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By Cindy Sheehan
"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only
those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell."
—William Tecumseh Sherman
Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the US Constitution says that Congress has the enumerated power of "declaring war" and clause 12 says that Congress has the enumerated power to "raise and support armies." Some argue that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are not wars because Congress did not declare war in either case, but calling something a "war" or an "illegal occupation" is merely an exercise in semantics, because people are dying just like it's a war.
Why, after all these years and all the proof that these military excursions were based on deliberately false information, does the US still have troops on the ground in the Middle East? Where does the responsibility lie in bringing our troops home? Which federal agency or branch of the government is now covered in the most gore? And whose war is it anyway?
Frankly, the why part of the question seems obvious. There is still money to be made by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Cheney's company Halliburton and the Oil-garchy are realizing enormous profits while ordinary citizens are paying a heavy price at the pump and for other consumer goods that rely on petroleum to be delivered to the stores. Oh, is that everything? I think it is. Blood is being poured into the bank accounts of the ruling elite while it is being drained out of our soldiers, families and communities.
There is no indication from the arrogantly evil Executive Branch (that has now been co-opted by the most corrupt and criminal administration in US history) that they are seeking an end to the obscene occupations. Their buddies are profiting and that's good enough for them. While the Bush Crime Family planned a wedding for May, many families not of the Bush economic stratosphere or legendary ignominy, are planning funerals.
Instead of working overtime to see which party can exploit US troops better and harder than the other, (their pretend opposition and political playacting is exactly like watching pretend wrestling on TV where two "foes" spit epithets at each other and then fake-wrestle for a faker prize) Pelosi, et al, should be burning the midnight oil to craft a humane solution to the problem that has become the Democrats' as much as the Republicans'. Instead of putting provisions for extended "timelines" or tying "guns and butter" (the very phrase makes me want to vomit at the sheer callousness), Pelosi must use her enumerated power to end these illegal occupations. It would be a lot less work to tell BushCo to use the money that has already been borrowed from China to start bringing our troops home (not redeploy to Iran or Pakistan) and if BushCo does not, and then it is truly a Republican conflict.
Iraq and Afghanistan are Democratic and Republican mistakes. To cater to "Blue Dog Dems" over the will of the American public, or to incredibly blame the people of Iraq for not having the guts to come to a peaceful political solution is abominable, but how does these occupations belong to "We the People?"
First of all, we allow "anti-war" groups like MoveOn.org to set the dialogue and discourse. MoveOn.org is not so much "anti-war" as they are "pro-Democrat." Tactics that MoveOn.org found outrageous under the Republican Congress, they find "frustrating" but understandable under Democratic leadership. The "anti-war" issue is non-partisan in its scope by the very name "anti-war." The Democrats are responsible for every war in the last 108 years, excluding the two Bush wars and the Reagan Grenada farce. Democrats are responsible for dropping, not one, but two atomic bombs on the innocent citizens of Japan. Democrats deserve no slack, and should be given none.
Secondly, during elections the "anti-war" movement loses its focus and works for candidates that promise peace or change, but previous actions, votes, or rhetoric do not match the campaign rhetoric. From Obliteration to Redeployment to Hundred Years, none of the duopoly candidates are promising anything different than BushCo. After almost eight years of two-party collaboration that has undermined freedom, democracy, peace and prosperity, one would think that the US electorate would have developed some kind of sophistication regarding the throttlehold of sameness that the Republicrats or Demopublicans offer.
We have a clear choice instead of the "lesser of two evils" politics. There are at least two candidates for President that present a clear alternative to violence and corporate oppression: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party and Power to the People Party) and Ralph Nader (Ind.).
Do you want someone who is a smidgeon less evil at the helm of our country, or do you want someone who is committed to true peace and true mastery over the corporations and true environmental integrity?
The choice is yours. Stand up courageously and cast your vote for the person that more closely matches your ideologies and beatitudes, or hold your nose with one hand and push the button for one of the corporate tools with the other.
I personally know that war is a living hell that is constantly present and my pain can only begin to touch in a small way the misery of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our nation's leaders who are misguided and led in the wrong direction of their master, the War Machine, have no idea, for the most part, of this devastation. They have no business being trusted with the public trust and 95% of them should be sent packing back to their homes if not imprisoned for war crimes. It is up to "We the People" to exercise our sovereignty to finally bring peace and prosperity back to "We the People."
Whose war is it? It belongs to us all and it is up to us all to have a hand in ending it.