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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 22, 2005 / 17 Av, 5765

The bona fides of grief

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Moral authority is about to have a showdown in Crawford, Texas, where the parents of soldiers in Iraq will square off in the heat-shimmering periphery of President George W. Bush's averted gaze.

Cindy Sheehan, the bereaved mother who has gained international attention by posting herself outside the Bush ranch and demanding a (second) meeting with the president in the wake of her son's death, is about to have company of a different sort.

Not the supporters she's grown accustomed to — television crews, anti-war demonstrators, Democratic consultants and America's political left — but a small cavalry of opponents who feel as morally engaged about the war as she does.

Every movement gets its backlash, and Cindy Sheehan is about to come face-to-face with hers.

On Aug. 27, a caravan of military families who support the war in Iraq is scheduled to arrive in Crawford. The backlash battalion, which is calling itself the "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" tour, is starting in San Francisco Monday and is composed of parents whose sons and daughters are in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among those leading the caravan is Deborah Johns of Northern California Marine Moms, whose son, William, is a Marine in Iraq. Her sentiments are typical of other military families who sympathize with Sheehan but feel she's hurting others.

"I am deeply sorry for Ms. Sheehan's loss," said Johns, who also is starring in a commercial she is producing. "However, Ms. Sheehan's actions are only causing pain to those of us who have loved ones serving in the war against terrorism."

There are plenty of others like Johns, apparently. Blogger Arthur Chrenkoff has compiled a list of equally bereaved parents who have lost children in Iraq, but who hold a different perspective (http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/2005/08/other-ways-to-grieve.html).

Some of those critical of Sheehan feel that her public display is damaging to military morale and, therefore, dangerous to those still serving. Others have said she dishonors her son, who not only joined the military voluntarily, but who re-enlisted in August 2003, five months into Operation Iraqi Freedom. Whatever his mother may feel, Casey Sheehan apparently was not ignorant of the risks he faced.

Nevertheless, her message resonates with those who oppose the war. Sheehan has put a face on loss and provided an icon for dissenters. Strolling through Camp Casey, named for her son, she gets hugs and has her picture taken with new friends, prompting her to say she knows how Mickey Mouse feels at Disneyland.

Her sudden fame has also brought pain. Celebrity is often a harsh light, and Sheehan also is learning what all public people learn: The madding crowd is often vicious. Despite the furor she has helped spawn, Sheehan says she's "willing to put up with cr— if it ends the war a minute sooner than it would have."

Whatever she may mean by the "cr—," surely she isn't referring to other parents who have suffered equally but who disagree with her.

One such parent, Ronald R. Griffin, whose son, Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, was killed May 30, 2003, wrote eloquently in Thursday's Wall Street Journal:

"I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me," he began. "I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers."

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Griffin directed some of his commentary to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who wrote that Sheehan, because she had buried a child, had "absolute moral authority" in the debate about the war. Absolute moral authority is a tricky standard these days.

Must one be a veteran or have a child in the military to countenance war? Does losing a son give one greater moral authority than those whose children survive? Griffin writes: "How can we all possess 'absolute moral authority' when we hold so many different perspectives? I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title."

No human being has absolute moral authority on this or any other issue, though I think I know what Dowd meant. That parents who bury their children have a right to complain and to have their voices heard. That's the theory, anyway.

In practice, of course, it means that people lost in their emotions get a pass from the usual standards of debate and fair play, as Sheehan has. That's about to change. As others arrive in Crawford who share Sheehan's grief and her moral authority — but not her politics — her free pass expires.

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