The Savaging Of Cindy Sheehan
By Matthew Rothschild
The Progressive
The shameless savaging of Cindy Sheehan continues.
Bill O'Reilly says she's a tool of "far left elements."
The New York Sun echoes the charge, evidently reading the same rightwing talking points.
In an editorial on August 11, it says Sheehan "has put herself in league with some extreme groups and individuals."
This is old-style McCarthyism, straight on down to the red-baiting.
The editorial quotes Sheehan about some of the groups she's involved with, including Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out.
It then notes that these groups are on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, along with the Communist Party USA. (A person representing that party is one of the forty-one members who was voted onto the steering committee.)
This classic guilt-by-association trope just shows the reflexive response of the right: When your critic has credibility, and you can't find anything else on her, destroy her with the old standby: You're a communist dupe!
The Sun also points out that Sheehan is working with the Crawford Peace House, and it says that group's website "includes a photo depicting the entire state of Israel as Palestine." Actually, it depicts a protester holding a sign showing four maps of what is now Israel and the Occupied Territories, noting how Palestinians have been allowed less and less land over the past 60 years.
"Nobody is anti-Israel here," says John Wolf, one of the founders of the Crawford Peace House. "We're just asking for peace with justice and respect for international law."
But for the New York Sun, the Crawford Peace House's view of the Israel-Palestine conflict is convenient enough to tar Cindy Sheehan with.
Rightwing talk show host Phil Hendrie goes even lower, writing an article amazingly entitled "Anti-War Mom: Another Ignorant Cow," Hendrie called Sheehan a "self-righteous ignoramus," and then went into full mockery mode: "A mother grieving her loss. The inhumanity of war. Oh, the wickedness of it all."
I've seen callousness before, but this piece may top them all. And catch Hendrie's defense of the Iraq War: "This war was unavoidable, brought on by an historic clash of culture and ideal, powered by the American people themselves, rising to meet the future, pissing off the rag heads." Rag heads?
By the way, Hendrie's screed was posted on the website,, which calls itself "the premier online gathering place for independent, grassroots conservatism on the web."
Sheehan responds to her critics: "Nothing you can say can hurt me or make me stop what we are doing. We are working for peace with justice. We are using peaceful means and the truth to do it."
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