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Turns out We are “Mad as Hell”
By Cindy Sheehan
Since I posted my article: "I’m as Perturbed as Heck", I have received many emails and messages. This is a typical response:
We don't know what to do.
Bushco and Congress only has authority because of their guns and prisons, right? I hate to put pressure on you when I do nothing in comparison, but what would a call to armed Americans amount to? We need the people who are willing to "fight for this country" to realize exactly who we should be fighting. As you can tell, we the people are literally being ignored. Do we really think that quitting our jobs to stand on the White House lawn is going to change the agenda of...I don't want to say Bushco, because it's obviously so much bigger than them...those fascist, greedy, homicidal, psychopaths.
My (Texas) senators are literally two of the worst, but I don't have your fame. I don't think it makes sense to try to build credibility for a campaign when I'm struggling to pay my student loans and have no history dealing with the crazies, I mean government officials.
I'm just another lame American afraid to change my whole life...I shouldn't have to. But that's hardly the point, I know. It's seems pretty late in the game to still be looking for alternatives to armed revolution. But I am sooo non-violent. I'm still just asking for someone else to do it.
Is there nothing more a peacenik like me can do, short of "quitting my life" as you had to do? Any ideas, or advice?
This anguished young American was very typical of the responses I received. People are “mad as hell,” they just don’t know how to positively channel their rage and if they do have a clue about what to do, they are paralyzed by their debt and tied to their low-wage, no benefited jobs (thanks to the Wal-Martization of the USA) and are frustrated by their inability to make a difference.
Before Casey was killed in Iraq, I had many of the same limitations. I bought into the crap that one person couldn’t make a difference and I was also (as Thoreau says) a “wage slave” and “owned” by my material possessions. I was enraged by the invasion of Iraq and petrified by (justified) fear that the ravenous and greedy war machine would swallow my son. I didn’t know how to do anything even if I knew what to do. So, like my correspondent said: I shouldn’t have had to completely “change” my entire life, but the change was forced on me, partially by my own apathetic stupor.
Also, like she writes, I can’t stress enough that an armed revolution is a horrible idea. There is no way that the war monster can be defeated by violent means. Besides, how can we get our citizenry to take up arms against out government when we can barely get off of our couches to raise a placard in a peace march? We must call for a non-violent people’s revolution. As history has shown and BushCo has made even crystal clearer, violence only begets more violence.
• All of BushCo’s enablers must be fired in ’08. There are 19 Congress Reps who are signed onto H(Res) 333 to impeach Dick Cheney. Any others are complicit in the crimes of the Bush Regime and must be challenged in ’08. Support candidates who do challenge the Demopublicans or run yourself on a 3rd party or Independent ticket. If you feel that you are inextricably tied to the Demopublicans, then mount a primary challenge.
• Congress, Inc is on recess now---you don’t have to quit your job and camp on the White House lawn. Go to your Congress Reps’ office and hound him/her to sign onto H(Res) 333, or risk losing his/her cushy job. Letters, emails, faxes, and/or petitions are not good enough anymore. We took petitions with over one million signatures to Rep. John Conyers to impeach BushCo, he barely glanced at them.
• Don’t support war-mongering, nuke threatening monsters for President, which eliminates essentially all the current candidates except Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) and Ron Paul (R-Tx).
• Camp out on your Congress Rep’s doorstep to demand that he/she de-funds the debacle in Iraq. It is not okay to be co-dependent with BushCo in financing their murderous surge. Bloody hands are bloody hands whether one has a “D” or an “R” after his/her name.
• Join your local peace group. United for Peace and Justice has listings, or Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK Women for Peace are usually very active on the local level. Sign up for our action alerts at GSFP.
• Sponsor local solidarity events with events in DC on 9/11; 9/15, and 9/29.
There is so much to do and so little time. I know it is hard to leave one’s comfort zone to try and make relevant and lasting change. I was deeply entrenched in the American consumeristic cycle of work, spend, work, spend, ad nauseum…violent events literally knocked me out of that cycle. As Chris Hedges wrote in his article, Beyond Disaster:
The neoconservatives-and the liberal interventionists, who still serve as the neocons’ useful idiots when it comes to Iran-have learned nothing. They talk about hitting Iran and maybe even Pakistan with airstrikes. Strikes on Iran would ensure a regional conflict. Such an action has the potential of drawing Israel into war-especially if Iran retaliates for any airstrikes by hitting Israel, as I would expect Tehran to do. There are still many in the U.S. who cling to the doctrine of pre-emptive war, a doctrine that the post-World War II Nuremberg laws define as a criminal “war of aggression.”
We are certainly beyond disaster, and if BushCo with the criminal complicity of Congress aren’t stopped soon, no telling where we will be in November ’08. Congress won’t stop Bush and Bush has his dictatorial way with Congress…so, again, it is up to us.