Ignoring Cindy Sheehan

Despite the wide amount of attention paid to Cindy Sheehan and her particular brand of loudly vehement idiocy, I’ve managed to stay relatively uninformed about her until the past week. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep up my veil of ignorance.

I am getting quite tired of the left in this country referring to the members of the US military as "children". Mark Steyn does a good job of refuting that while pointing out what a whack-job Mrs. Sheehan has become.

Frankly, I find Mrs. Sheehan’s behavior even more disturbing than the usual infantilization of the military. I can’t help but compare what she is doing to some bizarre public version of necrophilia. She is using her dead son to gratify her own narcissistic desires for attention. It ain’t literal necrophilia, but it’s within spitting distance. She couldn’t get anybody to pay attention to her without playing on the sympathy engendered by the death of her son. I’m not sure what you’d call her behavior besides ghoulish. I’ll just borrow a line from an old movie and just call her a corpse-fucker.

Of course, I’m not qualified to criticize her behavior since somehow she is now endowed with a special moral status that renders her immune from criticism by mere mortals such as me. Sorry, but martyrdom by association doesn’t fly around here. Her son, an adult, made a conscious decision to join the military. He then made a conscious decision to reenlist. He also made a conscious decision to volunteer for a dangerous mission in a dangerous place. Subsequently, he died. Magically, Mrs. Sheehan now has some mantle of invincible morality. How’s that work, exactly? Drape yourself with the corpse of your child and no one has any right to challenge your beliefs? Hmm. This occurs despite the fact that her son, the one who did gain some legitimate status from his actions, obviously disagreed with her. I’m not following how this is supposed to work.

The hardest part for me to grasp is the fundamental disrespect she has shown to her son by all this. She claims to love her son, but has spent an awful lot of time spitting on his memory and denigrating his actions. She refuses to accept his choices, as painful as they may be to her. Instead, she has to portray him in death as some sort of gullible idiot or moral cretin who was incapable of making his own decisions. Maybe I’m strange, but that doesn’t sound like love.

The question for me at this point becomes: why did anybody pay attention to her in the first place? I guess the easy and obvious answer of writing her off as someone who became unhinged by her son’s death wasn’t attractive for some people. Instead, people seized upon her as another club useful for bashing the current administration. I was always taught we aren’t supposed to take advantage of crazies and feed their self-destructive illusions, but we’ll leave that point alone. (I wouldn’t have nearly as many people to mock if we all obeyed that rule.) I would think aiding and abetting her makes you equally complicit.

Of course, if you have no arguments based on facts, I guess it’s easy to try draping yourself with corpses and using appeals to emotion. It’s understandable as an act of desperation, but it doesn’t make you any less of a ghoul.


Behind The Power Curve

I’m a little slow. Reading Blackfive at lunch today, I find out the 16th was declared National Airborne Day. Is it appropriate to offer congratulations to a group you’re a member of? I’m not sure, so I’ll skip that part.

Instead, I’ll offer congratulations and thanks to a group I’m no longer part of: the 82d Airborne Division. The Division is out there on the front lines, doing what has to be done, just like always. All the way, airborne. They have my heartfelt thanks and admiration, because I am too old, too out-of-shape, and too attitudinal to do it anymore.

The effects of being in the Division linger on, however. I was watching a movie the other day with J. Some yotz on screen was wandering about wearing a Kevlar with the chin strap unsnapped. I take one look at him and what pops out of my mouth? "Fasten your fucking chinstrap, troop." She, of course, gives me one of the spousal looks that implies I am exhibiting my lack of sanity yet again. Like he can hear me and it matters anyway, right? Some things are pounded in too hard to be forgotten.