Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Peace Movement

It has now been almost three weeks since Cindy’s vigil in Crawford began with a small group of people marching to the President’s ranch on that hot day in the ditch. Since that day so much has changed, not just at Camp Casey and not just the new Camp Casey II.

Cindy’s vigil has accomplished so much more than any of us on that day could have ever dreamed of.

What Cindy started that day, August 6, 2005 (remember this date) is something that will continue for a long time to come. America is finally starting to wake up from a long, deep sleep. The American people, whether they agree with the war and with Cindy or not, is starting to have an active, open, healthy public debate about this war. More and more people every day are becoming aware that there really is a war going on and that America’s sons and daughters are dying every single day. The Peace Movement is gaining a momentum is has not had since Viet Nam. The American media is starting to cover both sides more and more every day.

Moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles whose family members died in this war and who were previously afraid to say anything if they disagreed with the war are finding their voices and learning that it’s okay to disagree. It’s okay to voice for them to stand up and be heard and demand the answers they have not been getting. They are no longer alone.

This is what America is about, and I think that for too long Americans have forgotten that. It is the American way and the civic responsibility of every citizen of this country, to speak against the wrongs and to help make them right. It is our responsibility, as Americans, to make sure that our leaders act in ways that are responsible and are for the good of our country.

Our leaders, the politicians especially, need to listen up. Cindy and the rest of the Gold Star Families for Peace have started something. We are holding you, the leaders of this great country, responsible for your actions. We are demanding accountability from you and will no longer accept laziness and selfishness from you.

George Bush still hasn’t granted Cindy an audience and I doubt he ever will. He has a long track record of never listening to people who disagree with him, a record which has been well documented over the years. From his phony “town hall” meetings with hand picked audiences and scripted question and answer sessions to his speeches in front of the military (with captive audiences) and their families, also hand picked, as supporters. Yesterday’s speech in Idaho was a perfect example of that. Afterwards Bush met with family members whose loved ones have died in the war. This was only a publicity stunt carefully orchestrated to drum up support for his war. He does not meet with families who disagree with his policies of war, especially those who disagree with him publicly.

King George is running scared, and he should be. So should the rest of the politicians and corporations in this country who support his war mongering and are profiting from it.

One of the lessons our leaders have not learned very well is that if you are going to take our country to war and ask our sons and daughters to give their lives, the war had better be for a damn good reason. You had better be able to explain yourselves and your actions a lot better that King George has. Most of us know by know that 9/11 and terrorism have little to do with the war in Iraq. History has shown that King George wanted revenge on Saddam and he has plotted this revenge for years, even before he stole the election the first time.

Last week I got a condolence card from my own local Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, eighteen months after my son’s death. This is the first time I have heard from her and I can’t help but wonder, what was the hurry? Maybe she is only just now paying attention and learning there is a war going on and her constituents are dying. I don’t know.

The time for accountability is now. Keep the pressure on so we can get our answers and end this war. Our sons and daughters need to come home so they and their families can get on with their lives.

Peace & Solidarity,
Amy Branham
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith, US Army Reserves
Nov. 1981 , Feb. 2004
Houston, TX
Gold Star Families for Peace

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