Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's statement

This is George Bush’s Accountability Moment

This is George Bush’s accountability moment. That’s why I’m here.

The mainstream media aren’t holding him accountable. Neither is Congress. So I’m not leaving Crawford until he’s held accountable. It’s ironic, given the attacks leveled at me recently, how some in the media are so quick to scrutinize -- and distort -- the words and actions of a grieving mother but not the words and actions of the president of the United States.

But now it’s time for him to level with me and with the American people. I think that’s why there’s been such an outpouring of support. This is giving the 61 percent of Americans who feel that the war is wrong something to do -- something that allows their voices to be heard. It’s a way for them to stand up and show that they DO want our troops home, and that they know this war IS a mistake… a mistake they want to see corrected.

It’s too late to bring back the people who are already dead, but there are tens of thousands of people still in harm’s way. There is too much at stake to worry about our own egos. When my son was killed, I had to face the fact that I was somehow also responsible for what happened.

Every American that allows this to continue has, to some extent, blood on their hands. Some of us have a little bit, and some of us are soaked in it. People have asked what it is I want to say to President Bush. Well, my message is a simple one. He’s said that my son -- and the other children we’ve lost -- died for a noble cause. I want to find out what that noble cause is. And I want to ask him: “If it’s such a noble cause, have you asked your daughters to enlist? Have you encouraged them to go take the place of soldiers who are on their third tour of duty?” I also want him to stop using my son’s name to justify the war. The idea that we have to “complete the mission” in Iraq to honor Casey’s sacrifice is, to me, a sacrilege to my son’s name. Besides, does the president any longer even know what “the mission” really is over there?

Casey knew that the war was wrong from the beginning. But he felt it was his duty to go, that his buddies were going, and that he had no choice. The people who send our young, honorable, brave soldiers to die in this war, have no skin in the game. They don’t have any loved ones in harm’s way. As for people like O’Reilly and Hannity and Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and all the others who are attacking me and parroting the administration line that we must complete the mission there -- they don’t have one thing at stake. They don’t suffer through sleepless nights worrying about their loved ones.

Before this all started, I used to think that one person couldn’t make a difference... but now I see that one person who has the backing and support of millions of people can make a huge difference. That’s why I’m going to be out here until one of three things happens: It’s August 31st and the president’s vacation ends and he leaves Crawford. They take me away in a squad car. Or he finally agrees to speak with me.

If he does, he’d better be prepared for me to hold his feet to the fire. If he starts talking about freedom and democracy -- or about how the war in Iraq is protecting America -- I’m not going to let him get away with it. Like I said, this is George Bush’s accountability moment.

MoveOn and True Majority has asked people to hold candlelight vigils to show support for Cindy Sheehan. I often find I am not on the same page as MoveOn, but this is one event I agreed to host. There will be a candlelight vigil at 7:30 PM on August 17, 2005 at Pack Square in downtown Asheville. I will do the candle luminary around the fountain again, and after it gets dark, it is beautiful.

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