Cindy Sheehan Resigns
Anti-War Mom Cindy Sheehan Gives Up Her Protest
(CNN) -- Cindy Sheehan, the California mother who became an anti-war leader after her son was killed in Iraq, declared Monday she was walking away from the peace movement.
She said her son died "for nothing."
Sheehan achieved national attention when she camped outside President Bush's home in Crawford, Texas, throughout August 2005 to demand a meeting with the president over her son's death.
While Bush ignored her, the vigil made her one of the most prominent figures among opponents of the war.
But in a Web diary posted to the liberal online community Daily Kos on Monday, Sheehan said she was exhausted by the personal, financial and emotional toll of the past two years.
She wrote that she is disillusioned by the failure of Democratic politicians to bring the unpopular war to an end and tired of a peace movement she said "often puts personal egos above peace and human life."
Casey Sheehan, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in an April 2004 battle in Baghdad. His death prompted his mother to found Gold Star Families for Peace.
But in Monday's 1,200-word letter, titled, "Good Riddance Attention Whore," Sheehan announced that her son "did indeed die for nothing."
"I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful," she wrote. "Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.
"It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years, and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most."
Cindy Sheehan's sister, DeDe Miller, told CNN that the group would continue working for humanitarian causes, but drop its involvement in the anti-war movement. As for her sister's letter, Miller said, "She cried for quite a bit after writing it."
Sheehan warned that the United States was becoming "a fascist corporate wasteland," and that onetime allies among Bush's Democratic opposition turned on her when she began trying to hold them accountable for bringing the 4-year-old war to a close.
In the meantime, she said her antiwar activism had cost her her marriage, that she had put the survivor's benefits paid for her son's death and all her speaking and book fees into the cause and that she now owed extensive medical bills.
"I am going to take whatever I have left and go home," she wrote. "I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost.
"I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble."
The full transcript of Sheehan's letter can be found here.
It is not at all surprising that CNN, pawn of the Democratic party that it is, would make the smallest possible reference to this section of her letter, near the top:
...I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
No matter how much I may have disagreed with Ms. Sheehan's stance, I could never find it in my heart to have any kind of rancor for her. A grieving mother will naturally and properly rail against that which killed her son, and a passionate one will move mountains to change it. I feel sad for her, and fervently admire her steadfastness in the face of a political system that has long since (and unfortunately) outgrown grassroots movements such as hers.
Now Cindy Sheehan know what many of us have known all along: that she was a tool of the Democratic party, though not at all by her own doing. As soon as she became politically inconvenient, they were quick to remove her from the spotlight as quietly as possible.
It is appropriate that her letter was entitled "Good Riddance Attention Whore." Cindy Sheehan just found the cabfare the Democratic party left on the dresser two years ago.