Thursday, September 30, 2004

Close to Home

Michelle Goldberg in Salon.com (subscription/Day Pass) reports on the next wave of commercials that bring the war home to George W. Bush.

In a TV commercial released Wednesday, Cindy Sheehan, a 47-year-old woman from Vacaville, Calif., whose 24-year-old son was killed in Sadr City in April, speaks directly to George W. Bush.

Shot in black-and-white, her soft voice cracking, she says, “I imagined it would hurt if one of my kids was killed, but I never thought it would hurt this bad, especially someone so honest and brave as Casey, my son. When you haven’t been honest with us, when you and your advisors rushed us into this war. How do you think we felt when we heard the Senate report that said there was no link between Iraq and 9/11?”

This is one of four new ads featuring relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq, produced by a new political action committee called RealVoices.org. At a time when soldiers’ parents have been arrested at Bush rallies and thrown out of the Republican National Convention for trying to make themselves heard, Real Voices was formed to broadcast the excruciating messages of those who feel that their loved ones’ lives were wasted in Iraq.

[…]

One might think that Sheehan’s sacrifice would protect her from assaults by the right-wing patriotism police, but one would be wrong. Since she started speaking out, she’s been attacked as a political opportunist and accused of treason.

“I have had people tell me that what I’m doing is supporting terrorists and that my son would be ashamed of me,” she says. “I was on a radio call-in show on Sunday morning, and I had a lot of people call me a traitor.”

[…]

Speaking about those who want her to shut up, Sheehan says, “I think those people are traitors, because my son and millions of brave Americans before him have died for my right to speak out against the government.”

Is it too much to hope that these ads might have as much impact as the SBVT campaign? After all, they have the truth on their side.