By Jeff Key
Lance Corporal JEFF KEY, United States Marine and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, turned his experiences in Iraq, and his exit from the military, into a critically acclaimed one-man show, "The Eyes of Babylon." LA Weekly calls him "an unstoppable force" and Backstage West says he "could some day change the world."
U.S. Tour of Duty
September 11, 2005
I'm bedding down in Pittsburgh tonight in the home of two very nice and very patriotic Americans. I'm traveling with Cindy Sheehan as most of you know. We are flying to stops along all three of the bus tours. Yesterday was an awesome rally in Atlanta at Victory Church. There were hundreds there and I had a reunion with some of my Camp Casey buds. Ann Wright was there. She inspires me beyond words. Camp Casey would have fallen apart if it weren't for her intelligent and compassionate leadership. I tell you that woman should run for president. She'd sure get my vote. If you don't know who she is, she's the U.S. Ambassador and former Army Colonel who resigned her position in protest of the Iraq war. She knew early on what more and more Americans are waking up to: the corporate political empire that pulls the strings on that marionette cowboy currently squatting in the oval office led this nation into to the biggest threat to national security we have ever known on a pack of lies!
Some of the time I'm able to be more diplomatic about it. Even if the office was stolen, at least some of the people refer to him as the President of the United States and out of respect for that office I have held my tongue at least some of the time. Now I'm realizing that it's because I respect that office that it is my obligation to speak the truth. What is going on in New Orleans has brought up all my feelings about what went on in Florida. Racism is evil, on all levels and in every instance. I guess it's because of where and when I grew up that it's such a personal issue to me, and if you think that the federal government's piss-poor response to Katrina wouldn't have been a hell of a lot different if those people down there sitting on their roofs were pink and not brown, you musta been smokin' dat crack!
I'm sick to death of seeing the poor of this nation, of whatever color, sacrificed to the evil god of Greed. "One more dead nigger, who cares?'' By the thousands they come; poor blacks, Latinos having citizenship or the idea of patriotism dangled in front of them, and their poor white counterparts lured with the hope that the American dream can come true for them, too. They are lured with the prospect of a way up and out of the poverty that has been the only life they have ever known, in hopes that they too can have what they see others having and that they don't have to sell their souls to gang wars or drug dealing to get it. They walk into the recruiting offices with hope, and how do we thank them? By sending them into the meat grinder that makes money for the Halliburton Gang. I tell you it makes me sick.
What can we do to wake these people up? Let me tell you,they are waking up. Katrina, as much of a nightmare as she was to our southern coast, is going to prove to be a bigger nightmare for the neocons, because it is just one more indication of who matters in this country. Well I'm here to tell you that everyone matters! Everyone. Jesus said that whatever we do "to the least of these" we do to him. I'm not in the mood to let Jesus die in the flood waters of New Orleans or the sands of Iraq, and they can kill me for saying so, but this has got to stop! "One more dead nigger, who cares?" I care. I care! And as I travel across this great nation of ours, I'm meeting a whole lot of fine people who care as well. We care, and we are about to take back this nation's government and return it to the people to whom it belongs.