Just Another Effin' Observer

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Location: Huntsville, Texas, United States

Friday, August 19, 2005

Go Home, Cindy; Paris and Tom Want Their Spotlight Back

It has been noted almost everywhere I look in the blogosphere that August is traditionally a slow news month (the heat-wave in Europe a couple of years ago that killed almost 20,000 un-air-conditioned old people in France, while the kids and grandkids were busy cavorting topless on the Cote d'Azure notwithstanding), so Cindy Sheehan's fifteen minutes of fame getting a mid-season renewal is not surprising. It may also speak tellingly of other matters: the fact that the major network news outlets apparently have nothing better with which to occupy their resources being one, as is the apparent fact that the MoveOn.org crowd feels that this story is their last, best chance to bring down the President.

But the simple fact is that this story started out lame, and has not improved with age.

But it looks like this long, national nightmare may finally be coming to an end, if this post in The Corner turns out to be true. (UPDATE: The story is true, and Mrs. Sheehan's mother is improving, which is good news, although the doctors are concerned that there may be some continuing paralysis, which is not good news. And she has reportedly said that she hopes to be back in Crawford by next Wednesday, which most decidedly is not good news.)

Cindy Sheehan has lately been expressing concern that this story is turning into a "media circus", and in point of fact, it has. But you're the ringmaster of this circus, Cindy, and any complaining about it at this point sounds suspiciously like -- oh, hell, what's the word I'm looking for? Ah, yes, I have it: horseshit.

Now, I have no children of my own, so I honestly cannot relate to the wrenching pain of losing one's child as the result of an act of war. But previous generations did have to go through that ordeal, and until relatively recently, they managed to "soldier on", if I may use the phrase; for a specific example, Mrs. Sheehan might look into the story of Thomas and Alleta Sullivan, whose five sons -- George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert -- all died on the same day, while serving aboard the same ship (the USS Juneau), at the Battle of Guadalcanal, during World War II. (The Navy actually had a policy -- still does -- of not allowing siblings to serve on the same ship, but it was not rigorously enforced at the time, and the brothers insisted that they be allowed to serve together.)

Did Mrs. Sullivan honor her sons' sacrifice by camping out in FDR's front yard, in protest of their loss? No, she did not. In fact, she did exactly the opposite of what Cindy Sheehan is doing -- she spent a great deal of her time making speaking engagements in support of the war effort.

Then again, people were made of sterner stuff back then, and most people in this country actually knew what we were fighting for, and what we were fighting against. More than that, they thought the fight was worth it.

Apparently, that isn't true today. Pity.


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