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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Nichols’s editorial is indeed a refreshing and insightful change from the corporate media’s spin and dissembling about the meaning of Cindy Sheehan’s place in the antiwar movement.

I just watched the always forgettable and vacuous Howard Kurtz, with four other talking head pundits on Reliable [sic] Sources, tear apart Cindy Sheehan with the argument that she did not understand that she was only a convenient antiwar image, and that when she started to speak more broadly and radically against our whole political environment, it exposed her lack of pragmatic understanding.

The counter-truth to this typical corporate media hatchet job on an emotional and unsophisticated leader of antiwar sanity as being too emotional and not sufficiently informed by geopolitical reality is, of course, the absolute reality that as consummate a geopolitical strategic expert as Andrew Bacevich came to the exact same conclusion as Cindy at exactly the same time.

(The only humor in this irony might be that Kurtz, Crowley, and the rest of the talking-head pundits bemoaning Cindy’s lack of gravitas on the anti-war issue either don’t know or don’t care to share with their audience that Bacevich is the very image of anti-war intellectual rigor far beyond their own petty knowledge or grasp.)

If Sheehan is the emotion and passion of the antiwar movement, then Andrew Bacevich is surely the intellect and reason.

It is ironic that both lost their sons to this imperial oil-war, and it is more than ironic that both reached the same ultimate conclusion, albeit from the differing paths of the heart and the mind ----- that this war is an imperial war; launched and continued by an unaccountable ruling-elite Empire of money and power, which only poses as a democracy under the facade of its two-party "Vichy American" lie.

Sheehan's heart and Bacevich's mind reached the same correct conclusion that hopefully will not be lost on the feeling and thinking American population at large ---- that this war is the unavoidable consequence of a government that has metastasized from democracy to Empire because of our inattention.

Hopefully, the American people will rise up against this murdering global corporate Empire that has stolen our government, stolen the lives of our children, and stolen the light of democracy from our country.

If all honest, average, working class Americans reach the same ineluctable conclusion as Sheehan and Bacevich, and rise up against this guileful two-party lie of Empire, then perhaps the otherwise senseless deaths of our children will not have been entirely in vain.

Alan MacDonald

Sanford, ME

Jun 3 2007 - 11:54am

Web Letter

I have a response to the bumper-sticker slogan: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not depressed, you haven't been paying attention long enough."

Welcome, Cindy Sheehan, to the ranks of the politically depressed. You are in good company.

Eric Paul Jacobsen

Saint Paul, MN

Jun 2 2007 - 9:29am

Web Letter

I don't question the heartfelt loss of Cindy Sheehan, nor her decision to turn it into a veritable crusade against this thuggish administration and their war in Iraq. I do question her apparent ignorance of the hardball realities of national politics, the institutionalized system in DC of secret deal-making, elliptical conflicts of interest and brazen corruption that has grown like a slow tumor in Congress for decades. Even Ike knew it was already metastasizing when he spoke, upon leaving office, of the "military-industrial complex" (he wanted to include the word "Congressional" in that label, but was persuaded at the last minute to take it out by his PR people, to avoid the obvious).

The behavior of the current paralytic Congress, reflected in the 6/18 Nation's editorial comment, is merely the latest indication of the highly developed racket that passes for democracy, in a country utterly distracted by semi-literracy, consumer electronics, designer meds and a 24/7 celebrity culture designed for morons and cyphers. What the heck did Ms. Sheehan expect, the Boston Tea Party?

Cynicism may not be a desirable human quality in Neverland or the inner santums of anti-war groups, but in the real world out here, it is a necessary survival trait. Ms. Sheehan ought to consider that before she ventures forth again to save us from ourselves. After all, this is America.

Stewart Braunstein

Port Washington, NY

Jun 1 2007 - 11:49am

Web Letter

I don't think it's time to fear the darkness just yet. I'm actually encouraged by Cindy's move, because I believe she really is, as she said on Democracy Now! this week, simply taking time off to recuperate and develop new strategies. I think a lot of passionate activists are finally realizing what the majority of Americans--from all across the political spectrum--who have been sitting out elections year after year have known for a long time: Congress and the President are so far beyond the reach of the citizenry, they are utterly irrelevant.

In a way, it is sad--I'm a way-lefty forced to realize that Grover Norquist's bathtub dreams have come true. But in a more meaningful way, I think it's good, because the historical moment we live in is largely about power devolving from the central governments and central media organizations back to regional and local levels, because those are the levels at which human societies must confront the twin forces of fossil fuel depletion and global warming, both of which are intertwined with the ongoing resource wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. I see that shift happening all over the place.

I agree with Derrick Jensen, about the necessity of giving up hope. But I also agree with the implications of that--it frees us to actually act, when and where we are, to protect the people and places we love. So Cindy's leadership in the traditional peace movement was vital, and her retreat to rest and prepare for a new approach is equally vital, not lesser or greater, just what she feels is called for by the circumstances around us all.

Katherine Watt

North Plainfield, NJ

May 31 2007 - 10:14pm