The population of a Community called, 'Cindy' is real and growing rapidly. It's way more than just the One Lady who wandered into Crawford, Texas to shake the cobwebs out of a country's collective consciouness. The 'Village of Cindy' has surely drawn strength and inspiration from the gumption of one woman to stand up and say,
"Stop it. Bring them home. Talk to me Mr. President, Please."
And in the light of a D.C. day [or "Crawford-East" as it's likely called], a commander-in-chief whirls through Walter Reed Hospital, sometimes looking for those human-to-human moments and ones that he can draw upon in future sound-bites. Imagine how he [Bush] feels to be so often rejected by service personnel who are struggling with the impact of their injuries. The example of former Army soldier Terry Rodgers (see Wash. Post, 8.10.05; C1,8) comes to mind because of his eloquence for why he declined a visit with the president:
"I don't want anything to do with him. My belief is that his ego is getting people killed and mutilated for no reason -- just his ego and his reputation. If we really wanted to, we could pull out of Iraq. . .So I think he himself is responsible for quite a few American deaths."
I don't know Cindy Sheehan, but I'd bet she never knew she could be capable of articulating a nation's message in an otherwise slow-going news month (save for the large number of deaths in Iraq) and doing it so well by her simplicity.
What's important to note is that Cindy doesn't walk alone. We've all "got her back" figuratively and some quite literally. If Cindy is mistreated, a sizeable Community is mistreated. She is not alone and someone ought to get THAT clear in Crawford-East or Crawford-West and darn quick.
For a war-time president, as the president so often refers to himself, he should heed the wisdom of warrior leaders who excelled in campaigns far beyond him. There are lessons to be learned in all the history books. Ask your wife to select some for you. Among them is the principle of picking your trusted advisors very carefully and understand their motives for leading you this way or that. Because heaven knows who could have so misguided you into allowing Cindy, one of "WE, the People" to being dissed by the office of the president.
We, the People, began this campaign of war under certain premises that have not been borne out truthfully after all. The targeted country changed and our missions changed. Some days we describe ourselves as urban policemen and at others as election supervisors and engineers of city infrastructure. Wow -- just match some of those against what most of us thought we went to war for.
How does it feel, my fellow Americans, to know that your son and my neighbor's daughter were killed-in-action to help bring utility service for 3 months last year to greater Baghdad?
See, we're easily distracted with news of sudden supreme court nominations, hurricanes, and some lousy serial killer or child molestor who was let free without proper controls. So with all of this and high summer heat and gas prices approaching $3.50 gallon gas (remarkably without too many protests; how's that possible?), well. . . you just might think we're not able to FOCUS on Cindy's son, my neighbor's daughter, or the Terry Rodgers who are coming home broken up in multiple ways.
We, the people, "Began with the END in Mind," to quote some 1980's management literature. We're not too sure what End you have in store for US or if you can contrive one during the days left in the presidency you hold in Crawford East or Crawford West.
What every president comes to know and it's how all those history books shape the summary stories that are told is this:
when a president lets the People down, he/she has let us all down.