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Jewish World Review Sept. 6, 2005 / 2 Ellul, 5765

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Going to extremes

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Hurricane Katrina wiped out "Camp Casey," and that could be a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view. The storm diverted attention from Cindy Sheehan's anti-war protest in Crawford, Texas, and caused President Bush to ditch his vacation and high-tail it back to Washington where, reports say, Ms. Sheehan will follow.

Like the Terri Schiavo controversy a few months ago, the Cindy Sheehan saga contains some peril for ideologues even though they might not know it. Smart conservatives realized that fanatical rantings about the health of Ms. Schiavo and criticism of a Florida judge who appeared to be upholding the law were risky. When the autopsy was finally made public and proved Terri Schiavo had no chance to recover, the image of conservatives did, indeed, sustain some damage.

Now the same scenario is playing out on the Left in the Cindy Sheehan circus. Perceptive liberals know the woman is an extremist who is being used by the radical left to bludgeon the Bush administration. Ms. Sheehan may be sympathetic on the surface, but underneath she is a committed far-left individual who believes the USA is a force for evil in the world.

Let's look at Cindy Sheehan's resume.

On April 4, 2004, her son Army SPC Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq during a fierce firefight. He was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously.

On June 17, 2004, Ms. Sheehan and her husband Patrick met with President Bush. A week later she speaks kindly about the president with a reporter from a Vacaville, Calif., newspaper.

On July 12, 2004, Cindy Sheehan begins working with the anti-Iraq war group "Families Speak Out."

On Sept. 9, 2004, she is quoted by The San Francisco Chronicle as saying: "Our only goal is to have people understand the human cost of war."

Three weeks later, however, Cindy Sheehan takes a sharp left turn and begins to attack President Bush personally. On Oct. 3, she is quoted in The Washington Post as saying: "(My son) died for someone who wouldn't even fight for his country."

Sheehan then begins to lend her voice to ads financed by the far left "MoveOn" organization, and her protest becomes more strident. She begins showing up at Bush events calling the president a variety of nasty names.

As 2005 begins, Cindy Sheehan introduces a new organization called "Gold Star Families for Peace." She begins to question why Barbara and Jenna Bush are not in Iraq and is quoted on the far-left website AlterNet as saying that American children are being killed or maimed for "a series of lies, mistakes and miscalculations."

On March 22, 2005, Ms. Sheehan ups the ante further and is quoted on another radical left website, Truthout.org, as saying: "Casey was sent to Iraq to be killed by the same pack of cowards and murderers who so valiantly and tirelessly fought for the right for Ms. Schiavo to live!"

On April 27, 2005, Ms. Sheehan appears at a rally to support convicted terrorist supporter Lynn Stewart and says that because the USA has nuclear weapons, it has no right to tell Iran it can't have them. Cindy Sheehan also goes on to say that Israel is "occupying" Palestine.

By now a full-blown radical, Cindy Sheehan is incorporated into the far left media machine and begins tuning up for her Crawford, Texas demonstration by telling various TV interviewers that the U.S. military is in Iraq "killing innocent people."

In early August, Sheehan begins informing the press that insurgents in Iraq are actually "freedom fighters." And that the murderous terrorist acts are justified because of the "occupation" by the USA. Her protest outside the president's ranch draws huge media notice, but few report on her increasingly radical ideology.

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On Aug. 8, I chronicle Cindy Sheehan's left-wing contacts and her actual statements about America on my television and radio programs. She replies that "The O'Reilly Factor is an obscenity to the truth and to humanity."

By the end of August, three newspapers, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun had printed that I called Ms. Sheehan's actions "treasonous." All three papers agreed to retract that false assertion, but clearly Ms. Sheehan and her allies were angry with me for my exposition of them.

My hunch is that Cindy Sheehan has peaked. However, liberals would be wise to understand that any future partnering up with Ms. Sheehan and her committed radical pals will not advance their cause in mainstream America, which has rejected extremism for 230 years. Cindy Sheehan is now actually a danger to the moderate left in this country. Somebody tell them.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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