Journey for Humanity
Summer of Love 07 On a Journey for Humanity
- update Walk will kick off from Camp Casey on July 10
We are going to walk from Atlanta, GA to Congress beginning July 13th and ending up in DC on July 23rd to send the mis-leaders back home to face the music of justice in their own districts.
It is about time us “peasants” (in the eyes of the Fascist Ruling Elite) march on DC with our “pitchforks” of righteous anger and our “torches” of truth to demand the ouster of BushCo. I have a dream of the detention centers that George has built and filled being instead filled with Orange Clad neo-cons and neo-connettes.
If Congress won’t dig BushCo’s political grave, it is the People’s job to do so. Thomas Jefferson said that we need a Revolution every 20 years, or so, to keep our Republic honest. Over 225 years have passed since our last Revolution (if you don't count the War Between the States) and we are long overdue for one. Turn off your TVs, kiss your pets goodbye, bring the kids and flock to the federal seat of corruption, or join us on our walk there, for a People's Accountability Movement to be in the face of the Criminal BushCo and the Complicit Congress for the last week of session before they go on their undeserved vacations (why do they get vacations when the Iraqi parliamentarians don’t?)
On the eve of our first revolution: You know it’s right!
breaking news links
video from Charlottesville Anti-War/Impeachment Rally http://seanmccord.net/2008/july07-peace-rally/
I Will Never Concede Defeat
"I have fought the good fight, I have run the good race, I have kept the faith." St. Paul in 2Timothy
This past month, I kept on saying to my supporters, staff, interns, volunteers and myself, that no matter what happened on November 4th that we could hold our heads up high and be very proud of our campaign. Until yesterday, I wasn't sure that what I said would be true, but I feel an incredibly sense of peace and pride in our accomplishments. There were so many victories over the last year that the American paradigm of "winner-take all" just doesn't fit.
We moved into San Francisco a little over a year ago with less than nothing. We used savings and credit cards to open our office and sometimes to keep it open. We transformed a former "sex shop" to a fully functioning and vibrant campaign office. Our "natural base" never materialized, so we had to build a foundation in less than a few months.
In August, we historically gained ballot access as only the 6th independent campaign in California history to do so. Our platform based on humane economics was in place long before the recent collapses and resultant bailouts. Our labor platform was hailed all over the world, while unions here in SF supported the corporate "rescuer" Nancy Pelosi.
Cindy for Congress never once sold out our solid principles based campaign and would never sell out the voters of San Francisco like Nancy Pelosi has. Nancy Pelosi ran from my campaign and our demands to debate me and we persevered and did so amazingly well after a near total media black out and several attempts at political intimidation.
We got to the end of this stage with a barrel full of integrity and a boatload of dedication and love. Dozens of activists came from all over the country to be here to help us spread our progressive, peace based message and thousands donated to help keep our campaign afloat.
We have moved right through November 4th because this is a movement for peace and against corporate control of our political system. Movements can't stop, we must keep moving.
The way we do elections in this country must be reformed because clearly the campaigns with the most money won all over the country. If we never level the playing field to allow the people's voice and message to be heard, the tyranny of incumbency and the obscene amount of money spent on these circuses will continue and true progressive change will never happen.
We will still have to fight the establishment with everything we have. Yesterday, at about 10am, we were traveling around the district and receiving huge amounts of support and were dismayed to see an article from the AP saying that Nancy Pelosi had already defeated me. Our exit polling (from every area in the district) showed me receiving between 35-60% of the vote. We were very optimistic that we would do much better than we ultimately ended up doing.
However, Cindy for Congress got almost twice as many votes as anyone who has ever run against Pelosi since she eked out a primary victory in 1987 over Harry Britt, who was also the most progressive candidate. We raised a decent amount of money and are honored by the support we have gotten from all over this nation.
This is not the time to give up and give in to the politics of blinding amounts of money shrouded in "hope."
On November 5th, we still have millions of people sleeping on our streets and without jobs and health care. We still have our troops mired in two unconscionable wars that Obama has not promised to end. Our economy is still on a very precarious footing and oil, the lifeblood of the elite, is running out. There are many people in this world, and yes, this country that are food insecure and the next resource wars may be over water.
Despite all this, I slept like a baby last night for the first time in months. I feel like a new person today and am holding my head up high. Last year, I dedicated my campaign to my son, Casey, and his comrades who have tragically fallen and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that our government have devastated. We need to continue to make their deaths count for something noble. I dedicate the next steps to them, also.
There are still many "fights" and "races" ahead. Take a few days to celebrate, mourn, reflect and then jump back in with both feet into the struggle for peace and justice.
Thank you for your support!
Cindy Sheehan seeking star power in campaign
September 25, 2007 Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is making celebrity endorsements a key facet of her long-shot bid to defeat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) next year.
In a recent interview with The Hill, Sheehan said she has been endorsed by actress Roseanne Barr, country crooner Willie Nelson and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
Sheehan added that White House hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) are also backing her.
“Celebrities bring a certain kind of — good or bad, it seems like our lives are centered around TV and movies — I think it does bring credibility,” Sheehan said.
Nelson is a friend of Sheehan’s and has offered to help her raise money for her campaign. “[Nelson and his wife] just have the exact correct politics and the exact compassion for the earth and humanity that I think attracts us as friends,” she said.
“I support Cindy Sheehan in everything she does,” Nelson wrote in an e-mail, “whether it’s running for Congress, or the president of the U.S. She’s a great American, not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.”
Sheehan, who is running as an independent, unaffiliated candidate, is counting on comedians such as Barr to lend some star power to the campaign. Several San Francisco-based comediennes are planning a campaign fundraiser for Sheehan, she said.
Spokesmen for Barr and Morello did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Kucinich praised Sheehan, but declined to confirm that he is formally backing her.
“I like Cindy,” Kucinich said. “She has been a very important spokesperson in challenging the war. She and I marched together against the war.”
He said he doesn’t comment on races waged against incumbents as a “matter of policy.”
Sheehan is backing Kucinich for the presidency.
Hip Hop Caucus President Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. said he will lend his support. “Cindy Sheehan is the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement and the race in San Francisco is fundamentally about organized people versus organized money,” he said.
Pelosi won her 2006 congressional campaign handily, taking 80 percent of the vote. She’s also had her share of celebrity support. Celebrities ranging from movie producer Francis Ford Coppola to comedian Robin Williams have given money to her campaigns.
Bruce Cain, a political science professor at the University of California Berkeley and the director of the D.C.-based Institute of Governmental Studies, said Sheehan’s chances of beating Pelosi are “slim to none.”
Sheehan is unlikely to get 10 to 15 percent of the vote because there aren’t enough “progressive, green, anarchist types” in the district to elect her, Cain said. Californians do not blame Pelosi for not getting troops out of Iraq, he added.
“The motivation to elect a Democrat is going to be stronger than the motivation to make a point,” Cain said.
Pelosi has already accumulated close to $1.3 million in her campaign coffers. A Pelosi spokesman refused to comment on Sheehan’s campaign.
In a recent e-mail on Iraq that was sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to potential donors, Pelosi pointed out that she has been a longtime activist: “Long before I was Speaker of the House, I was a political activist like you …”
Sheehan said hers will be a grassroots campaign. She doesn’t expect to come close to out-raising Pelosi.
“I’m not going to be competing with her on money or on the establishment,” she said, noting she won’t accept any corporate donations. McKinney, an outspoken opponent of the war, expressed her support for Sheehan at a rally in August near one of the president’s vacation homes in Maine.
“Our children deserve a better country and the world deserves a better partner. That’s why I’m happy to see Cindy Sheehan run for Congress. I want Cindy to win,” McKinney said.
Sheehan said she expects more celebrity endorsements to roll in as her campaign kicks into high gear, but she does not anticipate many of Pelosi’s colleagues will back her.
“If they support me it’s going to be difficult for them to get chairmanships or to get on a committee,” she said. “I totally understand if nobody comes out and supports me.”
She wasn’t shy about criticizing Democrats for funding the war.
“If I tell my children, ‘Don’t do drugs’ … and then one of my children asks, ‘Mom, can I have money for drugs?’ and I give them money for drugs, that’s showing them my approval,” she said. “[Congress is] giving [its] approval to President Bush to wage this occupation of Iraq.”
Part of Sheehan’s campaign will aim to enfranchise minorities and young people “who have felt disenfranchised by the power elite.”
She’s also getting educated on local issues important to California’s 8th district and house-hunting in the area. Sheehan lives in northern California, but plans to move into the district soon. She’s organizing her campaign team and hopes to begin campaign fundraisers and events in October.
Sheehan’s battle against the war began after her son Casey, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in Baghdad. She began demonstrating outside of President Bush’s Texas ranch and founded Gold Star Families for Peace in August of 2005. In May, Sheehan announced that she was retiring from anti-war activism, only to return with a challenge to Pelosi: If Pelosi didn’t move to impeach Bush and Vice President Cheney, Sheehan would mount a congressional campaign against her. Sheehan subsequently announced her candidacy in August.
Sheehan called the first female Speaker of the House a “consummate politician” and emphasized that she and Pelosi agree on most issues, with the notable exceptions of Iraq and impeachment.
“In her heart she probably does care about the people of Iraq — but when they sit down to talk about Iraq they talk politics, not about the human cost of war,” she said, referring to Democrats.
Pelosi is vulnerable in liberal San Francisco, a district where the majority of people don’t support the Iraq war, Sheehan said. “People over there are dismayed,” she said. “Nancy is not holding Bush and Cheney accountable. She’s not ending the war in Iraq.”
Many Democrats, however, have defended Pelosi’s action. They say that Pelosi has worked feverishly to end the war, but does not have the votes to override the president’s veto pen.
Sheehan promised that she would not be known as a one-issue candidate, a label that hurt Ned Lamont in his general election bid to defeat Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
Sheehan, who doesn’t have health insurance, said that making healthcare available to all Americans would be a priority.
“[The Iraq war] is an overriding issue. We can talk about universal healthcare, we can talk about the costs of a college education, we can talk about a lot of issues that affect every American. When we are spending money on Iraq, we cannot rebuild our infrastructure — we cannot do that in America when we are devoted to the war machine.”
She added, “I really think we’ve done the marches, we’ve done the disobedience and the next natural step is to challenge the establishment. This really isn’t me against Nancy Pelosi. This is me against the war machine.”
Wednesday August 29, 2007
Cindy Sheehan's Political Ambitions http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070910/kvh_sheehan
by CINDY SHEEHAN & KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL
[posted online on August 29, 2007]
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan's plan to challenge Representative Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat in November 2008 has elicited cries of praise and dismay across the progressive political spectrum. In July, when Sheehan announced her candidacy, The Nation's Washington correspondent John Nichols saw value in Sheehan's candidacy and praised her efforts to hold Pelosi's feet to the fire over the Iraq War and impeachment of President Bush.
More recently, Nation columnist Katha Pollitt urged Sheehan not to run. On the pages of The Nation magazine, columnist Gary Younge argued that the best strategy to advance the interests of the peace movement was political, not electoral. And in a recent poll on this website, Nation readers weighed in, supporting a Sheehan candidacy by a margin of three to one.
In the following editorial dialogue, Sheehan responds to Pollitt's critique, and Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel explains the magazine's position on George W. Bush, the war and campaign politics.
SAD FOR THE NATION
Dear Katrina and all,
The Nation had me on the cover of its magazine in March 2005 as one of the new faces of the antiwar movement. At the end of 2005, John Nichols of The Nation named me "Progressive of the Year" and has since said that I am a true "Jeffersonian Democrat." The Nation also invited me to its foundation dinner in NYC at the end of 2005, presumably to exploit my popularity to sell tickets.
The Nation's editorial staff and other staff also invited me to talk with them about not supporting "pro-war" Democrats in any elections anymore, and the editors wrote an editorial stating that. Tom Hayden was also instrumental in formulating that policy.
Now they are supporting a "pro-war" Speaker of the House, who says she is against the occupation with her mouth but gives George more money to wage the war with her actions. They support a Speaker who has made a mockery of the Constitution as much as BushCo has.
The Nation just joins a long line of orgs, entities and persons who supported me while I challenged Bush and the Rethugs, but now that I recognize that it is the two-party system that is inherently corrupt and ruining our nation and the world, they are not just abandoning me but trying to undermine me and my candidacy. I believe in doing this, The Nation is also supporting the status quo of continuing war, death and the destruction of our middle class and way of life here in America.
I am not sad for myself, but sad for The Nation and our nation.
Maybe Katha Pollitt et al. should go to the Middle East and view the carnage that this Administration has caused with the complicity of the Democratic Party, which she so stridently defends.
Peace and Justice,
THE VALUE OF DEBATE
I was saddened to receive your letter. As you well know, The Nation has, from the very beginning, been in the forefront of opposing this disastrous war. In fact, very few media outlets have been more strongly and consistently opposed to the war than this magazine, whether in its conception, planning or execution. In tough and sharp editorials, as well as feature articles, we have criticized Democrats, Republicans and Independents for failing to adequately oppose the Bush Administration's pursuit of this bloody, misguided mission. And we will continue to do so until this occupation is ended.
What also saddens me is your misunderstanding of the magazine's role in our politics. For 142 years, we have been a forum for a debate and conversation among the left, progressives, liberals, independents--and even conservatives with a conscience. We relish a pluralism of views among our writers and readers--and our larger, often fractious community. Week in and week out, we publish writers who may not agree on everything but who share a fundamental belief in the necessity of ending this war and occupation, and of building a fairer and more just and equal country and world.
I understand that Katha Pollitt's criticism of your decision to run against Speaker Nancy Pelosi has rankled you. But re-read Katha's blog. Her criticism is framed by real respect for your "crucial role in our politics: as an activist." And, as you must know, she is expressing views that some in the left, liberal, progressive community also share.
No doubt many of our readers and contributors agree with Katha's opinion on this issue; and no doubt, many disagree with her and support your race against Pelosi.
Katha's legitimate criticism of your political campaign against Pelosi, like John Nichols's legitimate sympathy for it, as expressed in recent blog posts on our website, represent the honest expressions of people who are united in their desire to see this war end but who disagree about how best to achieve that purpose politically. It strikes me that their blogs highlight two sides of a debate among those opposed to war that is taking place every day across the country. In the Nation community, we have no disagreements about whether this war should end. We do have disagreements about the best political strategies we should adopt in order to end it.
I am pleased that The Nation's website has room for that debate--both among our writers and among our responsive readers. I am also pleased that there is room to publish this letter from you, someone I respect as a voice of dissent. As Katha Pollitt wrote, "More than any other single person, [you] changed the discourse about the war."
I believe that your letter serves as a reminder that people who disagree about tactics do not necessarily disagree about principles or long-term goals.
Peace and Justice,
KATRINA vanden HEUVEL
Kennebunkport Saturday, August 25, 2008
Anti-war protest wraps up http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=130109&ac=PHnws
Demonstrators showing a touch of gray http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=129854&ac=PHnws
They're Marching, But for What? http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2007/08/theyre_marching_but_for_what.html
By Cindy Sheehan from Amman
"The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. - "Chronicle of Young Satan" Mark Twain"
The above quote from Mark Twain is how things have always been throughout the ages and throughout our American experience. These sentiments allowed an entire native population to be virtually wiped out and for black Africans to be enslaved for generations. Who cares if 600,000 Filipinos were wiped out during the Spanish-American War to “liberate” them from Spain, but to really have a coaling station for our Navy, or hundreds of thousands of Japanese slaughtered by the evil h-bomb when those people weren’t even white, Christian Americans? Now this slimy rationale is allowing for the decimation of the Iraqi people and we have killed a million during this war to plant permanent bases there as we have permanent military facilities in Japan and the Philippines to this day.
Our small peace delegation that traveled here to Amman, Jordan to meet with refugees and other prominent Iraqis, like physicians and parliamentarians, have been humbled that these oppressed people would turn to us, their oppressors, for help. That they would trust us enough to know that we will help them says a lot about the Iraqi character and just how desperate they are!
Everyone that we have met stabs me in the heart again. We listen to their stories and we apologize on behalf of our country and they all, without fail, look at us with weary smiles filled with resignation of their fate and say: “inshallah” or “If God wills it.” I wish I had that simple faith, but I can’t believe that any God, except George’s God of hatred, destruction, greed, and murder would “will” what is going on here in the Middle East.
I have already written about Bethena whose body and life were torn apart by an American mortar. When we promised to help her, her response was, “Inshallah.”
I met a woman at a hospital yesterday who was kidnapped, tortured and held for a three hundred thousand dollar ransom. When I told her we were trying to help get a hospital for Iraqi people, run by Iraqis, here in Amman, she quietly said: “inshallah,” through her tears.
We have spent a lot of time with an Iraqi parliamentarian whose 10 cousins were slaughtered after “Hamad” had exposed a secret Shi’a prison that imprisoned, tortured, and killed Sunni. His story is on a documentary called “Death Squads.” When I saw the footage of the carnage where his cousins were killed I looked over at him in shock, and you guessed it, he whispered: “inshallah,” to me.
Our group had a meeting in a Jordanian hospital that is allowing Iraqi doctors to work and help the refugees. The doctors explained to us how, if they had their own 50-bed hospital, they could treat the Iraqi refugees here in Amman at about 40% of the cost of what the Jordanian hospital charges the refugees. The doctors all had horror stories of family members being killed, raped, dismembered, displaced and terrorized. We listened to them vent and explained to them that we were truly sorry and that’s why we are here, to help. “Inshallah.”
The most touching meeting at the hospital was by a prominent Iraqi sheikh who had brought another sheikh of an opposite sect to the hospital after he had survived an assassination attempt. The wounded sheikh lie on the hospital bed while the other sheikh stood guard over him. The doctors brought us into the room to dispel the myth of any prior sectarian strife. The Iraqis wanted to assure us that the violence between Iraqis is caused and encouraged by the Americans who want Iraqis fighting each other to create this chaos that allows America to steal their oil and otherwise destroy their country. The sheikh told me that he was sorry about Casey, but he has lost 8 family members and many more dozens of members of his tribe. He encouraged us Americans to rise up against our country and force our government to end the occupation. I told him that we have been trying very hard, but we will try harder. He looked skeptical, because he knows the will of the American public is not to rise up against our government, and he had that same hopeless look on his face that we have encountered repeatedly, but he bit his tongue and said: “Inshallah.”
As we were leaving the hospital, one of the doctors grabbed my hand and also told me that he was sorry about Casey. In a quiet voice, he told me that even though it is sad for me to have lost a son that it was so that I could lead America towards peace and use my sorrow to help the people of Iraq, “inshallah.” I lost my faith after Casey was killed and it is so profound to witness the faith of the Iraqi people when their country has been decimated for no reason, their national treasures and antiquities destroyed or defiled by barbaric acts, one million people dead, six million people displaced, and so many wounded and ill that can’t access medical care. This trip has been so difficult for us as people with hearts, but it has also reminded me how fortunate we are to live in a country that has been almost virtually free from war on our soil for about 150 years, but also so angry that we allow it to happen to other peoples on their land on an almost continuing basis. Also, to think that anything is going to change if a Democrat gets into office is naïve. Bill Clinton is a Democrat who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis more than George. Throughout US History political parties have interchanged the White House and NOTHING has ever changed. The fascist power elite will always use their puppet in the White House to kill other people for their benefit and profit.
The American military has not been victorious in Iraq and we won’t be as long as we are occupying foreign lands. That is a given. If we allow the occupation to continue for a decade, our way of life, as we know it, will die as the Soviet Union did after their decade long farce in Afghanistan. What we are allowing our government to do in the Middle East dishonors and endangers us all. Like the parliamentarian from the city that was totally shattered by the Marines, Falluja, told me: “You Americans are also being held hostage by your government,” and he is right.
As the sheikh told me: We must rise up. We must assert our need for peace with justice, not only to save our troops who are in harm’s way for Halliburton, et al, but for the dear people of Iraq who never asked for the US to “liberate” them. Our governments don’t care about them, or us, so we must care about each other.
Since this is a piece about faith, I would like to close with a prayer, also from Mark Twain:
"O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale form of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen." The War Prayer.
Collateral Damage: Bethena, August 16, 2007
by Cindy Sheehan
Amman, Jordan - Last month when Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Ray McGovern and I took over 300 people and a petition with over a million signatures to Congressman John Conyers (D-Mi, Chair House Judiciary Committee) demanding impeachment, we believed we were morally correct then. Despite Rep. Conyers’ long record of public service to our nation and several private meetings that went absolutely nowhere, and despite the mild to severe criticism we have received, we believed then and still believe now that impeaching BushCo is a Constitutionally mandated requirement and a necessary tool to reclaim our representative republic, end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan (”The troops aren’t coming home while I’m preznit,” GWB), and to hold the monsters accountable who have wreaked havoc on our planet.
I believe what we did on July 23rd was the right thing to do because we are all required to be active participants in our democracy. One of the reasons that all branches of our government are so out of control, Dems or Repugs, is that we have been passive voters who have allowed our elected officials to get away literally with murder for generations. The human element of “We the People” has been suppressed by the fascist elite and all but forgotten by an American public that has been lulled into an uncomfortable apathy by the “vast wasteland” of TV and its byproduct: a seductive, yet destructive consumerism that has us constantly striving not only to “keep up with the Joneses,” but “smash the Joneses” in our quest for more, more, more. We have thousands, if not millions of Susie Soccer moms in their huge SUVs to NASCAR dad Nick watching high performing, gas guzzling cars go round and round in circles wasting precious oil for our dubious entertainment, while people are dying, being injured and displaced and while our troops receive no more support than a yellow magnetic ribbon on Susie’s SUV.
The Rev and I had another dose of reality the other day and our actions in Conyers’ office were confirmed for both of us when we visited Bethena in al Jazeera hospital in Amman.
An American fired mortar shell hit twenty-eight year old, former Baghdad resident, Bethena on June 1st of this year. Her husband was also injured in the abhorrent attack and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were killed. Due to lack of medical care at first, Bethena still has a large hole in her stomach. She was allowed to stay in an American hospital for 7 days, and then told she had to leave. With a smashed arm, broken leg, and another leg amputated above the knee, Bethena had to make her way to Amman for medical help with her sister. She laid in her bed gazing at us with pain-filled, yet very aware eyes and she graciously allowed us to look at her wounds and record them on film. The entire time we visited with her, I couldn’t help but reflect that Casey would have been the same age as Bethena just three days before she was mortared, if he hadn’t already been killed not too far from where Bethena and her family were hit.
Besides the incontrovertible fact that Bethena was no threat to the USA and we are occupying her country illegally and immorally, her hospital bills are costing the family 750.00 to 1000.00 a day and she still requires two more surgeries. The family had to sell their home in Baghdad and is rapidly going through their savings. Bethena’s sister told us that a woman who suffered a heart attack from fright in the same mortar attack had her bills covered by the US, but we won’t cover Bethena’s bills because she was hit by an American bomb!
We are going to the American Embassy here in Jordan to ask the same simple question: “Why?” Why is the government who harmed her not paying her bills?” and she is just one of thousands. As the war crimes compound in Iraq, the resistance heightens and no one wins in “lose-lose” land.
My campaign for Congress’ slogan “People Before Politics” is the exact opposite of what John Conyers told me and my staff in a meeting prior to the July 23rd sit-in: “It is more important to me (Conyers) to put a Democrat back in the White House in ‘08 than to end the war!” (Even if it is Hillary “If Saddam won’t disarm, will we disarm him” Clinton”) I can guarantee him that it is not what’s most important to Bethena, the people of Iraq and the thousands of mothers in our own country who can’t sleep at night, concentrate, eat or do much else for worry of their son or daughter in Iraq for the lies of BushCo and the criminal complicity of Congress, Inc.
I wept in John Conyers’ office that day as I wept over Bethena and her plight.
We the People have also failed our soldiers and Bethena and rest of the innocent citizens of Iraq by allowing the partisan politics of greed and destruction to hijack our country. I wish every American could peer into Bethena’s eyes and have an epiphany that there are many things more important than partisan politics as usual. I wish news cameras would show an American mother falling on the ground screaming in agony for her needlessly killed child. We see the devastation on Jordanian TV caused in Northern Iraq where over 500 people were slaughtered yesterday: we need to see that on our TVs.
Then maybe, just maybe, this monstrosity would end.
To help Bethena please go to www.electroniciraq.net and donate at the “Direct Assistance Initiative.”
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother’s Child and Dear President Bush.
Crisis, August 14, 2007
By Cindy Sheehan
Cri-sis n 1. a situation or period in which things are very uncertain, difficult, or painful, especially a time when action must be taken to avoid complete disaster or breakdown 2. a time when something very important for the future happens or is decided.
When I retired as the "face" of the American anti-war movement in May, I had decided that my group, Camp Casey Peace Institute, would focus on changing the world one person at a time by becoming a humanitarian group: People for Humanity. After Congress gave George another blank check to continue the murder and mayhem in Iraq, we came to the conclusion that it would be better to focus on the people who have been harmed by American corporate imperialism than fight it at home. We decided that our first project would be helping the refugees who have been displaced by the violence and instability in Iraq.
Official figures and anecdotal figures place the number of humans who have fled Iraq to be between two and three million. One million are dead this time (two million in the barbaric sanctions period of Clinton) and two million are refugees inside Iraq. Jordan and Syria have absorbed the brunt of this calamity for humanity, which came in the "wolf in neocon clothing" of "freedom." A recent New York Times article correctly identified that Iraqis with means fled to Jordan and the poorer refugees go to Syria.
Our trip must in no way be construed as condemnation or criticism of the governments of Jordan and Syria which are straining at the seams with an influx of new inhabitants who are putting a stress on the already scarce resources of that region. The six of us who traveled here to be witnesses to the crisis and to hear the stories of pain and hardship mixed with resiliency know who is to blame and who should bear the entire cost and who should be providing all support to the refugees inside and outside of Iraq: the government of the USA.
In speaking to refugees that I have met around the world and to the people who work with them here in Jordan, the one thing that the Iraqi people want is stability in their country. The refugee catastrophe is going a long way to destabilize the countries to which the Iraqis flee. If some kind of political stabilization with resulting increase in security doesn't happen in Iraq soon, then solving these issues will become increasingly difficult. Consequently, the first priority of our movements in the states should always be to end the occupation of Iraq.
However, emergency CPR needs to flow to Jordan and Syria immediately to help the Iraqi people and the two mentioned countries. Significantly, both countries also have vast populations of Palestinian refugees that has now become a generational problem. Solving the problems in Israel will help the Palestinian refugees who want the right of return to their homes as well as help solving our own "terrorism" problem at home. This is also an issue that needs to be pressed and exposed back in the states.
I am traveling with Kathy Murphy who is a member of GSFP (her brother, Patrick, was killed in Vietnam) and also works with Iraqi Health Now which sends medicines and medical supplies to hospitals in Iraq; Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Liz Havstad from the Hip-Hop Caucus; and Tiffany Burns and Dede Miller from GSFP and Camp Casey Peace Institute. Our first order of business was to meet with Noah and Natalie Merrill from Direct Action Initiative who have been working in Amman with refugees for a few months now and who provide money for emergency medical care and Kathy Kelly from Voices for Creative Non-violence and the Occupation Project who has been working with Iraqis since the devastating Clinton sanctions.
The crisis cannot be overstated or hyperbolized. Iraqis in Jordan cannot work although there are jobs and Iraqis in Syria can work, but there are no jobs. CARE, Caritas and Save the Children have been working with UNHCR to try and help alleviate some of the needs, but it is not enough. America has given aid to UNHCR, but it is nowhere near enough.
Americans are the most generous people in the world when it comes to tsunamis, hurricanes or earthquakes around the globe, but Tsunami BushCo has swept over the Middle East with no hue or outcry. The people of Iraq are warm, caring human beings who are being either destroyed in their own country by the bloody violence brought to them by BushCo, or are in horrible situations outside their country caused by the same evil entity. It is time for we the people of America to stand more forcefully ourselves against the corporatocracy that hurts people and to reach deeply into our own pockets to give material assistance to our brothers and sisters who are suffering.
The first thing I saw when we landed in Amman was a man with a cardboard sign in his hands with "Blackwater" lettered on the sign. He was surrounded at that point by about a dozen burly American males intent on making their fortunes by the oppression of the Iraqi people. Our country is spending billions of dollars on destabilization, when about ten hours of the bloody occupation would go a long way to giving emergency CPR to the citizens of Iraq who have been able to run from the disaster for corporate profit.
Action must be taken today! Invading a country pre-emptively is a war crime. Not providing security, health care, education, food and clean water for the occupants of an occupied country is a crime against humanity. Please help the people of Iraq to let them know that the American public in general does not support or are not complicit in these crimes.
Please support the organizations who are helping and help us get the hearings in Congress we need to be able to force Bloody BushCo to clean up after themselves!
Direct Aid Initiative: www.electroniciraq.net Voices for Creative Non-violence: www.vcnv.org Iraqi Health Now: www.mysite.verizon.net/kathymurphypeace CARE: www.care.org (gives monthly stipends to refugees) Caritas: www.caritas.org (gives mostly medical help) Save the Children: www.savethechildren.org Camp Casey Peace Institute: www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org Hip Hop Caucus: www.hiphopcaucus.org
Write or call your Congress rep to demand action.
This list is in no way meant to endorse anyone relief effort, or be comprehensive. There are many orgs working to help and I would suggest each person investigate this problem and decide what is the best workable solution on their own.
Me for Congress August 10, 2007
My statement to the press when I announced my candidacy at the Presidio on August 9th.
Two years ago this week, I started my first vigil in Crawford, Tx, at what became Camp Casey near George's vacation ranch. I never thought that my path would lead me here today. Nothing before Casey was killed in the illegal and immoral war in Iraq prepared me for this new direction, but looking back on my life since April 04. 2004, I believe this is the next natural step to bringing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to a swifter conclusion and those responsible accountable for the mess our world is in.
An electorate disgusted with the policies of the Bush regime put the Democrats in the majority in Congress in November '06. We voted for change, however, Congress, under the Speakership of Ms. Pelosi has done nothing but protect the status quo of the corporate elite and, in fact, since she has been the Speaker, the situation in the Middle East has grown far worse, with Congress' help, and recently more of our essential freedoms were given to BushCo by Congress. That is not what we elected them to do!
A great majority of citizens in California's 8th Congressional district want the Bush regime impeached and want our troops home from the Middle East. I believe Ms. Pelosi has lost touch with the people of this district and America and it's time for our reps that aren't doing their jobs by upholding their sworn oaths to the Constitution to receive a wakeup call!
I agree that with over 45 million American uninsured,we need universal health care. I agree that with many of our young people joining the military to receive college credit (which very few take full advantage of), it's time to make college affordable. I agree that the people in the administrative branch are corrupt, as are many members of Congress, and ethics need to be reformed. None of these worthy goals can be accomplished while we're spending 12 million of our tax dollars an hour in Iraq and while the foxes run the henhouse. In this once great nation of ours, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is rapidly disappearing along with the "American dream" of home ownership. The time is now to bring our tax dollars home from the Middle East to help the people of California's 8th and to make our communities safer and more prosperous.
Incredibly, even before the November elections, Ms Pelosi took part of the Constitution off the table and it's time to put it back on! Mss. Pelosi colluded with BushCo to take away our 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Congress needs to make that body relevant again as a co-equal branch of government that has a responsibility to put checks and balances on the executive branch not be conspirators in its crimes and murder.
The Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act need to be repealed and Habeas Corpus needs to be restored. These things can only happen with fearless leadership, not fearful capitulation to a lying President.
I am running unaffiliated with any political party because I believe the corporately controlled "two" party system is responsible for keeping our country in a state of cold and hot wars for decades and it's time to rein in the military industrial war complex that President Eisenhower warned us of almost 50 years ago.
My candidacy and service will put people before profits and people before political expediency. This country is ripe for a change and it is going to start right here and right now!
I dedicate my candidacy to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that have been tragically harmed by BushCo with the complicity of Congress, Inc.
I dedicate my candidacy to my children and unborn grandchildren. All the children of the world deserve long lives lived in peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability.
Last of all, I dedicate my candidacy to my hero, Casey who always stood up for what he believed in, even if it wasn't popular. He is my role model and I always strive to make him proud.
Cindy Sheehan seeks Pelosi's seat
Cindy Sheehan warned she'd run in the San Francisco district if the House speaker didn't try to impeach Bush.
August 10, 2007 Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who gained international fame by camping outside President Bush's Texas ranch to protest the war in Iraq, announced Thursday that she would challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat in Congress.
"The country is ripe for a change," said Sheehan, citing her son's death in Iraq in 2004 as inspiration for her long-shot bid to unseat the first female speaker in history.
Sheehan's announcement in Pelosi's San Francisco district comes a month after she said she would run against the 11-term Democratic congresswoman unless Pelosi moved to impeach Bush. Sheehan has also complained that Democrats have not moved aggressively enough to force the White House to bring the 4 1/2 -year-old war to an end.
Under Pelosi's leadership, House Democrats have voted three times since January to mandate a troop pullout, though legislation with withdrawal dates has been vetoed once by the president and has stalled a number of times in the Senate.
Pelosi and other senior Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly said they would not cut off funding for troops in the field, as some antiwar activists have demanded.
And the speaker has flatly rejected calls to impeach Bush, which most Democratic leaders see as a divisive course that would divert energy from the party's legislative priorities.
Thursday, Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said Pelosi would continue to push for an end to the war.
"As a mother and grandmother, the speaker understands that there is no greater tragedy than losing a child," Elshami said. "The speaker has opposed President Bush's misguided war from the start and has focused on changing course in Iraq by bringing our troops home safely and soon."
A Personal Vision for Cindy Sheehan's Campaign
By Daniel Ellsberg
[Remarks of Daniel Ellsberg at a press conference August 9, 2007 at which Cindy Sheehan announced her independent candidacy for the 8th Congressional District of California, an office now held by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House.]
I don't speak for Cindy Sheehan—whom I admire unreservedly—or for her campaign. When I say "we" in what follows, I'm really just giving my own perspective on this campaign, as one of her supporters.
I see this campaign as aiming much higher than putting Cindy Sheehan in Congress in 2009. Well before that time, we aim to help restore our Constitution, to end a war and avert starting a new one, and to remove from power two officials—George W. Bush and Richard Cheney--who block those objectives before they can do more harm in their remaining months in office.
That's an ambitious project; but there's a clear path to achieving it. We will work to change public awareness and, as a result, Nancy Pelosi's policies as Speaker of the House well before the election, by revealing to the public real alternatives to the courses she and the Democrats have followed so far, and demonstrating the breadth and strength of public support for those alternatives.
The truth is that Democrats, and even Republicans, can do much better than they have been doing, under Pelosi's leadership in the House, to protect our freedoms and our security. In this campaign we will publicize specifics of what can and should be done, and let the public tell the politicians which approach they want.
One essential demand is for Pelosi to encourage, rather than to block, Congressional investigations of past and ongoing administration deception, unwisdom, illegality and unconstitutionality in pursuing an aggressive war and in curtailing our rights. Such investigations, calling forth testimony under oath of current and former officials many of whom are eager to tell the truth at last, as well as demonstrating continued administration stonewalling, will almost surely lead to what does not yet exist: irresistible pressure from a belatedly-informed public for the impeachment and removal of Bush and Cheney.
Further, we need Pelosi's leadership in rescinding the unconstitutional parts—which will not leave much—of the Patriot Acts, the Military Commisions Act and the recent, outrageous legislation purporting to legalize warrantless wiretaps and data mining. And—absolutely essential to ending our war in Iraq, ever—public pressure is needed to demand that Congress defund our indefinite occupation, providing funds only for the orderly, safe withdrawal of all our troops, contractors and bases on an announced time-table.
If this campaign can help bring about even the first of these, it will also, almost incidentally, put Cindy Sheehan within reach of success in the election. This is, in fact, a historic campaign opportunity, exploiting an opening unique in American politics. At this moment, Cindy appears to face insuperable odds, opposing without party support a powerful, heavily-funded incumbent. But we aim to change that. All we are asking is for Nancy Pelosi to do what she should: to uphold her oath of office, which is not to obey a Commander-in-Chief or to enlarge a Democratic majority but to uphold and defend the Constitution.
If we can induce her to do that, then a year from now Cindy Sheehan should be running for an open seat, or against a brand-new incumbent appointed by our Republican governor. Nancy Pelosi, third in line for succession when Bush and Cheney are impeached and removed, will be in the White House. That will, as it happens, leave an open field for Cindy.
So you see, it's nothing personal for us. After all, as representatives of big business go, Nancy Pelosi is better than most. We don't aim to kick her out of politics, we aim to kick her upstairs. And there's a bonus: President Pelosi as a write-in candidate in November. She's far from ideal, from the point of view of members of this campaign, but for a Democrats we could do a lot worse. Off the record, some of us see this as the best strategy for keeping Hillary out of the White House without letting a Republican in.
So there it is: a vision for 2009 that can evoke some real enthusiasm: Cindy in the House, Pelosi in the White House, the US out of Iraq. Our Constitution back, and Bush and Cheney under criminal indictment.
Long Line of Chickenhawks, August 8, 2007
An anti-war activist at a town hall meeting in Iowa recently asked Mitt Romney why not ONE of his five sons served the USA in the military. The woman's brother had been in Iraq and she understandably would have liked to know if the Romney family was so supportive of BushCo's war of terror why didn't they support it with their own flesh and blood.
Mitt Romney said that his five privileged elite stockbroker/real estate boys are supporting our nation by helping get their father "elected." We could dispute the allegation of how getting a pandering, war-mongering, born-again abortion foe elected is good for our country, but that's not the point. The point is the ruling class elite who don't have to worry about health-care, jobs, or how they are going to pay for their children's college tuition send our children to fight and die in their wars that only make them richer while sending working-class families into life times of despair.
58,000 mothers and 58,000 fathers (many of whose children were drafted, but not all) found out how being part of the lower classes during Vietnam was detrimental to your family and thousands of vets from Vietnam are still fighting for physical and mental health benefits from a government who sent them off to a immoral war. Almost twice as many Vietnam Vets have killed themselves as were killed there; and the biggest percentage of our nation's scandalous homeless problem are Veterans. Almost 4,000 mothers are feeling the same despair from Iraq...and already we are seeing Iraq War veterans on the streets and commiting suicide. Somehow I don't think electing Mitt Romney will help to alleviate any of this suffering.
In the true chickenhawk tradition, Mitt Romney, did not go to Vietnam. He was doing Mormon "missionary" work: whatever that means. I guess he could have been in a hot, steamy, jungle fighting fear, fatigue, death, and boredom while trying to score heroin, but somehow I feel that is not the case. When I was youth minister at St. Mary's in Vacaville, I had many Mormon missionaries bike into my office to try and save me from the sin of "Catholicism." Honestly, the Republican chickenhawks should get together and form a club and laugh about how they avoided Vietnam and how their children don't have to go to Iraq so their daddies and granddaddies can't grease the war machine with their own flesh and blood.
Romney also stated that we have an "all volunteer" Army and it was going to "stay that way"?you bet it is! Because then all the chickenhawks can absolve themselves from the fact that they supported a nasty war where people are being killed unnecessarily by screaming: "Your son volunteered." Also the concept of a "professional Army" is an imperialistic trick to keep the ordinary citizen far away from the sacrifice and keep them just anesthetized enough to not get outraged and actually do something about it.
I have talked to college Republicans and young people who have come to my events to yell obscene things at me and I have asked them why, if they support George and his war for profit, don't they go to the nearest recruiter's office and enlist. Their answers are a lot like Romney's. They are serving their country by going to college so they can own businesses that will "employ" the returning vets. Or, they are "serving" their country by protesting me.
Many of our young people, especially people of color, don't have a lot of options to get jobs, educations, or out of their dangerous communities (isn't it ironic) they join the military. As for Casey, I would rather have him be flipping burgers in Vacaville, then dead, but he felt he had to join the Army to take the pressure off of our family for college. It is a tragic trade.
If Romney's children have the option of serving our nation by riding around in RV's and writing blogs, then all of our children should have that option. For our lower-socio economic children, working for the candidate of their choice should come with a $20,000.00 bonus and college tuition credits.
If the wealthy elite doesn't have to worry about sending their children to college, then all of our children who want to and quality should be able to go to college for little or no tuition. They should not have to trade their lives or physical or mental health for a degree. We need to bring our tax dollars home from Iraq and our manufacturing jobs back from overseas to give our young people more options.
It's time to start talking about the poverty draft and how the ruling class fascists get to protect their children to the detriment of our children.
I don't think military service should be a requirement to be the President?but a hypocrite is a hypocrite. If a candidate supports this war, or future wars, I say send your own child. That would prove you are serious when you say my son died for a "noble cause."
Turns out We are “Mad as Hell”, August 07, 2007
By Cindy Sheehan
Since I posted my article: "I’m as Perturbed as Heck", I have received many emails and messages. This is a typical response:
- We don't know what to do.
- Bushco and Congress only has authority because of their guns and prisons, right? I hate to put pressure on you when I do nothing in comparison, but what would a call to armed Americans amount to? We need the people who are willing to "fight for this country" to realize exactly who we should be fighting. As you can tell, we the people are literally being ignored. Do we really think that quitting our jobs to stand on the White House lawn is going to change the agenda of...I don't want to say Bushco, because it's obviously so much bigger than them...those fascist, greedy, homicidal, psychopaths.
- My (Texas) senators are literally two of the worst, but I don't have your fame. I don't think it makes sense to try to build credibility for a campaign when I'm struggling to pay my student loans and have no history dealing with the crazies, I mean government officials.
- I'm just another lame American afraid to change my whole life...I shouldn't have to. But that's hardly the point, I know. It's seems pretty late in the game to still be looking for alternatives to armed revolution. But I am sooo non-violent. I'm still just asking for someone else to do it.
- Is there nothing more a peacenik like me can do, short of "quitting my life" as you had to do? Any ideas, or advice?
This anguished young American was very typical of the responses I received. People are “mad as hell,” they just don’t know how to positively channel their rage and if they do have a clue about what to do, they are paralyzed by their debt and tied to their low-wage, no benefited jobs (thanks to the Wal-Martization of the USA) and are frustrated by their inability to make a difference.
Before Casey was killed in Iraq, I had many of the same limitations. I bought into the crap that one person couldn’t make a difference and I was also (as Thoreau says) a “wage slave” and “owned” by my material possessions. I was enraged by the invasion of Iraq and petrified by (justified) fear that the ravenous and greedy war machine would swallow my son. I didn’t know how to do anything even if I knew what to do. So, like my correspondent said: I shouldn’t have had to completely “change” my entire life, but the change was forced on me, partially by my own apathetic stupor.
Also, like she writes, I can’t stress enough that an armed revolution is a horrible idea. There is no way that the war monster can be defeated by violent means. Besides, how can we get our citizenry to take up arms against out government when we can barely get off of our couches to raise a placard in a peace march? We must call for a non-violent people’s revolution. As history has shown and BushCo has made even crystal clearer, violence only begets more violence.
- All of BushCo’s enablers must be fired in ’08. There are 19 Congress Reps who are signed onto H(Res) 333 to impeach Dick Cheney. Any others are complicit in the crimes of the Bush Regime and must be challenged in ’08. Support candidates who do challenge the Demopublicans or run yourself on a 3rd party or Independent ticket. If you feel that you are inextricably tied to the Demopublicans, then mount a primary challenge.
- Congress, Inc is on recess now---you don’t have to quit your job and camp on the White House lawn. Go to your Congress Reps’ office and hound him/her to sign onto H(Res) 333, or risk losing his/her cushy job. Letters, emails, faxes, and/or petitions are not good enough anymore. We took petitions with over one million signatures to Rep. John Conyers to impeach BushCo, he barely glanced at them.
- Don’t support war-mongering, nuke threatening monsters for President, which eliminates essentially all the current candidates except Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) and Ron Paul (R-Tx).
- Camp out on your Congress Rep’s doorstep to demand that he/she de-funds the debacle in Iraq. It is not okay to be co-dependent with BushCo in financing their murderous surge. Bloody hands are bloody hands whether one has a “D” or an “R” after his/her name.
- Join your local peace group. United for Peace and Justice has listings, or Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK Women for Peace are usually very active on the local level. Sign up for our action alerts at GSFP.
- Sponsor local solidarity events with events in DC on 9/11; 9/15, and 9/29.
There is so much to do and so little time. I know it is hard to leave one’s comfort zone to try and make relevant and lasting change. I was deeply entrenched in the American consumeristic cycle of work, spend, work, spend, ad nauseum…violent events literally knocked me out of that cycle. As Chris Hedges wrote in his article, Beyond Disaster:
The neoconservatives-and the liberal interventionists, who still serve as the neocons’ useful idiots when it comes to Iran-have learned nothing. They talk about hitting Iran and maybe even Pakistan with airstrikes. Strikes on Iran would ensure a regional conflict. Such an action has the potential of drawing Israel into war-especially if Iran retaliates for any airstrikes by hitting Israel, as I would expect Tehran to do. There are still many in the U.S. who cling to the doctrine of pre-emptive war, a doctrine that the post-World War II Nuremberg laws define as a criminal “war of aggression.”
We are certainly beyond disaster, and if BushCo with the criminal complicity of Congress aren’t stopped soon, no telling where we will be in November ’08. Congress won’t stop Bush and Bush has his dictatorial way with Congress…so, again, it is up to us.
I’m Perturbed as Heck, August 05, 2007
By Cindy Sheehan
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
“I’m human, goddamnit, and my life counts!”
Howard Beale, Network 1971
In Paddy Chaefsky’s brilliant movie, Network, news anchor, Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch who was awarded an Oscar posthumously for his remarkable performance) screams out: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” and then we see people all over the city leaning out their windows, screaming the same refrain.
In 1971, when the movie was made, our country was still deeply mired in Vietnam and we were under the creepy thumb of the criminal and deadly, Nixon regime. It’s a good thing that in 1974 our country had some courageous Congress Reps who were willing to stand up to the machine and begin impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon which included three articles: Article 1: Obstruction of Justice (Bush: Outing Valerie Plame and commuting Scooter Libby’s sentence, etc); Article II: Abuse of Power (Bush: signing statements, suspending Habeas Corpus, Patriot Act, violating the crap out of FISA, Military Commission’s Act, etc), Article III: Contempt of Congress (Bush: not allowing any of his aides to testify and ignoring subpoenas, etc). The full House committee unfortunately rejected an Article that was introduced to impeach Nixon for the illegal secret bombings of Cambodia and Laos.
It’s also amazing that the past Congress passed some important legislation while a committee was investigating the impeachment of the Tricky Dick (we now have a Trickier Dick!) As my friend, and member of that committee, former New York rep, Liz Holtzman, often says; “Congress can chew gum and walk at the same time.” The present leadership of the House does not have similar confidence in Congress’ ability to do its Constitutionally mandated job, perhaps because they are too busy handing over to BushCo more of our freedoms. Maybe we are expecting too much, it is conceivable that Congress cannot chew gum, walk AND simultaneously abdicate its responsibility to be a check and balance on this tyrannical Bush regime.
With the Speaker of the House wanting to “work with” BushCo to systematically excise our freedoms, and Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid blaming the latest power-give away on the Republicans, when 16 Senate Democrats shockingly voted “yea” one wonders when America is going to get “mad as hell.” Right now I think our mantra is: “I’m perturbed as heck and I am going to take it as long as they dish it.” Sitting behind a computer and blasting off “angry” emails to your reps is not good enough: Even if you include some “f” words. Hiding behind your job and bills and not hitting the streets in massive numbers just gives Congress Inc and BushCo tacit approval to run our ship of state further up onto the rocks. We are getting the country and world that we deserve.
One day, in fact it was August 3, 2005, I was making my laptop fairly smoke with righteous indignation and white-hot anger at the horrible and needless deaths of 14 more Marines from the Ohio Reserves. I had been out all over the country working my tookas off for change, but feeling like I was getting nowhere, even though, everywhere I went my fellow Americans were just as pissed as I was. A hopeless feeling of helplessness practically immobilized us all. While I was typing an email that day expressing all of these thoughts, I had a brainstorm: To go down to Crawford, TX after the VFP convention in Dallas to confront George about his manipulative “noble cause.” On August 6th, we marched down Prairie Chapel Road and into a veritable doodoo-storm of media attention. I think around about the 5th day, a photographer finally agreed with me that it was a “media circus,” and most of us are familiar with the Camp Casey story. One thing we learned that summer was attention does not mandate policy adjustment.
Although much has changed in the USA: public opinion of George and his war of choice for profit have tanked and Congress changed in November ’06, everything else has gotten worse. Besides the obvious loss of our freedoms, BushCo in tandem with Congress Inc, has increased worldwide Islamic Jihadism and fueled intense hatred of US corporate imperialism. The dead and mutilated bodies keep piling up in Iraq and the flag-draped coffins are surging home under the mainstream media’s radar. The people of Baghdad have gone without water for days now and anyone of us can go to any faucet in our homes and pour ourselves a glass of safe water. The Iraqis are human, goddamnit, and their lives count, too! By our inaction, we form a union of callousness and violence with our federal employees.
535 members of Congress are about to go on undeserved vacations while our troops and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering under the most direst of circumstances and BushCo are poised to invade Iran and we all know Gonzo may have to resign and George will use the sleazy recess appointment process to foist another criminal on us.
Congress and BushCo have dismal approval ratings, but what does that say about “We the People?” It says that in our Representative Republic, “We” have no say. That’s because many of us believe that our responsibilities in that Representative Republic are fulfilled in the voting booth. If we don’t stand up to the people whom we employ and pay and make sure our votes count literally and for what we stand for, then we are doomed to being ruled by the ruthless elite who get their legislative orders from the special interests.
As Congressman John Conyers wrote over a year ago in his fabulous treatise on the crimes of BushCo called, Constitution in Crisis, “We have seen so many transgressions by this Administration that it is easy to forget last week's scandal amid this week's new outrage. I am hopeful that compiling all of these events of the last few years will help wake all of us up to the gravity of these matters and the cumulative damage to our country.”
Wake up America…the situation is indeed grave and we have three branches of government (and a complicit “fourth estate”) that are committed to politics and profits before people.
Nothing is going to change until we put people before the politics of profit or the profit of politics.
The Other War August 3rd, 2007
by Cindy Sheehan
I was sitting behind the stage at Union Square the other day when a young woman with a cameraman in tow approached me and asked me if she could ask me a "question." Seldom when I am approached to answer "a" question does it turn out to be just one question and this person looked like she was about 14 years old.
"Sure," I answered her. With eyes brimming with tears, this was her question, prefaced by a comment:
"I am a soldier and I served in Afghanistan, what do you have to say to the troops who are over there?"
I don't know what told me this soldier was not "pro-war," she had on jeans and a nondescript striped shirt with a collar. Neither she, nor her cameraman had any anti-war paraphernalia. I think it was her watery eyes that gave her away as being anti-war. I couldn't be sure though because it has become certain groups and individuals' life's missions to harass me.
My heart is always with our troops no matter what these "pro-murder, pro-destruction, pro-Bush" people think. My own son was a soldier and, although he didn't have any kind of killer instinct and a fear of having to kill someone when he went to Iraq, he was a good soldier and he loved his Army family and proved that love by dying to save some of them. I think most of our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan to support their "buddies" as a young soldier wrote to me:
"I did not know your son, but we lived on the same little FOB, and I recognize his name, and face. I was infantry, and he must have been in 182 since I don't recognize him from the other INF. companies.
"I hear many people ask why are we dying for nothing. NOTHING, could be further from the truth. We do not fight, and die for a man. We do not fight, and die for a cause, or corporation. We fight, and die for each other, nothing more. I will not have it said in my presence that your son died for nothing. He died for me, he died for his brothers, and sisters in arms. That is why we all fight. That is why we all die."
I understand that kind of camaraderie and love. There are many people whom I would die for and I would have traded places with Casey in a heartbeat if given the choice. What I don't understand is a cowardly commander-in-chief and his vice-war lord sending our brave troops to die for each other. Even the troops know there is no "noble cause" other than the bond that glues them together. I have met hundreds of vets from the Iraq/Afghanistan mistakes on down to the Korean War mistake and they all tell me that they would have taken Casey's place, too.
When the young vet confronted me with the camera in Union Square the other day, I could only speak from my heart. I answered her:
"Oh, honey. It must seem like the peace movement in the US has forgotten about our troops in Afghanistan and the Afghani people. I know that I don't talk about that conflict enough, although I think that it is morally wrong, too. I know that our soldiers are dying and being harmed there, too. As much as the media doesn't cover what's happening in Iraq, it pays even less attention to Afghanistan. However, the peace movement is not united on Afghanistan, because many people think that it is a 'good war.' I believe no such thing and I promise you that I will be more vigilant about exposing that war crime, too."
Then I hugged her and whispered in her ear: "Your buddies deserve honor and attention, too, and I am so sorry for what you have had to go through!"
She replied to me: "I am going to send this to my friends in Afghanistan and I just want to let you know that we are all behind you." That quick exchange had an enormous impact on me and I will fulfill my promise to that young woman.
Why did our country and a criminal international coalition invade Afghanistan? Is it for a strategic placement of oil pipelines? Was it to install a former oil executive as a US controlled puppet president? Was it because Osama bin Laden may have been in the country (and as many accuse, allowed to escape at Tora Bora?) We know for a fact that Osama was armed, trained and supported by the US when he was part of the mujahadin that fought against the USSR, that caused the collapse of the Soviet Union along with its rampant militarism. We know that bin Forgotten is still at large and that, in the initial invasion of Afghanistan, more innocent civilians were killed than on 9-11.
We also know for a fact that poppy production is at historically profitable levels and the Taliban is extorting bribe money from the growers to finance its insurgency against the US. When the Taliban controlled the country, opium production was illegal and the penalties were harsh. Women are still oppressed and besides a Coca-Cola bottling plant and war-profiteering not much has been accomplished.
According to www.icasualties.org, 421 US troops have been killed and 6,213 have been wounded in Afghanistan. One of the fatalities was John Torres who was apparently murdered by a fellow soldier because John was exposing the active drug trade on his base. The true circumstances of Pat Tillman's murder were covered up in the highest echelons of BushCo and we may never know the truth or the profound implications of that crime. Both these incidents demonstrate that not everybody fighting wars are watching out for their buddies, and besides, may be of the paid mercenary persuasion.
Most of our troops are courageous and only trying to survive under unconscionable conditions and I want to publicly honor our young people who have had their lives stolen by the war machine in Afghanistan and send my heartfelt condolences to their families. Not even the evil empire of BushCo can corrupt or diminish our children's forced sacrifices.
Our troops stationed in Afghanistan need to know that the US peace movement supports them by working to get them home, too.
Note: For people who have been asking, my formal announcement as a candidate against Nancy Pelosi has been pushed back to August 9th due to logistical concerns. www.CindyForCongress.org should be going live soon with more details and a way to donate to my campaign.
This article was supported by articles that can be found at: www.afghan-web.com
New York, July 30, 2007
"Brought to you by Boeing"
Journey for Humanity and Accountability
Final Day of Tour
Before I headed to our "Gather-In of Hearts" in Central Park West this afternoon, I was watching NBC's Meet the Press. Except for a brief excerpt about the Alberto Gonzales hearing this week, the entire show was about Obama vs. Hillary. Should Obama hit harder? Should Hillary ignore him since she's the frontrunner? How will this affect the primaries? Will it affect the primaries? Fox and CNN are trying to distract us from real news that affects us all by 'round the clock reporting on Lindsay Lohan and NBC uses the shiny keys of Obama and Clinton, two people whose campaigns together have each raised enough money to pay for about five hours of the illegal and insane occupation of Iraq.
I was wondering when Tim Russert would get around to talking about the refugee crisis that BushCo and Congress Inc. have created in the Middle East which is rapidly destabilizing the entire region, not just Iraq. Or how about we talk about the impending invasion of Iran that Dick Nuke'em the VP of War is jonesing for? And wouldn't it be nice if we heard some cons for an invasion of Iran instead of the neocon pro-war all the time crap? There is so much heartache and violence in the world. There are too many of our brothers and sisters going without the bare necessities and NBC wants us to care about two people who are co-opted into the power elite and are feuding over foreign policy when they are both Senators who have power right now and could affect the process positively if they weren't busy campaigning for elections that are months away.
I was wondering when the real discussion was going to occur until I saw those five words: "Brought to you by Boeing:" the number one aerospace/defense contractor in the world according to Fortune 500. The next show after Meet the Press is The McLaughlin Group which is brought to a gullible American viewer ship by The Oil and Natural Gas Council.
I was at a Rage Against the Machine concert last night watching the thousands of young people in the audience from stage right. The crowd was as filled with life as the band and I was amazed at all the energy. I wondered if the crowd knew how socially and politically radical the words are to Rage's music and are not just as mesmerized by the pounding music and Tom Morello's amazing guitar playing as I am? I was wondering how the peace and justice movement could harness that energy in a positive direction to really shutting down the machine that is brought to us by Boeing and The Oil and Natural Gas Council among thousands of other companies that profit off of war and our politicians who let the machine tell them how to govern to keep that same machine well oiled while stealing financial and human resources right out from under the noses of families and communities.
Before Casey was killed, I did not rage against the machine that has been grinding up our soldiers and murderously oppressing other populations for generations. As a matter of fact, I practically threw my own son under the wheels of the machine. Despite my vague misgivings about the machine and my desperate worry about Casey going to Iraq, I watched him leave through tear soaked eyes and a worry-laden heart.
Rage, rage, rage against that machine! Don't let it eat up you or your children because it uses our flesh and blood to engender enormous profits and while sending our children off to war to use up their airplanes, bombs, guns, bullets, uniforms, helmets and boots, the machine is sending its children off to expensive private schools to raise more machine heads.
It is impossible to bring back the lives that have been stolen by the machine, but it is never to late to save the future. I am hoping that my candidacy against Nancy Pelosi in California's 8th will be able to put a little sugar in the tank of the machine.
The machine is powerful and heartless but if we all stand up to it, we can finally dismantle it this time.
Thanks for your overwhelming support of our Journey for Humanity and Accountability! We have been welcomed everywhere and feel the energy for impeachment building and the energy for a people's campaign for humanity and accountability growing.
The next stop for our group will be to Jordan and Syria to visit Iraqi refugee camps and to take money and supplies to the refugees. To help go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org to donate and please put "For Iraqi Refugees" in the subject line.
I will be formally announcing my Independent candidacy for Congress in San Francisco on August 6th, which besides being the day the machine dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, is the two year anniversary of the day we went to Crawford, Texas and established Camp Casey.
photo and video roundup
Union Square video (scroll down) http://gammablog.com/?p=4067
New York, July 29, 2007
Empathy for Sheehan in her quests http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070729/COL10/707290546/1068/OPINION
Dear Congressman Conyers: Ted Lang http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/07/29/p18525
New York, July 29, 2007
McFeatters: With friends like these ... http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/opinion/x368750809
New York, July 27, 2007
A Debate with Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern and Democratic Strategist Dan Gerstein http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/27/144218
The political meaning of the conflict between Cindy Sheehan and the Democratic Party http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jul2007/conf-j27.shtml
Justice Should be Color-Blind, Day 16, Cindy Sheehan
Justice should be color-blind, but we all know that it still is not.
There are many perhaps thousands if not millions, historically, cases disputing the blindness of justice but when I think about this contradiction a few cases jump to my mind.
The incident in Georgia where the young man was given a sentence of ten years in prison for consensual sexual contact between minors is one example. Paris Hilton got a slap in the wrist for breaking parole, but she's white and rich. White, rich people rarely have to pay for their crimes.
Black people in New Orleans were shot or arrested for "looting" after Katrina and if white people did the same thing, they were only trying to "survive."
Mexican illegal immigration is now being blamed for all of our economic woes in America when the blame lies with the military industrial war economy and such entities as Wal-Mart sending our jobs and manufacturing to Asia. In previous times of economic challenges, the Irish and Chinese were blamed.
Now, incredibly, I am being accused of being a racist for demanding that Congressman John Conyers do his job as is Ray McGovern. When I think of the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I don't think of a black man, I think of a legislator that should do his/her job whatever color their skin is.
Why does everything have to be divided along lines in this country? As Rev. Yearwood (who is black and is challenging Rep Conyers to do his job, too). We need to look at the human and not their political party, religion, color, or economic status.
When I have challenged George Bush, does that make me a self-hating Caucasian?
When I challenge Nancy Pelosi for her seat in Congress, does that make me a female chauvinist pig?
Bringing up the race issue in this case is irrelevant and sleazy. It's like being labeled an anti-Semite because one is against the policies of Israel toward Palestine, or being called anti-American because we are against the anti-humanitarian policies of the Bush regime.
I have stood with Cynthia McKinney when she was up for re-election because I believe she is a woman of principle, even when it wasn't popular to do so. I have stood and been a guest of other members of the Black Caucus in Congress because we all stand for peace. I believe the Democrats used the anti-war left of which I am a leading member to regain both houses of Congress and many, including John Conyers appeared at events and in photos with me, and to know label this a "white activist" vs. black man is further proof of this exploitation of the anti-war movement.
It is not personal for me with Rep. Conyers or racist. I think the white power elite who has always had the say and authority to enforce or disobey laws at will and has a monopoly about what happens politically in this country since people with my indoor sexual plumbing weren't allowed to vote and people with the color of John Conyers' skin were only counted as 3/5s of a person, need to finally be brought to justice.
There has never been an equality of justice in this country. No one in the Bush regime has ever had to be held to account for the death and destruction they have caused. Their domestic politics have left every child behind, but particularly in disadvantaged communities where we all know there is an inherently racist poverty draft.
Rep. John Conyers was not targeted for the color of his skin, but for his betrayal of the American public and the Constitution.
No matter what color they are, the Bush Crime mob needs to go to prison and no matter what color he is, John Conyers needs to do his job.
When does having a thirst for justice and a yearning for peace make one racist? When the country is run by the Orwellian Rove masters, I guess.
Allentown, July 25, 2007
Reinvigorated Sheehan brings 'journey' to Valley
During her appearance at Sterling Hotel, activist calls for Bush to be impeached.
July 26, 2007 With honking horns, rhythmic chants and indignant bellows, antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan led a stream of like-minded protesters in a march through Allentown on Wednesday, demanding the impeachment of President Bush and that the troops come home from Iraq.
This isn't a just war, Sheehan said later in a speech before an overflow crowd at the Sterling Hotel. Here's Cindy Sheehan's criteria for a just war: A just war is one that you would send your own children to die. And this doesn't fit that criteria.
Sheehan, clad in a tie-dyed shirt with Impeach Bush! emblazoned across the middle, pounded the lectern with the zeal of an evangelist.
George Bush has been systematically destroying the Constitution since he came into office, she said. And if they don't impeach George Bush and [Vice President] Dick Cheney, they might as well shred the Constitution.…If Congress doesn't impeach him, then they are just a rubber-stamp, bobble-headed entity.
But not all shared her aversion to the Iraq war.
She has a screwed perspective on things, said Joann VanBilliard of Bethlehem, who peered at Sheehan and her supporters from across the Curtis Armory at 15th and Allen streets, where the march began. We support our troops and we don't need to go on a street corner to shout it. Our boys know.
Sheehan and about 50 of her supporters paraded to the Sterling, in the 300 block of Hamilton Street, as cars slowed down and honked their horns in support. Some of the protesters brandished signs saying Stop the War, and others waved American flags upside down. A furious man who said he was a Vietnam veteran yelled at some from his porch: Have you ever served? Then you don't know.
At the Sterling, a 24-year-old Iraqi stood up front and endorsed Sheehan's mission. No one deserves to die in this war, whether they are soldiers or Iraqis, Louis Yako, a student at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, said before the speech. The Iraqis didn't get a better life. All the promises made to them were broken.
Sheehan's trip to Allentown was a step in her Journey for Humanity, an excursion that has snaked through Montgomery, Ala.; Richmond, Va.; Charlotte, N.C.; and up to Washington, D.C.
There, Sheehan and roughly 50 of her followers were charged with disorderly conduct Monday after they stormed the office of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., demanding that he launch the impeachment of Bush. Conyers chairs the House Judiciary Committee, which would start the process.
While in Washington, Sheehan announced she plans to run against the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in 2010 as an independent.
If she won't hold George Bush and Dick Cheney accountable, then someone has to hold her accountable, Sheehan said in a phone interview before the Allentown march, a day after she rallied in Philadelphia. It's all about accountability.
She has one more target on her list of cities to hit: New York, where she will venture today for a four-day stint.
Sheehan retired from the peace movement more than two months ago and launched her three-week, nationwide Journey for Humanity last month on nothing more than a whim.
Tired and broke from years of protesting the Iraq war, she was lounging in front of a blaring TV set in a rundown hotel room in Tucson, Ariz., and learned that Bush had commuted the prison term of presidential assistant Lewis Scooter Libby, convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to federal inspectors.
I didn't have anything left to give, she said in the phone interview. But Scooter Libby was just another abuse of executive power, the arrogance of the branch. To me it was treason. [Bush] should be removed from office and tried for treason.
Journey for Humanity is Sheehan's most recent exploit in what has become a laundry list of activist movements she has launched across the country.
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed on his fifth day in Iraq, is possibly most famous for crafting a makeshift camp three miles from Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and naming it Camp Casey. She stayed there for almost four weeks in 2005, all the while demanding to see the president. She never did.
Her visit to Allentown was sponsored by the Allentown Armory Activists, the Lehigh Valley Peace Coalition, the Lehigh Valley Veterans for Peace, the Peace Committee of Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
PHILADELPHIA, July 24, 2007
Journey for Humanity July 24, 2007 http://www.flickr.com/photos/restoredemocracy/sets/72157600988848958/
Cindy Sheehan: "Challenge the Status Quo" http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20070724/cm_thenation/45217182
Anti-war mum to run against US Speaker http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22126269-401,00.html
At the Corner of Shame and Market Streets
What's more disgraceful: slavery, or an unjust war?
July 25, 2007 To make the perfect faux headstone, start by picking out a 1-by-12-foot piece of wood. That'll be enough for six of them, according to Bill Perry of Delaware Valley Veterans for America. Then, prime it, paint it, drill two holes in the bottom and slide in the penny nails that'll enable the makeshift marker to stand upright. Log on to icasualties.org, find the names and photos of soldiers who've died, laminate a name plate and affix it to the wood.
Repeat 606 times and you'll have commemorated the 3,636 American soldiers who've died in Iraq and Afghanistan as of 10 a.m. Tuesday. It was then that Perry and about a dozen compatriots took over the field next to Independence Visitor Center and started setting up about 600 graves to serve as a backdrop for an afternoon visit from Cindy Sheehan, the apparently re-commissioned anti-war mom who, a day earlier, both announced she'd be running against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and got locked up in the Capitol, where she was harassing legislators into voting to impeach a man she considers a warlord. PAID ADVERTISEMENT
As Perry wiped the wages of a microwave sun from his brow with one forearm, he used his free hand to set up the grave commemorating the life of 23-year-old Sgt. Andrew W. Brown, First Battalion, 509th Infantry, of Pleasant Mount, Pa., who'd been killed Oct. 8, 2004.
"The Congressional Democrats, the so-called 'Peace Party,' has failed to honor their constitutional oath," he said. "All they think about is wanting a big issue to run on in '08 and '10 and '12. They want the status quo so they can win elections. It's a disgrace."
A disgrace, indeed, but it wasn't the only one on display. Across the street, tourists lined the platform overlooking the Washington House site and listened to archaeologist Cheryl Laroche talk about the "dichotomy of people here learning about liberty and freedom while trampling over the slave quarters."
Among those listening was Michael Nutter, who took a tour in advance of July 31, when the site will be sealed off while officials decide how best to proceed with memorializing it. Moments earlier, responding to a Fox 29 reporter's stop-snitching question, Nutter noted, "We can't become slaves to violence. People fought hard and died to bring liberty and freedom to this country."
Then, the suit-sporting almost-mayor donned a hard hat, and went down a ladder into a site where people were slaves to the empowered. When he came back out, Nutter seemed moved. "The issue of race is still something we have to come to grips with," he said. "There's more discussion of it on that platform, among people who don't even know each other, than we're having among ourselves in this city."
He was then asked what's worse: a president who kept unwilling slaves around the house, depriving them of human dignity, or one who sends battalions of slaves to an oath off to carry out what some consider the bloody, dirty work he hid from.
"They're both atrocious," he said. "It's a weird juxtaposition of what ultimately is inhumanity to our fellow man. Obviously, we've got to learn lessons from our past."
Which brings us back to Sheehan, with whom Nutter said he disagreed on impeachment. ("What we need to be focused on is making sure our troops get the support and equipment they need to be safe, a reasonable exit strategy, and finding a way to rehabilitate our relationships around the world," he said.)
The scene had all the trappings of '68, pitting guitar-strumming hippies and their orange "Impeach" bumper stickers against vets in patch-covered denim handing out pacifiers. Cops and Park Service police were on hand to keep a semblance of peace. They couldn't.
Take Chris Hill, national director of operations for a pro-troops group called Gathering of Eagles, for example. About 15 minutes into the protest, he'd taken all he could take.
"You're a disgrace to the uniform, Bill," he screamed, prompting an elderly protester to punch him square in the chest, which prompted a police officer to pull Hill away. "Those guys do not deserve to be used as a political prop!"
Hill, an Army vet, conceded that "it's us who gave them the right to dishonor us" before giving me the most logical explanation as to why we can't pull out that I've heard: The first wave would see 160,000 military members reduced to 80,000 infantrymen, who'd then cover their whole withdrawal by guarding convoy routes and airstrips. "We'd start losing a whole fucking platoon at a time," he said. "After we left 'Nam, [millions of] civilians were killed. You think Al-Qaida in Iraq is going to go back to making rugs? Every time [these protesters] do something like this, it shows up on Al-Jazeera, it becomes a recruiting tool. What we need to do to bring our boys home with honor is give them what they need so they can come home winners."
I'd have loved to ask Sheehan what she thought of that but, disgracefully, after trying to talk over airhorns, taunts and "Impeach" cheers, she was ushered away from a photo-op that accomplished absolutely nothing. Which, in times like these, is the biggest shame of all.
Cindy Sheehan joins war protest in Philly
PHILADELPHIA Jul7 25, 2007 — A day after she was arrested at the Capitol, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon for a raucous rally imploring Congress to impeach President Bush.
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, was met by a dozen counter-protesting veterans who blasted air horns during her brief speech and shouted that her son was “spinning in his grave” over her vocal opposition to Bush and the war.
“You're disrespecting your son's service,” shouted Chris Hill, an Army veteran from Center City. “It's a disgrace to her son.”
Sheehan, who wore a T-shirt that read “Arrest Cheney First,” shouted back as about 150 protesters cheered her on.
“My son was a hero and your president is a coward,” Sheehan yelled. “My son hated this war. My son disagreed with George Bush. My son went because he had honor, unlike his president. His life was misspent by the Bush administration.”
Tuesday's protest, which was held on Market Street in the shadow of Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center, was organized by Bill Perry of Middletown, a Vietnam veteran and executive director of Delaware Valley Veterans for America.
“We feel it's imperative to impeach the people that lead us into this war under false pretenses,” said Perry.
While Bush might have started the war, he said, the Democrats who took control of Congress this year have done little to stop it. Before the protest began Perry set up 633 tombstones in remembrance of the soldiers who have died since Democrats took control of the House and Senate in January.
“We just don't have any faith in the Democrats,” Perry said. “They just want to get elected in 2008.”
Sheehan announced Monday that she would run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., next year as an independent candidate since Pelosi has refused to try to impeach Bush.
“The Democrats have definitely betrayed us,” Sheehan said as she walked from the rally.
Sheehan was arrested Monday after she spent an hour in Michigan Congressman John Conyer's office, trying to get the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to start impeachment proceedings against Bush.
While nearly every protester at Tuesday's rally wanted American troops out of Iraq, many focused on a need to oust Bush from office.
“So bye-bye Bush,” sang LisaBeth Weber of Carversville as she strummed a guitar. “You're the biggest liar in the whole universe.”
“This administration is out of control and as long as nobody does anything, it will still be that way,” said Mavra Iano, a protester from Wyncote, Montgomery County. “Our Constitution is being trashed and if we don't say anything, they'll keep doing what they're doing.”
Sarah Harris, a 17-year-old from Cherry Hill, stood on Market Street before the rally started and sold “Impeach Bush & Cheney” T-shirts for $10. Harris said she has attended several anti-war protests but said she has been disappointed in the lack of concern from her generation.
“This war is going to affect our generation the most,” Harris said. “Our generation needs to realize that we need to take a stand.”
Down the street Tom Murtha, a U.S Marine from Northeast Philadelphia who served in Vietnam and Korea, shook his head as he looked at the mock tombstones set up.
“They're using all these tombstones as political props,” Murtha said as he clutched a “Support the Troops” sign with one hand and waved an American flag with the other. “They shouldn't impeach Bush and they shouldn't take the troops out until they've had a victory. If we weren't fighting them over there, we'd be fighting them here.”
Washington DC, July 23, 2007
Sheehan Wants Impeachment, Pelosi's Job http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation/washington/congress/8661892.html
It’s Up to Us
Journey for Humanity and Accountability, Day 14
I am lying in my hotel bed at the end of a very busy, productive, yet sad day.
About 300 people gathered today and marched the 3½ miles from the entrance of Arlington Cemetery to Congressman John Conyers’ office to demand impeachment and accountability from one of the leading figures in American politics for the last four decades.
We were so thrilled with the turn-out and the energy of the group. There was great media coverage and about one dozen freepers on the opposite corner with signs like: “Traitors go to Hell” and “Cindy Sheehan go to Hell.” Nice. I have learned that hell can be on earth and if there is anything worse than burying a child, I don’t want to know about it.
At the end of the march, Reverend Lennox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus, Ray McGovern (retired CIA analyst) and I met with Congressman John Conyers to implore him to institute impeachment proceedings against the pretenders to the White House who are destroying our democracy, making a mockery out of our rule of law and who are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
This was my third meeting with Congressman Conyers about impeachment. I hold a special place in my heart for him and I revere him for his decades long service to this nation but for the life of me, I cannot understand why he will not go forward with impeachment now.
A year ago he introduced HR635 to impeach George Bush while he was Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and not even chairman. He wrote the book on impeachment called: The Constitution in Crisis and he readily admits that BushCo have committed impeachable offenses.
It’s about partisan politics, pure and simple. The Congressman claims that there is absolutely no way that impeachment can go forward and when I was nearing the end of my hope I cried out: “So, if the people’s house won’t help us then we the people have no recourse against the executive branch.” To which he replied: “Yes you do, vote the enablers out in ’08.” Firstly, Congressman Conyers told us to put Democrats back in Congress to end the war and impeach BushCo. We did that and instead of ending the war, they gave George Bush more money to wage it and to conduct his deadly and tragic surge. Secondly, ’08 will be too late to hold George and Dick accountable. Thirdly, thousands of more people will die in these last months of the worst Presidency in American history and lastly: after Dick proclaimed that he was not part of the executive branch and that his office does not have to comply with requests to turn over documents to the National Archives: 435 Congress Reps should have signed onto H Res 333 to impeach Cheney. Only fourteen have co-signed Congressman Kucinich’s bill, so that makes 421 elected Congressional officials enablers of the crimes of the Bush Regime.
At the end of this day, Speaker Pelosi has not supported impeachment and has not upheld her oath of office to “protect and defend” the Constitution. Like Congressman Conyers said almost a year ago, our Constitution is in Crisis and we can’t wait for more meetings and more stalling from Reps who think the problem will go away in ’08. The Middle East is rapidly falling apart under this regime and our country is sliding rapidly into a state of one-branch tyranny while our “heroes” the Democrats fiddle.
It was with very heavy hearts that Rev. Yearwood, Ray, and I reported back to the media that the Congressman had said that with over one million signatures on petitions and with one phone call coming into his office every 30 seconds supporting impeachment and with 300 activists in the hall to support him, he was still not going to move forward with the most urgent duty of his career. The Rev and I were particularly disheartened and broken because we do love the Congressman so much, but we love our country and the people of Iraq and the Middle East more. The Rev and Ray spent many years serving their country in the military and the CIA and I had a son who gave his life to do what the Congress is supposed to do: protect our freedoms, not hand them over to the mob that runs our country.
It is also with a heavy heart that I announce my candidacy against Nancy Pelosi in California’s 8th. If anybody would dare think that I am not serious, I would hope that they would look back at the last three years of my life and everything that I have sacrificed to restore our nation to one that obeys the rule of law and can be looked up to with respect once again in the international community and not as the hated laughingstock on the block.
I am committed to challenging a two party system that has kept us in a state of constant warfare for the last 60 years and has become more and more beholden to special interests and has forgotten the faces of the people whom it represents.
I am committed to using our strength as a country to wage peace and to elevate the status of every citizen in our country by converting the enduring war economy to a prosperous one with lasting peace.
Someone needs to step up to the plate to do this and I challenge other Americans to do the same. Challenge the status quo, because the status quo is no good. We need to become plugged into our government once again as active participants not just passive voters.
It is up to us.
Sheehan: I will beat Speaker Pelosi
July 24, 2007 If Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refuses to bring articles of impeachment against President Bush to the floor of the House, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan said Monday, Sheehan not only will challenge the Speaker in the next election but also will defeat her.
Discussing President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Sheehan said, “We put them there. We can fire them. If Nancy Pelosi doesn't do her constitutionally mandated job by midnight tonight, tomorrow I will announce that I'm going to run against her.
“And not only am I going to run against her, but I will beat her,” Sheehan added.
A spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said the Speaker and House Democrats are working toward their goals this Congress and would not address Sheehan’s proclamation.
“The Speaker and House Democrats are focused on ending the war in Iraq, holding the Bush administration accountable and delivering a new direction for the American people,” Elshami said. “Those are the priorities of the Speaker and the Democrats.”
Sheehan seized the anti-war spotlight during her extended protest outside the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2005, after her 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq. Speaking at a demonstration at Arlington National Cemetery, Sheehan argued that it is Pelosi’s constitutional obligation to impeach the president.
“The administration has abused our soldiers. They've abused our freedoms,” Sheehan said. “They have killed my son and countless others. And they must be held accountable.
“Impeachment is not a fringe movement. It is mandated in our Constitution. Nancy Pelosi had no authority to take it off the table,” Sheehan said.
Sheehan arrested in impeachment protest
- Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, and her entourage,arrive at the Capitol Hill office of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., Monday, July 23, 2007, in Washington, where her group was to ask Conyers to begin impeachment proceedings against the Bush administration. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON -- Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Monday at the Capitol for disorderly conduct, shortly after saying she would run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the California Democrat's refusal to try to impeach President Bush.
Sheehan was taken into custody inside Rep. John Conyers' office, where she had spent an hour imploring him to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Conyers, D-Mich., chairs the House Judiciary Committee, where any impeachment effort would have to begin.
"The Democrats will not hold this administration accountable, so we have to hold the Democrats accountable," Sheehan said outside of Conyers' office after the meeting. "And I for one am going to step up to the plate and run against Nancy Pelosi."
Sheehan and about 200 other protesters had walked to Conyers' office from Arlington National Cemetery. She said Conyers told her there weren't enough votes for impeachment to move forward on the issue.
Forty-five of Sheehan's fellow protesters also were arrested. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said that after they are processed, the arrested activists could each pay a $50 fine to be released.
"Impeachment is not a fringe movement, it is mandated in our Constitution. Nancy Pelosi had no authority to take it off the table," Sheehan told her group of orange-clad activists before they began their march from the national cemetery.
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, has been saying for two weeks that she would seek to oust Pelosi from office by running against her as an independent in her San Francisco district if Pelosi didn't change her mind by July 23 on trying to impeach Bush.
Conyers introduced a bill last term calling on Congress to determine whether there are grounds for impeaching Bush. Pelosi has steadfastly dismissed any talk of impeachment, saying Democrats should focus their efforts on ending the war in Iraq.
e-mail from Cindy Sheehan
July 23, 2007
Time's Up, Congress! Impeach Now!
Journey for Humanity and Accountability, Day 14
Our Constitution established a tri-partite system of government, with the notion that each branch of government would act as a check on the other two. Unfortunately, for the last six years, the Republicans in Congress have largely viewed themselves as defenders of the Bush Administration, instead of a vital check on overreaching by the Executive Branch. By doing so, I believe they have acted to the detriment of our Constitutional form of government.
We have seen so many transgressions by this Administration that it is easy to forget last week's scandal amid this week's new outrage. I am hopeful that compiling all of these events of the last few years will help wake all of us up to the gravity of these matters and the cumulative damage to our country.
Congressman Conyers wrote this brilliant and stinging indictment of BushCo almost a year ago. The booklet outlines and expounds on the crimes of the Bush Regime, and my question for him the last time we met in May, was: What has the President and Vice President done since the Dems regained both houses of Congress in January to miraculously become "innocent" of treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors?
Today we march from Arlington to Congress.
We arrived in DC yesterday from Crawford, Tx after two weeks of our journey.
Twenty-five (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less) of us have traveled from town to town where we were almost universally welcomed with a small amount of protest mostly in the form of the foul-mouthed and gnarly-breathed, Gathering of Eagles (they call us "hippies" "dirty"). All along the way we have encountered our fellow Americans who are sick and fed up with the crimes of BushCo and the slaughter in the Middle East.
Today we will march from Arlington Cemetery where absolutely no desecration is planned by our group, but where desecration has been committed on a daily basis by the neocon war mongers who use our troops unwisely, illegally, immorally and for monetary and political expediency.
When we arrive at Congressman John Conyer's (D-Mi, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) office today we will arrive with over one million signatures on petitions to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. We will arrive with the sentiments of the majority of Americans on our side. We will arrive with a thirst for justice and armed with the truth and compassion for our children serving in Iraq and our brothers and sisters who have had to suffer there under the corporate greed of US war profiteers.
The other day in San Diego, Rep. Conyers told an audience that he would go forward with impeachment if 3 other members joined him, well he has 15 other members already signed on H(Res) 333 which is Articles of Impeachment for Dastardly Dick introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Both Rep. Conyers and Speaker Pelosi need to be reminded of what their constitutional duties are and must be forced to act now before it is too late. I wonder how many more of our troops and Iraqis they are willing to sacrifice on the altar of partisan politics?
Today there will be dozens of us who will sit-in Congressman Conyer's office until he agrees to do the right thing and we will risk arrest if he doesn't. We are doing it because we profoundly believe that accountability in the form of impeachment is imperative to restore the rule of law and to protect the future from an executive branch that has run amok.
We march for peace. We sit for accountability.
On Tuesday, July 24th, I may become a candidate in California's 8th district. The balls' in Congress' court now. I hope they come through for us.
Go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org for more info on our Journey for Humanity and Accountability or to donate to help with expenses.
Sheehan: Let's get away from usual party politics, Peace activist voices her independent streak
Cindy Sheehan, Sunday, July 22, 2007
The feedback I have been receiving since I announced that I would challenge U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, for her House seat -- unless she gives impeachment the go-ahead -- has been running about 3-to-1 positive.
Some people have offered to quit their jobs to move to California's Eighth Congressional District to help my possible campaign. People are lining up to donate and help, and I am again very grateful and touched beyond belief by the generosity and energy of my fellow Americans.
I truly understand the not-so-supportive people, though, because I have been in their shoes. Here in the United States, most of us put our faith in a two-party system that has failed peace and justice repeatedly. The Republicans do not have a monopoly on the culture of corruption (although BushCo has elevated it to policy status), and the way we do politics in this country needs a serious shakeup, when all we the people are getting is a shakedown.
I was frightened out of ever voting for a third party, or an independent candidate, but voting out of fear is one of the things that bestowed us with the Bush crime mob and may give us the Republican, if not in party affiliation, Hillary Clinton.
I was a lifelong Democrat only because the choices were limited. The Democrats are the party of slavery and were the party that started every war in the 20th century, except the other Bush debacle. The Federal Reserve, permanent federal income taxes, not one but two World Wars, Japanese concentration camps, and not one but two atom bombs dropped on the innocent citizens of Japan -- all brought to us via the Democrats.
Don't tell me the Democrats are our "saviors" because I am not buying it -- especially after they bought more caskets and more devastating pain when they financed and co-facilitated more of President Bush's abysmal occupation. The Democrats also are allowing a meltdown of our republic by allowing the evils of the executive branch to continue unrestrained by their silent complicity.
Good change has happened during Democratic regimes, but as in the civil rights and union movements, the positive changes occurred because of the people, not the politicians. I will run as an independent because I find the corruption in both parties unhealthy, and I believe we need to have more allegiance to humans than to a political party.
I have nothing personally against Pelosi and have found our previous interactions very pleasant. However, being "against" the occupation of Iraq means ending it by ending the funding, preventing future illegal wars of aggression and holding BushCo accountable. Words have to be backed up by action, and if they aren't, they are as empty as Vice President Dick Cheney's conscience.
If Pelosi does her constitutional and moral duty by Monday, then I believe some balance will be restored to the universe, and my organization, People for Humanity, can carry on with its humanitarian projects. If she doesn't, we will carry on anyway, with a political campaign to boot.
I hope this challenges other people who desire healthy political change and not temporary Band-Aids to replace other Democrats and Republicans who do not conform to the beatitudes of peace, sustainability and the rule of law for everybody, not just poor or marginalized people.
Being a born and raised Californian and being a Bay Area resident for the past 14 years have given me great insight into the people and concerns of San Francisco.
I am concerned with many of the same things: same-sex partnership laws, the environment, health care, affordable post-secondary education, better schools, counter-military recruitment, poverty, AIDS research and cures, decriminalization of marijuana, and especially stopping war and ensuring real peace.
I think I agree with Pelosi on many of these issues, but the difference is, I don't live in a mansion on the hill. Many of these issues have affected me and my family personally, and I am committed to fighting for the people, not the corporate interests.
I wouldn't put myself through this if I weren't dead serious and committed to making America a better country than we have now, and holding people to a much higher standard than politics as usual. I am rested, restored to health and ready to rumble. I realize that if ever there was a time for politics as unusual, it is now.
Cindy Sheehan Stops Through Richmond http://richmond.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13158/index.php
Sheehan criticizes Charlotte police http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/204418.html
Cindy Sheehan visits Carrboro http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/642547.html
Cindy Sheehan visits Carrboro http://news14.com/content/local_news/triangle/585054/cindy-sheehan-visits-carrboro/Default.aspx
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan leads rally in Lynchburg http://www.wdbj7.com/Global/story.asp?S=6814384
Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice http://www.charlottesvillepeace.org/node/248
Anti-war protestors' visit, rally spark counter-march, Charlottesville http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP/MGArticle/CDP_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173352085886&path=#rrForm