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The True Cost of War


By Cindy Sheehan

This immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq has cost the world so much. George and his reckless war of choice have cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars that could be better spent at home. Judging from Katrina, Iraq has cost our country much of its security. It has cost the US any good standing we enjoyed in the world community. It cost America the post 9/11 good will from almost the entire world. We Americans are the laughing stock of the world community. Not only is our callous and careless leadership disdained, but we the people are scorned because we "re"-elected George for a 2nd term and not only that, we are allowing him to continue to mis-lead our country into ruin.

The price many of us are paying is so much costlier than the mere monetary expense or loss of reputation. Over 2000 American families have paid the price of our dear loved ones to the insanity. Over 15,000 of our young people are wounded with .026 percent of those being amputees. The Veterans Administration estimates that over ¼ of our children will come home with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. I believe that number is higher, because I know of many cases where the military refuses to allow soldiers to seek treatment for PTSD. Many of them are sent back to battle if they even dare suggest they may be suffering from PTSD. Even if they are not wounded emotionally or physically, or killed, our soldiers will not come home entirely whole.

I was standing in front of the White House the other day when the indictments against Scooter were handed down. I was helping to hold a banner that said: Support our Troops: Bring Them Home Now.

When we received word of the indictments, many of us protestors outside the White House were cheering with happiness and relief. At last, someone could be held accountable for the lies that led our country into a disastrous invasion of Iraq. But I wasn't cheering. I put down my end of the banner and sat down on the curb and cried.

Scooter is just a lap dog for Cheney. He and this administration don't do anything unless the dirty deed is analyzed and planned for maximum damage to the offending party and minimum harm to Bush and Co. The criminals in power meant to hurt Joe Wilson and his family because Joe had the temerity and the audacity to call them liars: and to do it with such intelligence and alacrity was too much for the crooks to bear. If this crooked administration let Joe Wilson get away with telling the truth and calling them liars, then who would be next? Colin Powell? Judith Miller? The main stream media? (It could happen).

I cried because there are people in this world who have lied about smaller things and have been punished more harshly. I cried because there was a shill of the right near me holding a sign that read "Put Cindy in Abu Ghraib" when there are war criminals and immoral war profiteers running amok in our country. I cried because George, Dick, Condi, Colin, Alberto, Donald, Scooter, Paul, Karl, Judith, O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., lied about the reasons for invading Iraq and because of their lies, my son, who rarely told anything but the truth, is dead.

The liars and lies that led the US to invade Iraq are legion and well documented. (Once, just for giggles, I put George Bush/Lies in a Google search and 272,000 references came up). The lies to maintain the occupation are the same. The liars are now starting to beat the war drum for invading Syria.

A mom whose son committed "accidental" suicide in Iraq about 7 months ago called me this morning. She is beside herself with grief. I remember that the 7th month to the 9th month is the hardest. I think this is true because the profound shock is starting to wear off and the horrendous pain sets in. I so vividly remember the days where I ached so badly I didn't know what to do with my pain. I was afraid if I started screaming, I wouldn't be able to stop until every blood vessel in my brain burst open. I was afraid if I started to hit something, I wouldn't be able to stop until it was completely destroyed. I was afraid that I would have to live every single day with heartbreak so intense and overpowering that I would eventually wear myself out from it.

The ninth month after Casey was killed was the absolute most devastating for me. I remembered the first nine months of his existence in my womb all warm and protected. How his dad and I anticipated his birth with so much joy and expectation. In contrast, the first nine months he was in the cold, cold womb of our mother earth were so joyless, painful, dark and dismal. Having your child murdered for lies, mistakes, and betrayals is so dark and dismal: no one should have to endure what we are enduring.

I was able to reassure the mom in agony somewhat that if she could get through about two more months, she would be able to breathe a little and maybe smile a little and even mean it once in awhile.

We who have made the "ultimate sacrifice" know the true cost of war.

92 families found out in October, one of the bloodiest months of this war. Seven of our brave troops were killed today and their families will soon know how much pain the Bush administration's lies will cause them and how much peace, sleep, and joy these same lies cost.

For everyone else, this is the true cost of war:

Moms and Dads having their hearts and souls violently ripped out. Overwhelming guilt is felt in relentless and pounding waves.

Husbands and wives sorrowfully and prematurely burying their life partners. Days and nights ahead filled with loneliness and pain.

Brothers and sisters having integral parts of their history seized so cruelly from them. Holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations that will never be the same.

Sons and daughters unjustly denied the basic human right to grow up with both of their parents.

Other family members and friends mourning and missing someone too young to be killed in an occupation in which the war dead were sold the bill of goods that they would be greeted with chocolates and flowers from the Iraqi people as liberators.

A sovereign nation which was no threat to the United States of America lies in ruins and tens of thousands of its innocent citizens have been slaughtered just for the hell of it.

When are we going to stand up as a country and yell a collective: "bull-shit?!!" I have been screaming this until my voice is getting hoarse and people are getting sick of hearing it.

How much and how many more are we going to allow the serial liars to rob from us?

I say not one more.

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Cindy your passion is truly heartfelt. Be comforted by the fact that millions of citizens of this Country, as well as millions of citizens of the World share your anger and remorse. I am confident that you will survive and that justice will prevail.

I still can't get over the the TV image of the entire legislature, with only a handful of exceptions, collectively applauding the decision to empower the Bush band to make war. Certainly a majority knew the facts but chose to ignore them. So what distresses me, with parallels in east block counties, east Germany included, is that even if this administration is banished, who is worthy of stepping up to the plate?

I vote to elect Wyndham Boulter. He has far more reaching insight of cultural values for peace than any elected official. As of this date, all elected officials get their endorsements from all businesses tied to the industrial military complex. This is the only growing economy that has both large investment base and manpower that is not threatened by layoffs.
yours truly,
rod whaley

One Humanity: One Goal
John McConnell - Founder of Earth Day Speaks for Earth

The Way to a Peaceful, Prosperous Future.

The reason for poverty, pollution and war is that civilization lacks an adequate, agreed upon, well defined goal. As a result adversaries lack a suitable basis for peaceful resolutions of conflict. Discussions too often focuses on differences, neglecting areas of honest accord. Peace efforts then stall in spite of international laws and United Nations agreements and resolutions. We need a global goal with strong global appeal.

EARTH TRUSTEE SOLUTION

The needed goal that all can accept is: THE REJUVENATION OF OUR PLANET WITH FAIR BENEFITS FOR EVERYONE; a change of attitude and conduct world-wide from fear and despair to hope and action by persuading every concerned individual to act, in their own way, as a responsible trustee of Earth -- seeking peace, justice, and a sustainable future.

This can be accomplished by a moral equivalent of war, a Peace Blitz for a Better World.

To succeed, leaders and laymen are asked to avoid the historic mistakes of humanity's past. We need a vision of the future that will provide a world without war, the end of poverty, a stake in Earth's natural bounty by everyone, including the disinherited poor, the realization of human potential -- physical, mental, spiritual -- in a world of freedom and order.

To achieve this we should look below the surface at the root causes of civilization's sickness. In the past individuals identified with and were most loyal to their clan, nation, religion or business. The narrow view of competing groups often led to conflict and sometimes war. Today, through the eyes of our astronauts and cosmonauts we have stepped back and viewed our planet from afar with new eyes. We are aware that one fragile planet is our home, the home of one human family. Our future requires a common purpose.

Now we have a chance to see in our diversity a unity which will enable us to fairly adjust our differences with new solutions -- unseen in the past. In all decisions we must now consider how they affect the nurture and protection of Earth and the rights of individuals to the use of our planet. Seeing the whole picture will help us make the right choices.

For example: A major global trouble spot has been the Mid-East land hallowed by Christian, Jewish and Muslim history. Historic boundaries of nations, claims and counter claims, are now transcended by a larger more fundamental claim: the claim of every person to his or her inheritance -- a fair stake in the land and natural bounty of their planet. When we place loyalty to planet and respect for the planetary rights of all people above loyalty to nation, new possibilities quickly appear. What a great thing it would be to see Jewish, Christian and Muslim Centers in Jerusalem seeking homesteads for homeless constituents in friendly communities throughout the Mid-East.

Another basic mistake in history is the development and establishment of unfair, inefficient systems of money and credit. We have a planet with assets in the trillions of dollars -- much of it in developing countries. Once we see that money is not wealth -- wealth is land, raw materials, technology, factories, people with skills, etc. -- we might avoid the folly of war prosperity, followed by peace depression -- with more money for money manipulators than producers and workers.

By a change in monetary policies to fair, free credit -- based on adequate assets, and by making money an honest medium of exchange backed by assets and available in the measure needed for stable exchange of goods and services, we could soon bring prosperity to our whole planet.

To take advantage of the incredible opportunities we now have - end of the cold war, amazing new technology and communications, a vital necessity is to tap the spiritual and emotional resources of our religious faith ... in ways that will not compromise our separate creeds and beliefs. Love of God, love of people, love of Earth, honesty, fairness and truth are to be found in every major religion. I may totally reject the creeds of other religions where they relate to a future life and at the same time approve their actions that heal and help people and planet. A deeply held shared goal aids communication and promotes more openness to each others point of view -- often resulting in a basic unity that helps resolve many differences, with accommodation or separation where needed. Love of God means love of neighbor and nature.

Once the primary universal goal of Earth Trusteeship is established and affirmed by leaders and world public opinion, controversy will more constructively sort out differences and areas of agreement. This will increase understanding and bring better definitions of issues -- how they relate, provide direction, or help achieve global goals. Then, with the aid of an enlightened, responsible mass media, world public opinion, a powerful force, will promote good will, peace, justice and Earth's rejuvenation.

Now is the time to mobilize our faith and our institutions in a Campaign for Earth. Now is the time, especially, for a new sense of purpose and responsibility by public media. Let them sponsor a Media Blitz for Earth's rejuvenation, with features and headlines for the many solutions that are working and need attention.

EARTH MINUTES
To aid inner commitment and inspire practical actions we are urging all radio and TV stations worldwide to program daily Earth Minutes at 0300, 1100, and 1900 GMT (Convert to local time in each time zone). These minutes without words will have locally produced music, views of Earth from Space, nature, children. When you hear Earth Minute announced you can link your thought, your prayer, with others all over the world. At other times reports and features will be about Earth care solutions, planned or in progress. This can provide a new sense of Earth Trustee identity that will tap the best of our personal religious convictions, diminish fear, hate, greed and lust and assure an era of peaceful progress in this new millennium.

We ask radio, TV stations and newspapers to start an Earth Trustee Media Blitz. We have the raw materials, the technology, instant global communications -- and there are people ready and willing around the world.

All that is needed is to get their attention. The whole picture here presented can then bring the needed Earth Trustee choices in words and actions -- and peaceful progress will prevail.

888

You are a very strong person for starting a chain link of concerns, protests, and petitions to remove George Bush Jr. I never thought badly about him until watching the very very powerful voice to the president on TV and it... just got to me. for a tough guy u just made my eyes water like I was watching some powerful drama, and everything you said was perfect, and George bush and Mr. Cheney just brushed u off like you was nothing. George bush also once said because of his soldiers in 2003 the Taliban are no longer in existence (quote not fully said right) so apparently he has this huge problem with Iraq because his daddy was almost killed or something. I really want to help you with your peaceful protest, is there a way I can start some kind of petition thing? We impeached Mr. Clinton for being a slick Willy surely we can impeach Mr. Bush Jr for the massive killings of iraqians. Who is he to punish Iraq, their families and kids for their president's past doings?

I have this huge fear knowing someone hates our whole country of USA because of one main man making wrong and STUPID decisions. I fear someday we will suffer or lose lives in our country directly because of what bush did. We, the people need to do something soon, and in public so that bush is known that he isn’t wanted as our voice anymore. After all isn’t that what the president is? To be our voice of USA? i've always thought I could easily be the president of usa, I would start a lot of interesting changes to our state, of course taxes will be raised towards tobacco, alcohol, crime punishment fees raised a lot more, etc. i am probably rambling over here. Anyway I believe we need a HONEST president. Someone that listens, someone that is compassionate and has a heart but also someone that can make the right decisions and humanely punish the evil-doers. Killing is never the solution to any problem.

I started doing research on George bush's quotes, his lies and i’ve found like soooo many things. Why haven’t we impeached him yet?

Are we all too scared that bush set up some kind of plan that will backfire if he leaves? Are we too worried that if bush leaves now that we will be in MORE heavy debt than we currently are?

Anyway thank you for your passion to do the right thing. That’s what we all need, compassion, and to do the right thing for others.

A strong supporter, Jason David Gillis
Vancouver Washington 98684 , dntco@hotmail.com i am also 23. and can i ask for one "one wittle favor" as for Code Pink, i think men should be involved in the code pink as well., after all pink isnt no longer just for women :). That being said, good luck and god bless!

"I cried because George, Dick, Condi, Colin, Alberto, Donald, Scooter, Paul, Karl, Judith, O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., lied about the reasons for invading Iraq and because of their lies, my son, who rarely told anything but the truth, is dead."

You forgot a few:

Former President Bill Clinton:

President Clinton: "We Have To Defend Our Future From These Predators Of The 21st Century. They Feed On The Free Flow Of Information And Technology. They Actually Take Advantage Of The Freer Movement Of People, Information And Ideas. And They Will Be All The More Lethal If We Allow Them To Build Arsenals Of Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons And The Missiles To Deliver Them. We Simply Cannot Allow That To Happen. There Is No More Clear Example Of This Threat Than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His Regime Threatens The Safety Of His People, The Stability Of His Region And The Security Of All The Rest Of Us." (President Clinton, Remarks To Joint Chiefs Of Staff And Pentagon Staff, 2 /17/98)

President Clinton: "Earlier Today I Ordered America's Armed Forces To Strike Military And Security Targets In Iraq... Their Mission Is To Attack Iraq's Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons Programs And Its Military Capacity To Threaten Its Neighbors ..." ("Text Of Clinton Statement On Iraq Attack," Agence France Presse, 12/17/98)

Former Vice President Al Gore:

Gore: "You Know, In 1991, I Was One Of Those Who Put Partisanship Completely Aside And Supported President Bush At That Time In Launching The Gulf War. And In That War, We Saw How Saddam Had Threatened His Neighbors And Was Trying To Get Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons, And Biological Weapons. And We're Not Going To Allow Him To Succeed." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 12/16/98)

Gore: "[I]f You Allow Someone Like Saddam Hussein To Get Nuclear Weapons, Ballistic Missiles, Chemical Weapons, Biological Weapons, How Many People Is He Going To Kill With Such Weapons? He's Already Demonstrated A Willingness To Use These Weapons ..." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 12/16/98)

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY):

Sen. Clinton: "I Voted For The Iraqi Resolution. I Consider The Prospect Of A Nuclear-Armed Saddam Hussein Who Can Threaten Not Only His Neighbors, But The Stability Of The Region And The World, A Very Serious Threat To The United States." (Senator Hillary Clinton [D-NY], Press Conference, January 22, 2003)

Sen. Clinton: "In The Four Years Since The Inspectors, Intelligence Reports Show That Saddam Hussein Has Worked To Rebuild His Chemical And Biological Weapons Stock, His Missile Delivery Capability, And His Nuclear Program. ... It Is Clear, However, That If Left Unchecked, Saddam Hussein Will Continue To Increase His Capability To Wage Biological And Chemical Warfare And Will Keep Trying To Develop Nuclear Weapons." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, Congressional Record, 10/10/02, p. S10288)

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA):

Sen. Kerry: "The Crisis Is Even More Threatening By Virtue Of The Fact That Iraq Has Developed A Chemical Weapons Capability, And Is Pursuing A Nuclear Weapons Development Program." (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 10/2/90, p. S14332)

Sen. Kerry: "If You Don't Believe ... Saddam Hussein Is A Threat With Nuclear Weapons, Then You Shouldn't Vote For Me." (Ronald Brownstein, "On Iraq, Kerry Appears Either Torn Or Shrewd," Los Angeles Times, 1/31/03)

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC):

Sen. Edwards: "Serving On The Intelligence Committee And Seeing Day After Day, Week After Week, Briefings On Saddam's Weapons Of Mass Destruction And His Plans On Using Those Weapons, He Cannot Be Allowed To Have Nuclear Weapons, It's Just That Simple. The Whole World Changes If Saddam Ever Has Nuclear Weapons." (MSNBC's "Buchanan And Press," 1/7/03)

Sen. Edwards: "The Question Is Whether We're Going To Let This Man [Saddam] Who's Been Developing Weapons Of Mass Destruction Continue To Develop Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Get Nuclear Capability, And Get To The Place Where If We're Going To Stop Him, If He Invades A Country Around Him, It'll Cost Millions Of Lives As Opposed To Thousands Of Lives." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 2/6/03)

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV):

Reid: "The Problem Is Not Nuclear Testing; It Is Nuclear Weapons ... The Number Of Third World Countries With Nuclear Capabilities Seems To Grow Daily. Saddam Hussein's Near Success With Developing A Nuclear Weapon Should Be An Eye-Opener For Us All." (Sen. Harry Reid, Congressional Record, 8/3/92, p. S11188)

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN):

Bayh: "In My Opinion - And I Do, As You Know, I'm Fairly Hawkish On Iraq. I'm Inclined To Support Going In There And Dealing With Saddam. But I Think That Case Needs To Be Made On A Separate Basis - His Possession Of Biological And Chemical Weapons, His Desire To Get Nuclear Weapons, His Proven Track Record Of Attacking His Neighbors And Others." (CNN's "Late Edition," 8/4/02)

Bayh: "The Question Is, Do You Want Saddam Hussein Having Chemical Weapons, Having Biological Weapons, Possibly One Day Having A Nuclear Weapon? Do You Want To Have To Deal With That? And If The Answer Is No, Then What Do You Do About It And When Do You Do Something About It?" (CNN's "Live Event/Special," 12/1/01)

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE):

Biden: "First Of All, We Don't Know Exactly What He Has. ... We Know He Continues To Attempt To Gain Access To Additional Capability, Including Nuclear Capability. There Is A Real Debate How Far Off That Is, Whether It's A Matter Of Years Or Whether It's A Matter Of Less Than That, And So There's Much We Don't Know." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 8/4/02)

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM):

Richardson: "The Threat Of Nuclear Proliferation Is One Of The Big Challenges That We Have Now, Especially By States That Have Nuclear Weapons, Outlaw States Like Iraq." (ABC's "Good Morning America," 5/29/98)

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL):

Sen. Graham: "I Don't Know If I've Seen All The Evidence, But I've Seen Enough To Be Satisfied That There Has Been A Continuing Effort By Saddam Hussein Since The End Of The Gulf War, Particularly Since 1998, To Re-Establish And Enhance Iraq's Capacity Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Chemical, Biological And Nuclear." (CBS' "Face The Nation," 12/8/02)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL):

Durbin: "One Of The Most Compelling Threats We In This Country Face Today Is The Proliferation Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Threat Assessments Regularly Warn Us Of The Possibility That North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Or Some Other Nation May Acquire Or Develop Nuclear Weapons." (Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressional Record, 9/30/99, p. S11673)

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI):

Feingold: "With Regard To Iraq, I Agree, Iraq Presents A Genuine Threat, Especially In The Form Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Chemical, Biological, And Potentially Nuclear Weapons. I Agree That Saddam Hussein Is Exceptionally Dangerous And Brutal, If Not Uniquely So, As The President Argues." (Sen. Russell Feingold [D-WI], Congressional Record, 10/9/05, p. S10147)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL):

Nelson: "And My Own Personal View Is, I Think Saddam Has Chemical And Biological Weapons, And I Expect That He Is Trying To Develop A Nuclear Weapon. So At Some Point, We Might Have To Act Precipitously." (CNN's "Late Edition," 8/25/02)

Nelson: "Well, I Believe He Has Chemical And Biological Weapons. I Think He's Trying To Develop Nuclear Weapons. And The Fact That He Might Use Those Is A Considerable Threat To Us." (CNBC, "Tim Russert," 9/14/02)

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV):

Sen. Byrd: "The Last U.N. Weapons Inspectors Left Iraq In October Of 1998. We Are Confident That Saddam Hussein Retains Some Stockpiles Of Chemical And Biological Weapons, And That He Has Since Embarked On A Crash Course To Build Up His Chemical And Biological Warfare Capabilities. Intelligence Reports Indicate That He Is Seeking Nuclear Weapons ..." ("Threats And Responses," The New York Times, 10/4/02)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

Pelosi: "Others Have Talked About This Threat That Is Posed By Saddam Hussein. Yes, He Has Chemical Weapons, He Has Biological Weapons, He Is Trying To Get Nuclear Weapons." (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Congressional Record, 10/10/02, p. H7777)

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA):

Harman: "I Certainly Think [Saddam's] Developing Nuclear Capability, Which, Fortunately, The Israelis Set Back 20 Years Ago With Their Preemptive Attack, Which, In Hindsight, Looks Pretty Darn Good." (Fox News' "The Big Story," 8/27/02)

Former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO):

"Gephardt Said He's Seen 'A Large Body Of Intelligence Information Over A Long Time That He Is Working On And Has Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Before 1991, He Was Close To Having A Nuclear Device. Now, You'll Get A Debate About Whether It's One Year Away Or Five Or Six." (Morton M. Kondracke, "Gephardt Pushes Consensus Action Against Iraq Threat," Roll Call, 9/23/02)

Former Secretary Of State Madeline Albright:

Madeline Albright: "Iraq Is A Long Way From [Here], But What Happens There Matters A Great Deal Here, For The Risk That The Leaders Of A Rogue State Will Use Nuclear, Chemical Or Biological Weapons Against Us Or Our Allies Is The Greatest Security Threat We Face, And It Is A Threat Against Which We Must And Will Stand Firm." ("Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary Of Defense William Cohen And National Security Adviser Sandy Berger Participate In Town Hall Meeting," Federal News Service, 2/18/98)

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