Relatives of Cindy Sheehan – who is holding a vigil outside President Bush’s Texas ranch – are now blasting the California woman, claiming she’s trying to promote her personal agenda “at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation.”
Sheehan has been camping outside of the president’s property in Crawford, Texas, hoping to have a second meeting with Bush, to express her displeasure with the ongoing war in Iraq in which her son, Casey, was killed.
Our family has been so distressed by the recent activities of Cindy we are breaking our silence and we have collectively written a statement for release. Feel free to distribute it as you wish. Thanks, Cherie
In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford, Texas, issue: Sheehan family statement:
The Sheehan family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan family supports the troops, our country, and our president, silently, with prayer and respect.
Casey Sheehan’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.
Casey was killed five days after arriving in Iraq last year. He was 24.
His mother, Cindy has been camping out in Texas since Saturday, and vows to remain until she meets with Bush or his vacation comes to an end.
“I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan,” Bush said today. “She feels strongly about her position, and she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position, and I thought long and hard about her position. I’ve heard her position from others, which is: Get out of Iraq now. And it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so.”
The president said pulling out “would send a terrible signal to the enemy.”
“I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place,” Bush said.
“I also have heard the voices of those saying: ‘Pull out now!’” he said. “And I’ve thought about their cry and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree.”
Cindy Sheehan’s statements have been featured on left-wing websites such as Socialist Worker Online, where she attacks the media as well as Bush.
“If anybody had just come out and said in the mainstream media that there’s no reason for this war, my son might be alive,” she writes. “Since the invasion, I think it’s getting worse. The mainstream media has become a propaganda tool for the administration.
“Sometimes, I just feel like bashing my head against the wall until I’m unconscious, but I can’t, because you’ve got to keep fighting. The stakes are too high.”
After President Bush’s first meeting with Cindy last June, she was less abrasive about Bush, telling the Reporter of Vacaville, Calif., “I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.”
She wasn’t completely on Bush’s side however, telling the paper, “We haven’t been happy with the way the war has been handled,” Cindy said. “The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached.”