” ‘Peace Mom’ greeted by protests at St. Xavier”

“If you care about the troops, do more than carry a sign or put up a bumper sticker . . . if you support this war and President Bush, march to your recruiter’s office and sign up.”

Click through for local coverage of Cindy Sheehan’s recent speech at St. Xavier on the Southwest side of Chicago.

From the Sun-Times coverage:

“She talked about how her son shared a birthday with John F. Kennedy and died in Iraq on April 4, 2004, the same date Martin Luther King was killed. That’s when the protesters in the crowd started heckling her.
When she started reading her daughter’s anti-war poem, something that spurred her to the peace movement, about 20 protesters inside the gym walked out, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and screaming at her. (according to the Daily Southtown, “Sheehan put her hand across her heart and joined in.”) As they left, Sheehan gave them the peace sign.”

From the Daily Southtown’s coverage:

“(Sheehan) has the right to grieve and freedom of speech, but I think she’s dividing our country,” said Tony Cutrano, 47, of Palos Heights. “We’re not pro-war or necessarily pro-Bush. We’re pro-military. Whether the war is right or wrong, we have to stand united.”

“Un-Americans, go home!” Army veteran Joe Palenik shouted at the anti-war demonstrators.
“We don’t want them to get killed,” countered Joseph Casillas, a 74-year-old veteran who is opposed to the war. “We want them to come home.”

In the back row of the bleachers, a handful of protesters stood with their backs turned to Sheehan.

She (Sheehan) said the war in Iraq is based on “lies and deceptions.” She called for an immediate troop withdrawal.
“When the soldiers get home, we need to let them know it was the mission we disagreed with,” she said, “not the soldiers (who were) doing their jobs.”
Christina Finn, a military mom and founder of the Patriotic Pillow Project, disagreed with that stance.
“We believe in our troops and their mission,” said the Oak Lawn woman wearing an American flag earrings and scarf. “We don’t cut and run.”

4 Comments so far

  1. elizabeth (unregistered) on February 17th, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

    I’m not a war supporter. But Cindy Sheehan drives me up the wall. I think there are few people willing to speak so publicly on issues of national importance who are so incredibly ill informed as Sheehan.

  2. nikkos (unregistered) on February 17th, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

    Care to buttress that statement with any relevant examples? Not shilling for Sheehan or picking a fight- just curious asa to why you feel that way.

  3. zed (unregistered) on February 20th, 2006 @ 10:04 am

    Elizabeth, at least she is doing something, like complacent people who just watch things happen and says they are misinformed. Just think, peoples children are going to be asking “why did people just watch the world get destroyed?” just like what happe ned in Germany, during the race riots, etc. Sad how people easily forget.

  4. elizabeth (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 11:50 am

    Sorry I didn’t get back to you on this sooner, Nikkos.

    I think there was a push, in the past, to call dissenters anti-American. To imply that by questioning the government, by pushing for change, a person was casting doubt on the presidency and was therefore not fulfilling their patriotic duty. It was (and is, to an extent) a scary, McCarthy-esque sentiment raging in this country. I do think there is a line, there is a difference, between being “anti American” and being a patriot who loves this country and works for its betterment. Even if that working, dissenting patriot my say negative things about choices the government has made or about the current administration.

    Unfortunately, some of Cindy Sheehan’s actions have crossed that blurry line. I think meeting with Hugo Chavez, for instance, hugging him, and publicly supporting his actions is something that only a sincerely uninformed American would do. Hugo Chavez openly hates America, and has also been accused of committing terrible crimes against his own people. Not the kind of guy I’d like to be seen hugging. It’s certainly not the same thing as meeting with Al Qaeda, but when I see Cindy Sheehan, a public figure who is supposedly standing up for “my team” meeting with people who hate this country, it kills all of her credibility. I think, sadly, that Cindy Sheehan is suffering and is being exploited in her suffering. (And believe me; it kills me to agree with Bill O’Reilly on this.)

    As I’ve said before, I don’t support this war. But I do think that pulling out of it RIGHT NOW is a bad idea. We have a duty, I think, now that we’ve torn this country apart, to repair its infrastructure, to try to leave Iraq in a position where they are not so weakened by this war that they are unable to maintain their country and their new found “freedom”.

    Cindy Sheehan is calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. I think that, clearly, is an uninformed position. So those are my buttresses.

    Zed, I do agree that it’s important to stand up and shout about the wrongs being perpetrated against the people of this world. But I think a person ought to know what they’re shouting about.

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