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Blogging in the Crawford Heat


By David Swanson

I came to Crawford today, and it's a little different from DC in several ways, but mostly it's hotter. I've been to both Camp Caseys, and am blogging this from the cool of the Crawford Peace House. At Camp Casey 1, I went across the road and talked to the half-dozen pro-war protesters. (There are police in the middle who have declared that there must be no interaction, but I didn't ask their permission.) I asked the pro-warers what they would tell Cindy Sheehan her son died for. Some of them couldn't come up with any reason for the war. A couple of them came up with this: Saddam Hussein would not have allowed Cindy Sheehan to protest on his road, and the war is being fought to protect that right in the US.

That's it. That was the best they could do. I didn't ask them what other countries we should attack to protect such rights, even as the Bush administration chips away at such rights. I didn't ask how bombing countries that lack rights protects rights in countries that don't. I felt I'd strained them enough. It seemed clear they hadn't been asked before to justify the war. When I left to drive back here, a newscaster from Channel 25 in Waco was putting on lipstick in her van, preparing to report the news.

The pro-war folks were friendly, as are the residents of Crawford (probably all 705 of them) and the surrounding area. But the inhabitants of Camp Casey are like a loving family. They're welcoming of everyone and tolerant even of diverse opinions on the war. At Camp Casey 2 today, long after the morning's big press conference was over, around 100 or 150 people hung around, mostly talking about the war. Many have inspiring stories about how they got here. Some canceled major plans to come. Some came after hearing another's story on the radio, and then met that other person here.

I've met today dozens of people I'd only known by voice and Email. Almost every person here who didn't know me, wanted to hug me when someone told them I worked on AfterDowningStreet.org. It's quite amazing to realize that virtually every person in the middle of this hot Texas field has gotten their news on the internet. In fact, you can get on the internet and plug into electricity at Camp Casey 2. The wireless connection went down today (I blame Karl Rove), but will no doubt be fixed. There's also free food, free drinks (non-alcoholic), free medical care, and free solidarity with people from all over this country who support Cindy's demand to speak with Bush.

Barbara Cummings, who came from San Diego and is managing parking at the Peace House, is full of good stories. Her son, a Republican, recently came around to opposing the war, saying that he had to place right-or-wrong above politics. Barbara also spotted a man leaning over his pickup truck crying, near the Peace House. He told her that when he'd gone out to Camp Casey he'd fallen on his knees and realized that he would have to go home to Dallas and tell his colleagues and friends and wife to oppose the war. He was composing himself before coming into the Peace House to make a large donation.

The largest presence at Camp Casey is of military families and veterans. At the press conference this morning, which I arrived too late for, Cindy introduced newly arrived families of soldiers killed in Iraq. Ann Wright, the career diplomat who resigned over the war, has been managing Camp Casey from the get go. She described this morning's events to me while being constantly interrupted with cell phone calls about where people could camp, how many tables were needed, food, crosses, messages…. She was also keeping a constant eye out for people hanging new banners or promoting new agendas. Today a man walked out the long road to Camp Casey 2 carrying a full-sized cross. Unlike Jesus, he didn't have strong opinions on things and said he was apolitical. The other day a woman showed up from PETA wearing nothing but four lettuce leaves.


Ann Wright

Today's press conference was focused on the Eye's Wide Open campaign of the American Friends Service Committee. They brought 50 pairs of boots of soldiers killed in Iraq, including the boots of Casey Sheehan. The boots are displayed beside crosses in front of the tent of Camp Casey 2. There are also still crosses along the road at Camp Casey 1.

Members of the "mainstream" media are in bad graces at Camp Casey at the moment, because they've trampled on the crosses. They did so last night, and again today. Last night, after Jeff Keys played Taps, Cindy knelt down beside a cross to place flowers. Members of the media, who have been so relaxed about covering the lies that sent Casey Sheehan to his death, didn't let the crosses of other soldiers stop them from hurrying to get a good shot of Cindy.

"Everyone was horrified," Ann said, who noted that there are Iraq War veterans here with all the signs of post traumatic stress syndrome. This morning, after the press conference, Cindy led a mother named Melanie, and her baby, to a cross, and the media did it again.

New arrivals continued to show up today at Camp Casey 2, and so did two more boxes of boots. In fact, you can send supplies and best wishes directly there to the following address: Peace Camp #2, Secret Service Site #2, Crawford, Texas.

The 800 crosses were brought by Arlington West, and Ann said that one of the people who brought them was coming back. I met numerous people today who have traveled long distances more than once to get here. "Once you've been here, you can't stay away," says Ann.

And a lot of people are expected back, along with newcomers, this weekend. Last Saturday there were 1,000 people, and last Sunday about 800. Everyone expects a larger crowd this weekend. And the pro-war folks claim they'll have a big crowd too.

"We want big crowds," Ann said. "It will be miserable but wonderful. Everyone ought to endure a little misery, just like our troops are doing in Iraq. Physically you'll be miserable, but emotionally you'll be at the highest point." – as Ann clearly is, herself. She's amazed by the efforts people have made to come. Four women from Monterey, California, came after their community raised the money to send them. Another told a taxi driver she was coming here, and he got out of the cab and gave her a kiss.

The one guy who hasn't been around is Bush, who flew off to Utah and Idaho. He can't get in or out of his ranch by land when he comes back, because both entrances have become protest camps. He can travel by helicopter though. Ann said there was also a helicopter landing area at Camp Casey 2 in case Bush wanted to use it, and that he's invited to the BBQ on Saturday. "We're good neighbors," she said. "He hasn't even sent us a cup of lemonade. We've been waiting."

A new small tent was set up today next to the enormous one at Camp Casey 2. It will serve as a base for organizations that have joined this effort but are not the central focus of it. The focus, of course, is on veterans and military families who want answers from Bush about why this war was fought.

Ann Wright, a career diplomat, said "Every diplomatic skill I have ever had has come into use," in the work of including disparate groups and a range of issues without diluting the powerful focus on Cindy's demand. "But it's been wonderful," she said. "Everyone is here because they support this woman's action and want this war to end."

Ann and I had to stop chatting when the ice truck arrived.

I wanted to jump in the swimming hole in Crawford, but never made it, because I went back over to Camp Casey 1 and talked to the two groups on two sides of a road and two sides of a war.

On the pro-war side, I spoke to a woman named Betty Grant. She said her grandson was headed for Iraq next February. (Not if we end the war first!) "I'm trying to show that we're proud," she said. "I hope to make him as proud of me as I am of him."

Grant said that Bush has a job to do and should not take time to meet with Sheehan. She said she was sympathetic with Cindy for her loss, but wondered "where would we be today if people had her attitude when Hitler was around?"

Grant said, "My Granddaddy's generation would have known how to handle [Sheehan's protest]." I asked her to be more explicit, and she said "Well, they wouldn't have made the president go talk to her."

A man to Grant's right jumped into the conversation uninvited to say "My brother is over there now." He pointed to his brother's framed photo hanging on the wire fence. The man's name was Steve Silvas of Temple, Texas, and his brother Sandy Silvas.

Steve said he'd gotten an Email from his brother last night saying that morale was high among his troops. He'd already asked his brother's permission to display his photo and tell his story. His brother, he said, had told him to do it as close as possible to the anti-war protesters, and to "make sure they spell my name right."

Sandy Silvas, Steve said, is a Sergeant First Class at Forward Operation Base War Horse, and has been in Iraq since Thanksgiving.

I asked Steve Silvas what he would tell Cindy Sheehan her son died for. He hesitated, and then said "I would tell her I support the President."

I asked again what reason he would give for the war that Casey Sheehan died in. "He knew what he was getting himself in for," Silvas said.

Grant said, "I would ask her what her son would say."

"Or, what the people in his unit would say," added Silvas.

Then Silva asked me whether, if Cindy were an Iraqi mother whose son had died, anyone would care. I replied that the media clearly would not, since so many thousands of Iraqi sons had been killed. But he missed my point, as I had missed his. He went on:

"Would Saddam have talked to her? Would she have been allowed to camp out in front of his palace? There are rights we take for granted. That's the reason we're over there. If you can't support the troops, how can you call yourself an American?"

But, Silvas added, "I support their right to do what they're doing.

PHOTO ALBUM

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What you are doing is so very important. Cindy is going to open people's though just a little bit. We are going to take this thing right on to Washington. If Bush wants to hide in the White House we have a whole Congress that needs to get their act together.

You are doind a wonderful work!!!

I sit here wondering if the pro-war protestors know about the DSM or the lies. If they did, would it change their mind? Is there any way to reach them with the truth or is it intentional blindness and loyalty to a man who is so incredibly undeserving of this loyalty?

What to make of people who say they didn't know and thus are not responsible, but now that they do know continue to support that which they use their self professed ignorance to defend themselves from?

What to make of people who have no respect for the truth? No respect for the evidence?

What to make of people who endorse and defend corruption and treason?

What to make of people who allow war for no good reason, mass murder and torture to be unleashed in their name?

How should we view such people? Should we talk to them? And if so, what exactly should we say? Should we ignore them and let them wallow in their own inhumanity?

I wonder how they sleep at night. I wonder what they see. I wonder how they could have gone so wrong. For they are truly monsters.

It is called denial. And some call it cognitive dissonance. It's the result of having to confront evidence contrary to what one believes deeply.

It is not to be 'teased'.

President Bush is afflicted with it...but is sitting in air-conditioning. At least the folks across the road got the cojones to sit outside, with the fire ants, the heat, and stand on their two hind legs. I feel for them, because as more comes to light about how wrong the president's path has been, how criminal his appointed have behaved, they will either wake up, or decide to ignore. Neither is a happy path.

What has gone wrong, every American is responsible to make right. We must press on.

*mel

Did you know Deborah Johns, the woman who is heading the Move America Forward/ You don't speak for me, Cindy/ caravan, is giving interviews stating she wants to ask Cindy if she can name a charity for Casey. The charity would help Iraqi children in an orphanage.
In this link you must scroll down to the bottom of the article for the video link where the repoter tells of Johns' intention. Sorry the video is long.

http://www.news10.net/storyfull1.asp?id=12704

But the blog sadlyno.com found this web site the other day. Please note Deborah Johns' name at the bottom of the page listed as CFO.

http://www.caseyskids.org

Please tell Cindy, I think she deserves a heads up on this.

Osama is smiling on Cindy.

Oh, I don't think he is smiling at CINDY. I DO think he is laughing at Bush et al...That grin is because Bush went into the wrong country to get him!

You, too, seem geographically confused...

Usama (original spelling) is laughing WITH Bush, et al, if the real Usama is still alive. Al CIAda trained him and built his training camps for him. And there is too much hard evidence that 9/11 was an inside job for me to see it any other way. Anyone who chooses to look at the bigger picture with open eyes will know this to be true. I understand that this reality is too painful for many people to accept, but that does not change the facts.

Bush started a war with someone who did not attack us or have anything to do with 911...But, he treats Osama, his relatives, and Saudi kings like brothers in arms...Loves their oil...does not like his own citizens...He lies to his citizens and starts wars with lies.

And why is Osama still around to smile? Ask Cindy

For the Newbies, one of the things you have to learn to watch for in activism is the piece of the puzzle that should be there, but isn't. This is called, "Conspicuous by its Absence."

In our "rabid tabloid & celebrity obsessed" culture, we "should" be seeing a ton of "heart warming" stories with none other than that "son of a tire salesman who married into the American Fascist Elite". Yes, I am talking about none other than "Daddy Bush" himself. Where in the World is Waldo-Walker-Bush??? Where are the interviews with "Daddy Bush?"

My intel says we REALLY need to be tracking this guy's movements like
"stink on North Carolina chicken manure." Close, that is, real close.
Where has he been hanging out and with whom.

Remember, Dubya may be president, but Daddy Bush is still the Patriarch of the Bush Dynasty and we all know his "shadow dealings" with the Military-Industrial-Complex and the Intelligence/Security world. There is major damage-control being done right now and I feel that we need to be following that.

"I wanna be a boss
I wanna be a big boss
I wanna boss the world around
I wanna be the biggest boss
That ever bossed the world around"
- I Wanna Rule the World by 10cc

peace.

Anyone who saw "Countdown" with Keith Oberman knows that they were exposed. The group was started by a Republican PR Firm even though they state on their website that they are "non-partisan". The PR Firm goes by the name of Russo Marsh & Rogers. They were also responsible for the push to stop theaters from showing Fareheit 9/11.

Here's a link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/8/20/183616/160

Who is Sal Russo?: http://alternet.org/blogs/lfiles/24284/

Thank you Cindy for being the voice of many!

BTW Osama is smiling on Pat Robertson

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS...

IT BECOMES NECESSARY for the PEOPLE of the United States

TO ALTER or ABOLISH the United States Government

as it exists in the year 2001 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06

Using the Authority, Law, and Intentions of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

And Now the People Step Forward and Charge High Treason,

and Show that Democracy in its roots today, is Corrupt.

And that the Constitution has been Altered and Betrayed

in Favor of A Small Group of Millionaires,
.

Over Another...
.

the Governed, the People of the United States
.

And that the Election Process is UN-fair and has been Overwhelmed
.

and Monopolized
.

by Millionaires and their millions of dollars...

... ... Continued reading at

... http://www.RogerART.com

Scroll Down till You see Yellow link to

( Re-Written ) Declaration of Independence

Thank You, Roger@RogerART.com

Reading about the "caravan" of people allegedly representing families of the US military who claim that Cindy Sheehan does not speak for them, I saw that one of the leaders, Hally* Williams, whose husband is an apparently wacko talk radio "personality," Mrak Williams, had created a corporation allegedly to fund assistance to children in Iraq and, later, to other Third World countries. The name she gave it is "Casey's K!ds to K!ds." The web site for this, caseysk!ds.org, says it was named after Williams' cocker spaniel, rescued from a pound in 2001--it implies the organization has been around for a while and has substance. However, the organization was only incorporated on August 1, 2005, per the California Dept. of State:

DISCLAIMER: The information displayed here is current as of AUG 19, 2005 and is updated weekly. It is not a complete or certified record of the Corporation.
Corporation
CASEY'S KlDS-TO-KlDS
Number: C2759761 Date Filed: 8/1/2005 Status: active
Jurisdiction: California
Address
4120 D@UGLAS BLVD 3@6-442
GRANlTE BAY, CA 95746
Agent for Service of Process
H@LLY WILLIAMS
4120 D@UGLAS BLVD 3@6-442
GRANlTE BAY, CA 95746

I looked for but could not find additional information that the organization is non-profit. Nothing on their web site shows if they have received funds they are soliciting, or how much, or what they are doing with funds. One blogger elsewhere suggests that their solicitations will show up without the picture of the dog, to ride on the coattails of Cindy Sheehan. Even if it doesn't, the name and associations are disturbed enough.

If the name was in fact chosen to confuse donors, linking Iraq and families of U.S. military with this Casey the dog instead of that Casey the lost soldier son, it is truly heartless and mendacious, manipulative and cynical.

What I can't tell, from here in Florida, is how the pieces fit together. Was Cindy Sheehan getting a new level of attention in July 2005 (in connection with the Downing Street memo, perhaps?) that would have brought her to the attention of people like the Williamses who went on the "Truth Tour," the jaunt of rightwing media people to Iraq in July, who came back purporting not only to have seen a light at the end of the tunnel, but crowing that the Bush administration has practically reached it?

If this corporation were named after August 6 it would be clear, but as it is, it is hard to know. How does California fix the date of incorporation for its records? Could the August 1 date be put on after August 1? How about seeing any paperwork (not available there on the Cal. web site--in Florida, I could pull it off the web for free) to see who incorporated it, and when? Who are the officers? Who paid for incorporation, and how?

Regardless of when and how it started, by the way, I think it is still a cynical attempt to rip off parents of soldiers, and confuse others, and hit back at Cindy Sheehan in a petty, mean-spritied way.

[*names deranged to defang search engines--why should the perpetrators get to claim a link to this post?]

Just wondered if Cindy is going to participate in the huge Anti-War Protest scheduled for Sept 23rd thru the 26th in Washington DC? I know buses are filling up fast and that Sat. the 24th is the day of the big rally? I am planning on coming and would love to hear her and the other mothers speak. If anyone knows the answer, please let us know. I know she said they are not going away and she is planning on following King George back to his castle. I am so hoping that she will be a big part of this rally. I live in Indianapolis and encourage folks to check in their area to see if buses or car loads are planning to attend. If my red red state has enough people, then there should be buses from everywhere coming. "No More War" Go Cindy...............!!!!!!!

She's starting her bus tour the day after seh leaves Crawford and it ends up in D.C. on 24 Sept, so I think it's safe to assume that she and her tour will be a big part of the peace activities.

I'm thinking of driving to Camp Casey when I get off work at 7 tomorrow morning. I will be able to take off for 36 hours instead of the usual 12. It's 400 miles, after a twelve hour shift and I wont be able to go home and get my mail for another three weeks or so if I go to Crawford. I haven't slept very well the past couple of days either, so I'm having a real struggle to decide. I hate to miss my last chance to see this bit of history in the making.

I'm expecting to be in D.C. for the peace activities as well.

Peacedog

I'm thinking of driving to Camp Casey when I get off work at 7 tomorrow morning. I will be able to take off for 36 hours instead of the usual 12. It's 400 miles, after a twelve hour shift and I wont be able to go home and get my mail for another three weeks or so if I go to Crawford. I haven't slept very well the past couple of days either, so I'm having a real struggle to decide. I hate to miss my last chance to see this bit of history in the making.

Peacedog

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