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Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 2005/ 25 Elul, 5765

Larry Elder

Larry Elder
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Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan: The whole world is watching | Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan attempted to get Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., to lead the charge for the immediate withdrawal of troops. Sen. Clinton refused, calling the Iraq War a "complicated situation." For Sen. Clinton, no fool, knows about Sheehan's irresponsible statements, including:

"I don't understand" the "Gold Star Moms who still support [Bush] and his war," and "I . . . pray for these 'continue the murder and mayhem' moms to see the light." [From her online diary, Aug. 27, 2005]

Saddam Hussein and Donald Rumsfeld are "kindred spirits." [Online diary, Aug. 24, 2005]

Her son "was killed for lies and for a . . . Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel." [From an e-mail to "Nightline," March 15, 2005]

The president and "his destructive Neo-con cabal" are "the biggest terrorist outfit in the world." [From her essay, June 6, 2005]

"We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now." [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]

The Bush administration is "a bunch of f—-ing hypocrites." [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]

"If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bulls—t, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?" [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]

Bush "needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war." [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]

" . . . [W]e have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog s—t in Washington. . . . " [San Francisco State University speech, April 27, 2005]

For a different perspective, consider the letter I recently received from a father who lost his own son in Iraq:


I was a philosophy professor; I am a former Marine; I am a conservative; and I am absolutely furious at Cindy Sheehan.

Why is this woman receiving the attention she is getting? Why is the media giving this woman the opportunity to profligately disseminate an obviously radical left-wing platform when there are those of us who are experiencing the same loss of a child killed in Iraq, and yet we don't get the opportunity to appear before thousands of people to share our thoughts and platforms? Is it because they support her and yet can't express the same views without losing credibility?

I didn't vote for the president in the 2000 election. I didn't trust his politics. When he was elected in 2004, he was my choice only as a protest vote. . . . Yet after 9/11 (I am a former New Yorker), I thought he demonstrated that he was a leader. When he decided to fight terrorism abroad, I was encouraged. My son then decided to enlist in the Army. As a former Marine, I couldn't oppose him, yet I wanted him to wait until the heat of the conflict passed. He refused; he was resolute; he wanted to go.

My understanding is that Mrs. Sheehan's son volunteered three times, including the mission that finally took his life. My son didn't volunteer for the mission that took his life. Her son was killed in the line of duty and should receive all honors that go with that sacrifice. My son was killed (28 Jan 05) protecting the Iraqi people during the preparation leading up to the elections in Iraq. My son died four days shy of his 21st birthday, and he was killed by friendly fire.

Now let me ask you, who has more of a right to go barnstorming around the country vilifying the president than I? Friendly fire, Larry. How dare she insult and degrade the memory of her son, my son and all the men and women killed there by her shameless politicking! I understand better than most the depth, breadth, width and length of her grief at the loss of a child. I am reminded every day of his loss; I miss him more than words could ever express. I, however, would never dishonor him or others by a selfish, self-serving display of radical politics wrapped in false pain.

I carry a unit pin from the 25th infantry division with me constantly, as a reminder of my son's service. I wear his dog tags along with mine as reminder of his sacrifice. Every time I see Mrs. Sheehan I cry out of anger, rage, disappointment and frustration at the dishonor she has levied on those who have fallen.

My son Stephen (pronounced Steven) Castellano, and dare I say all others who have died providing for the freedom of Iraq people, deserves better. . . .

By the way, I supported the president in his decision — and still do.

Sincerely, Paul A. Castellano

Mr. Castellano, thank you for your family's sacrifice — a sacrifice that ensures our freedom, including that of Cindy Sheehan.

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2005, Creators Syndicate