A meeting with her among many would help dilute her political objective and allow other voices to be heard. It would also reinforce the president's position that withdrawal before Iraq is stabilized would do irreparable harm to American interests, Middle East stability and ultimately cost many more American lives as terrorists and fighters claim victory over the United States and feel emboldened to continue their terror campaign to establish one theocratic state after another.
This isn't Vietnam, as Sheehan claims. While Vietnam is communist, Vietnamese did not attack America on Sept. 11, nor are they infiltrating our country in an attempt to destroy us. To those who say Saddam didn't attack us on Sept. 11, the answer the president can give is that terror is all part of the same fanatical package.
Let Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld preside at the gathering. He is the most articulate member of the administration when it comes to defending the reasons we are in Iraq. Let the president answer respectful, even challenging questions. Americans would appreciate a president who would risk putting himself in rhetorical harm's way when our soldiers are in far greater danger.
The case for creating peace and stability in Iraq is a good one, but it needs to be made repeatedly because of short attention spans, bad memory and the boldness of the left, which thinks it has found the president vulnerable.
Go and meet again with Cindy Sheehan, Mr. President, but this time not in private and not alone.
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