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A Wilderness of Perceptions
Cindy Sheehan is a symptom of a deeper malaise.


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Mark Steyn

EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece appears in the September 12, 2005, issue of National Review.

These are hard times to be a “happy warrior.” The “peace” movement is noisily unhappy and the armchair warriors are subdued or cranky. At one level, it’s not so much “the war” per se, nor even the perception of the war, but the perception of the perception.

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Consider, for example, the latest passing fancy of the anti-war mob, Cindy Sheehan. Since the death of her son in Iraq, Mrs. Sheehan has been opposed to the war. Correction: She was opposed to the war at the time her brave son chose to re-enlist. The only difference is that now she’s opposed to the war with full supporting cast–Joan Baez, Frank Rich, Viggo Mortensen, etc.

I’m relaxed about Mrs. Sheehan. Her biggest supporters are Code Pink/Women for Peace, United for Peace & Justice, and Veterans for Peace, all of whom were officially represented at a big confab in Istanbul this summer that came out in formal support of the “insurgency.” In other words, they’re on the side of the enemy. It’s no good saying–as the blue-state bumper stickers do–”Support Our Troops. Bring Them Home.” The apparatus around Mrs. Sheehan actively supports the fellows who are killing “our” troops. Apparently the head-hackers have more “moral authority” (in Maureen Dowd’s cant phrase) than a government elected by millions of brave Iraqis . . .

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