Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy! Hush!

Okay. I can't help it. I've got to throw in my two-cents worth on this Sheehan lady who's set up housekeeping in a ditch across from the Crawford White House. Christopher Hitchens has a great article in Slate about her. I particularly like this part:

"Finally, I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them."

The right to ventriloquize the dead. My mother used to put it another way, though not nearly as colorful. Whenever she would hear someone spouting off about what some dead person thought or how they had felt about something, she would say "how convenient he's not here to defend himself." But perhaps I should refrain from ventriloquizing the dead. My dead mother might not like it.
So here are my thoughts.
I hate that this lady has lost a son. I even wonder if she is making such a scene as a way to grieve. I know how shocking it is to lose a loved one (though not my child...that may be quite different) and realize that the rest of the world is not grieving too. It's just awful how people go on living their lives as if nothing had happened. How dare they laugh and shop and buy Mother's Day cards when I no longer have a mother. I know the feeling of wanting to scream "Stop it. Don't you know how much I hurt?"
But reasonable people can agree that Mrs. Sheehan is doing more damage than good. There are soldiers still fighting her son's war. They are in danger daily and they don't need for the enemy to have any more ammo than it already has. The terrorists have televisions too. They eat this stuff up and use it to convince each other that even Americans hate Americans. Here Hadji, go blow something up.
Please Cindy Sheehan, for the sake of my soldier son, who someday soon may follow your son's noble foot steps, and for those already there, keep your grief private. Give those of us still fearing this fight a fighting chance. Maybe your ventriloquized son would want it that way.

No comments: