One of the Many Differences Between Old Soldiers and Old Radicals

Earlier today there was a report that Senator Chuck Hagel had telephoned Cindy Sheehan to offer his support for her anti-Bush jihad. Now, Right Wing News seems to have the whole story.
In her “last post from Crawford,” Sheehan offered thanks to a list of lefty politicians who “either came to CC, or called me to offer their support and love.” Hagel was on the list. John Hawkins wondered about that, and called Hagel’s office:

I talked to three people there and every single one of them unconditionally denied that Senator Hagel had ever been to Camp Casey or talked to Cindy Sheehan. So, I guess this is just another instance of Cindy Sheehan playing fast and loose with the truth.

I don’t trust Hagel as far as I can throw him, but on the whole, I think that’s the right conclusion.
By the way, Meyer Levin’s excellent book Compulsion begins with the observation that “Nothing ever ends.” I’m starting to get that feeling, too. Among the people whom Sheehan thanked in her “last post” were Dennis Banks and Russell Means of the American Indian Movement; Banks came to see her in Crawford wearing a ceremonial Indian headdress. Our younger readers may not be aware of AIM’s murderous history, and news organizations certainly didn’t disturb the mood by mentioning it; the Associated Press discreetly described Banks as an “Anishinabi elder.”
I never thought, more than thirty years ago, that Means and Banks would still be on the scene in 2005, being treated by the media like Indian versions of Al Sharpton. What’s next, another occupation of Alcatraz? Which was, if you didn’t know, Jane Fonda’s first radical adventure. And Fonda is planning a “peace tour” on a bus to protest the Iraq war next spring. So we have come full circle, I guess. I’m OK with the fact that old radicals never die, but can’t they please fade away?


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