You foolish pro-war crowd.
The pro-war pundits who continue to defend the occupation of Iraq are freaked out by the fact that a grieving mother is calling into question their claim that the only way to "support the troops" is by keeping them in the frontlines of George W. Bush's failed experiment. Bush backers are horrified that Sheehan's sincere and patriotic anti-war voice has captured the nation's attention.
What the pro-war crowd does not understand is that Cindy Sheehan is not inspiring opposition to the occupation. She is merely putting a face on the mainstream sentiments of a country that has stopped believing the president's promises with regard to Iraq. According to the latest Newsweek poll, 61 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of the war, while just 26 percent support the president's argument that large numbers of U.S. military personnel should remain in Iraq for as long as it takes to achieve the administration's goals there.
The supporters of this war have run out of convincing lies and effective emotional appeals. Now they are reduced to attacking the grieving mothers of dead soldiers. Samuel Johnson suggested that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. But, with their attacks on Cindy Sheehan, the apologists for Bush's infamy have found a new and darker refuge.
John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times.