Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan

Dear Cindy Sheehan,

I am writing to offer an endorsement, and some information concerning you. I would not presume Free Soil is the first national party to offer to endorse you. I could understand why you wish to remain independent. As one rebellious woman to another, I know of the pitfalls and treachery of party politics, but I think Free Soil can be different, partly because my circle of friends revived it over thirty years ago. The blogger known as Heart, Cheryl Seelhoff, has volunteered to run for President, endorsed by the Feminist Peace Network as “a candidate for the rest of us.” That was the title of the announcement on the FPN blog last July . Her platform, a work in progress, is organized as a blog here

Regardless of all that, I wanted you to know Free Soil appreciates your efforts, valiantly fighting to stop the Bush agenda and this war that killed your son for no good reason. The opposition party refuses to take that role to heart. Big surprise, hardly. Democrats make an art of playing it safe, making big deals of minor points of difference, while leaving major points unchallenged, so the war goes on while Democrats think they score points by blaming it all on Bush and filibusters. One might think all this going on would make people mad enough to revolt, throw all the bums out, but there appears to be insufficient common ground to rally behind, so it appears people are complacent or resigned, at least to the eyes of pollsters and pundits. Some groups try to bring people together on this issue or that, putting pressure on legislators to pay attention, but on the surface there are so many problems, it seems impossible to make headway enough to pierce the armor of the system. The media creates the aura of invincibility and inevitability around the corporate empire, but the web is part of the media that is out of control, so women can try to show how we do not have to settle for the usual stuck in a rut male ways. The change Obama represents does not impress me. I suspect it means along the lines of working with Republicans to get things done, like the rotten compromises of constitutional principles in this FISA bill. Perhaps the grassroots will get to Democrats to make the bill unacceptable to Bush, removing the immunity provision at least, but I will not hold my breath. I hear rumors the immunity is only civil and would not hold up in criminal court, but that does not make sense to me.

Just a sample of my issues with that misnomer of an opposition party. As you may know, the old Randi Rhodes message board had a special Cindy Sheehan sub-forum, but her entire site, message board and all, was disappeared without explanation when she left Air America. I heard you on her show, kicking off your campaign against Impeachment Is Off The Table Speaker Pelosi. Friday June 20 she was incensed enough with the leadership over the immunity for illegal wiretaps the House approved to give you another plug. The next week someone on her board announced your Mike Malloy interview. I have been an infrequent, though perhaps notorious, poster there. My first post was to protest an infuriating oddity I found, a picture of you meeting with Larry Flynt, the caption announcing an exclusive interview and political alliance. I challenged this bogus image, a discussion about Mr. Flynt and his business ensued, and eventually the link to the image was broken, presumably by whoever contrived it.

In May Flynt phoned Ms. Rhodes privately, and she agreed to doing a story, with some reservations. She mentioned this on the air. This prompted a Randi Loves Porn thread in the Heard on the Show forum. I had to protest again, perhaps got some people to realize Mr. Flynt and the hardcore gang are peddling something other than erotic art. I had somehow missed that side of Randi Rhodes, hearing a different segment of the show after the local station moved her time slot to live. Some poster volunteered information about previous statements about her preferences, not hardcore. I have since learned she interviewed Flynt on air early this year. She has been alluding to starting a third party, when feeling especially sickened by the party bosses, which caught my attention, but I wish to keep at a distance uncritical fans of Obama or Flynt. I suspect both are up to no good, for different reasons.

Ms. Rhodes, though not entirely uncritical of Obama, has not paid any mind to my protests, unless I missed hearing it. This may be due to the infrequency of my posting, or the issues I raise may not interest her. The LA station was running a clip of her saying we can do nothing without one Democratic Party. She is sold on Obama, at least since March when she concluded his lead was insurmountable. Obama touts his plan to remove all combat troops from Iraq in a year or so. That is his best case scenario, though subject to refinement and excepting personnel to train Iraqis and guard that notoriously huge embassy, fronting for a military base? Then there is the private mercenary contingent. No way can I trust Democrats to end the occupation of Iraq, let alone find a way to avoid escalating the war on terror. Obama talks about finishing the war in Afghanistan. If that is not escalation, what is, especially considering his belligerent posturing at Pakistan. I could ask plenty of questions about his good judgment and connections, and do, in my critique. I am working on a detailed dissection for my blog.

I wondered if you had heard of Omar Osama bin Laden, peacenik son of Mr. Blowback From Hell? He and his British wife are trying to start a campaign for a truce. So I wrote him an Open Letter, submitted it to commondreams, CounterPunch, truthout. No response. Nothing new, being ignored, though in my ventures on various internet forums I have gained some notoriety. If you wish to read it, it is at the top of my blog at the moment, or here . It continues the article it links to, Feminist Diplomacy, posted almost a year ago, before I heard of this man or his quest for peace. I have posted commentary on various articles about the wars in the War category of the news section, accessible through the blog sidebar. War is a particular interest of mine. Obama will do his best to recruit and defang the peace movement, as if his plan will get all the troops out as fast as possible. The foreign policy promised by these warmongers makes me shudder. What would Obama do to counteract the idea he is soft on terror? I am not one to suggest these two parties are the same, but on most issues I care about, they differ too little. Conventional wisdom says people must settle for one of them. You, Heart, who knows how many rebels say otherwise, or would if they believed an alternative possible.

Media determines political viability to maintain its stranglehold on political reality. Free Soil is all about real solutions, going to the root of issues and applying a life-affirming value system. Perhaps you will find Free Soil too radical, far out, rebellious, utopian, etc., though I do not consider my positions impractical or extreme, to the contrary, but I have heard it all. People understand only what they are willing to take in. We are women bold enough to put our ideas out there to try to change the ways men run things, killing and mayhem in endless cycles of revenge, fouling our nest to make money, basing interaction on hierarchical models and cutthroat competition. Women all have different ideas and ways, but I see vast untapped commonality beneath the surface, looking for a way to break that stranglehold. Humanity has the brains and technology to solve most of the problems blindly following conventional ways has created, but as conventional wisdom would have it, business and politics must go on as usual. Hell no. That way lies madness and planetary catastrophe.

Any opinions would be welcomed. If you think there is a possibility we could work together on something, do not hesitate to let me know. You are also welcome to comment on our blogs or forums. I wish you good fortune, as one rebellious woman to another.

Aletha

(Note: I sent this via email on July 4. I know Ms. Sheehan must be rather busy, but at this point, it appears she prefers to keep her opinions of this communication to herself.)

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