Speak for Yourself ...by Cindy Sheehan
While we were camping out in hot and humid Crawford, Texas last August, trying to meet with George Bush and trying to end the war, a right-wing organization called Move America Forward to oblivion?) started a bus tour called: Cindy, You Don't Speak for Me.
Move America Forward does some nice things, like sending coffee to our troops. It is unfortunate for the families of the almost 2300 killed troops that the organization doesn't send non-defective body armor, GPS devices, or IED jammers to save the lives of the troops that have been put in harm's way for the politicians' lies and cowardice and corporate greed. I think these things would be a little more useful than coffee.
Move America Forward has every right to exist and to express their views. However, the organization claims to be "...a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to supporting America's efforts to defeat terrorism and supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces." When in all actuality MAF supports George Bush's war of terror against the world and against America. And if Move America Forward is non-partisan, then I am the darling of the White House.
I truly don't believe that sending coffee to our troops and putting yellow "Support our Troops" magnets on cars is supporting the troops.
Coffee is good, I love coffee myself.
I just don't understand how sending our young and brave people off to die in a war that has been proven over and over again to be based on lies is supporting the troops.
I don't understand how cutting the VA budget and closing VA hospitals is supporting our veterans.
I don't understand how exposing our brave young people to depleted uranium, white phosphorous and enhanced napalm is supporting them. I don't understand how forcing our troops to use WMD's (and also conventional weapons) against innocent fellow members of the human race is supporting our troops.
Deborah Johns is a member of Move America Forward and as a mom who has a son in the Marines, is a vocal critic of mine and has been telling everyone that I don't speak for her for months. She in fact is planning a new "Cindy, You Don't Speak for Me" event in San Diego where I will be speaking on February 27th at the Thomas Jefferson Law School.
I have news for Deborah and for the rest of America and the world:
I never said I spoke for Deborah, or anyone else.
I speak for Cindy Sheehan. Only Cindy Sheehan.
I expect everyone else to speak for themselves. That is each and every one of our duties and responsibilities as Americans and human beings. I wish someone would show me anywhere that I said I ever spoke for anyone but myself.
Whether Deborah likes it or not, I don't want her son to die in this illegal and immoral war. With all my heart and soul, I do not want her to become a Gold Star Mom. Whether one supports the murder and mayhem (on both sides), or not, it is not a good thing. As a matter of fact, it is an indescribably awful and disordered thing to bury a child. I don't want anymore Gold Star Moms to be made by and for the chickenhawks who cower behind their desks and send other people's children off to fight their imaginary battles.
Deborah Johns blames "al Qaeda" for our military deaths (including Casey Sheehan's) in Iraq! Please, trust me, if I did speak for Ms. Johns her opinions would be more informed.
Casey was killed on April 04, 2004 by Shi'ite militia loyal to Moqtada al Sadr in Sadr City, Baghdad . Even George Bush says that most of the killing in Iraq is done by "Saddamists and rejectionists" and the terrorists are the "smallest" group. (Speech given by George Bush in December, 2005 in Philadelphia). There was no al-Qaeda operating in Iraq before the 2003 invasion by American forces. Saddam had no ties to al-Qaeda. As a matter of fact, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose somewhere.
However, Moqtada al-Sadr is another story. He fomented the rebellions in Fallujah and Baghdad in April of 2004 that killed many of our troops, including Casey and 11 others on the 4th. He is a Shi'a cleric who is an Iraqi by birth and citizenship. He is the leader of the Mahdi Army who killed Casey and so many other American soldiers. He is one of the 82% of Iraqi citizens who want the US out of Iraq and apparently one of the 49% who think that it is okay to kill Americans (Recent British Military poll). I don't think it is okay to kill Americans, for God's sake, Casey was killed. But I also don't think that it's okay to kill Iraqis, either. The killing is continuing because George Bush and his band of criminals invaded a country that was no threat to the United States of America. Now the war profiteering, warmongers are forcing our children to occupy a country that is now (thanks to BushCo) in the middle of a very bloody civil war. When is it going to stop?
I believe, along with thousands of members of such organizations as Military Families Speak Out , Veterans for Peace , Iraq Veterans Against the War , and Gold Star Families for Peace , that supporting the troops means bringing them out of this mess alive, whole and healthy.
We peace groups are struggling so hard and so tirelessly so that our brave young men and women walk off of the airplanes bringing them home to their families and not be unloaded from the cargo area in a cardboard box as Casey and so many others have been. Our brave troops that have been killed meaninglessly and senselessly were human beings who deserved to have wonderful, long, and productive lives: not baggage, or cannon fodder for our homicidal, out of control, misleaders.
Accusing the members of our peace organizations of not supporting the troops is patently manipulative and ridiculously false: we are the troops; we have children, spouses, and other relatives that are troops. We love the troops. We support them as we are calling for their immediate and safe withdrawal.
I encourage Deborah Johns and the others who have their own opinions and their own voices to speak for themselves…and not advertise who doesn't speak for them. I could list thousands…even millions of people who don't speak for me, and whom I don't speak for, but that is counter-productive.
Please speak for yourselves.
In these days of the stealing of our freedoms while telling us it keeps us safe, please speak for yourself.
In this dark hour of the suppresion of our civil rights, please speak for yourself.
In these inconceivable and horrifying times of our leaders committing crimes against humanity and inhumane torture, please speak for yourself.
If you speak for peace and justice, please speak louder and more often.
Cindy Sheehan is the proud mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was 24 when he was KIA in Sadr City, Iraq on 04/04/04. She is also the author of Not One More Mother's Child available at www.koabooks.com. Cindy is the founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace. Cindy is above all the very proud mother of Carly, Andy, and Janey Sheehan who hold down the fort in California.