Thursday, August 18, 2005

What then must we do?

Unfortunately, Cindy Sheehan has to leave her vigil in Crawford to tend to her ailing mother. She may return, but if she can't, she deserves a salute from every American for standing up for what she thought she needed to do. Even Bush's most ardent supporters are completely deluded should respect her peaceful act of defiance.

It seems to me extremely significant that the local 10:00 news Wednesday night started out with a national report on the vigils held nationwide in support of Cindy Sheehan.

Dan Froomkin's Washington Post column today cited reports estimating anywhere from 1000 to 1500 vigils all over the country. Many of those vigils numbered from 100 to 300 people.

If you do the numbers, that's anywhere from 100,000 to 450,000 people. Just for the sake of argument, take the smaller number. Then, ask yourself what it would mean if 100,000 people held a vigil in Washington, D.C., or right there in Crawford, Texas. How significant would that number be? And what would the people demand?

New Orleans blogger oyster today presented a larger discussion about the efficacy of liberal political tactics using Cindy Sheehan's demonstration as a point of departure. It's a fine post, and worthy of attention.

Froomkin's survey of opinion across the spectrum is perhaps most succinctly summed up in a Bill Straub column for Scripps Howard:

Immanuel Wallerstein [a Yale scholar] said the public is still split on the wisdom of the Iraq war but that Bush's effort to rally support is "basically shot." ...

"The whole middle has lost faith. They see no light at the end of the tunnel, and they're right - there is no light at the end of the tunnel."

The public's dominant mood, he said, seesaws from wanting the United States to send more troops, to wanting to bring them all home, Wallerstein said. But the message is the same in each case - "we can't go on like this."

Senator Feingold agrees that we can't continue down the same path, using the same rhetoric. He wants President Bush to give up the ad nauseum refrain about how we need to stay the course, and setting deadlines encourages the terrorists. Feingold believes that NOT setting a deadline for withdrawal encourages the terrorists. He's proposing that a deadline be set to withdraw all 138,000 American troops by the end of next year.

Refuting Bush's claim that withdrawal would strengthen the hand of insurgents and terrorists, here's a guy who's no pacifist left-winger: William E. Odom, head of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration. Froomkin quotes Odom's essay on
"If I were a journalist," Odom writes, "I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren't they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better."

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the White House webmaster is sweating bullets trying to make this president look like he's actually doing some work. Here's one photo up on the White House web site:

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney listen Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during a meeting with the Defense Policy and Program teams at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Note that the caption dated the meeting August 11th. As I write this, it's August 18th. Has President Bush done anything significant with his national security staff in the last week? Or does he just spend his days clearing more brush in the longest vacation by a president in 36 years.

We can only hope the fool is starting to feel like the guy riding that bronco in the stupid artwork hanging on the wall.


At 8/19/2005 09:01:00 AM, Blogger Dolo said...

Hey! Great Blog, Thank for sharing your thoughts!

Hugs from Argentina,

At 8/19/2005 10:04:00 AM, Blogger Mixter said...

Ooooh, you're getting spammed!


At 8/19/2005 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Yeah. This just started a week or two ago. I mean, 2 or 3 a week. Blogger should make people pay for the time the ads sit in someone's comments. Let's see, I'll just start billing at $100 per post. Hey, I just made $200. I'm quit my job!

At 8/19/2005 01:19:00 PM, Blogger Mixter said...

I got spammed today, too. I just deleted it. Hopefully it isn't going to go crazy.

Gotta love the internets.


At 8/19/2005 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Oh, how rude of me. Hi dolo. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the kind expression.


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