Griffs Notes 5/29/07

The first words out of my mouth this morning when I realized the call was from Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan was: Say it isn’t so?!

But to my dismay, a blog posting over the weekend of Sheehan’s retirement from her anti-war crusade is real. In a long letter posted to a left-leaning website DailyKos, Sheehan detailed her decision to call it quits. Here some of what she wrote – and verified in our call this morning:

This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This not my “checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system…

She ended the post this way:

Good Bye America… you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it. It’s up to you now.

And perhaps the other significant news out of the posting was about her 5 acres in Crawford, Texas, known as “Camp Casey”: It’s up for sale.

I have to say that I was honored to get a call from Cindy this morning. I have covered her from the beginning – in Crawford and at protest rallies here in DC. She did not have to call me this morning, but I am thankful that she took the time to confirm the rumors and clarify her feelings and position.

She told me that she feels she has “done all I can do” in trying to end the war. And she directed her frustration at the Democrats saying that they have become “weak” and said also that the “peace movement has become too divided.”

I recalled being with her on the day Speaker Pelosi was sworn in and reminded her that she seemed resolved to hold the Democrats’ feet to the fire on the war in Iraq. And I asked for more understanding on the timing of her decision – Why now?

Cindy says she is going to “regroup her personal efforts and change direction” of her activism towards something more “humanitarian.” She also promised me the first interview when she is ready to unveil her new plans.

There’s no doubt that she still hopes to see her original goal of ending the war in Iraq come to fruition. And I’m sure she still hopes for the impeachment of President Bush too.

But after being attacked by both the Right and more recently the Left, I think the toll became too great. After all, she lost a son, Casey, in 2004, which began the escalation of her plight, cost her time, money and energy – and ultimately her marriage.

Sheehan says she will return to California to spend more time with her other children. And I look forward to learning of her future endeavors.

In the end, the one thing you can say about Cindy Sheehan is that she was fair and balanced – and was willing to hold the Democrats just as responsible as the Republicans on principle. That’s consistency and the anti-war movement is going to miss her.

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