That’s the only term that can be given to those who would smear Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son to the Iraq war, and who has recently been a vocal critic of the Bush Administration’s conduct of the war.

Some of her critics seem to be keying in on the fact that she met with the President before, and was perfectly happy with things then. But that would be seriously misreading the truth behind that event. From Section 15:

Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in Iraq last year. Right now, she sits near Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch waiting to talk to him while he takes yet another long presidential vacation. She’s stirred up a lot of press, so much so that a smear campaign to discredit her has begun, launching from the website of the internet prince of mud himself, Drudge.

She is, of course, an anti-war activist. If you haven’t yet heard of her, there’s a good piece in the New York Times on her (registration required), or read about it on CNN.

She’s met Bush before. Last year Bush met with her and over dozen other families who have lost family in the war. She doesn’t feel that she spoke her mind well then, and wants another crack at it.

Mark at Section 15 has further details on the lies that are being spun against her. But even if she didn’t have anything nasty to say to the President the first time around, so what? Have these people not heard about shock and what that does to you when you lose a family member? Do these people not understand what it’s like when the reality of what you have lost hits, sometimes months after the death itself?

And even if this wasn’t the case; how on earth does this incident somehow discredit her criticisms? Plenty of Americans supported the war initially, but revised their opinions as the months wore on. Are we not allowed to change our minds? How undemocratic is that?

Clearly, for some defenders of the Bush Administration, it’s not enough to have given up your children for the sake of your country; if you dare criticize this government, you are no longer a patriot, and are worthy of nothing but scorn.

This woman has been subjected to lies and innuendo, and I continue to be stunned by the moral bankruptcy of those so blinded by their “patriotism” that they would say things like this:

“The crazy hate-filled woman who happened to give birth to a patriot is rather peeved…”

Crazy? Hate-filled? Where on earth is the hatred if not in the people who write dreck like this? The woman lost her son, for heaven’s sake! And the last time I checked, she was an American citizen and thus entitled to her opinion. You want to argue with her on the facts, on the merits of the invasion of Iraq, do so; there’s plenty of room there; but by any standard the responses I’m seeing are beyond the pale, and those who make them have no credibility at all.

Indeed, I feel we’ve come to the point where this quote is highly appropriate:

“Let us not assassinate this (woman) further… You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Apparently not.

Rosemary and Time Contract Signed

On a completely different note…

The paper copies of the publishing contract arrived yesterday. No changes; everything as bog standard as ever, and I was happy to have them signed and witnessed. How happy?


Hey, wait a minute, what’s this passage about my immortal soul?

Am I being silly posting this photograph here? Maybe. At least you can see my nice new haircut. And, it felt good, signing those papers. It made the book seem that much more real.

The next step is, I hope, working on the book cover.

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