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"Give War a Chance" Journey for Humanity and Accountability Day 9


By Cindy Sheehan

Being in the deep south has been a very interesting experience. As George's approval numbers hover down some where in Congress's range and approval for their war is shrinking, we have encountered very little opposition to our message, but the opposition we have encountered has been vile, abusive and potentially dangerous.

In Houston, one of the more active kingdoms of war profiteering, we encountered no protest. As a matter of fact, while we were stationed on a bridge over I-10 holding our "Impeach Bush and Cheney" and "Troops home now" signs, we had almost 100% approval. People were actually stopping their cars to applaud us and in some cases, join us.

Our next stop was New Orleans where the policies of BushCo are still harming our brothers and sisters. The various governments are gobbling up land in poor, but hard-working class areas to be used for upscale housing and/or casinos. We meet with several grass-roots organizations who are feeding people, helping them find homes and jobs. There was also not one peep of opposition to our message because the people of New Orleans intimately understand the reasons that BushCo should be impeached.

The fun started, however when we got to Montgomery, AL where right off the bat, the Secretary of the Montgomery Repugs confronted me and displayed his ignorance by stating that he loves George Bush and that George had "nothing" to do with the war in Iraq. When some Veterans for Peace confronted him and asked him why he didn't enlist to go to Iraq if he was such a strong supporter of the mayhem, he let us know that he was "courageously" supporting the war effort by staying in America, working and "paying his taxes." Now that the encounter with this brave patriot has been shown all over cable news, every pipsqueak repug with a bad toupe will be confronting me to get his 15 minutes of fame.

In Montgomery, our Caravan met with many nice folks who were on the side of impeachment and ending the war with us, but we also ran into a couple of people who were upset with BushCo for different reasons. On a beautiful, magnolia tree lined street where our group was hosted for a pot-luck, a home had the sign: "Give War a Chance." The homeowner and father of five told us that George Bush "is a "pu**y" and that if he were President, he would "wipe out" the entire Middle East with nukes. He has a service age daughter whom he said he would be proud for her to go to Iraq and he would be thrilled if she got some "confirmed kills." Another gentleman driving down the street didn't know why we were so upset because America had a "civil war" so why can't Iraq "have one?" We all needed to be decontaminated on that visit!

At the School of the Assassins in Columbus, Ga and in Charlotte, NC, we ran into similar problems: police presence that seemed to be there to foster violence At both places the neo-Nazi, pro-war fascist group "Gathering of Eagles" came out to mostly try to intimidate us from our mission. At Ft. Benning, after we complained, the police kept them separate from us, but in Charlotte, the police refused saying that the Eagles had their rights to "freedom of speech." But the Eagles' freedom of speech has included physical threats against me and actual physical force against kids and women. When the Charlotte police were told this, they said that they couldn't keep them apart from our group until the Eagles actually did something. So I chose to stay away from the rally then go and perhaps cause them to hurt someone else because of my presence. Freedom of speech is one thing, but I don't believe that the First Amendment protects violent speech, especially if it is one of the neocons or their media supporters calling for increased violence in the Middle East. Nothing about our movement promotes or calls for violence and it would be swell if the CPD protected everyone's First Amendment rights, not just people whom they agree with. Gold Star Father, Carlos Arredondo, joined us in Charlotte with his display about the personal cost of war which doesn't affect the "Gathering of Chickenhawks" at all, in fact we believe that they are the ones who disgrace our children's memories and the memories of the fallen in Vietnam by supporting another 'Nam like quagmire.

It is my belief that for all human history, we have been giving "war a chance" and it has never worked. There has never been a "war to end all wars." No matter how much BushCo blather, peace cannot be spread by the use of force and democracy cannot be forced on a people at the end of a M-16. Congressional Democrats are busy throwing up smokescreens...or bones...to their "anti-war" left by their meaningless bills after they gave George 120 billion more dollars to wage these wars of aggression and potentially invade Iran.

As one of my peace idols, John Lennon said let's "give peace a chance."

For more information about the Journey for Humanity and Accountability, or to donate to help defray expenses, please go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org

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Cindy I'm a little older than you and have no one in the war, nor do I know anyone there. But I have cried for these soldiers. One day I was vacuuming my bedroom and had the little tv on that sits on my dresser. I heard the news on CNN mention that the US military death toll in Iraq had reached 168. I just burst out in tears. I sat down on the corner of my bed and just cried my eyes out for the longest time. After that I got online and started reading and a year after that I started blogging. I wonder sometimes, and also wonder if you ever wonder sometimes, if more moms like you who were just minding their own business, living your lives day to day, and then suddenly you've lost a reason you breathe, your son.... I wonder if more of them had followed in your footsteps, take that first apprehensive step out of the comfort of your home, and just shouted to the world that you demand accountability.... if more had gone public with their anger, disgust, fear, and/or disappointment.... I wonder where we'd be today. Maybe with a dif pres in 2004, for a start.

It frightens this middle aged woman how dumbed-down Americans have become. The large % that still believe Iraq/Saddam was connected to 9/11 (?) Jesus what is going on in this country?

By the way, I saw that video of the Bushie who confronted you and the Vietnam Vets on the street recently. That was a freaking classic!! It's on my blog. I especially like the part where he says he can't sign up cuz he's too old, 31, then the Vets inform him he's not too old and offer to drive him down to the recruitment center. Then he fumbles around saying he needs to stay here and make "lots of money to pay for the war". LOL ! Classic Bush sheep Cindy, eh?

Love you Cindy, keep following your heart.

BJ
Vegas

Cindy,

I'm not here to be rude, but I do feel the need to correct a couple comments that you made.

First of all, the Gathering of Eagles have NEVER used force against anyone. No man, woman, or child has ever had force used against them in any way what-so-ever. Maybe a few harsh words, but never any sort of physical force, ever. And never toward a child.

We are not "pro-war" as you say. Absolutely NO ONE wants war. But yes, it is sometimes necessary. Our country is worth fighting for.

I truly wish you would read up a little. By saying that the Gathering of Eagles are not affected by this war you are sorely mistaken. I am an Eagle. My father just came home from a year in Kuwait and as I type this, my husband is in Iraq. I refuse to ever try to speak for anyone, but I can truthfully say that I am not alone. Many Eagles have family and friends in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc. Some have lost family members also. My children and myself absolutely feel "affected" by this war. We are 100% behind our soldiers and are willing to wait and sacrifice until our job is done over there. This is bigger than us. We look toward America's future and not just the "here and now". Of course it's hard. Of course it takes a toll on you, but our soldier is worth the wait and, as I said before, our country is worth fighting for.

For whatever reason we went to war, we are there...Period. Those men and women need to know that we are behind them and support them in everything they do. If helping a country that has asked us for help is what they are doing, then they need to know we are behind them in it.

I don't expect to change anyone's mind here. I just want you to know that we are not evil "war mongers". We just want the job done so they can come home and not have to go back in the future. We all want them home, and we want them home safe. And IF (God forbid) something were to happen to any soldier I know while in action, then I will know that they died doing something they believed in. They are fighing for what they think is right and helping many innocent people to freedom.

God Bless them all.
God Bless America.

Chrissie

While what you write is well written and polite, you neglected to mention that it was this current administration's lies that got us into this war. The Iraqi people did not ask us over there to bring them freedom. In fact, the country is in a civil war, and the longer we stay, the worse it gets. Our soldiers are in the middle of this inter-fighting among the Irai, Sunnis, and Shites. How can these soldiers know who is the enemy? We need to drawn down our troops from there. We all want to see our soldiers return home safe.

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