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TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Cindy Sheehan's political aspirations misguided

Cindy Sheehan performed a great service to this country last year when she raised public awareness about the avoidable tragedy of the Iraq war.

Ms. Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son, Casey, died in Iraq in 2004, camped outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch during Mr. Bush's vacation in August. Mrs. Sheehan, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., wanted to speak with the president about the war.

Mr. Bush refused to grant her an audience, and Ms. Sheehan's action drew thousands of peace activists and focused the nation's anti-war sentiment.

Last week, Ms. Sheehan, 48, said she is contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein because the popular California Democrat refuses to call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

At the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, during the weekend, Ms. Sheehan schmoozed with flamboyant socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Mr. Chavez, an arm around Ms. Sheehan's shoulders, told a group of activists "she is going to put up her tent again in front of Mr. Danger's ranch" in April.

Mr. Chavez playfully suggested that he, too, might camp out in Crawford.

"Enough already with the imperialist aggression," Mr. Chavez said. "Down with the U.S. empire!"

Ms. Sheehan exercised her First Amendment rights last summer in Crawford. But if she is interested in toppling the U.S. government and hanging out with socialist revolutionaries, she discredits herself and does great harm to the anti-war movement.

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