The Other Side of the Story
If you've sipped the Kool-aid and believe the Cindy Sheehans of this world, then you probably believe that George W. Bush is an ignorant, callous, unfeeling warmonger, who cheerfully sends U.S. soldiers to their death in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Newsweek (yes, Newsweek) finally weighs in with the rest of the story. Mr. Bush, they discovered, has routinely met with the families of military members who have died in the War on Terrorism. Most of these meetings are unpublicized; there is apparently no effort to screen out those members who oppose the war, or want to rail against the President over the loss of a family member.
While the magazine deserves some credit for its potrait of a compassionate and caring Commander-in-Chief, a couple of points are in order. First of all, Mr. Bush's meetings with the families of war dead are hardly a state secret--why did Newsweek wait until now to run the story, after Cindy Sheehan was given too much time (and media access) to make false accusations against the President. Secondly, why did the magazine ingnore some of the more salient points of the Sheehan story, namely the fact that Casey Sheehan volunteered for the mission that resulted in his death, and he was a 24-year-old career soldier-0n his second enlistment--when he was killed in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan has recently insinuated that her son was somehow "tricked" into joining the Army, and promised a rear echelon job as a chaplain's assistant.
Personally, I'd like to read more about Casey Sheehan and less about his mother. From what we've been told, Casey Sheehan was a genuine hero; as an Army vehicle mechanic, he could have stayed in the motor pool (and relative safety). Instead, he volunteered for a mission to rescue fellow soliders, despite being told that he didn't have to go. We can all take pride in the valor and heroism of Casey Sheehan, just as we are collectively revulsed by the actions of his mother.