine her remarks? If she blames the war on, say, Zionist fiends, ought not one wonder why the anti-war crowd seems deaf or indifferent to the loathsome underpinnings of her remarks? Perhaps they agree with her when she says this is a war for Israel. David Duke certainly does.

From my standpoint, it is wholly appropriate to question Ms. Sheehan. She has become the "voice" of the anti-war movement and has been embraced by all anti-war and Democratic advocacy groups. She has used her personal tragedy to rally support for her cause, to slander her political enemies, and to shield herself from the repercussions of some very radical and disturbing views. She may be a grieving mother, but she made the conscious decision to enter into the political world.

Lileks has more:

See Byron York's National Review account, "Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything, and we would already be a fascist state," Sheehan said. "Our government is run by one party, every level, and the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government." It seems churlish to point out that the mainstream media -- you know, the papers and networks that relentlessly hype Iraqi progress and downplay casualties -- have helped make her a celebrity. It would be obvious to note that we went to war to depose an actual fascist state.

But she is right about one thing: The Internet is helpful. Thanks to the Web, we know that Sheehan spoke at a rally at San Francisco State University in April. It wasn't a Mothers Against Pre-emptive War With Ambivalent U.N. Approval meeting. It was a rally for a lawyer convicted of aiding Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the terrorist connected with the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. There's a transcript [here].

"The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush," Sheehan began. After calling for Bush's impeachment and making a demand that Bush send his "two little party animal girls" to war, she makes this nuanced assessment: "What they're saying, too, is like, it's OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons. ... It's OK for Israel to occupy Palestine, ... for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it's not OK for Syria to be in Lebanon. They're a bunch of (expletive) hypocrites."

The hard left in America needs to realize a bald, cruel fact: Anyone who sees no moral distinction between Israel and the mullahs of Iran, or sees the U.S. attempt to set up a constitutional republic in Iraq as equivalent to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, suffers from incurable moral cretinism. The more the fervent anti-war base embraces these ideas, the more they ensure that no one will trust the left with national security. Ever.

August 17, 2005

Democrats: Blame Israel

You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism.”
-- Cindy Sheehan, anti-war protestor in Crawford.

The front page of just about every newspaper this weekend noted the anti-war protest of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq. The Democrats have jumped on board Ms. Sheehan’s protest – casting her and her message as heroic examples for the rest of the nation.

She has been heralded by Democrats such as Joe Trippi, campaign manager for Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean’s campaign for President, Michael Moore, and organizations such as Democrats.com, MoveOn.org, True Majority, and Democracy for America.

While Democrats are busy making Cindy Sheehan their spokesman and avatar of their views, we see her as yet another example of how critics of Israel within the Democratic Party have taken control of the party's agenda.

If Cindy Sheehan’s ideas are what the Democrats have to offer, then more and more American Jews will continue to see that there is no place for them in the Democratic Party.

Read it all. As a Jew, who made the party switch (in large part due to the Democrats continued affiliation with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups and people), I am living proof.

Opinions on Cindy Sheehan

The following is a good collection of opinions on the Cindy Sheehan spectacle

"Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Casey Sheehan, an American soldier who was killed in Iraq…." That's the sentence Cindy Sheehan and her increasingly lugubrious PR machine wants every news story about her to begin with. Nobody likes the idea of criticizing a woman who's lost her son in such circumstances. The hope has been that the high wall of Mrs. Sheehan's "moral authority" will allow her to say whatever she pleases and that nobody will say boo about it for fear of seeming insensitive to what must be unimaginable anguish. Still, even some of her supporters must realize that her anguish has caused her to find meaning in a wildly partisan, orchestrated publicity stunt. What's interesting, to me at least, is that Mrs. Sheehan represents simply the latest installment in a long, nasty, desperate ideological campaign — and one that demonstrates the logical limits of identity politics....Maureen Dowd wrote of Sheehan in The New York Times this week that "the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute." This is either a sincere but meaningless platitude or it's a charge made in grotesquely bad faith. Surely Dowd recognizes that there are a great many mothers of fallen soldiers who believe the war was worthwhile. Is their moral authority absolute, too? If so, then moral authority can't really be very relevant to public debates. Or does Ms. Dowd claim that only those moms-of-the-fallen who say things critical of George Bush have absolute moral authority? If that's the case, does Dowd truly believe — as Sheehan seems to — that this war was fought to line the pockets of Texas oilmen and to serve the interests of a treasonous Zionist cabal inside the United States? I think that's batty, and I'd need proof to believe it. Mrs. Sheehan's word isn't good enough for me on anything — save the fact that she loved her son.

James Lileks:
It finally struck me tonight what has come to gall me most about the ghoulish mummery of the moveon.org et al types who’ve glommed on to this woman. Besides the infantilization of the soldier, who was not a man acting of his own free will but a child seduced by American myths spoonfed to his gaping maw by his mother. Besides the thick-headed bullet-proof talking points about shifting rationales, besides the dunderheaded believe that the Iraqi people about whom they purport to care so much would be better if the US bugged out, besides the gleeful desire to see Bush get a black eye even if it made America look tired and timorous, a weak horse with a sagging spine. Besides all that. Imagine if she was a pissed-off mom who wanted to meet with Bush to demand that he talk to her about her plans to help the troops – Care packages from Soldier’s Angels, more PR about their accomplishments, tax breaks for families whose breadwinners have been deployed, more post-service benefits, better VA funding. You could put together quite a list of demands, and if she was sufficiently aggravated with the President, the press would be just as happy to cover her. After all, it’s the fact that he doesn’t meet with her that keeps this story alive, no? She probably would have as much support from the pull-out organizations; they’d love to show how much they support the troops, after all. But no. No, she yammers on about oil and Israel. Big help, she is. Big help.
From James Taranto:
"The mainstream media have largely ignored Sheehan's crackpot views, and not only--perhaps not even primarily--for ideological reasons. Members of the White House press corps find the annual sojourn to Crawford deathly dull. They need something to do; they want bylines--and "heartbroken everymom" makes for a much more compelling story than "extremist hatemonger." The journalists will soon move on, and her political allies may do so as well. For them she is a mere instrument. The White House press corps will discard her as soon as they return to Washington where there's real news going on. Serious opponents of the war in Iraq will cast her aside if her foul statements make her an embarrassment. When that happens, we can only hope that someone still cares about Cindy Sheehan--not as a story or a symbol, but as a human being."
More from James Taranto at Opinion Journal:

And Cindy Sheehan does not actually speak for Gold Star Mothers, most of whom remember their children as heroes, not dupes; and hardly any of whom agree with Sheehan that "this country is not worth dying for."Sheehanoia is a sign of the desperation, not the strength, of the left in America. Publicity stunts are no substitute for an actual political program. Joan Walsh writes in Salon: "Even as Sheehan's public relations victories give people reason to be optimistic about the administration's unraveling in Iraq, liberals and war opponents have to be careful not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory." Rooting for "the administration's unraveling in Iraq"--that is, for America's defeat in the central antiterror battleground--is not what we'd call a political program.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Sheehan's tale has been her co-option by the far Left, but that part of the story has been largely ignored by the mainstream press. James Taranto, editor of OpinionJournal.com, this week unearthed comments Sheehan made at an anti-war rally at San Francisco State University in April: "I'm going all over the country telling moms: 'This country is not worth dying for.' If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through . . ." Were these just the ravings of a distraught mother, who in the same speech called President Bush a terrorist and accused the United States of using nuclear weapons in Iraq? Sheehan made her odd remarks at a rally for attorney Lynne Stewart, who represented the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and was convicted earlier this year of providing material support for terrorism when she acted as a conduit for terrorist instructions from her client Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. Interestingly, of the journalists who have canonized Sheehan, none has seen fit to report her earlier remarks or her advocacy on behalf of Stewart. The media seem desperate for a vibrant, Vietnam-style anti-war movement in the United States. But so far, not even America's college students are obliging. Certainly large numbers of Americans have misgivings about the war in Iraq, but with an all-volunteer military, the young don't have the same impetus to take to the streets in protest. More importantly, most Americans still recall those scenes of the World Trade Center collapsing and the Pentagon in flames. Perhaps Mrs. Sheehan truly believes the Bush administration and its "neo-con" — read pro-Israel — allies orchestrated the horrific deaths of 3,000 Americans in order to justify going to war with Iraq, but if so, she's gone mad. More likely, she's spouting the lies fed her by conspiracy theorists who hate America and Israel in equal amounts. But the public, who've been treated to a sanitized version of Cindy Sheehan's story, won't ever learn that by reading the front pages of the nation's leading newspapers.

Michael Graham has an excellent column:

I cannot, for example, join the many critics who dismiss Ms. Sheehan an irrational "Moveon.org left-winger." Is it true that she parrots the looniest of left-wing conspiracy theories, that she wants to meet with the president so he can "tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East?" Well, yes. And, yes, it would be very easy to challenge her with the obvious question "If the war was for oil, then why don't we have it? Why are we paying $2.50 a gallon for gas?" But I'm not the person to do that.

Is it true that, as some charge, she's a knee-jerk Bush basher exploiting her personal tragedy to make outrageous charges against the president? OK, so calling President Bush a "murderer" and "That lying bas****" might, technically speaking, be viewed as bashing. So, too, her comments that: "My first born was murdered… Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel…my son, my family, this nation and this world were betrayed by George Bush." So she's not going to be a guest speaker at the Israeli Embassy any time soon… And speaking of Israel, some right-wingers have suggested that there might be a hint of anti-Semitism in Ms. Sheehan's obsession with "neo-conservatives" (liberal for "Jews") at the Project for a New American Century. They sense bigotry in her repeated references to "George Bush and his cabal of neocons" and her demands that the president "get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine." But I'm not going to call Cindy Sheehan an anti-Semite, even if (as the New York Sun reports) the webpage supporting her mission, Crawford Peace House, includes a photo depicting the entire state of Israel as "Palestine."

Edmund Morris of the New York Times:

CINDY Sheehan's attempt to have President Bush tell her - again - how sorry he is about the death of her son in Iraq is escalating into a protest more political than personal. As such, it is a legitimate expression of antiwar sentiment. But the individual cry for attention at the heart of it - "Mr. President, feel my pain!" - is misguided. Ms. Sheehan cannot expect a commander in chief to emote on demand...Maybe one day some such document will reveal what President Bush really feels about his own "honored dead." For the meantime, he is our elected president, with the business of a nation to run. Ms. Sheehan has gotten more time with him than most grieving mothers, and if she felt, during those unsatisfactory minutes, that there was a glass wall around him, it unfortunately comes with the job. A president has to protect himself from emotional predators, or he'd be sucked dry within a week of taking office.

Vodkapundit:
I don't begrudge Sheehan her grief. Hell, no.But when she starts talking about getting "Israel out of Palestine," I have to wonder: Who brainwashed her? Sheehan said those words just days, hours really, before Israel began its painful and bloody pullout from the Gaza Strip. Later, Israel will abandon settlements in the West Bank, too. And let's not forget that ever since the Oslo Accords, large swaths of the West Bank have been in Palestinian hands. So when Sheehan talks about Israel getting out of Palestine, I can't help but think that she means, "Let's get six million Jews on planes bound for Miami, pronto." Who brainwashed this woman? If six million Jews must be displaced in a modern diaspora to assuage her grief… well then, who are the Mass Media to question her? Have you seen one, just one, non-blog juxtaposition of Sheehan's demands on Israel, with the self-inflicted violence Israel is suffering today? What Sheehan demands, Ariel Sharon is already trying to deliver - at a price paid in lost blood and political support. Who brainwashed Cindy Sheehan? What made her snap? Why is she taking out her excusable rage on a people who have nothing to do with her grief? Sheehan's grief over the loss of her son has apparently turned into a hatred of All Things Western. She says she won't pay the taxes President Bush already reduced for her. She seems to think that Israel – not radical Islamists – are to blame for her deaths. She says that this war is about cheap oil, even as we pay ever-higher prices for light, sweet crude.
See this post and this post on Michelle Malkin's blog for more coverage on the spectacle.

From Dean's World:

Cindy Sheehan has asked for attention, in a world where her free speech is as protected as ours. So far as I am concerned, this has nothing to do with "defending the President" (he's a big boy, he can take care of himself) and everything to do with countering the horrible fascist propaganda she's been spouting--about how our people over there are just murdering and killing, about how those who died did so for nothing, and so on. Those of us who've got family and friends over there have a right to respond to the things Sheehan is saying. She's not a martyr--she's a person who suffered a horrible loss but instead of respecting her son's choices she's trying to use his death in a cause he almost certainly wouldn't agree with, and that most of her family doesn't agree with. It's not mean or nasty to point this out, and neither is it mean and nasty to point to the horrible people she's snuggling up with and accepting help from.