[Marxism] Re: Cindy Sheehan quote (response to Yoshie)

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 18 17:01:45 MDT 2005

Yoshie writes: I believe that honesty is the best policy in cases like
this one.... Cindy Sheehan managed to get away with saying that she
didn't say "My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. You
get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the

Yoshie, once again: I think you're missing the forest for the trees.
She's being attacked for an interpretation of those or similar comments
which have become a made-up, fabricated quote in the right wing media. 

The full statement that you're referring to makes perfectly clear that
what she's rebutting is the charge that she said her son died for Israel
and not the United States. That's the message she wanted to communicate
around this point, that she didn't say that.

TV doesn't work like print. The meaning is cumulative. Both she and
Anderson Copper knew the controversy she was addressing, her denial of
having said "that" refers to both what some/many people will think they
hear in what Cooper quotes, and then she makes it totally explicit by
repeating herself the statement/sentiment she doesn't want to be
identified with. 

It is entirely likely that in the pre-interview, the producer gave her a
heads up that they were going to start on this issue. The quote Anderson
Cooper comes to her with may not be the one she had in mind, which may
be why she after denying it she retraces her steps and makes clear what
statement it is she's denying, the one about her son having died for
Israel. If we saw the video and could judge demeanor and tone, I'm
certain this would be a lot clearer.

Trying to parse statements made verbally with the degree of precision
one insists on for print is a mistake. As an interpreter, I have to
listen *intensely* to what people say. It is completely common, for
example, for people to say the literal opposite of what they're
intending to say and what everyone perceives them as saying. Bush --both
father and son-- are tremendously prone to verbal accidents of this
kind. In quoting people, journalists routinely --and sometimes
automatically-- edit comments in this way.

What's going on here is a right-wing gang up and frame up of her. That's
what she's responding to.


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