By Cindy Sheehan
"When you vote for war, don't be surprised when you get it."
-- Cindy Sheehan
"I will send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan."
-- Presidential Candidate Barack Obama
"This war (Iraq) prevents us from tackling every serious threat that
we face, from a resurgent al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to a hostile
Iranian regime intent on possessing nuclear weapons."
-- Candidate Barack Obama
"And if we have actionable intelligence about high-level al-Qaeda
targets (in Pakistan), we must act if Pakistan will or cannot."
-- Candidate Barack Obama
This article and these observations are going to piss some people
off--but oh well. You will be angry with me, even though I am not the
one who is ordering more war, paying for more war, torturing people
and imprisoning them without due process, destroying the economy and
the environment, blah, blah, blah. I have developed an incredibly
thick skin and if I rankle, it's because I think time is running out
to halt the disastrous trajectory this planet (via the US Military
Corporate Complex) is on. I promise that I am not writing this
because I am holding protests and no one is coming--these thoughts
have been percolating in me for months now. (Note: Remember that old
saying: "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" Well, here in DC I
am living the opposite: "What if they gave an antiwar protest and
My grandbabies and other people's grandbabies WILL NOT live in a
world where war for profit is so normal that state-sanctioned
violence is rarely even questioned--and if it is, then the person
questioning is the "looney tunes," the "mama moonbat," the "radical."
That is one seriously messed-up world. You know it is and we are the
only ones who have the key to unmessing it.
Last week, the Democratically controlled House of Representatives
voted to give Barack Obama 33 billion more dollars to prosecute two
idiotic and ill-advised wars. Of course they did--it wasn't the first
time since 2007 that a Democratic Congress voted to fund wars, and it
won't be the last--do you all know why? BECAUSE THE DEMOCRATS DON'T
WANT PEACE--THEY ARE JUST ONE-HALF OF THE "WAR PARTY."
Why else did the Democrats vote for more war, more death and more
destruction? If you are a Democrat and voted for one of these
scum--did you vote for them hoping that you would get more war? Did
you vote for Obama hoping that he would dig this country into a
deeper hole, and do you still believe that f*cking things up even
more is the way to solve problems?
Do you all know what else? The wars that were begun in the Bush
presidency and fully funded and increased during the Obama regime
belong to everyone who voted for Obama, too. If you listened to what
Obama said, and not just how he said it, then you would have heard
him promise you that he was going to SEND MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN.
You would have heard him say that nothing was "off the table" for
dealing with Iran.
During the campaign, many colleagues and friends of mine, assured me
that Obama was just saying this hostile crap to "get elected" and
once he was elected that he would "do the right thing." Well, first
of all, why support such a pandering Jackwagon, and secondly, how has
that ever worked? Three days after Obama swore to uphold and defend
the Constitution, he drone-bombed a "target" in Pakistan killing 3
dozen civilians--and since that day he has elevated the art of drone
bombings to new heights, while the so-called antiwar movement looks
on in silent complacency and while Democratic operatives disguised as
antiwar groups are hoping against hope that Obama comes out strong
with a new antiwar marketing campaign to assure his "re-election."
Even though not one progressive issue has been propagated during his
term, these war supporters are looking forward to another four years
of the dance of death. Right foot kill--left foot torture--spin
around for environmental devastation--allemande left for health care
fascism--and shimmy right for bankster bailouts. Wasn't eight years
of this crap during the Bush stain enough for y'all?
Many antiwar groups and people who claim they are for peace lose
their minds during election season thinking that the razor-thin
difference between the Democrat and Republican is enough to go
ape-sh*t crazy in working for the Democrat. Just take the last two
Democratic candidates, for example. Kerry and Obama both supported
more war. An "antiwar" movement de-legitimizes itself when it works
hard for a candidate who does not promise total and rapid withdrawal
of troops from wherever they happen to be at the time AND does not
promise to end war as an imperial tool of corporate conquest.
The majority of the so-called antiwar movement, in fact, voted for a
candidate that PROMISED to contract one war only to be able to
profoundly EXPAND another. Obama all along said that he is not
against all war, just "dumb wars." If there existed an antiwar
movement that had integrity--it would have said that "all wars are
dumb," and we withhold our support for just another dyed-in-the-wool warmonger.
What do we do now that we have another two and a half years of a hawk
who thinks it is just hunky-dory that his supporters are under the
delusion that he is a dove--he was awarded the war-establishment's
highest prize wasn't he? He is, after all, a Nobel Laureate.
First of all, voting just doesn't cut it. Realistically, our choices
are between War Party Candidate A and War Party Candidate B. A true
peace candidate is marginalized, metaphorically spat upon, and
reviled. This is not a nation that honors peace and non-violence.
From the top down, we are a violent nation--so from the bottom up,
we have to restructure society. Liberate yourself and remove your
Obama bumper sticker that has a peace sign instead of the "O." If you
are antiwar, you know in your heart that he is not a peace monger.
Secondly, our resources and energy are stretched thin. We live in a
credit based economy where good jobs are scarce. Many people, who
have the same values, in this almost value-free society, constantly
tell me that they would be with me if they could afford it.
Since my son was killed, which was as violent of a paradigm shift as
anyone should have to endure, I have whittled my life down to a bare
minimum. I have no car. I have no pets. I have no plants. I have no
credit cards. My income is based on my donations from my itinerant
peace travels and book sales. I have moved eight times since Casey
died and now I can move with one small u-haul. I have a cell phone
and computer, a bed, clothes, a few dishes, a few valued books and
peace paraphernalia and pictures of my children and grandbabies.
As HD Thoreau said: "You don't own your possessions, they own you."
This consumer orgiastic society makes us literal slaves to a system
that is detrimental to our health. Freeing oneself from those chains
frees one to be a full-time, or near full-time activist. "Simplify,
Massive antiwar protest in this country is dead. We may as well
acknowledge that and just bury the corpse, mourn, and then figure out
a better way of doing things.
In the Christian tradition, death was only a prelude to new and
better life and farmers well tell you that a seed has to die before a
health-nourishing plant can be born and then there's the ever
ubiquitous example of the ugly, hairy, and yucky caterpillar being
reborn as a magnificent and beautiful butterfly. Have I hammered you
with enough clichés yet?
The key to turning this caterpillar of a country into a beautiful
butterfly is in Peace and recognizing that no matter if one is Bush,
Obama, McCain or Palin--these people don't want Peace, but we do.
I think we lose the raw humanity of war when we allow ourselves to
wallow in War Party politics. When the Democratic Wing of the War
Party took over the mis-management of the Empire, the anti-war
movement was effectively neutralized even though the wars weren't.
So after we are done mourning, we get together as one human family to
organize something that will bring positive change. We are not
enemies with each other--we may be "enemies of the state," but the
state is our enemy.
No more marching in circles, it makes us dizzy.
No more signing petitions, it gives us writer's cramp.
No more calling Congress-scum, the war machine is its master.
The establishment wants us to think that this busy-work has a chance
to be effective--but when is the last time any of these tactics
worked on a Federal level? Your president or your congress rep
couldn't care less want you think or want. Your vote doesn't even
count--in case you haven't heard, they steal votes and falsely
manipulate you, anyway.
I am going to close with my organization's motivational quote. Peace
of the ACTION takes our inspiration from a Mario Savio quote that he
said on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley, 46 years ago:
There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so
odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can't take part, you
can't even passively take part. You have to put your bodies upon the
gears and upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to
make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who own it, to
the people who run it, that unless you're free, the machine will be
prevented from working at all."
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.