May 31, 2007

Bring Peace With Justice To A Country That Wants Neither

I have spent the last fifteen minutes stalling and messing around on the Internet, contemplating what the point is of writing a post about Cindy Sheenan quitting the anti-war movement. I also wanted to link to an amusing article about how the US ranks 96th out of 122 nations in some new peace index. Iran by the way is 97th. It is a happy day for all peace loving Iranian Americans! Israel at 119 was also a telling spot.

I am tired of writing about myself, so this seemed like a nice distraction, but it might be best to simply shut down this machine and crawl into bed with a book. I was very saddened his morning as I read Cindy Sheenan’s farewell post. It is a sad day indeed in American politics, but perhaps it will act as a wake up call. I have been saying for years that until the left ditches the Democratic Party, we will not get anywhere. At least she saw it now; perhaps her frustration will spread and more people will abandon the Democratic Party and begin to demand change from our failing government in the form of Independent Parties. I hope all those Nader bashers are mobilizing for some third party action in 2008, because Nancy Pelosi ain’t gonna end this war.

In the meantime, I will stay overseas and feel like a total asshole, as I deal with my own petite bourgeois guilt. Here is a must read article over at Adbusters for any other self-righteous jackasses like myself who claim they are looking out for the working man and the oppressed, as we gallivant around the globe on leisurely vacations with good paying jobs. More on this guilt complex and my thoughts on middle class, intellectual socialism soon; I hope. It all depends on if I can muster up enough energy to give a shit.

Here is Sheenen’s speech with my favorite parts highlighted in bold!

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an “attention whore” then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a “grateful” country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford , Texas ? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.

This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This is not my “Checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

It’s up to you now.

Now that I feel adequately like shit, because I see myself when she says, "do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others."

I am off to bed. If these words ever get to Cindy Sheehnan, I want to say thank you for putting a human face on the fight with this unjust system. You have done more than anyone could have imagined or expected. I hope to regroup and find a way to attack it from another angle...


  1. The events of the last few weeks made me leave the Democratic Party. I lost faith years ago.

    One of my friends said that the distinction between the GOP and the Dems is that the GOP listens to "the base," cultures and nourishes it. The Dems, on the other hand say, "What are you gonna do? Vote for them?," and proceed to do whatever is expedient, regardless of how it relates to core issues and beliefs.

    I think it is true.



  2. I don't know about you, but she put in words what has basically been bottled up inside me for the last few years...and like you, I also feel the guilt of seeing someone like her do the things she has done while I sit thousands of miles away from "the mess" and do nothing about it...but what can you do? I guess you can do what she did...risk your health, your job, your family, your marriage, your insanity...but what a price to pay!...I don't know...for me, it's like spending $5000 on a hamburger to feed a starving child in Africa...yes, the cause is good, but the sacrafice just doesn't seem worth the know what I'm saying? I'm sure Cindy Sheenan handed out quite a few "hamburgers", but how big of a dent did it make on "starvation"?...meaning...I'm sure she got a few people riled up, but in the end, what has changed?...sadly, not much...what a shame.