Opinion

Vigils ask for hard truth

Last Wednesday, Aug. 17, over 80 Valley residents gathered at the Carnation Library and in North Bend at the home of Julia Holder in candlelight vigils supporting grieving mom Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq, in her quest for a meeting with President Bush. Cindy is asking for better answers than the president is giving the media as to why we invaded Iraq and why we must continue our military occupation.

We support her and other family representatives who have lost loved ones in this war and joined her vigil outside the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas. We share the increasing disillusionment of all innocent families of the dead and disfigured, asking whether their loss has been worth it while suffering with wounds that won't go away. We feel encouraged to know we were not alone in our vigil as we were joining a collective throng on very short notice estimated to total over 3,000 in the Puget Sound region as part of perhaps up to 2,000 vigils nationwide.

Perhaps more importantly are national nonpartisan polls reflecting about 60 percent disapproval of the president's conduct of the war. More and more people are asking the same questions as Cindy as the disaster continues to unfold under a president propagandizing us by refusing to let reality intrude on his egocentric perspective. We know it because the media reports it with evidence to prove it.

Why is the president refusing to meet with Cindy? Would she represent another reality he refuses to acknowledge while on vacation - even as the toll of dead and wounded Americans and Iraqis continues to rise, predicting one of the bloodiest months since the invasion? Does he really believe withdrawing U.S. troops "would send a terrible signal to the enemy" that the United States is weak and easily intimidated? Is he finally beginning to sense doubt and agony over a war he chose to start with no certainty now of when, if ever, it might end? Is he afraid to say so?

We, the undersigned, along with Cindy Sheehan, would like to hear the hard truth from our president acknowledging the past, recognizing the present and committing to ultimately unconditional plans for withdrawal from Iraq.

Terry Barnard, Jack and Bertha Crick, Karen Fox, Julia and James Holder, Anne Melgaard, Tom and Jackie Andrewjeski, Dave Olson and Konrad and Chase Roeder

North Bend

Brandon Bersch and Emilie and Janeen Leming

Snoqualmie

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Stamm and Ana Virginia and Isabella de Medeiros

Fall City

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