Not Worth My Son's Sacrifice

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was supposed to be on the Larry King Live show last week. I was
asked to be on the show to offer my opinion on the election in Iraq
from the perspective of a mom whose son was killed in the war prior
to the elections. One of the questions I was going to be asked was:
Do I think my son’s sacrifice was "worth it?" Well, I
didn’t get a chance to be on the show, because I was bumped for
something that is really important: The Michael Jackson Trial.

I had been allowed to go on Larry King Live last night and give
my opinion about the elections and about my son’s sacrifice, this
is what I would have told Mr. King and his viewers:

son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan (KIA, Sadr City, 04/04/04) enlisted
in the Army to protect America and give something back to our country.
He didn’t enlist to be used and misused by a reckless Commander-in-Chief
who sent his troops to preemptively attack and occupy a country
that was no imminent threat (or any threat) to our country. Casey
was sent to die in a war that was based on the imagination of some
Neo-Cons who love to fill our lives with fear.

didn’t agree with the "Mission" but being the courageous
and honorable man that he was he knew he had to go to this mistake
of a war to support his buddies. Casey also wondered aloud many
times why precious troops and resources were being diverted from
the real war on terror.

was told that he would be welcomed to Iraq as a liberator with chocolates
and rose petals strewn in front of his unarmored Humvee. He was
in Iraq for two short weeks when the Shi’ite rebel "welcome
wagon" welcomed him to Baghdad with bullets and RPG’s, which
took his young and beautiful life. I think my son’s helmet and Viet
Nam era flak jacket would have protected him better from the chocolates
and flower petals.

was killed after George Bush proclaimed "Mission Accomplished"
on May 1, 2003 – he was also killed after Saddam was captured
in December of that same year. Casey was killed before the transfer
of power in June of 2004 and before these elections. Four marines
were tragically killed after the election. By my count, about five-dozen
Iraqis and coalition troops were killed on Election Day – is
that the definition of "Catastrophic Success?" But is
that a good day in Iraq? Hundreds of our young people and thousands
of Iraqis have been needlessly and senselessly murdered since George
Bush triumphantly announced an end to "major combat" almost
2 years ago now. All of the above events have been heralded by this
administration as "turning points" in the "war on
terror" – or as wonderful events in the "march of
democracy." Really? I don’t think, judging by very recent history,
that the elections will stop the bloodshed and destruction.

would have asked Mr. King if he would want to sacrifice one of his
children for sham elections in Iraq. Would he or George Bush send
their children to be killed, or maimed for life, for a series of
lies, mistakes and miscalculations? Now that every lie has been
exposed to the light for the invasion and occupation of Iraq –
why are our sons and daughters still there? NOT ONE MORE DROP OF

war was sold to the American people by a slimy leadership with a
maniacal zeal and phony sincerity that would have impressed snake
oil salesmen a century ago. The average American needs to hear from
people who have been devastated by the arrogance and ignorance of
an administration that doesn’t even have the decency or compassion
to sign our "death" letters.

the interest of being "fair and balanced" (oops, wrong
network), I would have been pitted against a parent who still agrees
with the "Mission" and the President. Although I grieve
for that parent’s loss and I respect that parent’s opinion, I would
have defied Mr. King, or that parent to explain the "Mission"
to me. I don’t think anyone can do it with a straight face. The
President has also stated that we need to keep our troops in Iraq
to honor our sacrifices by completing this elusive and ever changing
"Mission." My response to him is "Just because it
is too late for Casey and the Sheehan family, why would we want
another innocent life taken, in the name of this chameleon of a

I was bumped from the show anyway. Now that Scott Peterson has been
convicted and sentenced for his crimes and Laci and Connor’s families
have the justice they deserve, we have the new "trial of the
century" to keep our minds off of the nasty and annoying fact
that we are waging an immoral war in Iraq. We can fill our TV screens
and homes with the glorified images of the Michael Jackson molestation
trial. We can fill our lives with outrage over MJ’s victims and
hope they get justice; not even questioning the fact that George
Bush, his dishonest cabinet, and their misguided policies aren’t
even brought to the court of public opinion. We won’t have to confront
ourselves with the fact that the leaders of our country and their
lies are responsible for the deaths of 1438 brave Americans – tens
of thousands of innocent Iraqis – and the loss of our Nation’s
credibility throughout the world. That might mean we would have
to turn off our television sets and do something about it.

yeah. In answer to the original question Larry: No it wasn’t worth

7, 2005

Sheehan [send her mail] is
the mother of Spc.
Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04
She is co-founder of
Gold Star Families for Peace.

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