tampabay.com

Sheehan steps out of antiwar role

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published May 30, 2007


FORT WORTH, Texas - Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized an antiwar movement with a monthlong protest outside President Bush's ranch, said Tuesday she's done being the public face of the movement.

"I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush, " Sheehan said while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

"I'm going home for a while to try and be normal, " she said.

In what she described as a "resignation letter, " Sheehan wrote in her online diary on the Daily Kos blog: "Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it. It's up to you now."

Sheehan began a grass roots peace movement in August 2005 when she camped outside Bush's Crawford ranch for 26 days, demanding to talk with the president about her son's death. Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was 24 when he was killed in an ambush in Baghdad in 2004.

Cindy Sheehan's protest started small but swelled to thousands and quickly drew national attention. Over the next two years, she drew crowds as she spoke at protest events. But she also drew criticism for some actions, such as meeting with Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's leftist president.

Sheehan said she had considered leaving the peace movement since last summer while recovering from surgery.

She decided on Memorial Day to step down and spend more time with her three other children. She said she was returning to California on Tuesday because it was Casey's birthday. He would have been 28.

On the Web

Cindy Sheehan's Daily Kos blog: www.dailykos.com.