In her column Wednesday, Debra Saunders says that it is largely bad news that threatens the war effort. But a war started under false pretenses begins as bad news. No amount of dancing around truth will change the fact that people feel betrayed by the Bush administration – especially those whose family members have been killed. You can sweep dirt under the rug, but the Bush administration has dust bunnies the size of jackalopes.
Saunders might enjoy Stephen Crane’s poem, “War is Kind.” It’s true that in modern times, writers like Crane have made a great impact on our impressions of war. Certainly when war takes on a human face, people begin to understand all aspects of it, not just the romanticized version, but the horror and senselessness of it as well. It’s unfortunate that Bush isn’t much of a reader. Perhaps if he read more about war, he wouldn’t have tried so hard to start one.
But Saunders feels free to criticize a grieving mother, Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son Casey in the Iraq war. Saunders calls Sheehan’s behavior bizarre because she is demanding to meet Bush face-to-face to ask him pointedly, “What did my son die for?” Sheehan reportedly would like to ask, “If the cause is so noble, have you encouraged your daughters to serve?”
What’s bizarre are Saunders’ remarks. She says, “No one can be unmoved by Sheehan’s horrific loss. That said, Bush didn’t kill her son.” Excuse me, but Sheehan has every right to ask the man who orchestrated this trumped-up war the reasons why her son is dead. To believe that she doesn’t deserve an honest answer is bizarre. Sheehan and her family made the ultimate sacrifice and Saunders should have the common decency to understand this.