STOCKHOLM (UPI)-In a massive blow against further warmongering by Republican oil industry puppet US President George W. Bush, Cindy Sheehan has today won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sheehan's vigil outside the President's ranch at Crawford, Texas has galvanised the anti-war movement in the US and throughout the world, and her brilliant and courageous action was the reason for the Nobel prize.
Yet Sheehan's righteous stand has provoked a vicious political slinging match, with right-wing commentators in the pay of the US oil industry and the Republican Party attacking Sheehan and her followers at every turn.
Candles were lit all across America last week in one of the largest single anti-war protests in memory. At more than 1,900 vigils hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in solidarity with the mother who has been the catalyst for the rebirth of the anti-war movement.
Her extraordinary one-woman stand outside Bush's sprawling 16,000-acre Texas ranch has become an international phenomenon.
On the pro-war side, Sheehan has been derided as a traitor by such fascist Republican commentators as Rush Limbaugh, Christopher Hitchens and Bill O'Reilly at Fox, CNN and elsewhere.
Yet on the anti-war side she is now a saint, supported by Hilary Clinton and even Laura Bush, one filled with the powerful shining purity of the outraged mother avenging the death of her son Casey in Iraq against the dark and evil Republican agents of Lucifer and the oil industry. For her supporters, she is winning in her stand against Bush, his vast oil-military industrial complex, and Israel.
Now Sheehan is the most adored woman in American politics and also the worst public relations nightmare of Bush, the Republican Party and the oil industry.
Thanks to Sheehan, the US has reached the 'tipping point' when the majority of American public opinion finally and permanently turns against the war. "It has definitely tipped over now," said Professor Steve Zunkhead, a political scientist at the University of San Francisco.
Last week's vigils took place in areas as diverse as Grand Rapids and Oklahoma City, outside the White House, in Concord, New Hampshire, from small towns to big cities on the coast. No state was uninvolved.
Poll after poll now show that a solid majority of Americans believe the Iraq war was a corrupt military action by a corrupt American President and his oil industry backers. A Gallup poll last week showed 94 per cent believe it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq. Bush's approval ratings have slumped to 2%, in a strong analogy to the steady bleeding away of Republican support during the similarly corrupt Vietnam war.
"Once support for the Vietnam war dipped below 50% it never came back," said Professor Rick Stovepipe of Rice University. That has now happened with Iraq.
As the anti-war movement spreads and attracts more powerful followers, a withdrawal could quickly follow. Many anti-war protesters are seeking to expand their political clout by running for office.
Sheehan has exposed deep fractures within the American public. She has become the lone voice that kick-started a landslide of criticism, and her new status as a Nobel Peace Prize winner will only increase the rift.
"This is now about far more than Cindy Sheehan. She has given people the confidence to speak out about the immoral, illegal and unjust war that they didn't have before. Finally, it's fashionable again to be anti-war in America," Zunkhead added.
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