An Open Letter to Barbara Bush

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Dear Barbara,

On April 4,
2004, your oldest child killed my oldest child, Casey Austin Sheehan.

Unlike your
oldest child, my son was a marvelous person who joined the military
to serve his country and to try and make the world a better place.
Casey didn’t want to go to Iraq, but he knew his duty. Your son
went AWOL from a glamour unit. George couldn’t even handle the Alabama
Air National Guard. Casey joined the Army before your son became
commander in chief. We all know that your son was thinking of invading
Iraq as early as 1999. Casey was a dead man before George even became
president, and before he joined the Army in May 2000.

I raised Casey
and my other children to use their words to solve problems and conflicts.
I told my four children from the time that they were small that
it is always wrong to kick, bite, hit, scratch, pull hair,
etc. If the smaller children couldn’t find the words to solve their
conflicts without violence, I always encouraged them to find a mediator
like a parent, older sibling, or teacher to help them find the words.

Did you teach
George to use his words and not violence to solve his problems?
It doesn’t appear so. Did you teach him that killing other people
for power and oil is always wrong? Obviously you did not.
I also used to wash my children’s mouth out with soap on the rare
occasion that they lied… did you do that to George? Can you do
it now? He has lied and he is still lying. Saddam did not have WMDs
or ties with al-Qaeda and the Downing Street Memoranda prove that
your son knew this before he invaded Iraq.

On August 3rd,
2005, your son said that he killed my son and other brave and honorable
Americans for a “noble cause.” Well, Barbara, mother to mother,
that angered me. I don’t consider invading and occupying another
country that was a proven non-threat to the USA is a noble cause.
I don’t think invading a country, killing its innocent citizens,
and ruining the infrastructure to make your family and other merchants
of death even richer is a noble cause.

So I went down
to Crawford in August to ask your son what noble cause he killed
my son for. He wouldn’t speak with me. I think that showed bad manners.
Do you think a president, even if it is your son, should be so inaccessible
to his employers? Especially one of his bosses whose life George
has devastated?

I have been
to the White House several times since August to try and meet with
George and I am going back to Crawford this week. Do you think you
could call him and ask him to do the right thing and bring the troops
home from this illegal and immoral war that he so carelessly started?
I hear you are one of the few people he still talks to. He won’t
speak to his father, who knew the difficulties and impossibilities
of going into Iraq, and so didn’t go there in your family's first
Gulf War. If you won’t tell him to bring the troops home, would
you at least urge him to meet with me?

You said this
in 2003, a little more than a year before my dear, sweet Casey was
killed by your son’s actions:

“Why should
we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant.
So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
(Good Morning America, March 18, 2003)

Now I have
something to tell you, Barbara. I didn’t want to hear about deaths
or body bags either. On April 04, 2004, three Army officers came
to my house to tell me that Casey had been killed in Iraq. I fell
on the floor screaming, begging the cruel Angel of Death to take
me too. But the Angel of Death that took my son is your son.

Casey came
home in a flag-draped coffin on April 10th. I used to have a beautiful
mind too. Now my mind is filled with images of his beautiful body
in his casket and memories of burying my brave and honest boy before
his life really began. Casey’s beautiful mind was ended by an insurgent’s
bullet to his brain, but your son might as well have pulled the

Besides encouraging
your son to have some honesty and courage and to finally do the
right thing, don’t you think you owe me and every other Gold Star
parent an apology for the cruel and careless remark you made?

son’s amazingly ignorant, arrogant, and reckless policies in Iraq
are responsible for so much sorrow and trouble in this world.

Can you make
him stop? Do it before more mothers’ lives are needlessly and cruelly
ruined. There have been too many, American and Iraqi, worldwide

25, 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
. She is the author of Not
One More Mother’s Child
and Dear
President Bush

Sheehan Archives

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