Archive for March, 2007

Not a Police State?

March 27, 2007

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Read here about Ann’s interesting experience with the Capitol police and a Congressman.

Ann Wright:
Why a Congressman Paid the
Fine for My Arrest in Congress

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Contrasts

March 27, 2007

What strikes me about the internal communications from the Bush regime about the firings of the federal prosecutors is the complete absense of consideration of the good of the people.   The only considerations are about being in power.

Of course, there is also the underlying and unspoken problem of the investigations of some of these prosecutors into matters that would probably have gone further into not only the Republican party but the Bush administration. 

Further yet is the matter of the possibility of Bush and Gonzales themselves being subject to prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  And, not just Bush and Gonzales but Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and many others now or formerly in this administration. 

I long for the time when internal government communications were about the work of moving forward the good of the people.  I long for discourse on issues of substance.  This is worse than listening to the Nixon tapes with all the scatalogical and profane language, which was certainly shocking enough.  This is worse, this conniving and pitching and contortion of the facts from an administration that has tortured and killed in addition to bullying and extorting money, and now seeks to protect itself. 

In sharp contrast there are the words of Bill Moyers, who was a member of a previous administration that had its faults but that could never be accused of not working for the good of the American people as its members understood that good.  Moyers says:

I want to talk about what democracy bestows on us, the revolutionary idea that democracy is not just about the means of governance but the means of dignifying people so they become fully free to claim their moral and political agency. “I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being” – those are the words of our 28th president, Woodrow Wilson.

And further Moyers says:

In his now-forgotten political testament called The New Freedom, Wilson described his reformism in plain English no one could fail to understand: “The laws of this country do not prevent the strong from crushing the week.” He wrote: “Don’t deceive yourselves for a moment as to the power of great interests which now dominate our development… There are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States. They are going to own it if they can.” And he warned: “There is no salvation in the pitiful condescensions of industrial masters… prosperity guaranteed by trustees has no prospect of endurance.”

    Now Wilson took his stand at the center of power – the presidency itself – and from his stand came progressive income taxation, the federal estate tax, tariff reform, the challenge to great monopolies and trusts, and, most important, a resolute spirit “to deal with the new and subtle tyrannies according to their deserts.”

    How we need that spirit today! When Woodrow Wilson spoke of democracy releasing the energies of every human being, he was declaring that we cannot leave our destiny to politicians, elites, and experts; either we take democracy into our own hands, or others will take democracy from us.

    We do not have much time. Our political system is melting down, right here where you live.

Moyers goes on to talk about how the privileged in this country are often not bad people, but they are limited; they are not interested in the lives of others and not in the public good.  They live, he reminds us, in gated communities with private security, drink bottled water, send their children to private schools.  They are not interested in basic services like potable water, police, and public education. 

I need the antidote of words like Moyers’.  If you do, too, you can read this complete speech at:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032407C.shtml

3223

March 20, 2007

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Spc Jonathan Smith 19 Atlanta GA
Cpl Nathanial Windsor 20 Scappoose OR
Sgt Robert Carr 22 Warren OH
Pvt Alberto Garcia Jr 23 Bakersfield CA
Pvt Angel Rosa 21 Portland ME
Cpl Brian Chevalier 21 Georgia
Spc Adam Rosema 27 Pasadena CA
Spc Stephen Kowalczyk 32 San Diego CA
Cpl Steven Chavez Hondo NM
Spc Forrest Waterbury 25 Richmond TX
Spc Joshua Boyd 30 Seattle WA
Cpl Raymond Holzhauer 19 Dwight IL
Sgt Blake Harris 27 Hampton GA
Sgt Terry Prater 25 Speedwell TN
Sgt Emerson Brand 29 Rigby ID
Pvt James Arnold 21 Mattawan MI
Sgt John Stephens 41 San Antonio TX
Sgt Christopher Brevard 31 Phoenix AZ
Sgt Benjamin Sebban 29 Sebban TN
Sgt Nimo Tauala 29 Honolulu HI
Cpl Harry Timberman 20 Minong WI
Pvt Anthony Kaiser 27 Narrowsburg NY
Spc Marieo Guerrero 30 Fort Worth TX

58 were seriously wounded and maimed.
60 wounded were returned to kill fields.

308 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.

CAMP CASEY EASTER 2007

March 12, 2007

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Dear Friends
 
We can relax now. From the war zone of Crawford, Texas, George said that we families of loved ones that have been killed in Iraq can: “rest assured that your loved ones died for a noble cause.”

I am going to be in Dallas this weekend for the VFP convention, and I don’t care how far Crawford is from Dallas, I am going to that expletive deleted ranch. I will not leave until he explains to me exactly what the noble cause is. I hope some VFP’s will join me in the crusade to Crawford. If they don’t, I know my sister will, and we will go alone if we have to.
 
It has to stop. The time is now. I mean it.
 
Peace soon,
Cindy Sheehan
 
This is the email that I sent to a group of about 300 people the day that 14 Marines from a reserve unit in Ohio were killed. I was upset. I was heartbroken. I was frustrated, but most of all, I was angry!
 
After I sent the email, which felt so good and right, I went to a meeting in Sacramento for Sacramentans for Democracy. On the way there, I called my sister and told her that we were going to Crawford. She said: “Okay.” Then I called Andrea Buffa from Global Exchange and CODEPINK and asked her to help me with media. She said: “Okay, woman.” Then I called fellow Gold Star Mother, Amy Branham, who lives in Houston and was meeting me at the VFP yearly convention, where I was speaking as one of the main speakers, and told her we were going to Crawford and she said: “Hell, yeah!”
 
When I returned home from the meeting, my AOL mailbox was clogged with emails. My email had apparently been forwarded around the world. The excitement and support overwhelmed me. One of the emails was from a stranger, Hadi Jawad, who said that he was a member of the Crawford Peace House and that they would give me any logistical support that they could. I had never even heard of the Peace House…I thought “what a fabulous idea!” I welcomed the help, but little did Hadi, or I know what an enormous task that help would turn out to be.
 
My sister, and Gold Star Auntie, Dede and I did not have to go alone. We finally walked up Prairie Chapel Road on August 6th, with about 100 people and 75 members of the media. The rest is, as they say, history!
 
Nine soldiers, nine of our nation’s misled and misused children, nine more were sent to meet their makers far too early today by the same man that I went to confront on that very hot August day. In Baghdad, they are still digging bodies out of the rubble of a car bomb at a book market. Dozens were killed. I am still upset. I am still heartbroken. I am still frustrated. And I am still angry. Even though our country has awakened to the fact that the occupation of Iraq is a quagmire that was fueled by deception, incompetence, and greed. However, the killing continues, and even yes, escalates seemingly unabated.
 
What will be the flash point for the 77% of our citizenry who think that our nation is insanely skipping down the wrong path to get them our of their shadow lives where food, drink, shelter and comfort is plentiful, and get them on the streets to save our soldiers and the people of Iraq who don’t have the barest of necessities, let alone any luxuries.
 
Camp Casey in Summer ’05 turned out to be the factor that turned the lies upside down and shook up a country that hated the war but had no idea what to do about it. I am hoping that Camp Casey, Easter ’07, will be the factor that shows our country the way our of Iraq and towards true peace.
 
As always, everyone is invited, welcomed and needed. Our first annual Camp Casey Peace Awards will be presented in Austin on April 5. This year’s recipients are: Willie and Annie Nelson, Jodie Evans and CODEPINK, Ann Wright and Veterans for Peace and the Crawford Peace House. Ava Lowery from PeaceTakesCourage will be honored with a two thousand dollar scholarship and the Casey Sheehan Young Peace Activist Award. We will have workshops on non-violent conflict resolution, an imPEACHment panel (with David Swanson from ImpeachBushandCheney.org and Debra Sweet from WCW, Col Ann Wright and myself) and events (an imPEACHment cobbler baking contest). As usual, we will have rockin’ entertainment.
 
Last Easter was the most glorious Easter that I have spent since my children were little and hunted for their baskets. It was certainly the best Easter since Casey was killed on Palm Sunday in 2004. This upcoming Easter, we will be honored to have our services provided to us by Rev. Lennox Yearwood and his Hip Hop Caucus.
 
Easter is the best time in Crawford the days and nights are mild and the sunrises and sunsets are the most beautiful.
 
When will the killing end? When we stand up to make it stop.
 
Go to The Camp Casey Peace Institute for more info or to donate.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush’s war of terror on 04/04/04.
She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute.

3185

March 7, 2007

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Those who died in Iraq from Feb 25 to Mar 3:

Cpl Anthony Aguirre 20 Channelview TX
Sgt William Beardsley 25 Coon Rapids MN
Cpl Lorne Henry Jr 21 Niagara Falls NY
Sgt Richard Soukenka 30 Oceanside NY
Spc Jonathan Cadavero 24 Takoma MD
Pvt Daniel Coffey 21 Exeter UK
Sgt Karl Soto-Pinedo 22 San Juan PR
Pvt Kenny Van Slyke 22 Bay City MI
Sgt Chad Allen 25 Maple Lake MN
Mdc Luke Emch 21 Kent OH
Sgt Dustin Gould 28 Longmont CO
Spc Luis Contrera 22 Allentown PA
Sgt Paul Latourney 28 Roselle IL
Pvt Wesley Williams 23 Philadelphia PA
Ltn Morgan Tulang 36 Hilo HI
Spc Christopher Young 20 Los Angeles CA
Sgt Brandon Parr Valley City UT
Cpl Raul Bravo 21 Elko NV
Pvt Jonathan Wysocan 21 Biddulph UK

26 were seriously wounded.
82 were returned to kill fields.

497 Iraqi sisters and brothers were killed.