The Friends of Cindy Sheehan

The Summer of Cindy is over, and just in time. The mainstream media have drawn a discreet curtain over the activities of the woman they followed breathlessly for weeks, milked for all the anti-administration propaganda she was worth, and then dropped like a hot potato.
Maybe no one cares about Ms. Sheehan any more. Many, of course, never cared about her in the first place. But, given the Madonna-like status that she was accorded during her “vigil,” it seems only fair to shine a bit of sunlight on Sheehan’s current activities.
Sheehan is still blogging on Michael Moore’s web site. Today she wrote from New Orleans, where she has taken her traveling road show:

After we arrived at Camp Casey III, we took the Veterans for Peace “Impeachment Tour Bus” into New Orleans after stopping at the distribution center to pick up some supplies in Covington.
I saw in the paper that George Bush said the recovery in the Gulf States would be “hard work.” That’s what he said about sending troops to Iraq and looking at the casualty reports everyday: “It’s hard work.” That man has never known a day of hard work in his life. The people on the ground in Covington scoffed at George’s little junket to Louisiana yesterday. He stayed in the French Quarter and a Ward that weren’t even damaged a bit.
Malik Rahim, a new friend of ours and resident of Algiers, told us stories of the days after the hurricane. …People were running out of food and water and they were being forced to go to the Superdome. They didn’t want to go to the Superdome.
In Algiers, in the space of 2 short weeks, Malik and his community has opened a clinic which also doubles as a food and supply distribution center. We need more help in Algiers. Malik and the other dozens fine volunteers are planning on opening 2 more clinics in Algiers…. Malik has also set up a communications center in an apartment next to his house which is for the community to use. The aid that is being given in Algiers is completely driven by the needs of the community. They have a saying in Algiers: Not Charity, Solidarity.

Who is Cindy’s “new friend” Malik Rahim? He is conventionally described as a “veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans,” and was recently a Green Party candidate for local office there. But the truth is somewhat worse. Rahim is a Communist. Here is a speech he gave to the Communist Manifesto conference in December 1998; it begins:

I’m here on behalf of two revolutionary freedom fighters that have spent the last 26 years in solitary confinement in Angola, a state prison in Louisiana. I met these freedom fighters as a political prisoner in 1970. I was in a shoot-out with the police in New Orleans as a member of the Black Panther Party.

The Communist Manifesto conference was reported on by the Workers World Party (“Workers & oppressed peoples of the world unite!”). The Workers World Party is currently the most active Communist group in the United States, in its own name and through its subsidiaries International ANSWER and the International Action Center, which is headed by former attorney general Ramsey Clark. See this critique of the Workers World Party and its affiliates by fellow far-leftists. We have commented on the Workers World Communist network here and elsewhere. As we noted in the linked post, the Workers World Party is the result of a schism following the 1956 Russian invasion of Hungary: the Workers World Party supported the invasion.
Cindy Sheehan’s association with these Communists is no fluke. They are among her most fervent supporters (or, perhaps, manipulators). Sheehan has announced that she will participate in a climactic anti-Iraq war protest in Washington on September 24. Who is the co-sponsor of the September 24 demonstration? International ANSWER. Who has promoted the “Camp Caseys” that have sprung up here and there? the Workers World Party. Who has a special web page devoted to “supporting Cindy Sheehan”? the International Action Center.
What makes these associations doubly sick is that the International Action Center, International ANSWER and the Workers World Party were, prior to the Iraq war, staunch supporters of Saddam Hussein and his Baath regime. See, for example, this tirade by Ramsey Clark, leader of the IAC, who later volunteered to represent Saddam.
Cindy Sheehan has staunchly aligned herself with the enemies of her country, even with those who murdered her own son (“freedom fighters,” as she calls them, or “Minutemen” as her patron Michael Moore says). She has gone even beyond that perverse outrage: she has sought out and lent support to the very most extreme, twisted, hateful remnants of the Communist movement, and the last survivors of the Black Panthers. Cindy Sheehan is a hater: nothing more, nothing less.
The question is, why is she not just a hater, but a famous hater? Obviously, because she was a mainstream media darling throughout the summer. But where are the media, now that her cover has been blown? A curtain of silence has descended. Once again, the American press accepts no accountability for misleading the American people, and it has no intention of correcting the fictitious record that it, alone, created.
UPDATE: I should add that Sheehan’s post on Moore’s site includes a demand that American troops be withdrawn from New Orleans:

George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power.

“Occupied New Orleans!” Spoken like a true Black Panther.


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