Bush Elects to Smear and Dodge Cindy Sheehan

by Ahmed Amr

Thirty years from now, we will get a full account of the White House strategy for dealing with Cindy Sheehan. In the meantime, we are obliged to depend on available fragments of information and our past experience with Karl Rove’s smear machine. So far, we know that the president has altered his vacation plans to cope with a sudden and unexpected outbreak of anti-war fever. As he interrupts his five-week summer siesta to resell the Iraq war, a full-scale smear campaign has been set in motion to discredit the lady from Vacaville. The Rove squads are out in force to change the subject and cast doubt on whether Cindy has the qualifications to argue with the president on the merits of this war of choice. Artful Texan dodgers have been commissioned to paint a canvas portraying a compassionate commander in chief who feels Cindy’s pain but disagrees with her position and her policy recommendations. The desired effect is to convince the public that Sheehan is a distraught uninformed mother of a fallen soldier who needs compassion -- not answers. If things go according to plan, Cindy will be perceived as a weak and vulnerable woman who is being victimized and manipulated by the sinister forces on the extreme left -- a fringe movement that apparently includes every other American. On the other half of Rove’s canvas, the spinmeisters will project a resolute president who wants to ‘stay the course’ and ‘complete the mission’ to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to “fight the terrorists over there before we are forced to fight them over here.” Bush will throw in a couple of obligatory references to 9/11 insinuating that the invasion of Iraq was a legitimate part of the ‘war on terror’ -- and wrap it up with a bit of fiction about spreading democracy in the Middle East....


Cindy Sheehan


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August 2005

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