So far I have not commented on Cindy Sheehan, as there has been so much excellent coverage, and I don't know what I can add to the discussion that hasn't already been said better.
But I can't help but be disgusted by the right-wing's smear campaign against her, accusing her of being "in bed with the radical left" as if she were some kind of puppet mouthpiece.
I remember a real 'puppet mouthpiece'. Her name was Paula Jones. Carefully orchestrated and handled by the people responsible for the American Spectator "Troopergate" debacle, which was subsequently found to be a complete fabrication. But by the time it was debunked for the partisan nonsense that it was, it didn't matter anymore. The Big Red Machine was going full-throttle, and little ol' Paula Jones (and her handler Susan Carpenter-McMillan) got her 15 minutes in the limelight and some plastic surgery (apparently de rigueur for axe-grinding right wing puppets à la Linda Tripp) and our democracy as we knew it began to crumble.
It seems that anyone who takes a position that George Bush finds unpalatable is smeared right into the ground - the "Karl Rove Strategy". And it doesn't have to be a Democrat or a liberal, either; John McCain got served a big ol' helping when he was running against Bush in the primaries. Max Cleland, John Kerry, Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson, Michael Schiavo, Scott Ritter, Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, Hans Blix - the list goes on and on. Cross His Majesty the Baby, and you will be the target of the Smearmeisters. And the worst of it is, many of these people are genuine, if not heroes, at least patriots who have put their lives and limbs on the line for our country. These are all people who have sacrificed in one way or another. And the people who level these smears are, almost to a man or woman (or both as in Ann "The Man" Coulter), chicken-hawks who have not sacrificed what their targets have.
Cindy Sheehan has made the hardest sacrifice I can imagine. As a mom, I know I would much rather lose my own life than one of my children's lives. Easy. No question about it. And to lose your beloved child for someone else's personal agenda and lies would be unbearable.
Have you noticed that, as a nation, we have not been asked up-front to sacrifice the way our parents and grandparents were during World War II? No rationing, no volunteering at the Red Cross. No gas cards, no sugar rations, no oleo instead of butter, no nylon stocking shortage. Even in the world of fashion, hemlines were shorter to save material. Victory Gardens, War Ration Books, War Bonds, scrap metal drives, auto companies diverted to make airplanes and other war materiel.
This has not happened because, deep down, everyone knows that this is not a cause worth fighting for. If we were truly on the side of the right (the correct, that is), as a nation we would be banding together and doing whatever we could to help the war effort. As much as the Bush Administration has been honking and grunting about how we need to be there, they know that there is really no defense of their position, just spin and propaganda.
To answer Cindy Sheehan would be to admit the truth - that her son died for reasons of greed and power, not righteousness. So instead, they fall back on their tried-and-true tactics - smears, threats and diversions.
I guess you could call it an honor to be attacked by the Bush Administration - you're certainly in good company. God bless Cindy Sheehan for the courage to take her pain and use it for the good of others. In this way, her sacrifice and her son's sacrifice will mean something more than another notch on the Cowboy Coward of Crawford's gun-belt.
Go to Crawford Peace House to support Cindy, and Marie from The Right Left Story, kicking ass as usual, has set up a list of resources and affiliated sites and blogs here.