Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A particularly clueless letter to the editor

The San Francisco Chronicle printed a letter to the editor in yesterday's edition that struck me for its utter and absolute cluelessness.

Go home, Cindy

Editor — I support Cindy Sheehan's right to protest the war in Iraq but I detest her giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of America. The Crawford media feeding frenzy and the platform for anti-war protesters goes way over the top. Thank goodness for all the brave American soldiers who volunteered and are fighting for our freedom. Casey [Sheehan] and all the others who gave their lives did not die in vain. Cindy, you have protested too long; now go home. Your home is not Washington, D.C.

— Bill Garrison, Napa (may have been edited by the Chronicle)
Where do I start?

I support your right to protest, as long as you don't protest too much. (In other words, you have freedom of speech, as long as you don't use it.) You are giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of America — such as? It is not Cindy Sheehan, but rather George W. Bush, who gives hope and encouragement to the enemies of America (such as al Qaeda and its pals) by giving them a recruiting poster and a training ground for terrorists to learn how to kill Americans (and our allies) in Iraq so they can be that much more efficient when they come here to do the same. It is not those who reveal that the United States is torturing prisoners who tarnish our nation's reputation, it is those who do the torturing, and even moreso those who condone or excuse or seek to conceal it.

As for all those volunteer soldiers in Iraq, how many of them actually volunteered to go to Iraq? Alternatively, how many of them were "stop-lossed" when they thought their stint was over — even months or years after being discharged? How many of them were promised the opportunity to make a little money and maybe help out in the event of a local disaster (oh, I don't know, maybe a hurricane) by being "weekend warriors"? The methods by which our military has obtained its "volunteers" in Iraq are shameful.

As for "your home is not Washington, D.C.," when I took civics, I was taught that our government was "of the people, by the people, and for the people," and that Washington, as the seat of our government, was the home of all the people, not just Republicans who support the illegal Iraq war.

It is not only Cindy Sheehan's right to protest this war, it is her duty to her nation and to the memory of her son. If Casey Sheehan's sacrifice inspires the American people to question what we are doing in Iraq and how the war is being mismanaged, then his death will not have been in vain.