You could help Cindy Sheehan try to get President Bush to meet with her and explain the death of her son, Casey Sheehan by emailing a demand note to the White House or by calling Mr. Bush. Ms. Sheehan would like the president to explain why her son had to die — face-to-face.
Somehow, I don’t think Bush’s camp considers the loss of life during a war as requiring an explanation. There are always casualities of war, and Bush, I’m certain, believes this fact to be a necessary and unavoidable by-product of any righteous war. Bush thinks he is doing his god’s will for this country. He has said as much, regardless of the obvious workings of money and politics.
So the question of meeting with the woman camping out across from his Texas ranch is not really about explaining the necessities of war, from Bush’s viewpoint, as it is a question of giving in to a stalker, regardless of the legitimacy of her request. I wonder if media attention will actually spur Bush to grant such a meeting?
More importantly, is telling Bush that we won’t accept the loss of more American lives *really* effective? After all, he follows his own bigger picture: he’s doing God’s will, and death in war is inevitable. He believes that power is also inevitable, and so is the battle for it. “The greater good” is to make sure America stays on top.
Another question then is on what terms do we create an affront on Bush’s mentality? Consider attacking him in his most private of parts: his ego. Does he really want to exit his term as unpopular as President Lyndon B. Johnson? “As more and more American soldiers and civilians were killed in Vietnam, Johnson’s popularity declined, particularly in the face of student protests. During these protests students would often chant the line, ‘Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?‘” The result was Johnson implementing a plan to pull out of Vietnam.
Perhaps Bush imagines that when his term ends, people will finally see that his actions were righteous, and the horrors of veterans’ missing limbs and the excrutiating deaths of Iraqis and Americans will fade into the background. Why not let Bush know that he doesn’t speak for America’s God? When you drop him a line or give him a call, let him know that his war isn’t as righteous or biblically decreed as he hopes. Let him know that we might still be the economic super power, but the rest of the world has lost respect. He has indefinitely tarnished our international relations. Even conservatives have critiqued him, “George W. Bush enjoys neither royal nor religious status that would place him beyond criticism. Whether or not he is a real conservative, he is no friend of limited, constitutional government. And for that the American people should be very, very angry.”
What to do next?
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edited the anthology Bettering American Poetry 2015 and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.