The Ultimate Oil Price

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On April 4th, just five days after arriving in Iraq, Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed ..His distraught mother, Cindy, decided to use what leverage she might have as a grieving parent of a deceased soldier to speak out against the war. So, she camped out in front of George Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanding that the President meet with her in order to answer some tough questions about why her boy had been sent overseas.

“Am I emotional? Yes, my first-born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy… not for the real reason, because the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate our Middle-Eastern foreign policy. That hasn’t changed since America invaded and occupied Iraq… in fact it has gotten worse. You get America out of Iraq, and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism.�

These were the words Cindy Sheehan supposedly said on March 15, 2005. On April 4th, just five days after arriving in Iraq, Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed while riding in a convoy through Baghdad. His distraught mother, Cindy, decided to use what leverage she might have as a grieving parent of a deceased soldier to speak out against the war. So, she camped out in front of George Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanding that the President meet with her in order to answer some tough questions about why her boy had been sent overseas. While waiting for an audience that is yet to be granted, she proceeded to accuse the administration of having hidden behind buzzwords like “freedom� and “democracy� as a smokescreen to launch an immoral invasion in quest of Iraqi oil.

Because it would seem heartless to ignore someone whose son had made the ultimate sacrifice, national media coverage soon ensued for this feisty anti-occupation crusader. And since she gave good sound bite, a groundswell of support for Cindy Sheehan built to a tidal wave. For Sheehan suddenly put a face on the silent suffering of the thousands of families who’d lost a loved one in Iraq.

Bush and his cronies realized that they were up against a formidable adversary when this new media darling somehow stole the hearts of the “God, Mom & Apple Pie� crowd. From this moral high ground, she placed the blame for her son’s death squarely on Bush’s shoulders. “He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East,� adding, “America was not worth dying for.�

As for bringing democracy to the region, she quipped, “I certainly didn’t raise my son to be an outstanding citizen of the world to go and die so some people could have ink-stained fingers.� What interests me is how quickly Sheehan’s bubble burst after she was accused of having made several anti-Semitic remarks on March 15th, well-before her son had passed away.

The same press which had hung on her every word, just as quickly discredited Cindy Sheehan, even though she tried to inform anybody who’d listen that she never made the statements now being attributed to her. “I didn’t say that my son died for Israel,� she told MS-NBC’s Anderson Cooper. “I never said that. Those aren’t even words I would say.�

Who knows what the truth is, but I wouldn’t put it past right-wing dirty tricksters to have fabricated the quotes. Regardless, isn’t it amazing how playing the Israel card instantaneously trumped God, Mom & Apple Pie? For whether or not she might have had a momentary lapse in judgment should not reflect badly on those 2057 other mothers of deceased Coalition troops who also had their hearts ripped out of their bodies forever the moment they received their “Regret to Inform� telegram.

Black Star columnist Lloyd Williams is an attorney and a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars. For more reports please click on “subscribe� on our homepage or call (212) 481-7745 to order the newsstand edition of The Black Star News, the world’s best Pan-African news weekly.

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