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The Crawford Experience


August 20 – 21, 2005
Submitted by Carly Miller, carly@cotam.org

I can’t imagine Hell being much hotter than Crawford, Texas. Exhausted, saddened and inspired, I have just returned from a two-day stint at Camp Casey, located adjacent to President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, where the temperature lingered around 105 degrees and, combined with the 40% humidity, was nothing short of oppressive. I am in awe of and deeply moved by the thousands of peace activists who have been at Camp Casey for what is now days, and in some cases weeks, on end, enduring the heat, insects, portable restrooms and surmountable other deterrents. For many, this is certainly not an ideal place to set up camp in a ditch on the side of a dirt road. But, for those of us who believe that the U.S. is waging an illegal, immoral, devastating war on the Iraqi people, comfort and life’s little luxuries are the least of our worries. More important for us are the increasing numbers of American soldiers dying daily, the lives of nearly 100,000 slain innocent Iraqi civilians and the utter physical and psychological destruction of a country that never posed an imminent threat or committed any actions to provoke such an unjust invasion, occupation and mass death. This is why we are in Crawford and this is why we are demanding answers.

My name is Carly Miller. I’m one half of a two-woman team operating Clothing of the American Mind (http://www.cotam.org), a grassroots apparel company dedicated to promoting, supporting and articulating vital progressive values. Through the sale of our merchandise, Clothing of the American Mind (COTAM) raises funds to assist forward-thinking organizations, including MoveOn.org, Progressive Democrats of America, Amnesty International, Gold Star Families for Peace, Peace Action, the Democratic National Committee and many other reputable causes. A percentage of every purchase is donated to these groups. Clothing of the American Mind is not just another t-shirt company trying to make a buck. For us, it’s not about money; it’s about spreading a message and outfitting informed dissenters with provocative, dialogue-inducing wear. We are heavily involved in the political climate, participating in events here in Los Angeles on an almost daily basis. In the summer of 2004, we drove across country in an RV hosting nearly 20 events in swing state cities, registering voters and raising funds. Ending our trip in Boston at the Democratic National Convention, we later headed to New York to join the thousands protesting during the Republican National Convention. During the week of the November 2, 2004 Presidential election, we worked on the ground to get out the vote both in California and Ohio.

I believe this background is important because just like Cindy Sheehan, Clothing of the American Mind did not just recently appear on the anti-war scene. Our founding in March of 2004 coincided with the 1st anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and since then, we have been an integral part of the movement fighting to take back America and our democracy.

I flew all night from LA getting minimal sleep to arrive at the Waco Regional Airport on Saturday morning, August 20th. The sideways glares began immediately as I was, of course, wearing COTAM’s very direct “Stop War

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Thank you for your efforts for peace. I will have to say that people who go over to another country bomb it to smitherins and try to take over the country are not my heros even if they are doing all this unwittingly. I could not thank them for "their service." How many dead children, how many birth defects shall we thank them for?

Most importantly George Bush began this criminal invasion based on lies. Therein lies the grounds for IMPEACHMENT.

Now if the people of Iraq decide to have an Islamic government, that is there choice. The diplomats think they can strong-arm Iraq into our court. I sincerely doubt that the Iraqis have learned to love America.

If you were in a war zone and a five-year-old ran at you with an automatic rifle... would you kill or let yourself get killed? I don't know where you're going with birth defects... the nerve gas that Saddam used on his own people might have caused some though! Define a WMD... and then you can determine if there were none. The Iraqis have learned to love America... the Syrian, Iranian, Jordanian, and Saudi Arabian insurgents who all go to Iraq to fight America don't though! We never declared war on Iraq... we took action against the insurgents in Iraq... hence the "War in Iraq".... not "War on Iraq". Common sense and knowledge... you should use them when looking at this issue.

Interesting choice of words inasmuch as they seems to apply to a very broad range of recent international behavior by the current administration. And there's no need to look very far away from home to note the utter disregard in which it holds any and all commitments to international law and treaties undertaken in the name of the United States of America and its people.

Reported by the Globe and Mail under the title Trading with the Schoolyard Bully, the negotiating team that forged the 1988 free-trade agreement between Canada and the United States (forerunner of NAFTA) calls U.S. refusals to respect trade tribunal decisions "an egregious, shocking, dishonourable breach of their obligations. That the Americans would repudiate the verdict of the very tribunal that they insisted must be part of the [free trade agreement] infuriates those who negotiated the pact."

While this is hardly comparable to an unprovoked "shock and awe" invasion, it's just one more confirmation of the administration's apparent sneering contempt for international opinion, even when dealing with its closest neighbours and friends. It really does appear that it will soon be America against the whole world.

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