Dear DFA Organizer,
This email includes some important final suggestions for your congressional meeting this week. At the bottom, it includes information about how to report back the results of your meeting.
Primary Goals of the Meetings
1) To deliver DFA's petition calling on Congress to hold full hearings on the Downing Street Memos and whether the President misled us into war.
2) To ask your Congressperson to support Rep. Lee's Resolution of Inquiry (ROI). If passed, the ROI would require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq."
From Progressive Democrats of America
We have waited too long.
Peace talks now.
Bring them home safely and soon.
"For Mr. Bush, questions about an exit strategy in Iraq have become especially delicate as a crowd of anti-war protestors has expanded at the edge of his ranch, rallying around Cindy Sheehan, the California woman whose son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004." - New York Times, Aug. 12, 2005.
Like our friend Cindy Sheehan, we are tired of waiting for our troops to come home. Tired of the bloodshed, tired of tax dollar waste, tired of torture cover-ups, tired of contractor scandals, tired of deceit and fabrication. We are tired of elected officials with profiles in compromise rather than courage.
Melvin Phelps sent in this video (10 minutes long) from Crawford of Iraq War Veteran Spc. Fox, in uniform, laying out his opposition to the war, and describing his experiences in Iraq.
A right wing columnist is saying that Cindy is hurting the president too badly and that he should meet with her -- specifically that he should meet with her in a public forum with supporters of the war speaking as well.
But would he make it representative? Would he stand for including speakers against the war in proportion to the public's opposition to the war? Would he try to stage it so that he never had to speak directly with Cindy?
Just meet with her, W. Don't be afraid.
By Jason Dearen, STAFF WRITER
CRAWFORD, Texas — At 11 a.m. Monday, Cindy Sheehan's eyes drooped from lack of sleep, she spoke a little slower and her skin was reddened from more than a week in the intense summer sun.
Since deciding to unfold a lawn chair in a grassy roadside ditch near President Bush's ranch on Aug. 6, Sheehan has done nonstop media interviews, spoken at protest events and learned her husband, Patrick, — from whom she was separated — filed for divorce Friday. After a night of reflection, the Vacaville mother of four says she is going to take time to refocus her demonstration on more of the other families in "Camp Casey" who have lost their sons or daughters in the Iraq war.
By HEMA EASLEY
THE JOURNAL NEWS
When Len Tsou heard that the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was holding a vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, to protest the war, he felt compelled to join her.
Tsou, his wife, Nancy, and many members of the Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice have been holding anti-war vigils in Nanuet every Saturday since November 2002. The idea that a woman had taken the fight to the president's doorsteps appealed to Tsou.
"I just told myself, 'I have to go. We should support her. It is a good cause'," said Tsou yesterday after returning from the vigil organized by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of 24-year-old Casey Sheehan, who was killed in an ambush in Baghdad in April 2004.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
When the three Army officers finally tracked Michelle DeFord down at her Colton home last September, she didn't believe their story: "I kept thinking to myself, while the soldiers were talking to me, 'They're going to straighten this out, I know it's a mistake, David calls home every Monday.' "
And his message was always the same. "He kept telling me he wasn't doing anything dangerous," DeFord said. "He kept telling me he was safe." That gunfire in the background? "That was just Iraqis celebrating another soccer victory."
Thus, when the Army said she had 24 hours to notify her family before her son's death became public, DeFord didn't reach for the phone: "I just kept thinking that I don't want to get everyone upset, because I know this is wrong."
Hudson Valley News
At least two residents of the Hudson Valley are either in Crawford, Texas or on their way down to join Cindy Sheehan, the woman who has set up “ Camp Casey
By Tom Hayden
TOM HAYDEN is a former state senator and the author of "Street Wars" (Dimensions, 2004).
August 16, 2005
PRESIDENT BUSH HAS so far fended off Cindy Sheehan, a grieving mother demanding to know the "noble purpose" of her son's death in Iraq. However, Bush has been forced to address the existence of the antiwar constituency for perhaps the first time, if only to distort and discredit its message of "troops out now." It is the right moment for the peace movement to turn its slogan into a strategy.
The rallying cry of "out now" expresses the belief that the Iraq war is not worth another minute in lost lives, lost honor, lost taxes, lost allies. But its very simplicity makes the demand easy to ignore or dismiss.
Cindy Sheehan has almost single-handedly launched an American anti-war movement. And in the process, she's exposed a president's feet of clay.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Joan Walsh
Aug. 16, 2005 | The smearing will continue, but it's already too late: Cindy Sheehan has launched an American antiwar movement. Maybe, as Matt Drudge blared over the weekend, she's said controversial things about Israel. Maybe the IRS will chase her for tax evasion, since she's reportedly announced that she won't pay taxes for 2004, the year her son Casey died in Iraq. Maybe her family has been shaken by her activism. Maybe the smears will even work, and cost Sheehan some of her mainstream political credibility. It doesn't matter: Someone else will take her place.
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 16, 2005 12:00 AM
A couple of vacations ago, President Bush sped from Crawford, Texas, back to Washington, D.C., at 2 a.m. to sign a bill overturning 20 state and federal court rulings in the case of Terri Schiavo, a brain-dead woman.
Now he can't take five minutes out of his five-week vacation to meet Cindy Sheehan, a living, breathing woman who simply wants to know why her son died.
What's up with that?
- Hugh Dunne, Phoenix
The Fox Valley Peace Coalition held the first rally in a year. The first year of the war we held one every Saturday at 11. We have also done candlelight vigils and are planning one when we hit 2,000 deceased. FOR (Fellowship of Reconciliation) also works with us. During the academic calendar we sponsor video/CD/DVD times and bring in speakers.
We had over 50 people in attendance at a downtown, peace corner, rally from 5-6 tonight. Public response was very favorable. 2 TV stations gave us good time, one actually at 3 different times.
The Post Crescent Newspaper had a short on Sunday and will follow up with a story and photo tomorrow.
Bush's isolation devalues losses families suffered
By VIVIAN GREENTREE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/16/05
The nation's growing disapproval of our involvement in Iraq has landed squarely in our own backyard. Or, more specifically, President Bush's. Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq, has staged an impromptu protest outside the president's Crawford ranch, where he is vacationing.
Why won't the president meet with her?
Why wouldn't our president, who claims to sympathize with those who have lost a loved one in our war against terrorism, meet with a mother whose son gave the ultimate sacrifice?
Cindy Sheehan's soldier son Casey was killed near Baghdad. Now her one-woman protest at the gates of the US president's Texas ranch has become a metaphor for a nation's increasing unease about involvement in an unwinnable conflict. By Rupert Cornwell
Published: 16 August 2005
The Independent (UK)
Something strange is taking place deep in the heart of Texas, where the President of the United States is holed up at his Prairie Chapel ranch, a few miles from the town of Crawford. There, in the space of a few days, a middle-aged Californian, whose soldier son died in Iraq, has become arguably the best-known woman in the US.
The Brad Blog
Blogged by David Edwards on 8/15/2005 @ 6:34pm PT...
Sheehan invites Bush to Friday Prayer Vigil for Troops
Will this 'president of faith' come out to pray with his neighbors?
Guest blogged by David Edwards Cindy Sheehan is hoping that a less confrontational strategy will be more effective. Will President Bush, as a man of faith, join her and others...
Guest blogged by David Edwards
Cindy Sheehan is hoping that a less confrontational strategy will be more effective. Will President Bush, as a man of faith, join her and others on Friday at noon to pray for the troops? The president is reported to have nothing on his official schedule for this week.
By David Dionisi
U.S. Tour of Duty
August 15, 2005
³Rumsfeld braces for more violence in Iraq: Says insurgency could endure Œfor any number of years,¹ perhaps until 2017,² Associated Press, June 26, 2005
The courageous stand by Cindy Sheehan and many other anti-war Americans is based on demanding the truth. Consider for a moment why we have not heard the mainstream media or the President mention the role of water in the Iraq war. The Middle East is home to five percent of the world¹s population and only one percent of the world¹s renewable water supply. In addition, the population in the Arab world is 280 million people. This population, comparable to the population of the United States, is on track to double in just a few decades. The truth that Cindy Sheehan and others are demanding includes the reality that Iraq is a critical strategic location for both al Qaeda and the United States not just because of Iraq¹s oil, but because Iraq has the most extensive fresh water system in the Middle East.
Former U.S. Chief of Mission in Iraq urges Bush to meet with Cindy
By Edward Peck
U.S. Tour of Duty
August 15, 2005
Without question, every American supports our servicemen and women. The most meaningful support is to insure that their lives are put at risk only when the nation faces a realistic, serious and imminent threat, a basic fact that those who urge us to blindly Support the Troops appear to have forgotten. There never was such a threat from Iraq, as the administration has long since admitted, but it is becoming one now precisely because of the invasion.
By Jeff Key
U.S. Tour of Duty
August 15, 2005
I've just spent the weekend with my marines. It was great to be with them again and I remember why I love being around them so much. I haven't laughed that much in a while. We went to the field and since I only got word a few minutes before we left that I would be going too, I was without some of the little things that make roughing it "less rough" (like hand sanitizer and baby wipes). I say all that to convey that I came home late tonight filthy from head to toe, and a little sick to my stomach. It's worth it to be with them, though. I love my fellow marines and maybe my churning stomach has something to do with the knowlege that as much as I care for them, there are some rich bastards that only care what my marines can do for them. I cannot tolerate their lives being expended for corporate gains.
Some residents of the corn and cattle town of Crawford, Texas, are expressing resentment as hundreds of anti-war protesters descend upon President George W. Bush's adopted hometown.
After nine days of watching as one woman's protest has grown into a national event, dozens of the farmers and ranchers neighboring Bush's 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch plan to petition a county court in nearby Waco, according to one, Pete Martinka. They want to prevent anyone from parking or stopping within two miles of the makeshift campsite erected by Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville, Calif., woman whose son, Casey, was killed in the war in Iraq.
By Greg Moses
"Every voice that comes behind Cindy Sheehan sparks a new voice, and someone else stands up. Someone else is not afraid anymore." Mona is speaking from the back seat of a Camp Casey shuttle as the Texas prairie speeds past. Today Mona is not afraid what the President will think. But she is worried to death about her son, who is headed for Iraq next month. Mona's anti-war movement is on a tight schedule indeed. Even the national protests scheduled for Sept. 24-26 in D.C. may be too late.
"I was on Air America earlier this week," says Mona, answering to the usual round of "where you from?" She called the radio station from Ohio to defend Cindy Sheehan's protest action, and someone asked her if she was planning to go. "Well, if I can arrange it, I'll go," Mona recalls. After she hung up, the station got calls. Someone offered a plane ticket from Ohio to Texas. Another offered the rent car. "So I'm here for at least a week, but I can always just turn in the rent car and stay longer."
August 15, 2005
By Amy Branham, Houston, TX, Mother of fallen hero Jeremy R. Smith
I went back out to Crawford this week to see for myself how things are going and what it’s like there now. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was just absolutely amazing.
I left in the wee hours of the morning Saturday to get there, in a caravan with members of MFSO from Houston. I think it was about 10 a.m. by the time we arrived at the Peace House. There were so many cars and people there that I had to drive to the stadium to park my car and catch a shuttle back to the Peace House. I was told there was going to be a rally at noon at the stadium and that I needed to be there.
Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 18:35:06 PDT
Noticed what has happened lately?
We've been lucky to have Cindy Sheehan post updates here. And we've also had an influx of trolls flinging Linbaugh talking points. But let's take a step back.
I support Cindy Sheehan 100%. I think she has more courage in her little finger than the entire Democratic Party at this point. I stand in awe of her perseverence and ability to speak plainly, truthfully, and with integrity.
Having said that, I am a bit troubled by the way Kossacks (and Democrats as a whole) have responded to her cause.
Tue Aug 16th, 2005 at 02:07:43 PDT
There is a gap in the time that FoodNotBombs will be able to serve at Camp Casey because they also serve food to various homeless shelters in the area and need to take care of those people.
So anyone heading up is asked to bring some extra food with you. Maybe a sack of potatoes, some onions. And offer it to the Community Pantry. Someone will start cooking it up in no time.
Thanks everyone for responding to the protestors needs. FNB is heading up with 20 volunteers for Thursday night or Friday morning and a donation would be great.
Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 22:08:04 PDT
We still have so many great things happening at Camp Casey. In spite of all the smears and lies, people are still coming.
The most amazing thing today was learning that Camp Caseys are opening and spreading all over the country. They have been set up in Boston, Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. If you can't make it to Camp Casey, set up your own version. Camp Caseys are amazing places full of love and hope. I am so gratified that the movement is spreading.
CindySheehan's diary :: ::
There is a meeting tomorrow at the County Commissioner's meeting to vote on closing Prairie Chapel Road and then evicting us. We were all worried about that and planning on being arrested when we got the best news yet. The property owner who owns property near Bush's ranch and right across the street from Bush's church will let us move Camp Casey there!! He has property on both sides of the road...a full acre for us to camp! We are so excited!!! We can fit more people and we will be closer to the ranch. Miracles, miracles.
....Over the weekend, there's been a lot of activity in Crawford, Texas to tell you about. Today, Cindy Sheehan, the mother whose child died serving in Iraq, continued her protest, demanding another audience with President Bush. She's by no means alone out there. Antiwar protester and President Bush's supporters alike have descended on Crawford, along with reporters from around the world. CNN's Dana Bash joins us live with the latest -- Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Well, as you said, over the weekend, there were hundreds of people here, both for and against what Cindy Sheehan is trying to do. But today, people seemed to go back to work. The crowds seemed to thin, but Cindy Sheehan is trying to keep the momentum going. She says so herself, and trying to basically come up with events. And one thing that she did today, which even a White House official conceded was quite clever, was ask the president to come pray with her on Friday at noon. Anderson, there's no indication that the president is actually going to do that.
ANTI-AMERICAN ASSHAT MOWS DOWN CROSSES AT CAMP CASEY
Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 20:38:11 PDT
Late Monday night, a man, described as being in his late forties or early fifties, decided to run over the over crosses at Camp Casey that serve as a memorial to the soldiers who have died in the war in Iraq.
According to TexasLady at DemocraticUnderground as well as Ernest Hancock from Air America affilliate KXXT, the man was soon caught and arrested by the Crawford police. Hancock stated on Air America Radio's "Mike Malloy" program, "He had some crosses in the undercarriage of his pickup truck, and he's been arrested". Hear Hancock's audio blog about this incident and stay tuned for other audio blogs from affilliate KXXT. Another audio blog message as of 10:02 p.m.. Dylan Garcia reported at DemocraticUnderground that 500 crosses had been damaged and 100 were beyond repair.
CINDY SHEEHAN, OTHER MILITARY MOMS TO HOLD PRESS BRIEFING, DISCUSS NATIONWIDE VIGILS, OTHER ACTIVITIES
CINDY SHEEHAN, OTHER MILITARY MOMS TO HOLD PRESS BRIEFING, DISCUSS NATIONWIDE VIGILS, OTHER ACTIVITIES
News Briefing Tuesday 1 p.m. EDT
Candlelight Ceremonies to Take Place Wednesday Night
Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed last year in Iraq, will hold a telephone press conference tomorrow from Crawford, TX, with other mothers whose sons were killed in Iraq.
They will discuss the candlelight vigils that will take place across the country on Wednesday night, as well as the progress of their campaign to meet with President Bush and get questions about why their sons went to war.
by Arthur Ruger at DailyKos
Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 20:35:50 PDT
... and not the same as when she left.
(Coming home tomorrow night and expressing how things aren't the same as they were before she went down there.) Hilites for today were the Interfaith Service this morning that was excellent and beautiful. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif) arrived and met with the reps from MFSO, VFP and Gold Star Families (the coalition) and this meeting was worth it.
She will fly home tomorrow, arriving in the evening in Portland and spend the night there at her son's home. Will be in Bay Center Tuesday night.
It's about our soldiers ... always was and always will be. The Interfaith Service this morning among other things emphasized the dignity of military service and being a soldier.
by coigue at DailyKos
Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 20:41:53 PDT
Of course Cindy is not a saint, that is kind of a ridiculous to say. But we can be immensely grateful to her all the same. Why? Take a look at our culture. This is the culture that CAN NOT ---I MEAN IS SIMPLY NOT ABLE-- to look at the big picture. The biggest news stories that gain the most attention in the past few years (and beyond) have always been about one person. The runaway bride, the missing Aruba girl, Michael Jackson, Terry Shiavo. Do we really care about all of these people more than the thousands of kidnapped, abused kids, the deaths in the Sudan, the fate of all the terminally ill people? No, but when there is a single face to place with the larger issue people are more able to see themselves or their families in the same situation. They are more able to wrap their brains around an issue.