Tuesday, August 16, 2005
  Moral Authority
"...the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute." So says that brilliant and wise philosopher , Maureen Dowd.

Wrong, Little Mo. Truth and morality are absolute, but they are not dictated by any mortal, not even grieving parents. Right and wrong are not determined by emotion, by feelings, or by who hurts more.

Cindy Sheehan is untouchable because the media have elevated her, using her status as "a mother who lost a son in Iraq", to sainthood. Casey Sheehan was a man in his 25th year, old enough to make his own decisions. He enlisted in the Army in 2000 and reenlisted in 2004. He was sent to Iraq in a noncombat position as a mechanic. He volunteered to go on a dangerous rescue mission.

Does this diminish his sacrifice? No. Does it invalidate the pain his mother feels? No. But it certainly calls into question how well her protests and the political grandstanding of the "peace" movement are paying honor to Casey and what he might have wanted.

Thank God, there have always been men and women willing to pay the price for liberty, even at the cost of their lives. Based on what we can learn of him and his service, and not what his grieving mother says now, Casey Sheehan was one of those. Did he want to die? Not likely. No one I know in the military does. But we know that, as Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants."

I am sorry for the pain Cindy Sheehan suffers. I am equally sorry for the pain of the families of the nearly 2,000 Americans who have given their lives for the freedom we are delivering to the people of Iraq. I hope that others will grieve with my family if I die in my service to this country. But that pain is what accompanies the cost of freedom. It does not change the rightness of the mission our country has undertaken. It does not dictate that we end this struggle and leave the people of Iraq to be ruled by a different breed of tyrant than the one we destroyed.

Cindy Sheehan is entitled to grieve. That is something no one can, or should, try to deny her. She is entitled to her opinion and to express that opinion. But her opinion is just an opinion, no matter how many people share it, no matter how great her loss or how profound her grief.

She is still wrong.
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Location: alexandria, Virginia, United States

Retired from the US Air Force after more than 20 years of service. Now working as a contractor for various government agencies.

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