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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, August 19, 2005


Cindy Sheehan concerns pro-war supporters. Here's a woman who lost a son in Iraq and now calls for the withdrawal of troops from the country. What to do? Launch a massive smear campaign in a vain attempt to discredit her credentials. We've been largely spared the indignity in Australia - though one twit is happy to join the echo-chamber - but in America the conservative cabal is in full swing.

Media Matters provides a usual summary of the chicken hawks lining up to take a swing.

Sheehan has been called an "anti-Semite" (for daring to suggest the large amount of Jews behind the Bush administration) "engaged in Stalinist agitprop" (from Ann Coulter, America's answer to the shrill Miranda Divine) and a "nutbag" from Christopher Hitchens (once forthright and challenging before power and now hectoring a grieving mother. Brave stuff, indeed.)

Take this exchange on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes with former Nixon administration official G. Gordon Liddy:

"LIDDY: Well, I think that it's true that there are Americans who feel the way Cindy Sheehan does. Unfortunately, they are Americans who are very anti-Israel and, in some ways, anti-Semitic. She uses the term how the "neocons" are doing this thing - that's code word for "the Jews in the Pentagon." She has made statements such as -

ALAN COLMES (co-host): Are you calling her anti-Semitic?

LIDDY: Yes. If she gets Israel out of Palestine, then we can get out of Iraq. I mean, check out her statements, she's way out there.

COLMES: Cindy Sheehan's anti-Semitic?


COLMES: That's outrageous.

SEAN HANNITY (co-host): It's outrageous what has been said.

ELEANOR CLIFT (Newsweek contributing editor): That is almost not worth responding to.

LIDDY: Look at her statements. Look at her statements and judge for yourself.

CLIFT: Look at your statements.

It is indeed almost not worth responding to, and yet while these "usual idiots" argue over Sheehan, Iraq descends even further into chaos.


Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

The vitriole is as astonishing as it is unsurprising. Even the 'venerable' BBC got in on the act, giving major coverage to a story about Sheehan's husband divorcing her, complete with this photo of Sheehan grimacing, looking like a stereotypical post-menapausal crackpot.

Friday, August 19, 2005 1:20:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Because the tide is turning and when middle America starts turning, and many of the red Bush states, the hawks have a problem.
I hope the problem continues...

Friday, August 19, 2005 1:32:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...


Friday, August 19, 2005 1:34:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Required reading: apparently not every leftist has the same reaction as you guys.

Ant, you lay yourself bare here: you just want America to lose, no matter the consequences. Nooooooyce, maaaaaayte!

Friday, August 19, 2005 4:00:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Er, yes, that's exactly what I think!
Jesus, your inability to understand nuance is hilarious...
Surely we're past wishing America would lose in Iraq. America has lost. It's clear and an increasing number of US officials are themselves resigned to that fate.
What to do? Withdraw and watch the country become even closer to Iran. Oh wait, that's happening already...
And besides, if you feel comfortable with slamming Sheehan in this way, then you're clearly more deluded than I thought...

Friday, August 19, 2005 4:20:00 pm  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

Liddy's comments betray the concerted effort by right-wingers to paint anyone critical of Bush administration policy as "anti-American" or "anti-Israel." To follow this "undemocratic" thought process to its logical conclusion, does this mean anyone who voted against Bush in the recent election is guilty of sedition?

How long before Johnny, Lord Downer, Costello et al start using the same tactics?...or have they started already?

Friday, August 19, 2005 10:11:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

Do you view David Duke as anti-semitic, Antony?

Saturday, August 20, 2005 12:08:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Duke's views are fairly off the wall and largely anti-Semitic. And your point?
Let me guess. He likes Chomsky or someone of the sort, and therefore...


Saturday, August 20, 2005 1:07:00 am  
Blogger pierce inverarity said...

Given what a complete clown Liddy is, it's amazing that he has a clearer perspective on this than you do, Antony. When someone repeatedly hints, or says outright, that American "children" are being sacrificed for the sake of "Israel", you should recognise the ancient, repugnant anti-Semitic tropes. Given that Israel's leadership was very nervous about any campaign in Iraq and thought that it took the focus off the real danger from Iran, the idea that Israel put Bush up to it is too far-fetched to justify Sheehan and her cohorts dragging up images from the medieval sewer of anti-Semitism, which sit in all-too-comfortable agreement with the widespread anti-Semitism of the Arab world.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 5:46:00 am  
Blogger weezil said...

While David Duke is a red herring in this matter, Duke is anti-semetic, anti-black, anti-immigration, and so on and so on and so on. About the only thing David Duke favours is David Duke- his being convicted on tax evasion charges should be quite enough to convince anyone of that.

I'm not surprised the Rovians are trawling Sheehan's trash to find something to hang on her. Problem is, there's nothing to find. Moreover, how does her being the mother of a man killed needlessly in Shrub's oil war make her a defendant in a trial be meeeeeja?

Terra-ists? "Bring 'em on!" Moms of dead GIs? "Are they GONE yet?"

Antony, you're completely correct that when middle America turns on Shrub, not even Rove will be able to save him.

Liddy... WTF didn't that man didn't get 20 years for his role in Watergate? Only in America could you turn a common crimnal into a talk show host...

Saturday, August 20, 2005 9:30:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

SHe's also spoken at a conference the woman who defended the first WTC bombers at an event full of every sort of hard-left America-hating anti-Semitic whackjob you can find. Ant, I ask, is Cindy Sheehan the best you can do, or are you so blind that you don't see what idiots she makes you lot look loke?

Saturday, August 20, 2005 10:52:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Ah, you're too funny.
The issue here is not Sheehan, but the war. We all know it. It's a disaster and yet you keep avoiding it.
Shoot the messenger as much as you want.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 11:12:00 am  
Blogger Andjam said...

I'm not surprised the Rovians are trawling Sheehan's trash

Hyperlinks please?

The issue here is not Sheehan, but the war.

She and her fans chose to make it about "Mother Sheehan", not about the war.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 3:57:00 pm  

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