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Almost immediately following my reading of your outside editorial (New York Daily News) of "America's true Gold Star moms," I read an article by Frank Rich, that was published in the New York Times, Aug. 21, that is entitled "The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan." I must say that your guest editorial is just exactly what Mr. Rich is referring to when he says "Once Ms. Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began. Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war."
Now all of these Gold Star moms have their work cut out for them in trying to deal with just why their children have died in a war that appears to have been entered into under somewhat false premises. Even when John Kerry was asked during the presidential debates, whether our Iraqi war deaths were a mistake, he could not say they were, even though he did say the Iraq war was indeed a mistake. This is indeed a tough issue. How can one say to any Gold Star mom that her child may have died for a mistake? But I believe it is the crux of the Cindy Sheehan problem for the current president. George Bush says we must honor these fallen by completing the mission. But what is this mission?
Some years ago, another George, George Orwell wrote a fascinating little story called "Animal Farm," where the animals on a certain farm took over and ran things themselves. The pigs soon took charge and they wrote all the farm rules on the barn wall. However, when one of these rules became a problem for these pigs, they just erased the offending rule and replaced it with one that fit their latest objective (read mission), and no one was the wiser.
Now we have all seen George Bush's mission, or the reasons for the Iraq war, changed on the barn wall, from Iraqi connections to 9/11 to their (Iraq) having weapons of mass destruction, and I think the latest barn rule has something to do with "we must fight them over there to keep from fighting them over here." While each of these reasons have all been somewhat worthwhile in their own time, most have been shown to be nothing more than hogwash in the morning light, and it appears to me that this is exactly what Cindy Sheehan is trying to say.
My question of the Juneau Empire, is which of all of George Bush's missions that have appeared on the barn wall are you supporting today with your Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan?