Scottsdale mothers join anti-war vigil in Texas

Anti-war protest near Bush ranch
Carol Sowers
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 12, 2005 12:00 AM

SCOTTSDALE - Two Scottsdale mothers have joined a highly publicized vigil near President Bush's remote ranch in Crawford, Texas, to demand that he withdraw troops from Iraq.

"This is a real pivotal moment in the anti-war movement," said Sherry Bohlen, whose son is in Iraq. "We want to raise public awareness."

Under mounting pressure, Bush repeatedly has said it is too early to pull out of the war, but he sympathizes with parents of soldiers.

Bohlen and Rebecca Bahr, also of Scottsdale, arrived in Crawford on Wednesday afternoon, where about 200 protesters have gathered since Saturday.

When “Old News

U.S. media produce excuses, not stories, on Downing Street Memo
Extra! July/August 2005
Julie Hollar and Peter Hart

Journalists typically condemn attempts to force their colleagues to disclose anonymous sources, saying that subpoenaing reporters will discourage efforts to expose government wrongdoing. But such warnings seem like self-puffery after one watches contemporary journalism in action: When clear evidence of wrongdoing emerges, with no anonymous sources required, major news outlets can still virtually ignore it.

A leaked British government document that first appeared in a London newspaper (Sunday Times, 5/1/05) bluntly stated that U.S. intelligence on Iraq was shaped to support the drive for war. Though the information rocked British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s re-election campaign when it was exposed, for weeks it received little attention in the U.S. media.

More Right Wing Attacks

Read 'em and sympathize. It has to hurt to have no other argument for your war than the ability to call opponents of it "extremists."

Congresswoman Waters to Travel to Crawford, Texas to lend Support to Grieving Mother

Contact: Mikael Moore (202) 225-2201

Los Angeles, CA - This weekend, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) will travel to Crawford, Texas to lend her support to Ms. Cindy Sheehan who is attempting to meet with President George W. Bush during his month long vacation at his ranch. Ms. Sheehan's son, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in Baghdad on April 4, 2004, less than a week after arriving in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan wants to meet with the President to ask him why her son died and to voice her concerns about the war in Iraq.

Congresswoman Waters will bring books, food and other supplies with her to help sustain Ms. Sheehan during her time in Crawford.

Bush motorcade passes anti-war mom's protest

Cindy Sheehan holds up a sign as President Bush's motorcade drives by.
Friday, August 12, 2005; Posted: 2:27 p.m. EDT (18:27 GMT)

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- President Bush's motorcade, en route to a political fund-raiser near his ranch, passed Friday by the site of Cindy Sheehan's Iraq war protest where more than 100 people had gathered to support her.

Sheehan -- whose son, Casey, was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq last year at age 24 -- held a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

It's unclear whether Bush, riding in a black Suburban with tinted windows, looked at the demonstrators as his caravan passed.

The motorcade did not stop.

Law enforcement agencies used their cars to block two intersecting roads, where the demonstrators have camped out this week, and required them to stand behind yellow tape. They were not asked to leave their makeshift campsite.

Little White Lies the Press Tells

(links in the original)

Here's coverage of yesterday's "press conference" (in quotes because a grand total of five questions were involved) by George Bush from Knight-Ridder's Ron Hutcheson:

"By Thursday, President Bush could no longer ignore the grieving, angry mother from Northern California camped outside his ranch.

"'I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan,' Bush told reporters Thursday after more than a week of intense media focus on his uninvited visitor."

The clear implication is that Bush had spontaneously made this remark to reporters, and that he had made some kind of conscious decision to "no longer ignore" Cindy Sheehan. But that's nonsense. In the 859-word cliche-ridden speech delivered by Bush that precedes the questioning, Cindy Sheehan doesn't come up at all. It's only after, in response to a question about troop withdrawals, that Bush says, "I also have heard the voices of those saying, pull out now, and I've thought about their cry, and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out," and, following that, that a reporter follows up by asking, "Just to make clear, you're referring to Mrs. Sheehan here, I think?" And even then, Bush pointedly doesn't answer "yes", but instead replies "I'm referring to any grieving mother or father, no matter what their political views may be." And only then does he finally get around to "no longer ignoring the grieving, angry mother" and express his (phony) sympathy with Sheehan.

From Senator Mikulski

August 12, 2005

Dear Mr. Swanson:

Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding the Bush Administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify going to war. I agree with you that we need a thorough, effective and objective investigation of the intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.

As a Senator and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I was presented information that led me to believe that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons and the means to use them. Bush Administration officials also said that Iraq had links to terrorism and was developing nuclear weapons. This has been called into question in light of what UN inspectors and U.S. forces have found - and not found - on the ground in Iraq.

Going to Crawford: In Solidarity With Cindy Sheehan

By Congressman Dennis Kucinich

The vigil of Cindy Sheehan and those supporting her outside President Bush's ranch in Texas continues.

If you are in Texas or wish to travel there to join Cindy and others in the vigil, contact the Crawford Peace House for advice and directions. If people at the Peace House are overwhelmed and you can't reach them, go anyway (directions are on their Web site) and plan to stop there on your way in.

Supplies needed include food and water, coffee, first aid kits, tarps/canopies, tents, tables, batteries, flashlights, wet wipes, materials to make and hang banners and signs, nails & tools, bug spray, ice and ice chests, ladders, and car lighter adapters for electric appliances.

DU: The Ticking Nuke in Bush's White House War Room

By Dave Lindorff

Quietly, and under the radar for now, a movement is growing across the country that could blow up White House war planning and finish off the U.S. adventure in Iraq.

That movement is state-by-state legislation to provide for testing of returning National Guard troops for signs of contamination by depleted uranium.

Kicked off in Connecticut by a feisty Democratic state representative from New Haven named Pat Dillon, a woman who was trained in epidemiology at Yale—her bill passed the state legislature in July unanimously, and goes into effect this October, about the time many Connecticut Guard troops will finally be coming home from Iraq—the measure has copycats hard at work in some 14-20 other states. Louisiana has already passed a similar law.

Bush gets first look at anti-war protest near ranch

By Patricia Wilson
Friday, August 12, 2005; 1:16 PM

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush got his first look at an anti-war vigil near his ranch on Friday as his motorcade took him by the protest site lined with small white crosses representing fallen American soldiers in Iraq.

When Bush's black sport utility vehicle carried him past the site to a Republican fund-raiser, the protest leader, Cindy Sheehan, whose son was one of the nearly 1,850 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, held up a sign that said: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

Other signs said: "Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam" and "Bring Them Home Now." Some protesters held up white crosses as well.

Bush pressed to meet protester mom

Boston Herald
By Dave Wedge
Friday, August 12, 2005

Pressure continued to mount for President Bush to meet with the distraught mom of a soldier killed in Iraq as both Bay State senators backed the woman and scores of families joined her outside Bush's Texas home, including two from Massachusetts.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday each threw their support behind Cindy Sheehan, who has been camped outside Bush's Crawford, Texas, home since Saturday, vowing not to leave until the president meets with her about the war. Sheehan's 24-year-old Marine son, Casey, was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq.

Hunger Strikers for Cindy

As a result of a request from CODE PINK, people around the country are hunger-striking for Cindy Sheehan.

I spoke with Diane Wilson a little while ago. She's been hunger striking in Crawford since last Saturday.

She said Cindy's sister has joined in the hunger strike as well.

Rally in San Francisco Tonight

Support Cindy Sheehan! Troops Out of Iraq Now!

Friday, August 12, 2005 at 5 PM Powell Street BART (Powell and Market Streets), San Francisco

Last week, Gold Star Families for Peace co-founder Cindy Sheehan traveled to Crawford, Texas to pay a visit to George Bush at his vacation ranch. Cindy's son Casey was killed in action in Iraq on April 4th, 2004. Cindy is currently camped on the side of a road a few miles from the ranch and plans to stay until Bush "tells me why my son died in Iraq. I've got the whole month of August off, and so does he." Cindy has been informed that and her companions could be arrested as they would reportedly be considered a "national security threat" due to their encampment a few miles from the ranch.

Occupied Territories: Iraq, America

My country is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits
By Howard Zinn
The Guardian

It has quickly become clear that Iraq is not a liberated country, but an occupied country. We became familiar with that term during the second world war. We talked of German-occupied France, German-occupied Europe. And after the war we spoke of Soviet-occupied Hungary, Czechoslovakia, eastern Europe. It was the Nazis, the Soviets, who occupied countries. The United States liberated them from occupation.
Now we are the occupiers. True, we liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein, but not from us. Just as in 1898 we liberated Cuba from Spain, but not from us. Spanish tyranny was overthrown, but the US established a military base in Cuba, as we are doing in Iraq. US corporations moved into Cuba, just as Bechtel and Halliburton and the oil corporations are moving into Iraq. The US framed and imposed, with support from local accomplices, the constitution that would govern Cuba, just as it has drawn up, with help from local political groups, a constitution for Iraq. Not a liberation. An occupation.

Seeing Cindy

By David Potorti

As a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, I¹ve been witnessing Cindy Sheehan¹s Crawford odyssey with a bittersweet mixture of pride, support and sadness. I felt the same way when Megan Bartlett, one of the first EMT workers to arrive at the World Trade Center site, founded Ground Zero For Peace/First Responders Against War; as military parents Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson founded Military Families Speak Out; as the 9/11 widows known as the "Jersey Girls" dragged their government, kicking and screaming, into conducting an independent commission into the 9/11 attacks; and as Michael Hoffman, Kelly Dougherty, Jimmy Massey and others came together to create Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Mother of Peace

Houston Chronicle Editorial

Nothing is more emblematic of American democracy than the idea of one person standing up for his beliefs and in the process becoming the catalyst for a national debate. In the arena of civil rights, Rosa Parks' refusal to sit in the back of a Montgomery, Ala., bus was such an act. During the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg's decision to give the media the Pentagon Papers detailing the secret history of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia was another.

Now Californian Cindy Sheehan's August vigil on a sweltering roadway near President Bush's Crawford ranch has given a human voice and face to the revulsion of the carnage in Iraq. Sheehan, the mother of a 24-year-old Army specialist killed in Iraq last year, wants a face to face meeting with Bush to ask him what mission was worth her son Casey's life.

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President:

Although you will never get this email, and the contents will never be known to you, Sir, I must tell you how I feel:

Sir, I am an Air Force Vet, peace time service only, but still a TRUE BLUE LOYAL PATRIOT AMERICAN! I am not even Republican, but I support and believe in the Commander in Chief of the United States Military. I support and believe in the war and the efforts in Iraq. I support the US Forces. My husband is a retired Army Vet who served in GW-1.

Sir, Meet with Cindy Sheehan. She gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country, her son.

Mr. President, I am a Mother. I don't know how I could move on and grieve if I lost one of my sons, in this war or the next, or in any way. Children are not supposed to die before their parents.

From The Peace Alliance

Dear Friends,

When I first heard that Cindy Sheehan had camped out in front of President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, it reminded me of another woman who sat down in the front of a bus because she was tired and had had enough.

Then I thought, here is yet another painful example in our world today. We are tired of young men and women around the world dying needlessly, without purpose, and leading to escalating violence between nations, in our country, in our communities, in our schools.

Women from around the country are uniting in Texas. It is time to ask ourselves why we are not using the knowledge and methods we already have to resolve conflict in nonviolent ways! We have not yet invested in organizing the wealth of information and resources we currently have and creating the structure to do so. It is time to do this.

Cindy Sheehan Steps Into the Leadership Void

By Arianna Huffington

During my many years as a writer, I've interviewed hundreds of people. But talking with Cindy Sheehan this morning was unlike any conversation I've ever had. Even though we were talking via cell phone - and had a crummy, staticky connection at that - her authenticity and passion reached through the receiver and both touched my heart and punched me in the gut.

She spoke with a combination of utter determination, unassailable integrity, fearlessness, and the peace of someone who knows that their cause is just. Her commitment was palpable - and infectious. It reminded me an old quote about the great Greek orators: "When Pericles spoke, the people said, 'How well he speaks.' But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, 'Let us march!'"

Democracy Now Transcript

Friday, August 12th, 2005
Protest on the Range: Cindy Sheehan Calls for Mass Demos at Bush's Crawford Ranch
Democracy Now!
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Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed last year in Iraq, is finally getting major media coverage after months of protesting George Bush’s policies in Iraq. We go live to Crawford, Texas to speak with Cindy Sheehan. [includes rush transcript]

Hinesville Couple Joins Protest

Phil and Linda Waste have three sons and two grandchildren who've all had tours of duty in Iraq

WTOC 11, Savannah, Georgia

Hinesville Couple Joins Crawford Protest

The protest outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, is getting bigger. Dozens of people are joining Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq. He had only been in Iraq for five days.

Sheehan wants the president to pull the troops out of Iraq immediately and tells the president if he's so in favor of the war, why doesn't he send his family to fight?

"What was the noble cause that my son died for?" she asked. "I don't think it's noble. I don't think a war on aggression on a country that was no threat to the United States is noble. I want to know, George Bush, if you think this is such a noble cause, do you encourage your own daughters to go over, take the place of a soldier who wants to come home?"

Good Places for Peaceful Protests

Friday August 12, 2005
BUSH and LAURA BUSH in Crawford, TX -1:00 PM: The annual lunch at the Bush ranch in Crawford, TX for top Republican donors. Both President and Mrs. Bush will attend the closed press RNC event at the Broken Spoke Ranch on Friday afternoon. [, 8/8/05]

GINGRICH in Des Moines, IA: Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich makes a three-day visit to Iowa. On Friday Gingrich will attend a Rotary Club breakfast at the Wakonda Club, meet with former Governor Terry Branstad, participate in a Health transformation roundtable and sit for several interviews. [Des Moines Register, 8/11/05]


DemocracyRising.US Webmaster Karen Kilroy Co-Produced 8-minute Film About the Media Blackout of the Protests Against the War in Iraq

Watch the 8-minute political music video here:

Karen Kilroy, our DemocracyRising.US webmaster, asked me to pass this message along about an 8-minute film she recently produced, as well as the amazing story behind it. The message from Karen follows:


I am not writing you this letter just to tell you about political spoken word artist Chris Chandler, and artists whose work, I have admired for years. No, I am writing to tell you about what all has gone down here in Ohio after the tragedy of losing 14 of our young service men last week, while I was working on a project with him.

News From Crawford Peace House

From: "Debbie Russell"

Spread about Cindy in Statesman today:

Add to yesterday's email about carpooling/caravanning from Austin Sat.
morning that another caravan will leave the SAME LOCATION at 9am for those
who aren't the early birds. :)

I just received a call from Lisa F. that there are rightwingers organizing
to converge to counter - aiming to get there TODAY by 6pm via bus(es).
Between that and the fundraiser/party tonite--which is actualy NOT at the

Mother's vigil against war

By Ron Hutcheson
Knight Ridder

CRAWFORD, Texas - By Thursday, President Bush could no longer ignore the grieving, angry mother from Northern California camped outside his ranch.

Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville set up her tent beside the road leading to Bush's 1,600-acre spread last week, demanding to talk to the president about her son's death in Iraq. She has endured blistering heat, an earthshaking thunderstorm and an army of fire ants. She has also set off a storm of her own.

With the death toll in Iraq mounting, Sheehan has become a flash point for emotions about the war. Her efforts to shame the president have won praise from the left and condemnation from the right, and they have divided her own family.

Bush determined to weather gathering storm

Sydney Morning Herald
By Michael Gawenda Herald Correspondent in Washington
August 13, 2005

Cold comfort … Cindy Sheehan is comforted by Bill Mitchell, whose son Mike was also killed in Iraq.
Photo: Reuters

Camped along the side of the road that leads to the Bush ranch near the town of Crawford, Texas, Cindy Sheehan has become the focus of a growing sentiment in the US - that the war in Iraq is unwinnable and that the only way to end the mounting toll of US deaths is to start withdrawing American troops.

Ms Sheehan began her vigil last Saturday when George Bush arrived at the ranch for a five-week stay - billed as a holiday by his opponents, although Mr Bush is doing more than just clearing scrub in the 40 degree Texas heat.

A president hiding from parents' wrath

By Maureen Dowd
August 13, 2005

Parents of those who have died in Iraq have total moral authority.

There's an angry mother of a dead soldier camping outside his Crawford ranch, demanding to see a President who prefers his sympathy to be carefully choreographed.

A new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now think that going to war was a mistake and that the war has made the United States more vulnerable to terrorism. So fighting them there means it's more likely we'll have to fight them here?

Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged this week that sophisticated bombs were streaming over the border from Iran to Iraq.

Mum's war protest tears at Bush's door

Daily Telegraph
August 13, 2005

FORT WORTH: George W. Bush could no longer ignore the grieving, angry mother camped outside his Texas ranch yesterday.

Californian Cindy Sheehan set up her tent beside the road leading to Mr Bush's ranch last week, demanding to talk to the President about her son's death in Iraq.

She has endured blistering heat, drenching rains, an earth-shaking thunderstorm and an army of fire ants. But she's also set off a storm of her own.

With the death toll in Iraq mounting, her efforts to shame the President have won praise from the Left, condemnation from the Right and divided her family.

Informed Activist

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