The Dangerous Gold Star Families
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan
Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld continues to astound us Gold Star Families with his heartlessness, callousness and disrespect in the faces of our children who are being killed in the mindless invasion and occupation of Iraq.
I am one of the founding members of a group called Gold Star Families for Peace. Some of us families who have lost loved ones in this illegal and immoral war in Iraq have organized to use our collective voices to bring the tragedy of war to the fore front of America's hearts and souls like it so tragically is in ours. We families are amazed that so few of our fellow citizens are touched by the horrors of the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country. It seems to us like the only people who are asked to sacrifice anything for the war effort are our brave young men and women fighting this so-called war and their families. There are some families in our nation like us, that have paid the ultimate price for the lies and betrayals of this current administration.
I, and some other Gold Star Families, have been writing and calling the Department of Defense for over three weeks. We were all meeting in DC to protest the inauguration and we thought it would be a good time to meet with Donald Rumsfeld. We have many questions to ask him about our loved ones' deaths and we deserve to have some answers. I think it is our right as Americans and grieving families to have these answers. For example, why were the children of this country sent to fight a war without the proper training, equipment or armor? Why were our children sent to fight a war that had no basis in reality? Why are American children still over there fighting a war, and dying in a war, when all the reasons for the war have been proven false? When is this administration going to bring the rest of our children home before it's too late for their families?
If we were granted an audience with him, we didn't really expect Mr. Rumsfeld to be truthful with us or even polite to us considering his past history of being so sarcastically untruthful and blatantly rude. The real reason I wanted to meet with Rumsfeld was so he could see the face of my son, Spc Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Sadr City on 04/04/04. I wanted him to look me in the face and see my red swollen eyes and to see all the lines that grief has etched. I wanted him to see the unbearable pain his ignorance and arrogance has caused me and my family. I wanted him to know that his actions have terrible consequences.
Our letters, phone calls, faxes, and e-mails to the Pentagon were to no avail: we received no response. So in conjunction with Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) we decided to go to the Pentagon and try and meet with someone, anyone. We were met at the parking lot by a couple of dozen of police officers blocking our way. We were told that we weren't allowed to go into the Pentagon because we didn't go through the proper protocol to request a meeting!!
I find it so ironic that with all the tight security for the events in DC this week that enough time and energy was mustered to stop families in mourning so forcefully at the Pentagon. I also find it ironic that if I were a wealthy Republican who had donated large sums of money for the "re"-election of the President, I could have had access to all the big wigs at the lavish parties -- but I, whose son paid the ultimate price of his precious life to this country, can't even get within a half of a mile from the man who sent him to die.
We Gold Star Families for Peace are not giving up the fight to hold someone in this administration accountable for the quagmire in Iraq and the more important struggle to bring the rest of our children home from this devastating occupation now. It takes most of our energy just to get out of our beds in the morning and mourn our horrific losses. We need all Americans to wake up and start lobbying their elected officials for an end to this immorality in Iraq and to join our voices in protest.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION