One of the more charming aspects of Britian's parlimentary system is the existence of so-called "shadow" cabinet members. For every member of Tony Blair's cabinet, there are counterparts in the opposition parties, who would hold that same post if their party every gains a majority, or becomes part of a ruling coalition. Shadow cabinet
Here in the states, we don't have shadow cabinet members. But that doesn't stop members of the "loyal opposition" from offering advice on various issues, including national security and international affairs. The latest to join the fray is Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother-turned-left-wing nutjob, currently camped out near President Bush's Texas ranch. Ms. Sheehan is, among other things, demanding a meeting with the President (never mind that she's already had one), the impeachment of Mr. Bush, and indictment of the President and his cabinet for war crimes. Oh, and just for good measure, Ms. Sheehan is vowing not to pay her 2004 income taxes, until the President "gives back her son," who died in Iraq in April of last year.
Not satisfied with that busy agenda, Ms. Sheehan found time over the weekend for a series of musings on foreign affairs, all duly transcribed by a sympathetic MSM. According to Ms. Sheehan, terrorist attacks against the west would end if the U.S. would simply vacate Iraq, and Israel withdraws from Palestine.
Alert the Nobel Peace Prize Committee! From the confines of her pup tent in Crawford, Ms. Sheehan has discovered the solution for peace in the Middle East--something that has eluded leaders, diplomats and generals for generations. Of course! We can stop terrorism once and for all just by getting out of Iraq and Palestine. Why didn't we think of that before?
At the joyful prospect of bursting her myopic bubble, one must point out the absolute idiocy and fallacy of Ms. Sheehan's plan. First of all, the U.S. wasn't occupying a single yard of Iraqi territory on 9-11, or when terrorists struck the World Trade Center in 1993, blew up the Air Force barracks in Dhaharn, Saudi Arabia in 1996, or attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. We were under attack long before we invaded Iraq, in part to eliminate an evil regime that sponsored terrorism.
Wait a minute, I thought the 9-11 commission said there weren't any ties between Al Qaida and Saddam. True, there were no direct links between Baghdad and the 9-11 attacks, but there were plenty of contacts in the late 1990s, and Czech intelligence officials have never disavowed their claim that an Iraqi intel officer met with a 9-11 hijacker in Prague before the attacks.
On the Palestine issue, Ms. Sheehan ignores Israel's offer during the Wye River talks in 1999, when Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat an exceedingly generous peace offer--far beyond anything the Palestinians had asked for, both in terms of territory and autonomy. Arafat's response was to unleash the Intifada, that bloody wave of terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Palestinians and Israelis. And, lest we forget, Saddam helped sponsor that terror campaign, writing $25,000 checks to the families of suicide bombers. Call it a coincidence, but far fewer Palestinians have been willing to blow themselves up since Saddam was deposed, and the subsidies stopped.
Needless to say, the Sheehan/Lunatic Left Plan for a Lasting Middle East Peace has no basis in logic, let alone reality. But that won't deter her from making more pronouncements, or stop the MSM from treating her words as models of insight and analysis. Sadly, Ms. Sheehan's moment of fame will last a little bit longer.