August 18, 2005

Today's must read...

Remember what I said about wanting to post something about that vile Sheehan woman? Ronald Griffin says it for me, and far more eloquently than I ever could.

Mr. Griffin is the father of Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star, who was killed in a truck accident on a road between Mosul and Tikrit on May 30, 2003.

In today's WSJ, Mr. Griffin writes:

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan's plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives?

I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title.

Although we all walk the same sad road of sorrow and agony, we walk it as individuals with all the refreshing uniqueness of our own thoughts shaped in large measure by the life and death of our own fallen hero. Over the past few days I have reached out to other parents and loved ones of fallen heroes in an attempt to find out their reactions to all the attention Mrs. Sheehan has attracted. What emerges from those conversations is an empathy for Mrs. Sheehan's suffering but a fundamental disagreement with her politics.
Karen Long is the mother of Spc. Zachariah Long, who died with my son Kyle on May 30, 2003. Zack and Kyle were inseparable friends as only soldiers can be, and Karen and I have become inseparable friends since their deaths. Karen's view is that what Mrs. Sheehan is doing she has every right to do, but she is dishonoring all soldiers, including Karen's son, Zack. Karen cannot comprehend why Mrs. Sheehan cannot seem to come to grips with the idea that her own son, Casey, was a soldier like Zack who had a mission to complete. Karen will tell you over and over again that Zack is not here and no one, but no one will dishonor her son.

We refuse to allow Cindy Sheehan to speak for all of us. Instead, we ask you to learn the individual stories. They are glorious. Honor their memories.

Honor their service. Never dishonor them by giving in. They never did.

Read the whole thing.

(h/t The Lovely QOAE and Dean)

Posted by caltechgirl at August 18, 2005 05:05 PM | TrackBack

I have read both what Ms. Griffin wrote, along with what the media has reported that "that vile Sheehan woman" as you term her has said (with the typical accuracy, or should we rather say *inaccuracy* that the media typically has).

Why is one "vile" and the other not?

Is it the method used to convey the message, or the message itself?

I have contemplated this and written upon it at my weblog.

I wonder at times, do we condemn the method because we disagree with the message, when those who have a message we agree with use the very same methods?

Do we condemn one person because of the message they give, while praising another with the same circumstances but a very different message, one that we might agree with?

I often feel there was a message more subtle than the one immediately apparent when Jesus gave the lesson of "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

I suggest you take a step back for a moment before you say, "that vile Sheehan woman."

But then again, I am merely human too.

Posted by: Jack at August 18, 2005 05:36 PM

Well, one reason someone might consider the one person vile would be because she presumes to speak for all families who suffered a loss, while the other one specifically rejects any such claim.

Also, the one person acts as if anyone who disagrees with her position is evil, while the other does not.

Also, the one person is snuggling up with vile fascist hatemongers like Michael Moore and David Duke, and the other is not.

Just some thoughts from what I've seen.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at August 18, 2005 09:50 PM

...oh yes, and the one person has specifically already been given one private audience with the President, and is demanding another by camping out on his doorstep and openly courting media attention, and writing regularly for political web sites to draw further attention to herself.

The other has not presumed so much.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at August 18, 2005 09:55 PM

Plain and simple, Jack: I consider Ms. Sheehan vile because I consider that what she is doing DISHONORS her son and his death. He clearly knew what he was doing, and what the risks were. He chose to defend his country from a little known enemy, knowing that he could lose his life in the process.

I could give a crap about the media circus and Michael Moore and the rest of them. This woman is turning her back on her son's memory.

Posted by: caltechgirl at August 19, 2005 12:39 AM

Oh, and it's Mr. Griffin, not Mrs.

Posted by: caltechgirl at August 19, 2005 12:40 AM

The man--he was no child--volunteered to serve. Moreover, he re-enlisted in 2003, knowing full well he was likely to be deployed to Iraq.

Perhaps this is why some people find her vile.

Or perhaps it's because she says things like this:


'm gonna tell them, "You get that evil maniac [the president] out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who's blood is on his hands, has some questions for him."

And I'm gonna say, "OK, listen here, George. #1, you quit, and I demand, every time you get out there and say you're going to continue the killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by continuing the mission; you say, except Casey Sheehan.' "

"And you say except for all the members of Goldstar Families for Peace' cuz we think not one drop of blood should be spilled in our families' names. You quit doing that. You don't have my permission."

And I'm gonna say, "And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for." And if he even starts to say freedom and democracy' I'm gonna say, bullshit.

You tell me the truth. You 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. You tell me that, you don't tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.

Cuz, we're not freer. You're taking away our freedoms. The Iraqi people aren't freer, they're much worse off than before you meddled in their country.

You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out of Palestine


Step back? Someone needs to ask this woman to step back.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at August 19, 2005 01:06 AM

Furthermore, because Spc. Sheehan was in my BIL's unit, I know for a fact he knew he was being deployed to Iraq when he re-upped. In the summer of 2003 the whole 1st Cav were on stop-loss, with the understanding that they would deploy to the middle east in December. That deployment was later delayed until March 2004, and the unit came home this past March.

Posted by: caltechgirl at August 19, 2005 01:28 AM