Shelley Lewis: Cindy Sheehan didn't fail her son Casey, we all did.
In a Dailykos diary entitled "Good Riddance Attention Whore" Cindy Sheehan announces that she is going home, resigning, as she puts it, from the role of "the face of the American anti-war movement." She is obviously exhausted, embittered, frustrated, and angry, saying that being called "an attention whore" is one of the milder rebukes she's faced. The Iraq funding bill was the last straw for her. Like so many other anti-war activists, she felt betrayed by the Democrats who supported the bill; after the vote she publicly quit the party.
On Memorial Day, (her dead son Casey was born on Memorial day in 1979), she wrote:
"I am demonized because I don't see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person's heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?" (continued…)
And she added this:
"The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most."
For what it's worth, Cindy, you didn't fail Casey. We all did–his fellow citizens who didn't do enough to prevent a shameful, needless war, and the politicians who won't do what it takes now to stop it.
We owe a huge debt to Cindy Sheehan, who was as brave in her own way as her son Casey was. Even now, as she leaves the fray, she's demonized by the right wing nutblogs.
Meanwhile, our government, and the Iraqis' leaders, have clearly decided that the best way to make certain we Americans get the full story about how well things are going in Iraq is to decree that we don't see its failures. No photos of bombings, no photos of the wounded (without their prior consent in writing) and, of course, no photos of flag draped coffins.
The war grinds on, and grinds up the lives of so many good people.
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