Desecration of the Dead (external - login to view)
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I can not believe "W" who tries to make out he is so "big" and "tough" is so scared of a female citizen. But most War Criminals when it comes down to it are cowards anyways.
US anti-war movement gains strength as truth replaces lies
A protest against the war in Iraq outside President Bush's Texas ranch is gaining momentum
At the end of a long line of white crosses, each bearing a name of a soldier killed in Iraq, is a small, open tent set up like a shrine.
Inside the tent is a photograph of Casey Sheehan, surrounded by flowers and candles.
The 24-year-old died in Iraq last year, and two weeks ago his mother, Cindy, set up "Camp Casey" and caught the nation's imagination.
To begin with just a few people drifted along to join her - just a couple of miles down the road from where President George W Bush is spending his summer vacation.
Suddenly people started hearing about the woman who wants to meet the president face-to-face and to ask him why her son died, and that's when the television trucks started to arrive.
Hundreds have now come here, some Iraq veterans or families of those killed in the fighting, others just wanting to support her point of view.
Cindy Sheehan is now probably the most talked about woman in America, leading the news bulletins over the last couple of days and reinvigorating the anti-war movement in the States which has been struggling to find a voice.
Those opposed to President Bush's policy in Iraq have been painted as unpatriotic, and criticised for "letting our boys down".
But the protestors here say they are the true patriots - it's an issue that's starting to polarise American opinion.
The one-woman show which has generated so much momentum is, however, in danger of running out of steam as Cindy Sheehan's mother had a stroke and she returned to California to be with her.
It was a tearful farewell to all those who had supported her from their small line of tents and shades and the promise was that she'd be back, as soon as possible, to continue the protest.
"She was the lightning rod for the media of course," said one of those left to keep the camp running.
"But we came here to support Cindy and that's just what we'll do. Everyone is staying because we owe it to her. I'm not leaving until she comes back."
As Cindy left, a large group of women walked as far as they could towards the Bush ranch and handed secret security men a pile of letters to pass on to the president.
All of them talk of a determination to keep the pressure on, but the longer Cindy is away the more the media hype will die down and the momentum could run out.
But if it continues to grow, some say this could be a tipping point of public opinion and another bomb in Iraq killing a large number of Americans could fuel that further.
A few miles down the road in Crawford itself there's a "peace house" where bloggers work around the clock, a production line for meals and camp supplies is up and running and a small group of women cut, bolt and paint more white crosses to take up to Camp Casey.
And just across the road is the Coffee Station, a little restaurant which is busier than it has been for a long time.
Opinions there are divided as much as across America.
"They're a bunch of idiots," said one man. "If I had a front-end loader I'd get rid of them."
And on the next table support for a woman who has certainly touched the hearts of many.
"She's a grieving mother with a right to protest, and I think President Bush should talk to her."
If Cindy does come back here she could embarrass the president further and he will have to be very careful how he deals with the situation.
But whatever happens, she's already helped the anti-war voice to be heard louder than it was before.
The Answer to Cindy Sheehan’s QuestionQuote has been trimmed
Jacob G. Hornberger
Cindy Sheehan has asked President Bush an important question: Exactly what “noble cause” did her son Casey die for in Iraq? It’s a question that some Ohio parents whose children were recently killed in Iraq are also asking. It’s a question that every American should be asking.
I couldn’t help but be somewhat mesmerized reading about the attitudes of the young Ohio Marines who recently died as well as the diverse reactions of their families to their deaths. The accounts brought to mind the deep range of thoughts and feelings that I experienced as a student at the Virginia Military Institute from 1968 to 1972, during the height of the Vietnam War. I would like to share some of my personal experiences at VMI during those tumultuous times.
VMI is a four-year military college in which every student is required to be a member of the corps of cadets. When I was there, everyone was also required to sign a commitment to serve in the military forces for at least two years. During my senior year at VMI (1971–1972), however, given that U.S. forces were withdrawing from Vietnam, the Army offered graduating seniors a 3-month active-duty, 8-year Reserve commitment in lieu of the 2-year active-duty commitment; it was an offer that I accepted without hesitation.
You know this board is just as similar to American hyperbole as you can get.
To paint Americans with the broad brush this board uses, perhaps a similar impressionistic self portrait of this board should be made as well, especially when you consider America itself is divided pretty evenly and if analysis of those votes show that at least 1/3 of either side was not a deep loyal vote then whatever broad brush cartoon like conclusions this board satisfies itself with would do better to admit a hypocrisy unexclusive to Americans alone but which really the special preserve of humanity in all its self-righteous glory.
Your vote is no less informed or dumb or smarter or wiser or less hypocritical or shallow in any other country once you research the details of each nations speciality of hypocrisy.
Can We Do Something Else to Help?Quote has been trimmed
Two years after the march from Selma to Montgomery Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took the pulpit at Riverside Church in New York City and gave a speech titled "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." Today we can substitute "Iraq" for "Vietnam." Dr. King spoke clearly:
"Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam."
Ignore. That's what the vast majority of Germans did in the 1930s as Hitler curtailed civil liberties and launched aggressive wars. I was born in August 1939, a week before Hitler sent German tanks into Poland to start World War II. I have studied that crucial time in some detail. And during the five years I served in Germany I had occasion to ask all manner of people how it could possibly be that, highly educated and cultured as they were, the Germans for the most part could simply ignore. Why was it that the institutional churches, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran, could not find their voice? Why was it that so few spoke out?
A few did...and they provide good example for us today. Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke out, plotted against Hitler, and was executed. Also executed was a more obscure but equally courageous professor from the University of Berlin, Albrecht Haushofer....
Camp Casey puts Bush on the run
Archive Recent Editions 2005 Editions Aug 27, 2005
Author: Matt Parker
People's Weekly World Newspaper, 08/25/05 16:03
Ignites nationwide movement to bring the troops home
Haga clic aquí para texto español.
CRAWFORD, Texas — Just two months ago, people in this quiet, rural town, population 705, lived their lives in relative anonymity. But thanks to the lies of an infamous neighbor, the townsfolk have had to adjust to a daily barrage of photographers, reporters, television cameras and, most of all, protesters.
That infamous neighbor is none other than President George W. Bush. Cindy Sheehan’s courageous vigil outside his ranch has forced Americans all over the country to stand up and ask Bush, “For what noble cause?”
As Sheehan’s supporters streamed to Crawford, Bush interrupted his ranch vacation to address the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Salt Lake City on Aug. 22, and his backers launched a public relations offensive including a cross-country caravan supporting Bush’s war policy.
However, the president is being met with protests wherever he goes. In Salt Lake City, Mayor Rocky Anderson told thousands of demonstrators, “Those who take a
stand … who stand up to deceit by our government … are true patriots.”
Although Sheehan flew home to care for her ill mother, she was due to return to Crawford this week. Meanwhile, members of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and Veterans for Peace continue the fight with the support of courageous volunteers.
The Crawford Peace House has become a center of organization and activity, its property literally overflowing with volunteers, food donations and tents.
Volunteers were busy refurbishing the small white crosses erected in memory of the soldiers fallen in Iraq — desecrated Aug. 15 when a Crawford resident purposefully ran over them — and building new ones.
“We hope to erect all 1,800 crosses, one for each soldier killed in Iraq,” Houston resident Ken Keeling told us as he began repainting a cross smudged by tire treads.
Our driver on the shuttle to Camp Casey II, the encampment’s new site, was Ralph Hutchins, a Republican from Austin. “Cindy’s fight goes beyond party divisions,” Ralph said. As we wound down one-lane roads, past cow pastures, barbed-wire fences and churches, he said he felt a moral imperative to help out with Cindy’s struggle: “I don’t support Bush or the war in Iraq.”
The land for the camp, donated by local rancher Fred Mattlage, flanked President Bush’s ranch. State troopers, Texas Rangers and Secret Service agents guarded the road into the ranch. A giant white tent donated by an Italian company housed a stage and several hundred demonstrators. Peace organizations tabled, sheltered from the sun and the brutal 101-degree heat; hundreds of white crosses bearing the names of fallen soldiers paralleled the tent.
These were not seasoned protesters. Most were ordinary Americans. Many had not been politically active until now.
“I’d never been to a protest in my life until the candlelight vigil in my community last Wednesday,” Johnnie Johnson, an African American from Austin, told me. At the gathering Johnson and others from her community decided to drive to Crawford. “I’m here to support the mothers and families of the fallen and to support the movement to bring the troops home,” she said.
Riding back to the Peace House, I spoke with Vietnam veteran and Veterans for Peace member Carl Risingmoore, who heads Camp Casey’s security team. “Our side has had wonderful relations with the police,” he said. “They’ve arrested several pro-Bush counter-demonstrators that have forced their way into our camps and verbally harassed us.”
Although most were from Texas, many supporters came from other parts of the U.S.
Bill McNulty, from Setauket, N.Y., arrived Aug. 20, and was filling in wherever needed. A member of Veterans For Peace and Pax Christi, Long Island, McNulty said, “Cindy has forced everyone in America to ask the question: ‘For what noble cause?’ Regardless of political or religious beliefs, this question resonates deeply,” he added.
“My church claims to subscribe to the ‘Just War Doctrine,’” McNulty said, “but although none of the seven conditions of that doctrine have been met by the war in Iraq, the Catholic Church does not actively condemn it.”
“Hip-hop music speaks to the youth in American today, and that’s why it’s so important to get this music behind the antiwar movement,” said antiwar hip-hop artist and Gulf War veteran King Flipp. “There aren’t enough hip-hop artists taking a stand against the war in Iraq.”
Flipp, shooting a music video for his next album, “Wake Up!” said “the love Cindy has for her son” convinced him to shoot the video in Crawford. He and Joan Baez were the two scheduled performers that night at Camp Casey.
United for Peace and Justice said this week that Sheehan will speak at the massive Sept. 24 antiwar rally in Washington, D.C. The rally “will bring the protest to the very doorstep of the White House,” said UFPJ Vice Chairperson Judith Le Blanc.
Last weekend, the biggest celebrities were the volunteers, supporters, and demonstrators. This was a time of ordinary Americans remembering the courageous men and women forced to die for a lie and supporting the families left behind, vowing “Never again!”
Crawford, Texas, diary
‘Welcome to Camp Casey, the beginning of the end of the war’
August 25, 2005
I arrived in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 17. As I got off the shuttle bus I was greeted with, “Welcome to Camp Casey, the beginning of the end of the war!”
Annie Spell from New Orleans and
Eddie Boyd from Baltimore.
WW photos: Dustin Langley
As I settled in at the camp, I was overwhelmed by an almost tangible feeling of optimism.
Eleven days earlier Cindy Sheehan—whose son, GI Casey Sheehan, was killed in Baghdad in April 2004—had arrived in Crawford to confront President George W. Bush. By doing so, she had reached out and touched people who had not been reached before.
People have come here from all over Texas and all over the United States. They have also come from as far away as Australia, Turkey and South Korea.
All to camp out in a ditch beside a single-lane road. When I ask why they’ve come, almost everyone says, “I felt I had to be here.”
Dave Jensen, a veteran who drove from Tyler, Texas, says: “I saw this and just knew this was something I had to go to. The best way to put it is that I felt like this could be the little snowball going down the mountain that’s going to turn into something and change something.”
Iraq Veterans Against the War
As I settle into camp, pitching my tent at the side of the road, I survey the vista: cars and tents stretched as far as I could see down the road. Some people sleep inside or on top of their cars. Others sleep in tents, or just in sleeping bags in the open air.
Tammara Rosenleaf’s husband is about to be deployed to Iraq. She joined the encampment in its first few days. She says: “When my husband got ready to deploy, the Army gave me a book, called ‘Sur viving Deployment.’ There’s a lot of things in it, lists of all sorts of things I should have.
“It says I should write down the numbers of the electrician and plumber. You know what? I am 47 years old. I know that if my toilet is clogged up, I should call a plumber. What I’d like to know, at 4:00 in the morning when I wake up scared to death that my husband is dead or injured, who do I call? And it’s not in that book.”
Sense of community
The next day I meet with Cindy Sheehan briefly. I tell her about the solidarity rally in Union Square and the ongoing presence we had at Camp Casey in New York City.
Sheehan has to leave later in the day when she hears that her mother has suffered a stroke. But those left at Camp Casey are determined to continue building the movement here.
A sense of community and enthusiasm permeates the roadside encampment. People just seem to show up, and immediately begin chipping in.
A group of young activists from Ithaca, N.Y., staffs a kitchen at Crawford Peace House, making sure the camp has fresh coffee in the morning and three hot meals each day.
Others stand out in the blazing Texas heat for hours, directing traffic and keeping an eye out for pro-war troublemakers.
The veterans’ tent
There is a veterans’ tent, staffed by representatives from Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Inside, I talk with Cody Camacho, an Iraq War veteran from Chicago.
Camacho tells me he’s here because it helps in “dealing with the things I saw and the things I did over there, dealing with the guilt and things.
“You’ve just got to find a real ‘noble cause.’ The only way to keep your sanity is to do what is obviously right.
“All of a sudden, there’s clarity after you go through that. That’s the reason I’m here, to get my buddies home,” Camacho said.
On the night of Aug. 20, the anti-war campers hold a powerful rally at the new campsite—located within view of the Bush estate. Speakers include military families, veterans, and anti-war activists from across the country.
One of the speakers is Andrea Hackett from the Michigan Emergency Com mit tee Against War & Injustice. Her daughter is currently in Iraq. She asks: “Now, why is it that the president can’t come out and answer her question, okay? Us mothers want to know this, okay? We want him to act like an executive officer that he is supposed to be.
“He [Bush] represents the whole of the United States. He represents all of those troops that are laying their life down for this country and die for what they thought was the good cause. I think it’s just a moral sin against them to have them fighting a war and not know exactly what they’re fighting for, because you lied to them.
“Since we don’t have the power to go over there and really end this war, we’re just going to bring the issue right here to him, right to his house. Right into his neighborhood, right to his backyard. Let’s keep coming, okay?
“Let’s make this a big huge movement that he’s going to have to either answer to or go back to the White House and hide, okay? Hide back in the White House.
“We’ll meet him there, though, on Sept. 24.”
Returning veterans face trauma
Eddie Boyd, a Navy veteran and an activist with the Troops Out Now Coalition in Baltimore, speaks of the trauma returning veterans face. He says: “There are a lot of folks that are coming back home, and a lot of folks that are feeling the same way. And all our government has to do is say, ‘Suck it up, drink a beer and keep moving.’
“I say no. We have to love our troops, and we love our kids. And we love our kids so much that we would do anything and everything in our power to keep them away from putting on them uniforms.”
SCLC’s Lowery speaks
One of the highlights of the rally is a speech by the Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lowery says: “The war is over, now it is time for Bush to come to that understanding and bring the troops home.
“Even though Cindy had gone, her presence remained, and the presence of all of those parents and supporters and sympathizers who came from across this country—Black, white, brown—to send a message to this administration, it was a tremendous spiritual experience.
“And when I go back home, I want to share it with a woman who has given her life for peace and justice, Coretta Scott King, who is struggling now with courage and dignity, the kind of courage and dignity she has displayed throughout her life. I want to share it with her the first chance I get, that there is a balm in Gilead, and that there is a movement brewing in the land. And it’s time, it’s time to bring the troops home.”
Taps at Camp Casey
“By far, the most incredible part of my stay,” says Eddie Boyd, “was at dusk on Saturday, at Camp 2, where a plot of land had been measured to place crosses for the dead who had come from Texas. Jeff, a Marine veteran, began playing TAPS in honor of the dead. The camp was silent.
“After TAPS were played, a lady that had lost a family member sang a song that didn’t leave a dry eye at the campsite. Later that night I begin to think of the importance of being here, of voicing my displeasure of this president and administration’s policy, where this country is headed.”
Annie Spell and Buddy Spell, lawyers from outside New Orleans, had driven to Crawford to help out with legal issues and security. Buddy Spell describes his time at Camp Casey as “the most unique and inspiring action that I’ve ever been involved in. I have a lot of hope for the future.
“Now we’re in a position for a national movement. People from all over the country are organizing and preparing for future resistance against the war.”
Many at the camp echo this sentiment. As I leave Camp Casey on Aug. 21, participants are preparing to take this new spirit of struggle and grassroots action to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24 and beyond. Everyone I say goodbye to says, “See you next month in Washington!”
Langley is a Navy Veteran and organizer with No Draft No Way (www.NoDraftNoWay.org (external - login to view))
Published on Thursday, September 22, 2005 by the Los Angeles Times
American Mother Has Iraqi Audience
by Borzou Daragahi
BAGHDAD — Khalda Khalaf feels Cindy Sheehan's pain. She's been there, too.
Her 28-year-old son, Majid Khalid Kabi, died in 2004 fighting on the opposite side in the same months-long stretch of clashes between Shiite militiamen and U.S. soldiers in which Spc. Casey Sheehan perished.
"Of course, she's a mother and just like our people are hurting, she's hurting too," says Khalaf, a 52-year-old resident of Sadr City, the east Baghdad slum where Sheehan's son died in April 2004. "Just as she wants America out of Iraq, so do we."
Sheehan, the antiwar mom who is due to lead thousands of demonstrators converging on Washington on Saturday to protest the U.S.-led war, has become a minor celebrity in Iraq as well. The same satellite channels that bring quick, often gruesome coverage of the violence in Iraq to the nation's TV screens also gave regular updates on Sheehan's lengthy vigil outside President Bush's Texas ranch.
Forty years ago, during the Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh and his top deputies kept a close eye on U.S. public opinion and the antiwar movement. Now on the streets of Baghdad, Najaf and Mosul, even ordinary Iraqis have heard of Cindy Sheehan and formed opinions about her and her movement.
"I sympathize with her and her cause, but I don't think that the American administration will be affected by such a thing," said Hassan Hashim Mahmoud, a 32-year-old government employee in Najaf.
Television and newspapers have reported the upcoming marches. And footage of her speaking before previous rallies, aired on television channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Al Sharqiya, has made Iraqis aware of the antiwar movement in the United States.
Even poor families such as Khalaf's know about Sheehan via "news" videos distributed by political parties, such as the radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr's movement, for whom Kabi died in August 2004 in Najaf.
To some Iraqis, Sheehan's stand at Bush's ranch and her continuing opposition to the war make her a hero.
"The president doesn't have the credibility to face the mother of the U.S. soldier who was killed in a war that many in the U.S. say was a fatal mistake," columnist Muthana Tabaqchali wrote in the Iraqi daily Azzaman, which the U.S. Embassy considers hostile to the American mission in Iraq.
"Sheehan was a lady who stood like a lioness with her lofty staff in front of the president," he wrote. "She collected all her strength and motherhood to face the strongest president in the world to tell him enough!"
Others, however, view her with cynicism.
"This might be a part of a political game, like when pictures of prisoners' abuses in Abu Ghraib prison were published, just to harm President Bush's reputation," said Hameed Shabak, 35, a Mosul resident.
In front of the Faqma ice cream shop in Baghdad's Karada district, Fathel Saad, a silver-haired professor of philosophy and theology at Babel College south of Baghdad, debated a friend about Sheehan while finishing up an ice cream cone.
"I think she is misguided," Saad said. "What the Americans have given Iraq is the greatest gift: the freedom to think."
His friend, schoolteacher Fares Mukhlis, disagreed. "This is a brave woman standing up for her principles that are correct," he said.
Nabeal Mohammed Younis, a professor of political science at Baghdad University, recalled seeing Sheehan's image on Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel, while having lunch at a Baghdad hotel with colleagues.
"We said that this woman is not very different from the women in Iraq who've lost their sons," Younis recalled. "We started talking about Cindy Sheehan and started to distinguish between how the women are affected by the war and how the men are affected."
With thousands of Iraqis killed in violence since the March 2003 invasion and with the legacy of Saddam Hussein's tyranny still haunting them, Iraqis are inclined to sympathize with a grieving mother, regardless of their political views, Younis said.
"Most of them are with her and share her misery for losing her son," he said.
Sheehan's plight, as well as the news of thousands of Americans voicing concern about the troubles in Iraq, helped Haqqi Fathulla, a 33-year-old Mosul resident, feel personally connected to Americans.
"The stand of this woman emphasizes the fact that there are no hostilities between Iraqi and American people," he said.