The Other Charlotte reports on the huge cottage industry among journos who, instead of covering the Iraq war, cover the military folk wounded in the Iraq war who now loathe G.W. Bush. (See TOC’s “Intrepid War Reporters Hot on the Trail of Bush Hatred,” today below.) And I’ve got a footnote to add about the equally huge cottage industry among journos who, instead of covering the Iraq war, cover the parents of military folk killed in the Iraq war who now loathe G.W. Bush.

The current star of this Baghdad sideshow is, of course, Cindy Sheehan, the mother from Vacaville, Calif., whose son, Casey, an Army specialist, was killed in an Iraqi ambush in June of 2004. Sheehan is camped with an entourage of bussed-in Bush-bashers outside the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, supposedly waiting for the president to come out and talk to her while she basks in her new fame as a media pet–since she claims that it was Bush, not an Iraqi terrorist, who was responsible for Casey Sheehan’s death. The liberal blog Daily Kos leads the Sheehan martyrdom bandwagon, claiming today that the Bushies intend to have her arrested for trespassing tomorrow if she doesn’t clear out of the ranch perimeter. (Kos admits that the arrest is a mere hypothetical rumor–but hey, who cares?)   

Now, everyone in America sympathizes with the grief of any parent who has lost a son or daughter in Iraq–including Bush himself, who met with Sheehan and other mothers of slain military personnel in June 2004. And as Drudge has pointed out, quoting from a story in the Vacaville Reporter shortly after the meeting, Cindy Sheehan and her husband, Patrick Sheehan, had told reporters they felt thrilled and comforted by Bush’s gesture:

“For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.

“‘That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,’ Cindy said.”

Now, however, as Drudge also points out, Cindy Sheehan is singing a different tune:

“She claimed Bush ‘acted like it was party’ when she met him last year,” joking inappropriately, forgetting her son’s name, and addressing her as “Mom,” which is apparently listed as a  major violation of etiquette in Sheehan’s Emily Post handbook.

Confronted with the discrepancies between her Story of 2004 and her Story of 2005, “Don’t Call Me Mom” Sheehan reacted as follows:

“Sheehan, in a press release distributed Monday by the Institute for Public Accuracy, explained she was ‘still in shock’ during her 2004 meeting with the president.”

I don’t see why Bush has any obligation to meet with Cindy Sheehan a second time, although I don’t think the poor woman ought to be arrested, either. The ones who should be rounded up and shipped to the hoosegow for annoying the American public beyond endurance are the editorial-board members of the New York Times, who actually published with straight faces this hand-wringer (lugubriously titled “One Mother in Crawford”) yesterday:

“[Sheehan] has a poignant personal story and she is articulate — and, let’s face it, August is a slow news month. But most of all, she is tapping into a growing popular feeling that the Bush administration is out of touch with the realities, and the costs, of the Iraq war.”

Maybe she’s “tapping in” over at the Daily Kos and its ilk, but I doubt that she’s drawing much sap elsewhere among U.S. military families–and the Times editorial includes this astounding sentence that explains why:

“Even many Americans who do not share her views about the president — she arrived in a bus bearing the slogan ‘Impeachment Tour’ — share her concerns about his war leadership.”

Uh-huh. That bus (undoubtedly fueled by vegetable oil) and its “Impeachment Tour” slogan sure helps convince Americans that Sheehan is right and Bush is wrong.

Meanwhile Michelle Malkin (who’s been wallpapering the Sheehan story on her blog) links us to this wonderful piece by Christopher Hitchens for Slate blasting the liberals who blame the Bush administration for “sacrificing” other people’s “children” in the Iraq war. Hitchens points out, ahem, that all the military men and women slain in Iraq were legal adults who signed up for service volunarily (Casey Sheehan had even re-enlisted):

“[W]hen it comes to the confrontation in Iraq, the whole notion of grown-ups volunteering is dismissed or lampooned. Instead, it’s people’s children getting ‘sent.’ Recall Michael Moore asking congressmen whether they would “send” one of their offspring, as if they had the power to do so, or the right?…Nobody has to join the armed forces, and those who do are old enough to vote, get married, and do almost everything legal except buy themselves a drink. Why infantilize young people who are entitled to every presumption of adulthood?”

Cindy Sheehan is a devoted mother who’s clearly been maddened by grief, and she deserves our pity. But someone needs to deliver a reality pill to the media who have no such excuse for jumping aboard Sheehan’s Impeachment Tour bus.