August 19, 2005

Anti-War Icons

I haven't written about Cindy Sheehan here yet, although I see that Susan Rose Francois wrote about her in the previous post. I've been reluctant to write about her because I'm hesitant to turn her into an anti-war icon -- I think the anti-war movement is about all of the American people, and about all of the troops and civilians who have lost their lives in the Iraq War, not just Cindy Sheehan or her lost son. I think she would even agree with that. So I'm reluctant to turn her into the anti-war icon, because I think that each American who is opposed to this war, each soldier who has lost his or her life, each Iraqi civilian who has died, is the icon of the anti-war movement. And I think that's how it should remain.

To illustrate my point, I would point out that Cindy Sheehan had to leave Crawford to tend to her mother, who recently had a stroke. We should all pray for Mrs. Sheehan's full recovery. Obviously, no one can blame Cindy Sheehan for leaving Crawford to go immediately to her mother -- but now that she's left Crawford, the remaining protesters at Crawford have been unable to hold the attention of the media and the rest of the nation. This has happened because, rather than the nation and subsequently the media viewing the protest at Crawford as a holistic event, they are viewing it through the lens of just one person: Cindy Sheehan, who has now left, and who may be unable to return despite her desire to do just that. That's what happens when anti-war icons can't be icons anymore; and that is very harmful to the anti-war movement as a whole. We must all be icons, and our ideas must be our foundation, not our leaders.

With that said, I do support the cause of Cindy Sheehan. I think we should withdraw from Iraq before anymore lives are lost, and specifically I think that President Bush should meet with her to answer her questions. It's the least he could do, since he committed her son to a war that now appears unjust to most Americans, to a war with an ambiguous purpose and an even more ambiguous end. She lost her son because President Bush committed him to this war, and now she deserves to hear honest answers from the President about why her son and so many others had to die. With that in mind, I'm posting the link to the Green Party Peace Action Committee's (GPAX) online petition to President Bush, asking him to meet with Cindy Sheehan. I hope all of our readers will sign the petition and stand up for Cindy Sheehan and all of the mothers who have lost children in the Iraq War, American mothers or Iraqi mothers.