In her ongoing cameo as news media darling, Cindy Sheehan has been cast as the bereaved mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq. Sheehan has embraced that role with an activist’s gusto. She has called for the withdrawal of American troops and made vile attacks against Israel, justifying both by citing the tragic loss of her son Casey. Thus has Sheehan turned her 15 minutes of fame into a mendacious infomercial for the very elements who have dedicated themselves to murdering other mothers’ sons. In calling for the U.S. to pull out of Iraq, Sheehan is providing effective propaganda for the likes of the PLO and the diehard remnants of Iraq’s Ba’ath Party.
In this context, it is instructive to consider the groups that have pledged their support for Sheehan’s publicity stunt. Among those of her comrades less remarked upon is the Crawford Peace House of Crawford, Texas. Aside from being one of Sheehan’s most vocal backers, Crawford Peace House is a front group for several radical causes, among them the support of Palestinian terrorism and Ba’ath Party insurgents under the guise of promoting “peace” activism. The group’s homepage features a photo in which the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean—what is now Israel—is wiped off the map. This is supplemented by an ahistorical banner complaining about “Israel’s attacks, invasions and occupation.” (No mention is made of the successive Arab assaults on Israel from its birth in 1948, then again in 1956, 1967, and1973.) To stress the point, the site displays a tired rant by one Hadi Jawad, in which all the problems of the Palestinians are blamed on Israel.
Look at the photos above the essay, however, and you will see where Cindy Sheehan’s newfound ally stands: There you will find Eugene Bird, an anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist who has managed to blame the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib on the Israeli Mossad. “We know that the Israeli intelligence was operating in Baghdad after the war was over,” Bird has claimed, wondering aloud whether there were any “foreign interrogators…that were recommending very, very bad treatment for the prisoners.” A firm believer that the U.S. is manipulated by sinister Israeli interests, he advocates action “to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of a foreign county, namely Israel.”
To read a report of a recent Crawford Peace House demonstration, just click over to the radical left-wing website Indymedia. If you scroll down to the final photo, you will see how the people of Crawford react to these anti-American, anti-Israeli zealots. Note that there are plenty of Palestinian flags. Yet the only American flags you will see are flying on poles in the front yards of houses and local businesses. The final photo in the Indymedia article shows a nearly empty Crawford, Texas, sidewalk. No doubt the locals had better things to do than watch a gang of radical subversives declare their solidarity with terrorism and parade their contempt for the U.S.
That Cindy Sheehan would willingly associate herself with groups like the Crawford Peace House is not surprising. An opponent of the war in Iraq before her son re-enlisted in the military, Sheehan had already associated with people like Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, whose organizations supported sending human shields to Saddam Hussein’s regime and who sent money to aid the other side in Fallujah. Another of her prominent supporters is United for Peace and Justice, whose head, Medea Benjamin's ideological twin Leslie Cagan, is a longtime member of the Communist Party USA. Along with many of the activists currently converging on Crawford, the group opposes U.S. policy in Iraq and throughout the world.
All of this casts doubt on Sheehan’s efforts to remake her image as a grieving patriot. “I love my country,” Cindy Sheehan says in a recent television commercial. And yet, during an appearance at San Francisco State University, she said before a similar crowd as the one sponsoring her in Texas, “This country isn’t worth fighting for.” Similarly, at a Sacramento rally that Cindy Sheehan attended, a videotape captured a U.S. soldier being hanged in effigy.
Seeing that footage, soldiers in Iraq were understandably shocked, upset and angry that the demonstration took place; they say it undermines their mission and morale. It is no consolation to think that Casey Sheehan—a true patriot until his dying day—was not there to see it.