Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

I found the denunciation of Cindy Sheehan in the Sept. 12 Tartan by Benjamin Hackett extremely disgusting. On Sept. 11, I listened to Cindy Sheehan and other parents who had lost children in Iraq. They were determined to do what they could to keep other parents from having to endure the same grief they had suffered.

Most Americans now realize that the war in Iraq has nothing (0.00000) to do with American security. It was defended by deliberate lies told by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and others. The attack on Iraq was a criminal violation of international law ordered by President Bush. As a direct result of that criminal act more than 1800 American men and women have died and thousands more have been seriously wounded.

The statement that Bush is trying to ?spread democracy and freedom throughout the world? is (to quote the words used by Ben Hackett) ?one of sheer idiocy and displays a pervasive lack of education on American foreign policy.? The Bush administration helped to organize an effort that attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela. Agents of President Bush denounced and violated the Geneva convention against torture. Amnesty International has condemned U.S. human rights violations in Guantanamo and in Iraq.

Here at home Bush has worked to limit individual freedom by the ?Patriot Act? and has declared the right to imprison anyone he labels as an enemy for an indefinite period without any charges or any right to a trial. In Texas under Gov. Bush and his successors many people have been executed without having a fair trial. Clearly the struggle for democracy and freedom begins here.

Cindy Sheehan is not exploiting her son?s death for personal gain, as claimed by Ben Hackett. Rather, she deserves the praise of all decent Americans for her efforts to prevent parents and spouses and children from having to suffer the loss of a loved one in Bush?s war. The best way to support our troops and to help protect our security is to insist that members of the National Guard be returned from Iraq immediately and that all U.S. troops return within a year.