Cindy Exposes the Emperor's New Clothes

08/11/2005 05:53 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Some have compared Cindy Sheehan to Rosa Parks, and I certainly agree. But
Cindy also powerfully reminds me of the little child in Hans Christian Andersen's famous story, The Emperor's New Suit.

We all know the emperor in the story went on parade with no clothes, yet none of his subjects would point out the obvious until a small child finally blurted it out.

But we forget how the emperor got into his self-deluded predicament.

One day two swindlers came to this city; they made people believe that they were weavers, and declared they could manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined. Their colours and patterns, they said, were not only exceptionally beautiful, but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.

The fashion-conscious emperor was enchanted with the idea of a beautiful cloth with magical powers, and ordered a suit to be made. During the production process, he sent courtiers to see the cloth and report back on their progress.

None could see it, since there was no cloth. But they did not want to be seen as either unfit for their office or unpardonably stupid, so they reported on the glories of the cloth. And so it went through the outfitting and parade, until the child finally declared the truth.

Bush behaves like an emperor, and he demands emperor-like treatment from his aides, fellow Republicans, political reporters, and even the people of the U.S. and the world.

Bush's War in Iraq, like the emperor's new clothes, is a naked fraud. If we didn't know that before, we certainly learned it on May 1, when the Sunday Times of London published the Downing Street Minutes. And each day's death toll is a fresh reminder of the fraud.

Nevertheless, Bush's courtiers insist that the War in Iraq is a "noble cause," and so Bush keeps pretending that it is.

Cindy Sheehan refuses to pretend. She demands to know "what noble cause?"

And her simple question exposes Bush as the utterly naked Emperor that he is.