01/09/2006

The Opposite of Good is Apathy ...a message from Cindy Sheehan

"The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead." William Lloyd Garrison

The apathy of most of America is stunning and appalling to me. When I found this quote I was filled with wide-eyed wonder that there is one statue left in America complete with statue, or one grave or tomb still occupied. On October 26th, as MoveOn.org was holding its candlelight vigils across the country to mourn the death of the 2000th American soldier in Iraq, I, and two dozen others, were being arrested in front of the White House protesting the carnage done in our name by the illegitimate residents therein.

Now, counting the 11 American soldiers who were pointlessly killed in George's unconscionable and brainless war of terror in the Middle East, the American "official" (?) death toll is up to 2193: 200 more families ruined in less than three months! My son, Casey, was in the first 1000 to be killed in Iraq. We reached that dismal mark by September 2004. MoveOn.org conducted candlelight vigils for that occasion. Then a little over a year later, MoveOn.org conducted candlelight vigils to commemorate the 2000th soldier. If we don't get off of our collective apathetic and complacent backsides to stop the barbaric killing in Iraq, when will the next candlelight vigil be? George Bush and the evil neocons are killing our precious soldiers at the rate of 2.78 per day. By my calculations, we should be lighting our candles again and singing "Kumbaya" by October.

This article is not intended to be an indictment of MoveOn.org which does some amazing work and were big supporters of Camp Casey. But my point is this, America: the longer we let the illegitimate pretender to the White House and his conniving and callous gang of co-conspirators to continue, the more our collective humanity is damaged. Apparently, candlelight vigils do very little to stop, or even slow down a little, the carnage committed by the war criminals in DC.

Then we have the unfortunate innocents of Iraq. I have heard reports of up to as many as 200 of them killed yesterday. So if 200 were reported, one has to really wonder what the true count was. Bill O'Reilly and George Bush define a terrorist as someone who "kills innocent men, women and children." Am I the only one who sees the irony and stunning hypocrisy in this statement?" Who do Bill and George think are being killed in Iraq? Well-trained and an organized Army? Terrorists? We all know that is false. This is who is being killed in Iraq: living breathing human beings, identical to Americans, or any other human beings on earth, who are just trying to go about their lives trying to survive in a war torn country that was no threat to America or our way of life.

"I would say 30,000 more or less have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis," said George on December 12, 2005. Even if one accepts this very low guess-ti-mate by George, his policies have been responsible for ten times the 3000 deaths on September 11, 2001. By his own admission, he is ten times the terrorist that Osama ever was. If George says 30,000…who knows what the truthful total is. It fills me with sorrow and hurts my heart to even contemplate the number.

America: this is what you are allowing your government to do in your name:
Detain and torture prisoners without due process. Use chemical weapons on other members of humanity. Spy on Americans without a court order (I hope my conversations put them in a coma of boredom). Carpet bomb cities filled with human beings like yourselves. Destroy the infrastructure of other countries. Destroy the infrastructure of American cities. Cut taxes on the rich while pouring money and blood into the thirsty sands of the Middle East. Decimate our treasury. Rape the environment. Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.

Hillary Clinton told me that the "wheels of government grind slowly." This is a tired cliché and it is unacceptable blather while the war machine is grinding the bones of our children. (quite fast, superfast actually, I might add) It is time for us wide awake Americans to make our elected officials speed up the timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. If I hear one more rendition of "We Shall Overcome" and then watch the vigilers or marchers go home and turn on their TV's and crack open a brewsky content in the fact that they have done something for peace that day, I am going to scream! We can't overcome unless we take the proverbial bull by the horns and overcome! Hold your vigils and marches in relevant places: such as warmongering local Congressional offices. So many Senators and Congresspeople come to mind. Or in front of a recruiting station. Or Federal Buildings. Or military bases. Then instead of going home and cracking open a beer, or uncorking a bottle of wine, sit down and say "we aren't leaving until you call for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq." Put your butt on the line for humanity.

Change will not happen until we make it happen. We can't make change happen by wishing or praying that it will happen. We actually have to do something.

Cindy Sheehan is a co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace www.gsfp.org and the author of Not One More Mothers Child available at www.koabooks.com

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