Sheehan said she doesn't want to press charges against a pickup driver who early Tuesday allegedly ran over a makeshift memorial for the 1,800 Americans killed in Iraq. Police said he drove a pickup truck over 500 crosses and 40 American flags.
Court papers identified him as Larry Northern, 59, from nearby Waco.
This may be the clearest sign yet that the wheels are coming off of the "We Love the Iraq War" bus. I have a few suspicions as to what is going on here.
The first thing I see happening on the Right concerning the war is a recognition that the United States is not going to "win" this one in any useful sense. For all intents and purposes, civil war has already begun in Iraq and is likely going to escalate in the coming months. We entered Iraq either oblivious to or unconcerned by the potential for sectarian conflict following the end of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime and, thus, seemed to be unprepared for this eventuality.
What I think rattles the Pro-war Right so much is the realization that our overwhelming military might may not be the overpowering force in world affairs that they would like it to be. It frightens me, the extent to which our national identity is tied to our ability to wage destructive war on other nations. The insurgency in Iraq has the Pro-war Right in fits, not because of the loss of American lives, but because the insurgency is carrying on its activities and our military might can't stop them. This wounds the pride and shakes the confidence of those for whom U.S. military intervention in other countries is a source of catharsis.
A further source of frustration for the Pro-war crowd is their strange morphing of our military into a sort of national team for which we root. The war in Iraq has become a strange sports contest, where "winning", whatever that entails, is the only worthwhile objective. The problem in Iraq is that the U.S. has already won the only part of the operation it could: the initial invasion. We cannot build a Democratic Republic of Iraq with our military might; cannot mandate a democratic Iraq at the point of a gun. The Pro-War Right wants to see decisive battles, war heroes, parades, a grateful populace of Iraq thanking us for liberating them; perhaps the Pro-War Right, starting with the President, should stop dreaming about Hollywood wars and take a good, long look at what a real U.S. invasion looks like. Then maybe they wouldn't be so quick to order other people's children into the fire.
Personally, I doubt that Larry Northern actually despises our soldiers, though desecrating a memorial to them is an awfully strange way to pay your respects, Larry. What men (and I use that term very loosely) like Larry cannot accept is that, in spite of all their pro-war bleating, the war in Iraq is a lie. They despise Cindy Sheehan because she exposes their vital lie; that somehow this war is justified and is making us safer. It isn't and it never will.
The Pro-War Right can cry and wail all they like about why they need to invade other countries to make themselves feel more virile. It won't change the truth: that real strength is a grieving mother challenging the callous and uncaring "Leader" of the "Free World".