Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cal Thomas on Cindy Sheehan

In his latest column, Cal Thomas makes an interesting case for why President Bush should meet publicly with war protestor Cindy Sheehan.

Thomas writes: . . .

Here's the reason he should meet with her, but not alone. Other relatives of dead and wounded soldiers and some of the soldiers, themselves, should be included. He might also invite a few Iraqis who support the effort to free a people long held in bondage by Saddam Hussein and who face new bondage under the totalitarian dictatorship of Islamofacism if this effort fails.

The president should hold the meeting in a public place. Let the criticism flow, but let Iraqi women tell their stories about rape and torture at the hands of Saddam's now-dead sons. Allow Iraqi men to tell about life under Saddam and how grateful they are that he is gone. Wounded soldiers and families of the dead would speak in support of the war effort. Members of Sheehan's own family could come. They posted a letter on the Drudge Web site in support of the president. . . .

A meeting with her among many would help dilute her political objective and allow other voices to be heard. It would also reinforce the president's position that withdrawal before Iraq is stabilized would do irreparable harm to American interests, Middle East stability and ultimately cost many more American lives as terrorists and fighters claim victory over the United States and feel emboldened to continue their terror campaign to establish one theocratic state after another. . . .

Let Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld preside at the gathering. He is the most articulate member of the administration when it comes to defending the reasons we are in Iraq. Let the president answer respectful, even challenging questions. Americans would appreciate a president who would risk putting himself in rhetorical harm's way when our soldiers are in far greater danger.

The case for creating peace and stability in Iraq is a good one, but it needs to be made repeatedly because of short attention spans, bad memory and the boldness of the left, which thinks it has found the president vulnerable.

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