Antiwar mom Sheehan calls it quits

Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her monthlong protest outside President Bush's ranch, says she's done being the public face of the movement.

"I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush," Sheehan told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

"I'm going home for awhile to try and be normal," she said.

In what she described as a "resignation letter," Sheehan wrote in her online diary on the "Daily Kos" blog: "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."

Sheehan began a grass roots peace movement in August 2005 when she set up camp outside the Bush ranch for 26 days, asking to talk with the President about the death of her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. Casey Sheehan was 24 when he was killed in an ambush in Baghdad.

Cindy Sheehan started her protest small, but it quickly drew national attention. Over the following two years, she drew huge crowds as she spoke at protest events, but she also drew a great deal of criticism.

"I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement," Sheehan wrote in the diary.

On Memorial Day, she came to some "heartbreaking conclusions," she wrote.

When she had first taken on Bush, Sheehan was a darling of the liberal left. "However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the 'left' started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used," she wrote.

"I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of 'right or left', but 'right and wrong,'" the diary says.

Sheehan criticized "blind party loyalty" as a danger, no matter which side it involved, and said the current two-party system is "corrupt" and "rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland."

Sheehan said she had sacrificed a 29-year marriage and endured threats to put all her energy into stopping the war. What she found, she wrote, was a movement "that often puts personal egos above peace and human life."

But she said the most devastating conclusion she had reached "was that Casey did indeed die for nothing … killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think".

"Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives," she wrote. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most."

"I am going to take whatever I have left and go home," Sheehan wrote.

"Camp Casey has served its purpose. It's for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas?"


  1. Paolo

    Observe that, when a female takes a stand on an important political issue, the response of those she has challenged usually starts with criticism of her physical appearance and her femininity.

    Cindy Sheehan had to put up with being called a “publicity whore,” along with countless snide remarks about her looks, most of which were just too slimy and lewd to dignify by repeating them here.

    It’s rare we hear criticism of, say, Dick Cheney, starting with a long description of his obesity and soft, dough-like features. After all, why would that be relevant? Yet the whole pro-war crowd seemed to home in on criticism of Cindy’s femininity, rather than her arguments.

    I don’t blame her for quitting and going home. I doubt I would have been able to hold out as long as she did. You may notice the genuine, quiet courage Cindy displayed throughout this public mocking, as opposed to the fake “courage” of men like George Bush, who loves the adulation of armed forces audiences who have no choice but to cheer.

  2. Richard Kanegis

    Richard Kanegis (
    22 S 22 nd St Apt 305 Phila PA 19103

    The most precious moments of Cindy Sheehans protest was the first few days or weeks when a former Bush supporter actually though she could change his mind and Bush’s handlers were afraid she might if he took a three minute photo op with her.

    The biggest lost was when she sat down on the White House lawn expecting to be arrested rather than waiting when she was arrested by surprise for wearing a peace shirt in the Congressional gallery

    Anyway I believe Bush’s heart is right, but he is locked up in the White House.

    Cheney and Moonie White House Secretary Tony Snow got him surrounded and Condoleezza is too busy fawning over him to even notice and warn the rest of the world he is a prisoner.

    I really believe Bush’s go slow approach to federal stem cell research with moral oversight all along the way makes sense if he could articulate it right, and so does his faith based initiative.

    By the way in Fuluja in October 2006 an Iraqi go-between arranged with commanders in the field for the insurgents to accept nominal Bagdad authority and US troops pulled back. Then a Kerry campaign ad complained of terrorists hiding in Fuluja and Bush demanded al Sadr’s arrest. Today sadly they would be happy to out each other in exchange for peace, but they now can’t trust a world the US says.

    After the Sunni’s told the CIA of the sickopath al Qaida’s leaders whereabouts, Bush offered peace but Sunni insurgents didn’t believe him.

    Spmeone plesae help free our wonderful retarded President from the White House cage.

    I never called for impeach Bush, if Cheney Rowe and Snow are jailed, we’ll have a brand new Bush

  3. Elmo

    Some people aren’t smart enough to sing. They just sit back growin’ callouses on their ass and thinking “Let George do it.” Then they find out what George did and they aren’t so happy. (1973)

  4. gene

    Well she finally realized what so many of us have known for sometime now…..This country has become a staging ground for murdereous criminal activity. Bush is becoming more and more psychotic, supplemental by extreme genuine stupidty. Cheney is nothing but evil incarnate, the devils son so to speak.

    Congress whores themselves with this crowd of devils to acquire votes, what a bunch of spineless, worthless, lieing shits. Then we have McCain who is not even sure what planet he is on, talk about a moron.

    What strikes me as the greatest tragedy (minus all those murdered everyday by the bush gain) is the fact that most (I would say) americans remain clueless and unconcerned about the degeneration of this nation. Here in (Mobile, Ala) the roads were “bumper to bumper” with dreamland USA citizens going to the beach and other (lets go have fun) places. I believe gas would have to reach ten dollars a gallon to slow these uncaring idiots down.

    THIS NATION IS DOA….DEAD ON ARRIVAL…and it has arrived!!!

  5. jennbeez

    Your actions have not been in vain, Ms. Sheehan. Before the neocons invaded Iraq, we thought the military might be a good option someday for our son and daughter. Their father was in the service, and both our families have a strong military tradition. No more.

    For stupid wars Vietnam was bad, but the Iraqi war is far worse. Our young men and women plus tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis are literally dying for oil. Your protests have made many take notice of the human price of such blind, arrogant greed.

    You have also made your son’s name, Casey Sheehan, the most recognized fallen soldier’s name in this war.

    I am wishing you well.

  6. Wayne K Dolik

    I had a few tears in my eyes when I learned that Cindy Sheehan quit today. I have never met Cindy although I know quite a few people that have met Cindy. Among those are Colonel Ann Wright, whom quit the Army after 29 years (in protest of Iraq war) and was a diplomat as well, and Jeeni Criscenzo whom ran for Congress in North San Diego County.

    Cindy was 100% correct when she called us a “fascist corporate wasteland”. We have lost our way in our democracy. Moneyed interests own our two party system. The wars that we send our citizens to are a racket for business interests. I recently saved all of Carl Nemo’s links in my favorites. Carl was right, it’s all been about oil. We have over 3400 dead G.I.’s and 34,000 horribly maimed souls to thank them for.

    We can thank the idiots of the Illuminati for that. When will the American People wake up and realize that we have been manipulated? There is a special place in hell for those that have profited on human misery and I hope that those who have taken advantage of “We The People” enjoy that.

    The two party system is mobbed up and completely corrupt. It is composed of Neo-Cons and Neo-Liberals and they are completely complicit in every thing that they do. They meet in secrecy and refuse to tell the truth to their Constituency.

    Thank you Cindy for telling us what we already knew. You will be missed.

  7. Carl Nemo

    Cindy isn’t a “quitter” she’s made a good decision by saving herself from a continual onslaught of humiliation and grief, and all for what I ask?! She’s done far more than her fair share concerning the ending of this war, started on “cooked” intelligence, courtesy of the Wolfowitz-Feith-Cheney rogue intelligence pipeline. The American people are soon to pay a very dear price for their continual shuffle-butting concerning the cessation of this war.

    Many do not vote, and most if not all have never contacted their elected reps offices in their adult lives. So “we the people” shall surely end up getting the government we deserve, as we are now.

    “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” …
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. Jenifer D.

    was not a sincere one; my war buddy met her and her little entourage at Camp Casey last year and boy are they ever a bunch of two faced, coat-tail riding hacks that were no better than the very seven-headed beast Cindy was trying to make accountable. I’m not surprised she’s exhausted, however, I truly believe that there is more than one way to skin a rat, so to speak. Cindy just didn’t have the experience and I hope she’s learned a few lessons along the way.

  9. Steve Horn

    Kudos to Cindy for her attempts to bring this war to an end. Providing a counterpoint to insanity is never an easy thing to attempt, it’s never comfortable, and it’s less so when a healthy portion of the nation buys into the insanity. Such was the cross that Cindy picked up and carried in a very public way.

    Her being abandoned by the liberals isn’t at all shocking – Phil Ochs (who attempted to inspire the peace movement during Vietnam) once classified the liberals as the most dangerous people in America – because he knew that they were weak. As a leftist he had little time for cocktail party liberals, for the celebrities who take on the cause of the day. I share his views, and I share Cindys frustration.

    How many times should you be assulted (verbally or physically) as you speak/sing out against the insanity? How much personal sacrifice is enough? How much intestinal fortitude do you need to show before the true Left comes to support you, to stand behind you?

    For those of us who did support Cindy and for those of us who will continue to do so and who will continue to try at wrestle peace from the current instanity of American politics, well, perhaps we’ve not reached the point of total frustration – yet.

    Beware, however, you liberals who flap in the wind, ever shifting, never having the strength and conviction to stay the course – there are some to your far left who will hold you to task come the next election cycle.

    As for Cindy – well – if she’s the true anti-war activist I believe her to be – she’ll be back.



  10. Joe Sedlak

    Cindy Sheehan was outstanding in fighting her personal battle with the President – who wouldn’t support a courageous grieving mother? Her personal example inspired many Americans to question the invasion of Iraq and its serious world consequences. She helped raise national consciousness about the consequences of war – exemplified by the death of her son – and her own consciousness was expanded in the process.

    Then the pros took over. They pushed her out front, used the media, “turned” her into a national figure to the point where she actually thought she was leading a national protest and was its leader.

    As she moved into a role to which she never aspired, she became less and less effective. Of course, she was fighting an apathetic nation who was not involved in the war unless their husbands or children were fighting in it!

    Nevertheless, would that there were many more Cindy Sheehans and fewer pros who know how to put a protest together, but exploit people carelessly and abandon them when their little show is over.

    Unfortunately, Cindy was made to believe that she was so critical to the anti-war movement that she had to announce to the nation that it is now “up to them without her.”

    Thank you Cindy – you have helped! You deserve a break!

  11. geyser

    Good-Bye Cindy, I am sorry to see you leave. You have also deserved and earned your Life back, I hope you can find the love you lost and a life of peace.

    You did what more Mothers should be doing, honoring their loss by speaking out against this war. Mothers that are proud of their loss are fooling themselves. They’re lost loved one’s weren’t fighting and dying to protect our country. They didn’t die to preserve our freedom. They aren’t disfigured and maimed for the American way. They fought and died for corporations to get rich, for politicians to get noticed and for a president’s ego. Believing anything else, you have not been paying attention.

    Everything Cindy said in her letter is true. We can ignore what she said, ignore what has taken place and ignore the signs of what is to be or we can step into Cindy’s shoes until they are filled and take up the fight. Of course there is always the easy way, which we have been doing, sit down in our easy chairs, watch everything we earned, everything we accomplished slip away, taken away, be left with nothing but a country that will be a vast wasteland.