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. [ABCNews.com, 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: http://chrisvids.org

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.

Soldier's mother keeps vigil outside Bush ranch

CBC News

The mother of a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq continued to stand vigil Friday outside U.S. President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas, waiting – with a growing number of anti-war protesters – for a face-to-face meeting to air her grievances.

Cindy Sheehan has been camped out on the road outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, since last Saturday.

Her son, Casey, was killed last year in Iraq just five days after arriving for duty there. He was 24 years old.

Sheehan, who's from California, wants the U.S. to pull out of Iraq.

"All we're asking is that he sacrifice an hour out of his five-week vacation to talk to us, before the next mother loses her son in Iraq," she told reporters.

Mother of slain soldier in Crawford draws international attention

By Thaddeus DeJesus,
Waco Tribune-Herald staff writer
Thursday, August 11, 2005

CRAWFORD – From 5 a.m. to midnight over the last few days, Cindy Sheehan has donned a headset amid the Central Texas prairie to speak to reporters from New York to New Zealand.

“We've got to find a way to stop them from calling,

Mother Begs for End to Killing

Published on Friday, August 12, 2005 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlantan: 'It's too late for my son'

by Anna Varela

When the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, she was "cautiously supportive." And when her son's Army unit joined the fight, she thought it would be like the Gulf War in 1991 -- few casualties, "in and out."

In April 2004, MacCombie's son was killed in Iraq. Suddenly the war became personal.

On Thursday, two years after the invasion of Iraq, MacCombie spoke out at an anti-war demonstration for the first time. It took her more than a year to trust herself to talk about her son without breaking down, a year spent in a state of shock and coping with the bureaucratic details that follow death in a faraway place.

In Iraq, hope should spring internal

By Michael Zweig

The path to stability and reconstruction in Iraq must first and foremost be a political process in the hands of the Iraqis themselves. It cannot be imposed by an outside power through military might.

Americans seeking an exit strategy from Iraq would do well to advocate strengthening institutions of Iraqi civil society, including trade unions, as vehicles to organize the Iraqi people and allow them to shape their future.

When we think about what is going on in Iraq, it's easy to imagine the society divided between two forces: on the one hand, suicide bombers and mysterious insurgents pushing toward civil war; on the other, the U.S. military striving to hold things together while promoting democracy. Some Americans originally opposed to the war now feel worried about calling for an end to the occupation, fearing "the terrorists will win," with disastrous results for the Iraqi people and our own safety.

A Crawford Peace House Morning

A Crawford Peace House Morning

By Greg Moses

CAMP CASEY, TX (Aug 11) Thursday is only a few minutes young, but Cindy Sheehan is already running late. Rumors are percolating that police will swoop into Camp Casey at midnight to arrest everyone, and she dare not be late for a date like that. So she says, "I really have to go now," and takes her leave from the soft light and murmur of the Crawford Peace House lawn. Before she goes however she does have time to say that her fever is getting a little better.

Camp Casey Chico

Hey y'all, This is what we are doing in Chico, CA. Would be very cool to see little Camp Caseys spring up across the country. In peace and solidarity, Sue

Camp Casey Chico is Erected at (Location) in Solidarity with Cindy Sheehan

Who Stands Vigil in Crawford, Texas

CHICO, CALIFORNIA, August 12, 2005 – The Camp Casey Coalition (CCC) constructed a “sister

Video: Mother of fallen soldier asks questions of President Bush

Video at link. 60-second ad spot running on Crawford cable TV.


Video: Mother of fallen soldier asks questions of President Bush
John Byrne

Note: This movie file is currently huge. We're working to get it downto a more manageable size.

The above ad, paid for by Gold Star Families for Peace, will air onCrawford cable channels near Bush's ranch. The total ad buy is currently $15,000. The group plans to air the ad throughout August andwherever Bush visits during his vacation.


At the beginning of the Democracy Cell Project, we discussed the necessity of focusing on a limited number of issues, lest we become another news site, racing to get the first word out there. One of the issues we recognized as critical to restoring democracy was media reform. But it’s hard to reform institutions from the outside. So we reminded ourselves of the words of one the more famous Kerry-Edwards bloggers, Wild Salmon, who kept telling us to BE THE MEDIA.

The entire blogosphere has taken up the mantle, and now we see the mainstream media catching up, finally—after over a week of blog coverage—noticing the small woman sitting on a roadside in Texas.

The Murder of Casey Sheehan

By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 12 August 2005

For seven days, Cindy Sheehan has been camped down the road from George Bush's Crawford ranch where the President is on a five-week vacation. Cindy says she will never enjoy a vacation again. Her heart is broken. Her precious son Casey was murdered in George Bush's war on Iraq.

Cindy Sheehan is a patient woman. She will wait until Bush comes out and talks to her. She will wait until the man who ordered the invasion of a country that posed no threat to us explains why Casey did not die in vain.

Bush ducks mother of dead soldier

Approval of Mr. Bush's handling of the conflict has dropped to as little as 34 per cent of people surveyed, according to a recent poll conducted for Newsweek magazine.

President using helicopter to enter, leave Texas ranch to avoid confrontation
Friday, August 12, 2005 Updated at 3:45 AM EDT
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Washington — As the Iraq war continues to produce growing U.S. casualties and shrinking public support, President George W. Bush was forced yesterday to confront the protest of a grieving mother of a soldier killed in the war. But he still won't meet her.

Cindy Quote of the Day

"George Bush says I have his sympathy. I don't want his sympathy. I want

- Cindy Sheehan, on Democracy Now! today.

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News


Mother's Texas vigil draws support

Pioneer Press (Minnesota)
Associated Press

CRAWFORD, Texas — Cindy Sheehan's eyes well with tears when she talks about her oldest son, Casey, an easygoing young man with a quiet wit.

Casey joined the Army in 2000, never imagining he would see combat. Five days after he arrived in Iraq last year, the 24-year-old was killed in Sadr City.

Sheehan, 48, knows nothing can bring back her son, but she wants to talk to President Bush. The Vacaville, Calif., mother has been camping out along a road near his ranch since Saturday, vowing to remain until his Texas vacation ends later this month.

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