Anti-War Mom Regains 'Joy for Life'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan writes that "Camp Casey has given me back my joy for life, and a renewed sense of hope for my future and my country's future."

In a posting on Michael Moore's website, Sheehan says that she and fellow anti-war activists are about to "take Camp Casey to Congress" -- holding rallies and meetings in key Congressional districts across the country where the incumbent is "weak on the war."

In a letter Sheehan is sending to U.S. congressional representatives, she mentions that she has "been sitting outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford since August 6th in a roadside ditch we named Camp Casey, seeking a meeting and a dialogue about an illegal and immoral war."

She complains that President Bush has not been willing to meet with her -- "but he must meet and listen" to Members of Congress, who gave Bush the authority to send U.S. troops to war in Iraq.

"That's why we are now turning to you, the elected officials who have the power to declare wars -- and end wars," Sheehan wrote. "We come to you with grieving hearts to request that you meet with us to answer our simple questions."

First of all, Sheehan wants lawmakers to define the "noble cause" for which her son and others have died.

Sheehan also wants to know how many more lives the country -- and each lawmaker personally -- is willing to sacrifice. In the letter, she asks, "What are you specifically doing to bring our sons and daughters home from this needless war?"

Sheehan said activists will pose to lawmakers "the questions that the president has refused to answer for me." She said she wants "honest, straightforward responses to our simple questions."

It appears that the only answers acceptable to Sheehan are based on the premise that the war should never have happened.

"As a member of Congress you have the enormous responsibility to end this tragedy and bring our sons and daughters home now. Meet with us, answer us, and show us that there need not be a Camp Casey in your district," Sheehan writes in her letter.

"Show us that the Crawford Camp Casey, brought on by a stonewalling leader, was all we need. Show us your compassion and leadership," Sheehan writes.

Press reports said three buses will leave Camp Casey on Wednesday, heading for congressional districts in 25 states. Anti-war groups that have rallied around Sheehan say that anti-war "momentum" is building around the country.

The congressional pressure tour will arrive in Washington in time for an anti-war march on Sept. 24, press reports said.

Rumsfeld defends war in Iraq

On Monday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offered what the Washington Post described as a "particularly emphatic" and "passionate" defense of the war in Iraq.

Speaking to soldiers at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., on Monday afternoon, Rumsfeld said the United States has "no choice but to take the offensive" in the war on terror.

Rumsfeld suggested that those who are pressing for a speedy troop withdrawal are going to be disappointed: "People who want to toss in the towel were wrong yesterday, they're wrong today, and they'll be wrong tomorrow," the Washington Post quoted him as saying.

Rumsfeld said the war in Iraq is intended to protect Americans by stopping the spread of Islamic extremism. Troops "are engaging the terrorists where they live, so we don't have to engage them where Americans live," he said.

"The U.S. military is not going to lose a battle or a war over there," Rumsfeld added.

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