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Mother of dead soldier vilifies Bush over war

Lexington Herald Leader | June 14 2005

The president of Gold Star Families for Peace, a mother who lost a son in Iraq, criticized the United States' "illegal and unjust war" yesterday during an interfaith rally in Lexington.

Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., accused President Bush of lying to the nation about a war which has consumed tens of billions of dollars and claimed more than 1,700 American lives -- including the life of Army Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan.

Sheehan was one of more than a dozen activists who were scheduled to speak at yesterday's anti-war rally at the Red Mile, which was organized by the Clergy and Laity Network and co-sponsored by dozens of liberal religious organizations.

Sheehan ridiculed Bush for saying that it's "hard work" comforting the widow of a soldier who's been killed in Iraq.

"Hard work is seeing your son's murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you're enjoying the last supper you'll ever truly enjoy again. Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son, your first-born, your kind and gentle sweet baby. Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big (brother) into the ground. Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both," she said.

Since her son's death, Sheehan has made opposition to the Bush administration a full-time job.

"We're watching you very carefully and we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people," she said, quoting a letter she sent to the White House. "Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life ... ," she said, as the audience of 200 people cheered.

The "Freedom and Faith Bus Tour" -- which brought Sheehan to Lexington, has already visited New York, Chicago and Indianapolis. The next stops include Columbus, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Other speakers included state Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, Clergy and Laity Network executive director Rev. Albert Pennybacker of Lexington, Kentucky Council of Churches executive director Nancy Jo Kemper and Baptist Seminary of Kentucky Professor Glenn Hinson.

Quoting scripture and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hinson suggested the nation is greedy and morally bankrupt and warned that America's fear of terrorism is excessive and unhealthy. Denouncing "fear that immobilizes, fear that causes you to lash out mindlessly, fear that prompts a nation to launch a preemptive strike against an imagined enemy, fear in excess," Hinson said, "Only God's love can bring that kind of fear under control."

 

 

 

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