It’s over. It’s all over. Cindy Sheehan is frustrated with the Democrats over their inability to stop the war, and that’s certainly understandable if you believe that the best way to conclude the Iraq project is to leave now and not worry about the consequences. She should have expected this. The Democrats are far more pragmatic about Iraq in their actions than they are in their rhetoric, and there’s no way that they could have done what Sheehan wanted them to do. There was some hope of it when Democrats won the majority back, but now it’s clear to the anti-war left that they will be disappointed with the Democrats (at least for now).
Here’s part of what she said:
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.
Camp Casey has served its purpose. Its for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford , Texas ? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.
This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This is not my “Checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.
Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I cant make you be that country unless you want it.
The Austin-American Statemen sums up the Sheehan legacy here:
Sheehan is right when she says more Americans seem to care about who becomes the next American Idol than how many troops will die this week in Iraq. But her intemperate resignation missive is emblematic of why the peace movement she represented hasn’t gained purchase in a nation that opposes the war in Iraq, is dismayed with Congress and disapproves of President Bush.
Unlike some other movement leaders, Sheehan expected Americans to agree with her because she cared so deeply. To agree with her because she sacrificed so much and worked so hard. She may have expected a sprint but she found herself in a marathon. In American life, big victories seldom come quickly or easily.
In the end, Sheehan was undone not by her enemies but by her most radical supporters.
What started out as a quest by a heartbroken mother to find answers for her son Casey’s death in Iraq turned into something else entirely. While many Americans could sympathize with Sheehan and the pain she was feeling, her association with radical leftists such as Code Pink and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez damaged her credibility as a spokesperson for the anti-war movement. She’s trying to paint herself as some kind of sacrificial lamb for the anti-war cause, and it’s just not an accurate description of the way Sheehan handled the platform that she was given. She enjoyed the spotlight a little too much. She said crazy things that the media actually repeated in print or on television.
With responsibility comes accountability, and Cindy Sheehan refused to accept either for her role in derailing the anti-war bandwagon and making the debate all about her. Americans can oppose the war in Iraq while still believing that America is a positive force in the world, but this isn’t what Sheehan believes. She believes most of the trouble in the world is caused by the United States. That’s my main problem with her, and that’s also not a popular message with most Americans. I hope that Cindy Sheehan finds peace in her life, even though we disagree on the war and her choice of friends, but I have a feeling that this won’t be the last we hear from her.