The Spirit of Sheehan Lives On
Cindy Sheehan is gone, but her Bush-bashing crusade lives on thanks to White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, whose Monday and Tuesday reports both focus on the the anti-war mother who recently halted her vigil to be with her ill mother.
Bumiller writes Monday: "There is no sign that Mr. Bush will meet with Ms. Sheehan (he met with her once in a group in June 2004, two months after her son's death, when she said that he was disrespectful for calling her 'Mom'), but he did say shortly after she began her vigil on Aug. 6 that he sympathized with her."
Onceagain, Bumiller doesn't even hint that Sheehan said something completely different about that meeting at the time.
On Tuesday, Bumiller nabs the paper's off-lead slot with "Citing Sacrifice, President Vows To Keep Up Fight - Rare Comment On Deaths."
Bumiller puts Bush on the defensive with the Iraq-Vietnam angle: "Then he said he would not bow to growing pressure to withdraw troops immediately from Iraq: 'We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for.' Mr. Bush made his speech at his first public appearance in nine days, interrupting his monthlong vacation at his Texas ranch. In recent weeks, political pressures have intensified over his Iraq policy as sentiment has grown among Democrats and some Republicans that the war has become reminiscent of Vietnam."
By "some Republicans," Bumiller apparently means "one Republican," Sen. ChuckHagel, whose opposition to the war hasn't exactly goneunreported.
"After the Baghdad deadline and the president's speech, with major issues still unresolved in the constitution, the White House nonetheless issued a positive statement, calling the work in Baghdad 'impressive' and 'another step forward.' Mr. Bush made no mention of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier slain in Iraq who has staged a protest outside the president's ranch and inspired antiwar vigils across the country. But Mr. Bush, in citing specific numbers of Americans killed - 1,864 in Iraq and 223 in Afghanistan, he said - appeared to acknowledge to protesters that he understood the human cost of the battles."
Then it's on to Mother Sheehan: "Still, as a counterpoint to Ms. Sheehan's demand for an immediate withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq, Mr. Bush said, 'We'll honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists.' Ms. Sheehan's supporters followed Mr. Bush to Salt Lake City, where more than 1,000 people staged an antiwar protest in Pioneer Park, not far from the Salt Palace Convention Center where Mr. Bush was speaking. A main speaker was Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, a co-founder of the antiwar group Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of a son who died in Iraq." Bumiller talked to Zappala by phone after the rally and devoted a paragraph to her anti-war view.
For Monday's Bumiller, click here.
For Tuesday's Bumiller, click here.
Oil-Price Bias Trickles Out
A Sunday Business story by Conrad De Aenlle, "As Oil Prices Soar, Is It Time to Bail Out?", fosters the liberal media myth of "record" oil prices in its lead: "If energy producers are not raking in enough cash from record-setting crude oil prices, they can always look forward to the tax breaks packed into a bill that President Bush signed into law earlier this month to promote new production."
But when adjusted for inflation, those "record-setting" prices aren't records at all The cost of a barrel of oil would have to top $90, gas over $3 a gallon, to reach the actual prices of 1980. The EnergyDepartment recently reported unleaded gasoline was selling at an average of $2.55 a gallon nationwide.
For the rest of Aenlle's story, click here.
In Awe of Brit "War Resister" Brian Haw
Jonathan Allen's "London Journal" Monday proudly trumpets "A War Resister Outshouts a Law Meant to Quiet Him." The text box: "A single placard blossoms into a panorama outside Britain's Parliament." But what sounds like a burgeoning protest of actual people is actually just the protestor Brian Haw laying out more of his own photos - hardly a "blossoming" protest.
"Mr. Haw, a 56-year-old former carpenter, may seem the very embodiment of British freedom of speech to the tourists who photograph him. But some lawmakers viewed it differently, complaining in particular that his use of a bullhorn to get his views across was distracting them from their work."
Allen translates Haw's thinking in the most flattering way: "That the lawmakers missed their target gives little pleasure to Mr. Haw. 'It's not about the messenger, it's about the message,' he said in an interview, pointing to a display of weather-bleached photographs showing Iraqi children born with deformities, which his exhibit contends is a result of depleted uranium munitions used by the United States and British forces during the Persian Gulf war. 'Doesn't that move you?' he said. He is baffled that his photographs have not attracted more permanent supporters onto the sidewalk."
Allen doesn't question Haw's conspiracy theories over "depleted uranium." Butthe Sandia National Laboratories analyzed the hazards of depleted uranium and concluded: "Concerns have been raised that exposure to uranium particulate could have serious health problems including leukemia, cancers, and neurocognitive effects, as well as birth defects in the progeny of exposed veterans and civilians. [Scientist Al] Marshalls study concluded that the reports of serious health risks from DU exposure are not supported by veteran medical statistics nor supported by his analysis."
More detailed analysis of the lab's findingshere, including: "The radiological risk is extremely small for civilians located downwind from DU munitions use. Thus, DU is predicted to have no detectable health effects (including cancers, leukemia, and birth defects) on downwind civilians."
For more on Haw's protest, click here.