Camp Casey, Day One
Peaceful Occupation of Crawford, Texas
by Cindy Sheehan
Sun Aug 7th, 2005 at 14:13:38 PDT
The first day of the beginning of the end of the occupation of Iraq.
Today we went into the belly of the beast in Crawford, Texas...and lived to tell about it.
On Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005, I had a brainstorm. I was so furious about the horrible loss of life, especially from the Marine National Guard unit from Ohio. I was also so heartbroken for the families who have been wrongfully left behind. Then to top off the indignity and profanity of the needless deaths, George Bush spoke out after the deaths and said 2 things that enraged me further:
"The families of the fallen can rest assured that your loved ones died for a noble cause."
"We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission."
The first statement is so blatantly false that it angered me for a couple of reasons. First of all, what is the noble cause? The cause changes at will when the previous cause has been proven a lie. Secondly, because many people in America, when they hear such drivel, allow themselves to be "assured." A lot of people heard that falsehood and said: "Whew, 14 Marines in one incident, that's bad, but the President said they died for a noble cause. We can get on with our consumering now."
George Bush has spewed the second filth many times and each time it upsets me more. As a mother, why would I want any other mother (American or Iraqi) to go through the same pain as I am suffering through? My son, Casey was an honorable man filled with an integrity rarely seen these days. I am sure that he would be appalled that George uses his death to justify continued killing. I am appalled that George exploits the senseless sacrifice of my family to justify his murderous policies in the Middle East. Also, does it bother anyone else that this man can take a 5 week vacation when our soldiers are suffering, dying and being maimed in Iraq? When innocent Iraqi people are being murdered everyday? When I will never be able to fully enjoy another vacation for the rest of my life?
So, I was so full of rage and feeling so helpless and like such a failure after all the work for peace that I have done. I was typing an email venting my rage when I had a brainstorm: I am going to Dallas for the Veterans for Peace convention, why don't I travel up to Crawford and confront George Bush? Why don't I go and demand answers to my questions. I deserve answers to my questions, it is Geroge's moral obligation as the man who is responsible for my son's death to see me. (Please, no emails telling me that he has no morals. I know that.) What did Casey and over 100,000 other wonderful human beings die for? What exactly is, George, the "noble cause?" And: I demand that you stop using my son's name and my family's sacrifice to continue your illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.
After I wrote this piece of inspired and impassioned prose, I put my contacts into the email address line and pressed send. That's how the peaceful occupation of Crawford, Tx. began.
We convoyed up to Crawford from the VFP convention Saturday morning. We had the Impeachment Tour Bus filled with 12 people. We had representatives on the bus from VFP (Veterans for Peace), IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War, VVAW (Vietnam Veterans against the War), and GSFP (Gold Star Families for Peace). By the time we got out near Bush's vacation home, we had about 40 cars following us.
The details of what we went through when we got to Crawford have been well-blogged. From having to walk in a ditch, to being blocked by the county sheriff's department for walking on the road, to the Deputy Chief of Staff and George's personal National Security Advisor coming out to try and b.s. us into submission, to the Secret Service continuously warning our overnight group that we were going to get run over and killed during the night.
After the initial action of trying to walk up to the ranch, we all went down to a shady place to set up our camp. We were trying to think of a name for our temporary home, when one of the men in IVAW suggested Camp Casey. So in honor of our fallen heroes, we dedicated the camp to the brave men and women who have had their lives ripped away from them by the greedy and power hungry people who rule our country.
The dozens of people who came out to support GSFP and the dozen or so who spent the night with me last night would like to tell America a few things:
We are not giving up until George talks to us.
We are humbled and grateful for the support and love we are getting from all over the world.
The beginning of the end of the occupation of Iraq was on August 6, 2005, and in of all places, Crawford, Tx.