Reader D2M comments on Cindy Sheehan, who is protesting with a gaggle of bussed-in Bush-bashers outside the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, because she blames Bush, not Iraqi terrorists, for the death of her soldier-son, Casey, in Baghdad last year (See “Cindy Sheehan’s Vegetable Oil,” Aug. 10.) D2M writes:

“I was raised in the military; my dad is going to retire soon from the Air Force. My husband is currently in the Air Force. Almost all of the people I know are involved in the military one way or the other.

“We don’t like our own dying any more than this mother does. I really feel for her! I know it could my dad, or my husband, or my friend who ends up dead next. However, this needs to be stressed: Military folk know what they’re getting into. It’s not like no one tells them they could die. They are told, and they accept it. I am somewhat baffled by the parent’s reactions sometimes. It’s not like their children, much less they themselves, were misled. And their children didn’t die a pointless life. They should grieve of course, but take comfort in the fact that their children were doing something they believed in.”

Amen to that. See Christopher Hitchens’s fine article in Slate about the absurdity of the liberal claim that parents “send” (or don’t send) their “children” into war–as though the “children” in question weren’t legally adults who choose voluntarily to serve their country. I feel pity and sadness for Cindy Sheehan, but she’s being used by the liberal media to try to prove their claim that there’s a legion of military parents and other relatives out there who are dillusioned and angry about Iraq. Quite the contrary, as D2M’s letter shows.

Now for another e-mail, from reader D.L., about Cathy Seipp’s article on the IWF home page taking on the “Fat Pride” movement (See also “Fat-Pride Delusions,” Aug. 4, and the Mailbag for Aug.9):

“[I]t is none of your business what size I am unless you are paying for my clothes, for my food and everything else; then shut up! I know my size and when I feel like downsizing it I will and if I don’t, that is my choice too, I don’t shame anorexics. I don’t shame smokers..

“Cathy is a size 6–so what! Her brain is also a size 6!…Losing weight is not like giving drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. You can live without those things; try living without food, you will struggle with it for the rest of your life. Me, I don’t plan on crying because I am not a size 6. I am glad I am not because obviously when you lose weight, you lose any sense of compassion for your fellow human beings!”

As someone who weighs a good 10 pounds more than I’d like to, I’m sympathetic to your efforts to lose weight, D.L. Cathy’s point in mentioning her size-6 figure was that in the absence of the “dress-size inflation” of the past 20 years, she’d probably be more like a size 14, which was not considered skinny when she was young. We’d all like to lose, and it’s tough in our land of plenty, where tempting, delicious things to eat surround us. The point is–at least I think this is Cathy’s point–is that it’s counterproductive to glorify–as the “Fat Pride” contingent does–a condition, obesity, that is associated with a myriad of health problems.