Cindy Sheehan's luny ravings...
Of course, the press isn't playing up her luny raves....Here's Cathy Young in the Boston Globe on the Cindy Sheehan you don't know.
But there's more than that to Sheehan's politics. She is not simply against the war in Iraq (and, as she told talk show host Chris Matthews on CNBC, against the war in Afghanistan as well). She has thrown in her lot with the hardcore Michael Moore left, and this less savory aspect of her crusade has been largely ignored by the respectful media.
In her public appearances, Sheehan has not only called Bush ''the biggest terrorist in the world" but suggested that his ''band of neocons" deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 to happen: ''9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through," she told a cheering crowd at San Francisco State University last April.
That crowd, by the way, was holding a rally in support of Lynne Stewart, a radical New York attorney convicted in 2003 of aiding and abetting a terrorist conspiracy. Sheehan compared Stewart -- who served as a liaison between her incarcerated client, terrorist mastermind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, and his network outside -- to Atticus Finch, the lawyer in ''To Kill a Mockingbird" who heroically defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in the Jim Crow South.
Even more troubling opinions have surfaced in an e-mail Sheehan sent to ABC News last April: ''Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC [Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative think thank] Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel."
After some media outlets publicized these comments, which smack of blaming the Jews for drawing the U.S. into the war in Iraq, Sheehan disavowed them: she claims the offending lines were inserted into her email by an ABC News staffer. (The original email has been lost due to an Internet virus attack.) But this latest conspiracy-mongering is hard to believe, especially given the general anti-Israel tenor of Sheehan's public statements: for instance, she railed against the notion that ''it's okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons, but Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons."
A comment on the left-wing website Daily Kos described Sheehan as ''Terri Schiavo reincarnated." I believe this was meant as a compliment. But actually, the Sheehan circus has a lot in common with the Schiavo circus, none of it good. Both stories represent a triumph -- on different sides of the political divide -- of emotion- and sentiment-driven politics. Schiavo's parents could go off on paranoid, crazy, vitriolic rants, and enjoy a certain immunity by virtue of their unthinkable tragedy. The same is true of Sheehan.