Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cindy Sheehan: A Grieving Father Goes on the Offensive

There's an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal today written by Ronald R. Griffin, whose son, Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a highly decorated war hero, was killed in Iraq in May of 2003. It's titled, "Cindy Sheehan Doesn't Speak For Me." Obviously, Griffin disagrees with Sheehan over her much publicized war protest taking place outside President Bush's Crawford, TX ranch. I don't have a problem with that per se. What is most disturbing to me however is his reasoning. Griffin, clearly a Republican--as evidenced by his overall position and the legion of fans he has on the conservative blog circuit, uses the all-too-familiar GOP smear that Sheehan, in protesting the war and demanding accountability from Bush, is dishonoring the sacrifice her son made. How infuriating. Please explain something to me, Mr. Griffin. Just how is Sheehan dishonoring her son Casey, who, at 24 died in Iraq? She's a grieving mother who, after seeing no WMD or no direct connections between Saddam and Al Qaeda--the Bush justifications for war--seeks answers from our president as to why we're fighting this war; why we're seeing thousands of our soldiers killed in combat; and when the troops will return home. To the contrary, Mr. Griffin, Sheehan is honoring her son in the most noble way possible by demanding accountability from his commander-in-chief. Demanding to know why her son, and 1850 others, had to die in a war that, to this day, is grossly lacking in justification. No sir, Mr. Griffin, this spunky lady has more courage than most people, and I'm sure her son would be damned proud of her tenacity and determination. Griffin writes that "we as a country made a collective decision" to invade Iraq. "We must now live up to our decision and not deviate until the mission is complete." And herein lies the biggest misconception, and deception, of all. Griffin clearly is forgetting the millions of Americans who were against this invasion from the get-go. We did not think it was justified then, and we don't now. We saw right through the Bush/neo-con plan to use the war as a diversion from 9-11, Al Qaeda and the hunt for Osama bin Laden...the real enemy of, and grave threat to, the U.S. We were not part of this "collective decision" Griffin refers to. And those on the left who did support the war did so based on the Bushies' faulty and misrepresented intelligence pertaining to WMD and Iraqi terror connections. In short, these poor saps, including our almost-president Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), were flat out duped.. As for not deviating "until the mission is complete," well, exactly what mission is that, Mr.Griffin? Until terrorism is wiped out? Until the ever-growing, increasingly violent Iraqi insurgency is snuffed out? Until there's a U.S-style Democracy in Iraq? Iran? Have we not learned anything from Vietnam? These are missions, unfortunately, that cannot be accomplished. Griffin goes on to write that "those who lost their lives believed in the mission. To honor their memory, and because it's right, we must believe in the mission too." Here too Mr. Griffin is misguided. It's been well documented that a great many soldiers in Iraq have grown quite disillusioned with the war and are confused over why we're there, what we're accomplishing, and the lack of a coherent exit strategy. If we are to truly "honor the memory" of those lost, we should do everything in our power to protect and return home safely those still fighting. That would be a real show of support, rather than simply throwing yellow ribbons on our cars and calling ourselves patriots as we head to the mall or to our favorite restaurant. As for Griffin's comment that "we must believe in the mission too"'s where his naivete is most glaring. Most Americans today, according to virtually every credible poll, are against the war and disapprove of Bush's handling of it. We do not believe in the mission. We will not stick our heads in the sand and blindly follow the lead of our stubborn, shoot-from-the-hip commander-in-chief. We will not willingly allow thousands more of our young men and women to die in a war that has no reason for being. We will continue to protest, and we will be thankful for people like Cindy Sheehan, who has become the public face of this unjust war. Mr. Griffin, who we have great sympathy for as a grieving parent, is unfortunately on the wrong side of this issue. Andy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great stuff. you nailed it.