The Cindy Sheehan Saga: Perilous Times
Vol: 58 Issue: 11 Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Cindy Sheehan made a trip to Fort Erie last month to rally the ‘troops’ — specifically, American troops who deserted and fled to Canada. Fort Erie is directly across the border from Buffalo, New York, and, coincidentally, my home town.
The Iraq War deserters are trying to make a case for political asylum by offering the same arguments as did their ideological fathers of a generation ago, but so far Canada has refused to grant them asylum.
About 20 former U.S. soldiers, referred to as ‘war resisters’, have applied for refugee status in Canada. Organizers estimated there may be as many as 200 soldiers in the country who have not yet sought formal protection.
Like Cindy Sheehan’s son, Casey, they all volunteered for military service. They weren’t conscripted. They aren’t civilians opposing forced military conscription but deserters avoiding combat duty. Casey Sheehan would have been ashamed of them. Almost as ashamed as he would be of his mother.
Cindy Sheehan has made a career out of Casey’s death by making a mockery of the cause for which he died. It is hard to imagine anything more cynical than Sheehan’s comment in Fort Erie, through large crocodile tears; “I begged him not to go to Iraq. And I wish he was standing up here with these people because he didn’t want to go.” Translation: It isn’t about Casey. It’s about Cindy.
But Casey not only wanted to go to Iraq, Casey believed in everything his mother is using his sacrifice to tear down.
Casey Sheehan was an altar boy who became his Scout troop’s second Eagle Scout. When he was twenty years old, he volunteered for military service, enlisting in the Army. Sheehan was a Humvee mechanic with the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, with secondary training as a combat medic.
Here is Casey’s story.
On April 4th, 2004, al’Sadr’s Mahdi forces blocked roadways and bridges with burning tires, vehicles and trash. Visibility was less than 300 meters anywhere in the city. They began to attack American vehicles on patrol throughout Sadr City – some were protecting Shia worshipers (Holy Arbayeen) while others were escorting city government vehicles.
A battle raged across Sadr City. Insurgents assaulted American troops while looters and mobs formed and stormed through the streets. Word spread quickly across the American FOBs that there was trouble.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment were ambushed with RPGs and pinned down and dying. While fighting off an attack himself, the Commander of the 2/5th, LTC Volesky, called for help. A Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was formed of volunteers – their mission was to go out and rescue the American troops.
Casey Sheehan’s Sergeant asked for volunteers. Sheehan had just returned from Mass. After Sheehan volunteered once, the Sergeant asked Sheehan again if he wanted to go on the mission. According to many reports (and according to his own mother), Casey responded, “Where my Chief goes, I go.”
The QRF was launched. Not long after entering the Mahdi area, the QRF was channeled onto a dead-end street where the roofs were lined with snipers, RPGs, and even some militia throwing burning tires onto the vehicles. The Mahdi blocked the exit and let loose with everything they had.
Sheehan’s vehicle was hit with multiple RPGs and automatic-weapons fire.
Specialist Casey Sheehan and Corporal Forest J. Jostes were killed.
A second QRF was formed – all volunteers – to go rescue the first. Specialist Ahmed Cason was hit in the second QRF – but kept fighting until he bled to death.
Seven men died with Casey Sheehan on Palm Sunday, April 4th, 2004.
They were Spec. Robert R. Arsiaga, Spec. Ahmed Cason, Sgt. Yihjyh L. “Eddie” Chen, Spec. Stephen D. Hiller, Spec. Israel Garza, Cpl. Forest J. Jostes, and Sgt. Michael W. Mitchell.
If Casey’s mother’s campaign is successful, they will have died for nothing.
It is hard to say whether Cindy Sheehan is more of an opportunist or whether she is more the fool. I don’t know whether to feel contempt or sympathy, so I end up feeling something of both.
Notes the New York Post, “Sheehan has been posting on Michael Moore’s Web site, writing, “We have such a strong coalition of groups. GSFP, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and the Crawford Peace House. I talked with John Conyers today and he wrote a letter to George signed by about 18 other Congress members to request that he meet with me. I also talked to Maxine Waters tonight and she is probably going to be here tomorrow.”
It turns out that the Crawford Peace House Web site includes a photo depicting the entire state of Israel as “Palestine,” and it carries a link to a report that when Prime Minister Sharon visited Crawford, the “peace house” greeted him with an “800-foot-long banner containing all of the United Nations resolutions that Israel is in violation of.” The Crawford Peace House site also features a photo of Eugene Bird, who has suggested that Israeli intelligence was responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out all have representatives on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, an anti-war umbrella group. They share that distinction with the Communist Party USA. UPJ organized the march during the 2004 Republican Convention in New York, at which a New York Sun poll of 253 of the protesters found that fully 67% of those surveyed said they agreed with the statement “Iraqi attacks on American troops occupying Iraq are legitimate resistance.”
In other words, Sheehan’s “coalition” includes a lot of people who think the persons who killed her son were justified. So does Sheehan herself, although she doesn’t say so in so many words.
Sheehan cuts a pathetic figure, someone so desperate to stretch out the fifteen minutes of fame earned for her by her son that she makes a perfect pawn for the liberal left’s agenda of damaging the Bush administration by hurting America’s war effort.
Her own family issued a press statement, saying, “The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.
It was signed, “Casey Sheehan’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.”
The Cindy Sheehan saga, with all its twists and turns, her Machiavellian handlers, their agenda, the methods and their tactics, and especially the level of public support Sheehan enjoys, echo the Apostle Paul’s description of the social conditions as they will exist in the last days of the Church Age.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-7)