"This thing, the wheels are coming off it."
- Gen. Barry McCaffrey, after returning from an inspection of Iraq, 08/12/2005.
They are sunburned and storm-lashed. They sleep in tents that sit along the muddy earth of drainage ditches by the side of the road. They have been heckled by "counter-demonstrators" who chanted "We don't care!" during a rendition of "God Bless America." They have been attacked by fire ants and hassled by local health inspectors. On Thursday morning, at about 5:30am, they were blasted awake by a fourteen-car convoy of Secret Service SUVs which roared through the camp at high speed while leaning on their horns the whole time.
They have been jolted with fear when a local resident fired his weapon into the air several times to make them go away. When the shooter, one Larry Mattlage, was asked why he was firing his gun, he said, "We're going to start doing our war and it's going to be underneath the law. We're going to do whatever it takes." It is safe to say, therefore, that their lives have been threatened.
The thing is, they've already won.
Cindy Sheehan and her ever-growing band of supporters intend to stay in those ditches outside Bush's Crawford "ranch" until he comes out to talk or until August 31st, whichever comes first. If he does not come out by the end of the month, she intends to follow him to Washington and camp out in front of the White House. She and the others have been there for more than a week now, garnering more and more attention from the national and international press. Yes, they are tired. Yes, they are uncomfortable. Yes, they have already won.