Whilst doing some research on other topics, I came across this letter to President Bush written by one of the mothers affiliated with Cindy Sheehan's Gold Star Families for Peace.
When I finished, I sat there and pondered......is this something worth posting about, and if so, why?
Part of me wants very much to respect this mother's personal space and her obviously-palpable grief. It is extremely difficult to criticize the expression of another person who is going through as much pain as she is. As she points out, her son's death has had a huge impact on her family, and that obviously must be respected.
However, what I found particularly illuminating was her screed here (emphasis mine):
So, Mr. President, exactly what is the "noble cause" that my son and the other sons and daughters are dying for? It's not the liberation of Iraq and it's not for democracy, because most of the people of the Middle East don't want democracy. It's not to fight terrorism, because we are only fanning the flames of terrorists every day that American troops are in Iraq. It is not to make America safer, because you have done nothing to make America safer. Your "noble cause" couldn't possibly have anything to do with giving the Iraqi people a better life, because their lives are worse now, not better. Our borders are wide open for terrorists to come across, but you insist on keeping them open to make your pal Vicente Fox happy. Your "noble cause" changes from week to week.
And herein lies the crux of the problem with the Cindy Sheehan crowd; the bulk of their appeal is to the selfishness, cultural ignorance, and "me-first" attitude exemplified by so many on the liberal Left (and unfortunately, many Americans as a whole, which is why it's so effective at getting public attention).
Just as an example:
You do not acknowledge the broken infrastructure of the country. Let's see, the most recent report was that residents of Baghdad get at most four hours of electricity a day. How can you run schools with that? In the staggering heat?
First off, teachers, chalkboards, books, and students do not run on electricity. Electric lights are not required when you hold classes during the daytime.
Second off, if you look at the temperature profile for Baghdad, it's a lot like Texas -- hot in the summer, mild to cool in the winter.
Presumably, the Iraqis can do like our ancestors did -- make the logical decision not to have school in the summertime because it's too hot. Furthermore, they can build structures that are adapted to the desert climate -- high ceilings, thick walls, cross-ventilation -- kind of like they've been doing for the centuries that they've lived quite nicely in the desert without air-conditioning.
I think we forget.....it was just a bit over a generation ago that most schools barely had electricity, much less such niceties as air conditioning, and these poor tortured children not only were the envy of the world in terms of their reading, science, and math abilities, but touched off the greatest revolutions in electronics, physics, industry, and others in history. As our past thirty years have shown, making the classroom more comfortable has done squat in terms of improving learning potential; it's all about the motivation of students, and given the outright repression that took place under Saddam, I think there's enormous motivation to learn -- especially since most women were banned from schools.
Then, lastly, my favorite -- and perhaps the most damning example of the degree of unreality that she and the others have brought upon themselves.
You do not acknowledge the thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens who have died because of this war.
Ma'am, YOU do not acknowledge the millions of innocent Iraqi citizens who died and suffered for your version of "peace".
There is ample evidence of the brutality of Saddam Hussein -- indeed, a survey of households found that 47% reported one or more human rights abuses since 1991, including "torture, killings, disappearance, forced conscription, gunshot wounds, kidnappings, ear amputation, landmine injuries, sexual assault, and hostage taking."
Finally, this is the best line of all:
So, Mr. President, exactly what is the "noble cause" that my son and the other sons and daughters are dying for?
Ma'am, your son, an enthusiastic soldier by any description, died in a single-vehicle car wreck, in Texas, off military property, as a consequence of his own decisions.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other mothers lose sons annually under the same conditions. Why are you allowed to blame President Bush for your son's death and they aren't?
This is not arguing over the war. This is prostituting your grief in a most unhealthy fashion to avoid coming to grips with the fact that your child is dead. This is a perversion by the Left of a mother's emotions for shameless political opportunism.
That's why it's scary.