I read a blog called Ernie's House of Whoop Ass. Ernie is ex-military and all man and so his site is a repository for all things martial and pornographic: killing machines and hot babes... that's Ernie.
Recently he wrote about the current protest outside of President Bush's ranch by Cindy Sheehan, the mother who lost her son in Iraq. I think that his post is a good example of what's right and wrong about people who disagree on just about any form of protest in this country. Below are some of Ernie's comments with my notes. First, the good:
Those soldiers who served with Specialist Sheehan will remember him as a soldier with the crazy fucking mom who shit all over everything they're fighting and dying for - That's a valid point. To what extent should a person be willing to go to make their point using someone else's name (and sacrifice). However, in this case, expecting a Mother to be more concerned about the opinion of her son's fellow soldiers than she is about her own pain at the loss of her child is a little unrealistic. You never really understand the connection your parents have to you until you become a parent yourself.
Because so far, I think the only thing she's accomplished, besides pissing off people who have nothing to do with the war, is cheapen her son's death by refusing to accept the fact that it was his decision to join the military. And sometimes people in the military get killed, and it sucks, and it's sad, but that's just the nature of the game. - This has a two-fold effect, questioning the effectiveness of her protest as well as her acceptance of the fact that her son was an adult who made his own decisions and maybe she should respect that.
Now the bad:
And for those of you keeping score and thinking GWB is simply refusing to meet with his mom, I bet you don't know she already got her wish in June of 2004, three months after her son was killed. - It's my understanding that Sheehan has learned a lot more about our motives for war since that meeting but really it doesn't matter. She has a right to protest, regardless of how many times she has met the President. If she met him again today and went back to protesting tomorrow, she would have that right. Welcome to America.
I think mom is plenty pissed off that these events unfolded without her having any power over them, so she's looking to take out her frustration on somebody. And I'm sure that's a bitter pill to swallow and I'm sure she feels that she has to do something, but camping out on some guys fucking lawn isn't the way to do it. - So, to clarify: Protesting the death of your son in a war you feel is senseless by camping out at the President's residence and attracting national attention = inappropiate. Supporting the war and the President by writing essays on your website surronded by links to porn = appropiate. I was really surprised to see Ernie make that comment as he, of all people, is living proof that in America you can say whatever you want in whatever forum you like. I mean, c'mon Ernie, you're claiming her protest is inappropiate on your site which features links to, among other things, video of a women shooting beer out of her ass!
I guess the point of this post... the reason I was bothered enough to write it, is that I will never understand how people can protest so loudly about another persons right to protest or the form that protest takes. Am I the only one who see's the hypocrisy? As far as Sheehan is concerned, the fact that so many people know who she is proves that she is, in fact, staging a very effective protest. I, for one, don't ever want to live in a country where you cannot protest the death of your children in a war started by your government.
For the record, I think we should never have gone into Iraq at the time that we did but now that we're there we should probably stick it out and try to establish democracy in the region. If we can do that, we may see real change in the region in 20 years. My problem with President Bush is the methods he used to justify the war and his stubborn refusal to pay for it, prefering to leave the cost of the war to the next Democrat to hold the office. I can't deny that mass murder in Iraq was more than enough justification for war, I just wish that had been the justification from the start.