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Monday, August 15, 2005

Sheehan Shenanigans: Peace Protest or Political Agenda?

It seems that Cindy Sheehan had a rather unique meeting with President Bush. According to this story in Newsweek, Mr. Bush isn't the cold, inhumane warmonger that Ms. Sheehan makes him out to be. Excerpts:
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President Bush was wearing "a huge smile," but his eyes were red and he looked drained by the time he got to the last widow, Crystal Owen, a third-grade schoolteacher who had lost her husband in Iraq. "Tell me about Mike," he said immediately. "I don't want my husband's death to be in vain," she told him. The president apologized repeatedly for her husband's death. When Owen began to cry, Bush grabbed her hands. "Don't worry, don't worry," he said, though his choking voice suggested that he had worries of his own. The president and the widow hugged. "It felt like he could have been my dad," Owen recalled to NEWSWEEK. "It was like we were old friends. It almost makes me sad. In a way, I wish he weren't the president, just so I could talk to him all the time."

Bush likes to play the resolute War Leader, and he has never been known for admitting mistakes or regret. But that does not mean that he is free of doubt. For the past three years, Bush has been living in two worlds - unwavering and confident in public, but sometimes stricken in private. Bush's meetings with widows like Crystal Owen offer a rare look inside that inner, private world.

Family members interviewed by NEWSWEEK say they have been taken aback by the president's emotionalism and his sincerity. Before Bush left the meeting, he paused in the middle of the room and said to the families, "I will never feel the same level of pain and loss you do. I didn't lose anyone close to me, a member of my family or someone that I love. But I want you to know that I didn't go into this lightly. This was a decision that I struggle with every day."

As he spoke, Ascione could see the grief rising through the president's body. His shoulder slumped and his face turned ashen. He began to cry and his voice choked. He paused, tried to regain his composure and looked around the room. "I am sorry, I'm so sorry," he said.
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Could it be that Ms. Sheehan's shenanigans are more a reflection of the beliefs of the extreme left anti-war rabble than the emotional protest of a grieving mother?

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