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Whose War?


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.

www.CindyforCongress.org

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...of holding my nose and punching the button, Cindy. And I've had enough of signing petitions and calling the Capitol switchboard, hoping my name or call might be the one that helps tip a scale that nobody up there pays any attention to.

This year, I'm going to punch that button for either Ralph or Cynthia, if either are there. If they're not, I'll pick up a pencil and write one of them in because I'm sick and tired of Republicans and Democrats.

Thanks again for all that you do, and all the best in your campaign.

R Ap

At long last, the only politician - aside from the above-named Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader - who continues to state the unvarnished truth.

There is no Democrat worth a shit, anywhere, any more. Fuck Kucinich, and his chicken-shit-stained little ass - dropping Impeachment to preserve his own, miserable political hide - and fuck Wexler, with his election-year talk and no fucking action. In your political exploitation of this situation and failure to follow-through, you are no better - in fact, every bit as duplicitious and false to your oaths - as Chief Judiciary Jerkoff Chairman John Conyers.

After 8 FUCKING YEARS where are the ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH?!!!

None of these RepubliCrat Bullshitters deserves to continue to collect public money. So, "AIPAC threatened you" into silence? Fine - whatever - then go the fuck back home and find another job!

And don't jerk us off with "Obama must defeat McCain". At this point - without IMPEACHMENT and JUSTICE - they will both continue to run us hard onto the iceberg, and this ship - this democracy - will SINK JUST THE SAME; either way.

SHEEHAN - McKINNEY - NADER - or DON'T FUCKING VOTE AT ALL!

Semper Fi,

-Matty in Florida
(Where our vote has not been counted fairly since sometime last century, anyway.)

Dont dismiss DK's efforts. You cant remove Bush and let the real puppetmaster take office.

Direct your scorn at Nancy "Benedict Arnold" Pelosi. She, and she alone holds the power of bringing impeachment to the floor of the House.
DK has done everything this system will allow him to do. As long as Pelosi is in a position to stop impeachment, nothing can occur.

DK is now actively working to remove Pelosi. That will occur by electing a replacement Congress.

It's truly a sad commentary on just how far we've degenerated as a nation and as a people that we willingly tolerate "politicians" who casually throw America's young men and women into the gaping, eternally hungry jaws of the corporate war machine, while continuing to reap obscene campaign contributions from the corporate/financial interests who've got a vested interest in the "war on terror", and aren't about to let those who are against the war agenda set the tone of government.

We, the People, have suffered and tolerated evil in the name of "peace ... at any price", and we have allowed ourselves to be domininated and controlled by the fearmongers to the point where we no longer think about the future, and what kind of nation we'll be leaving for those who will come after us.

Our government is leading us straight to Hell, and the Democrats, Republicans and the corporate/financier oligarchs who've made a handsome profit from war, hyperinflation, misery and despair are counting on us to remain fearful, paranoid "virtuous victims" who yearn for a "savior" to come along who will "magically" solve all of our problems without us making any real effort to get up and work to solve those problems.

Perhaps our failure to develop the sophistication necessary which would allow us to properly discern "the throttlehold of sameness that the Republicrats or Demopublicans offer" and to be willing to break that throttlehold may be due to our almost slavish idolizing of the mediocre, and our willingness to settle for the "comfort" and "sameness" of mediocrity. None of the Republicrats and Demopublicans who populate the halls of Washington today, peddling mediocrity by the truckload, would have been tolerated by Franklin Roosevelt, and most certainly not by our Founders.

The Republicrats and Demopublicans have been able to exploit our fears (especially the "parents" of all fears -- the fear of death and the fear of loss) in order to keep us small, impotent and "helpless" in the face of true evil, while also promising us the narcotic of sameness and mediocrity which numbs our minds, hearts and souls. Our Founders will have made such tremendous sacrifices to insure that we'd have a republican form of government in vain if we continue to choose "evil" to be our government -- and lose even more of our national sovereignty in the process -- in exchange for scraps and crumbs from the legislative table which will pacify us into a state of stupor.

If we're unwilling to let go of our childish fears and take our ideologies and beatitudes seriously enough to stand up for them by voting for the person who truly aligns with those ideologies and beatitudes, instead of holding our noses and voting for the corporate/financier oligarchy's newest Republicrat or Demopublican puppet, then we'll be subjecting ourselves and our posterity to yet another Presidency which will lavish freedom, democracy, peace and prosperity upon the rich, while denying the lower 80% of family income brackets the same right to enjoy the freedom, democracy, peace and prosperity which our Founding Fathers fought and died to give to us.

Like all comments here, and love Cindy. Would you recommend any sites in particular, other than truthout and commondreams, which most know of, for further reading? Like Bruce Gagnon said, I come here to find out what is really going on many times a day, and will be eternally grateful for it, but I am trying to build my own confidence and that of others that know, deep down, that voting for the same system in use for oh so many years will probably not be in our best interests, or of our children's.
Am actively working on getting the Green Party on the ballot in Virginia, as many others are here and elsewhere. Would appreciate website resources that help someone sitting on the fence to jump off into a different "comfort" zone. Thank you.

...of returning a favor (for the Rock Creek Free Press link that you put me onto), Rain, have you looked in at www.pslweb.org yet?

I'm not a Socialist--not yet, anyway, but I'm giving them a long, hard look thanks to a guy I know from rallies, vigils, etc. that I get to. Don't know how comfortable it'd be, but it'd certainly be different from what we've got now.

Anyway, good luck with what you're doing for Cynthia and the Greens out there, and know that I'm doing what I can to get Ralph on the ballot here.

R Ap

Have bookmarked to look at more tomorrow. Who knew? People paying better attention than I have been. Ralph still favored by many Greens. Ballot access for all! If I send you the Green petition would you send me Ralph's? Kidding, I know we ALL can get them from their sites, but wouldn't it be neat if we all had a choice at the polls, not those force-fed by the smaller deciders? Peace.

I could not agree more. I would like to know what happened to Kucinich and Wexler. What has kept them from standing up and moving the Congress into action. I know when Cindy gets there she won't just wring her hands because John Conyers is a wimp. She will bring up impeachment every day if she has to.

Fortunately there are a few brave women around who will speak for our dying soldiers and their families. Cindy is the best! Betty Hall is great too! Luv a both.
4Peace

Thank you Cindy for your spot on assesment. I wrote the following guest editorial for the NW Indiana Post-Tribune in the summer of 2006 before the congressional election. We can all remember the hope we had after the election and the disillusion we all experienced with the inept performance by the Democrats after they took office.

Without radical changes to our so-called two party system, I see no hope for the future. The title to the piece was supplied by the editor. He is more optimistic than I am.

Our system of government is broken, but can be fixed
By Nick Egnatz
Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune guest columnist

A government which does not respond to the will of the people and which proceeds without internal accountability amongst its various branches is broken. After 230 years our constitutional representative government is unable to repair itself and in need of a major overhaul.
Thomas Jefferson thought the constitution should be rewritten every generation so that the living would not be ruled by the dead.
Although our constitution allows for amendment, this government or any future one elected under our present system cannot and will not be up to the task of self regulation.

Signs of broken system

• More than three years after the end of the Iraq War (May 1, 2003, when the president stood jubilant before a “Mission accomplished!”sign) the military occupation of Iraq drags on despite the American public realizing the occupation is counterproductive and should end.
• Our three branches of government are no longer equal, and the President has taken the position that he is a unitary executive who is above the law. The Republican-controlled Congress and Senate are content to go along with him, while the Democratic minority in both houses, with a few brave exceptions, offers tepid indignation at best.
• Corporations have been allowed to become so powerful that they, along with the Republican Party, now rule the country. An example would be the Energy Bill, drafted by Republicans and energy executives in secrecy, without allowing the Democrats even token input.
• The cost of elections: The Bush and Kerry 2004 presidential campaigns cost more than $880 million, although these obscene expenditures provided voters with precious little information about the candidates. The cost of being elected to the US Senate has gone up from just over $4 million in 2000 to more than $10 million in 2006. The rich get their candidates elected and the poor are left with no recourse. Retiring US senators have complained that instead of acting as public servants, they have become full-time fundraisers.
• The Republicans tell us the economy is good; Democrats say that it isn’t. The large corporations have benefited tremendously from stagnation of wages and outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries. They have also been able to set up dummy corporations offshore and greatly reduce their tax liabilities.
• Congress is hopelessly beholden to moneyed interests and incapable of self-correction. The prescription drug bill for seniors is an example. It was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives at 3 a.m. Normal House rules call for votes to be held open for 15 minutes, but this particular vote was held open for 3 hours--after it was originally voted down--while the Republican leadership wheeled and dealed to get our congressmen to change their votes.
The Patriot Act was also passed in the middle of the night without giving House members and their staffs enough time to even read the final revision of the 342-page bill which amended 15 federal statutes.
• A 2005 Pew Research Center poll found that 65 percent of Americans favor a single payer national health-care plan, even if it means higher taxes. Yet, with the exception of a few powerless members of the House of Representatives, our lawmakers and administration completely ignore the desire of the American People.
The above are but a few examples of the highlights or lowlights, if you will, of our present government. Influence of moneyed interests makes reform impossible without changing the playing field. Any concept of democracy starts with the premise that each citizen is entitled to one vote regardless of the state of his personal finances.

Reforms needed
I submit three proposals that will give us a chance at a true representative government.

1. Complete (100 percent) public financing for all elections: This doesn’t mean we have to spend the obscene amounts being spent now. Along with this, all public media outlets would be required to print or give airtime to each campaign’s platform. True public debates would be required, not the current style of side-by-side questions and answers.
2. All elections would be instant runoff. For each office, voters would list their preference numerically: i.e., three candidates are running for office—Bush, Kerry and Nader. Voters would select a first and second choice. If no candidate polls over 50 percent, the votes of the third candidate go up the ladder to the voters’ first or second picks until one candidate gets a majority. Instantly our candidates and parties would have to be responsible to the voters.
3. Any voting system which doesn’t leave a paper trail for a 100 percent recount would not pass muster internationally and shouldn’t be allowed in the United States.

Without addressing the election financing, instant runoff and fairness issues, I fail to see how we can ever have a government representative of the American People and beholden to the interests of the American People.
Lincoln said it better many years ago: “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The question is how hard are the American People willing to fight to take back their government?

Nick Egnatz
Munster, IN
NW Indiana Veterans For Peace

I agree wholeheartly on your points. US is broke, the citizens know it. I have faith We the People will triumph.

David - Did you ever find out what really happened to Kucinich and his backing off of pushing for impeachment hearings? Is he just the latest "casualty" in the "opposition party's" failed attempts to hold the fascist Bush regime accountable? A long line of elected officials intimidated into submission, including Daschle, Leahy, Conyers, etc by the ruling Corporate War Profiteering Elites...?

He is working on electing a Congress that is servent to the desires of the "We the People". There have been several videos of late that report on his activities both on the floor of Congress and in the union-meeting halls (check out YouTube).

Dont expect traitors like Pelosi or Reid to allow Impeachment - PERIOD. It is beyond obvious that they are not willing to put the gun to their own head and pull the trigger. Pelosi is part of the Bush Administration. She personally okayed torture as the leadng member of House Select Committee on Intelligence. She is the cop who turned to walk away when facing a crime being comitted. She sold the Constitution and We the People out a long time ago.

Only think that will save her in history is to turn on them, she is unwilling to turn on her murderer handlers.

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