Our media have given endless coverage to anti-Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan, but many news organizations ignored the views of the nation’s largest veterans organization, the 2.7 million-member American Legion. On August 23, delegates to its national convention vowed to support U.S. troops and the global war on terrorism. In a clear reference to the Cindy Sheehan media circus, Thomas P. Cadmus, national commander of The American Legion said that “public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm’s way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies.” He called these “public media events” that are “guaranteed to be picked up and used as tools of encouragement by our enemies.”
And who are these enemies? Cadmus said, “We understand that the terrorists they are engaging there would slit the throats of every American, adult and child, if they could.”
“For many of us,” he continued, “the visions of Jane Fonda glibly spouting anti-American messages with the North Vietnamese and protestors denouncing our own forces four decades ago is forever etched in our memories.” Cadmus said, “We must never let that happen again. I assure you, The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom loving peoples.”
An AP story by Alexandre Da Silva covered the Legion’s resolution and also noted the views of James Vialard, a former Army Sergeant who served 26 months in Vietnam. He told AP that the toughest times came when actress Jane Fonda was in the news or when anti-war protesters took to the streets, “making the front pages or the evening news.”
He said, “How would you like to be 10,000 miles away from home knowing that people in your country are against you?” Vialard blamed the protesters for strengthening communist resistance. “It gave them power over us,” he said.
For a time, we thought the Jane Fonda of the Iraq War was going to be Bill Maher, who derided our troops as “low-lying Lynndie England fruit,” a reference to the soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners. But the Jane Fonda of Iraq is quickly becoming Cindy Sheehan, who, despite losing a son in the war, has referred to foreign terrorists in Iraq as “freedom fighters.” Sheehan was reportedly captured on tape saying that “?now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open, freedom fighters from other countries are going in, and they [American troops] have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country.”
American Legion national commander Thomas P. Cadmus was correct when he referred to them as terrorists that “would slit the throats of every American, adult and child, if they could.” That is what Cindy’s son Casey was fighting against. The media which glorify her have lost all sense of reality. But at least we now understand whose side they’re on.