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Cindy Sheehan Visits Mardi Gras – No Beads!

Yet another all expenses paid vacation for Mother Sheehan.

Of course she had to put in a little crying time, for the cameras. But it’s nice to see she got protested by mothers who have children currently serving in the military.

From the Louisiana TV news, Advocate:

Cindy Sheehan, center, mother of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Sheehan speaks at local church

Protesters gather to support troops

Advocate staff writer
Published: Feb 13, 2006

While Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan was inside the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge on Sunday, condemning the war in Iraq, about a dozen Blue Star Mothers and others gathered outside to encourage support for troops serving overseas.

Sheehan made headlines last year when she and members of her organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, camped outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch, unsuccessfully demanding a meeting with the president after her son, U.S. Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2004.

Sheehan, who is calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, said the emotional effects of the war make the number of U.S. casualties higher than the 2,267 reportedly killed in action to date.

“It doesn’t matter if they come back whole, all of them are a casualty of this war,” she said. “I wonder if the people across the street know anything about this: the true human cost of the war.”

Gold Star Mothers are mothers who have lost a child in the service of the country. Blue Star Mothers are mothers who now have, or have had, children serving in the military.

Blue Star Mother Martha Leblanc of Baton Rouge, whose son returned home two weeks ago from serving in Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division, said she supports her son’s decision to serve in the military.

Sheehan said to the more than 100 in attendance at the church forum that “joining the military can be honorable, but you don’t join when there are irresponsible leaders in the administration, like George Bush.”

The Blue Star group stood on the sidewalk across the street from the church, waving American flags and “Support our Troops” banners decorated with yellow ribbons.

Janet Broussard, president of Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana, held a sign that read, “Honor, Respect, Never Forget Our Fallen.” Passing automobiles, honking their support, could be heard from inside the church.

Broussard insisted their presence was not in opposition to Sheehan, but rather to promote support for “our troops.”

“I don’t agree with her,” Broussard said, “but I’m not going to talk bad about her. She lost her child.”

Sheehan was joined by retired Col. Ann Wright, a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army who worked for 16 years as a U.S. diplomat until she resigned in opposition to the war.

Both women arrived at the church wearing large black T-shirts similar to the one Sheehan wore Jan. 31 when she was detained by police before the President’s State of the Union Address earlier this month. The message on the shirt: “2,245 Dead. How many more?”

Wright’s T-shirt Sunday had the number updated to 2,267.

“What happened to me on Jan. 31 should shock, anger and scare you,” Sheehan said, claiming her civil rights were violated.

Wright criticized the federal government’s practice of monitoring international phone calls within the country. She said she is sure Sheehan’s calls have been monitored.

“Would you like our cell phone numbers? Everyone else seems to have them,” she joked.

Clyde Johnson, a Baton Rouge resident and a member of the church, said he supports Sheehan’s call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

“I grieve at the number of young lives lost on both sides for no real reason that would make this world a better place that I can see,” Johnson said.

Rachel Patineau, 66, of Baton Rouge, echoed Johnson’s sentiment.

“I am very pleased to see the opportunity for people to hear about the atrocities of this war,” she said. “I’m grateful for the church providing the community to hear this.”

The Rev. Steve Crump said the church, which has many views among its membership, does not endorse Sheehan’s views.

“We’re just providing a forum for her viewpoint,” Crump said. “I think the status quo is what we often hear from the Defense Department and the administration, so this is just another viewpoint in the spirit of fairness.”

Crump said Sheehan belongs to a club of increasing numbers in Louisiana of parents who have lost children in the military in this war.

“I’d say most Americans disagree with her, but she’s become a symbol of hatred,” he said. “She’s a citizen simply speaking her mind.”

Crump said if anti-Sheehan activists wanted to use the church as a forum for their views, he would try to meet their request.

Today, Sheehan will take part in a forum titled “Two Perspectives: The War in Iraq” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. Representing the other perspective will be U.S. Marine Corps Col. David Couvillon.

I sure hope that Unitarian church didn’t violate its tax exempt status with this political activity.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 13th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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