A Gold Star mother who famously protested former President George W. Bush said he was “no better” than President Donald Trump.
Cindy Sheehan, who became an anti-war activist after her son, Casey Sheehan, was killed in 2004 while fighting in the Iraq War, told The Daily Beast that the former president offered no comfort to her grief.
“I think that in 2017 presidents having to comfort grieving families who had loved ones killed in war is barbaric, because war is barbaric,” Sheehan said. “Trump has proven himself to be a loose cannon who doesn’t seem to have very many social graces. But Bush was no better. I wish the conversation was about the barbarism of war and, in this instance, why are there special ops forces in Niger? Where is the movement to oppose U.S. wars, instead of liberal handwringing over botched messages of condolence?”
Sheehan said she had no words of comfort for Myeshia Johnson, but could only offer a hug “because I know words are not adequate.”
“First of all, we never received a ‘call,'” Sheehan said. “We got a letter from Bush, which we later found out was signed by a signature machine. What can a president say, ‘Sorry your loved one was killed so the U.S. could make sure that we had complete control over all of (fill in the blank name of country)’s natural resources and so that Boeing, Halliburton, and Raytheon could have massive profits?’ Better that the barbarism of wars for profit ends.”
She said her son was not told exactly what he was signing up for in the military, although she couldn’t know what the late Sgt. La David Johnson believed.
“As far as I know from personal experience and talking to other vets, particularly since 9/11, recruiters promise all kinds of benefits and promise young people that they won’t have to go to war at all,” she told The Daily Beast. “That’s what Casey’s recruiter told him in 2000. ‘Tell your mom, even if there is a war, you won’t see combat, because you are such a high-value recruit.’ Casey was killed in combat a few days after arriving in Iraq.”
Sheehan protested outside Bush’s ranch in Texas in 2005 and became a target of conservative hate, but she said many of her old opponents came around to her view of the war.
“I still get my fair share of hate messages,” she said. “But the messages from people who outright apologize to me for ‘hating’ me and who tell me they have since changed their minds outnumber those.”