Cindy Sheehan: A Disgrace to Kent

Stephen Ontko

In an apparent attempt to commemorate the events of May 4, 1970, the May 4 Task Force has decided that bringing Cindy Sheehan to speak on campus is the most suitable way for the student body to be enlightened as to what lessons should be discerned from the May 4 incident.

Bringing Cindy Sheehan, who wasn’t even a teenager when May 4 occurred, is a blatant attempt to use the status of May 4 on this campus for current political motives, at the expense of using the May 4 Task Force to its true intent: reflecting on the events of the shootings and learning from that day’s mistakes.

Cindy Sheehan believes American military presence in Iraq is the cause for terrorists’ desire to murder civilians. In an interview with the BBC’s Gavin Esler, Cindy Sheehan believes it incorrect for the United States “to say that we have to stay there with our military to help them when our military presence, as John Kerry says, ‘is the problem, not the solution.'”

Based on recent reporting by The New York Times, on April 18, as many as 171 Iraqis died in Baghdad, predominantly by car bombs. It is unlikely the solution of reducing such horrific civilian deaths would be for United States’ forces to abandon policing Baghdad, as long as the civilian population refused to support a dictator after Hussein, anyway.

According to Sheehan, through bombing Iraqi markets and pedestrian filled streets, terrorists are in actuality attacking American imperialism, and the terrorists murdering Iraqi civilians are acting in the interests of Iraq. Cindy Sheehan’s irrational beliefs result from Sheehan’s vehement anti-American sentiments, which cloud her logic to the point where even terrorists killing innocent civilians are more victims than murderers.

The attacks on Iraqi civilians are attacks on Iraqis’ attempts to, through their newly gained freedom from oppression, improve their lives, which soldiers such as Casey Sheehan have sacrificed everything to provide. Yet, Sheehan is so delusional as to which forces, despite terrorists constantly bombing innocent civilians, are acting in the interests of Iraqis. Compared to Saddam Hussein, Sheehan says “it seems like George Bush is trying awful hard to catch up with killing innocent Iraqis.”

Similarly to Sheehan’s zealous anti-American stance claiming that terrorists killing civilians are occupational resistors, so, too, do her views cause her to overlook the oppression of a dictator thousands of miles away from Iraq: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

According to The Associated Press, during a trip to Venezuela in early 2006, Cindy Sheehan praised Hugo Chavez for “supporting life and peace” and claiming that the Venezuelan regime was sincere in a devotion to human rights. This, as the communist leader regularly proclaims “Down with the U.S. empire! It must be said, in the entire world: Down with the empire!” is nothing short of sedition as far as an American is concerned.

Due to undermining the effort for democracy in Iraq while emboldening Iraqi militants and South American communist dictators, it is a travesty that Cindy Sheehan has been invited to speak at this university, especially considering that she has been invited on the premise of memorializing May 4. The May 4 Task Force has egregiously overstepped its bounds, and has allowed a more than 30-year-old tragedy to lower Kent State’s image even further.

Stephen Ontko is a sophomore pre-economics major and guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].