Why I Fight
I really hate to use the language of the violent-patriarchy, but since my precious oldest child was killed in Iraq, I have been in the fight of my life. I consistently feel bruised and banged up by the system, but never defeated and never as mangled, spindled, torn and mutilated as I did when I found out my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq.
When I first started my quest for answers, justice and peace and I never a) thought it would take this long (that's how naïve I was) and, b) began the journey to make sense and meaning out of my son's death.
Even though honoring Casey's life and spirit will always be a primary motivating factor for my work, it has evolved into something much deeper.
When Casey was first killed in April of 2004, I blamed George Bush and I blamed Iraq. Even though I lived through the Vietnam stain, I was young and it only left me with a vague and nagging notion that this nation of ours was deeply flawed. When I received Casey's posthumous medals at his funeral with the "gratitude of a grateful nation," I really didn't know what to make of it-first of all, I wasn't feeling any gratitude and I wasn't sure what the "nation" should be "grateful" for-I never believed that the US was fighting for "freedom and democracy" for anybody in the Middle East, and the only people that unfortunately have a moral right to fight are the ones being occupied.
However, my mission has expanded from honoring Casey and struggling against Iraq and Afghanistan-to fighting for the survival of all of the children on this planet by fighting against the US Empire.
The fight is so personal to me having lost a child to the Empire, but now I have three grandbabies to fight for and my three grandbabies represent all of the babies of the world to me.
On Saturday, July 24th, the newest little Sheehan arrived: Cohen Andrew Sheehan was born to his mom, Jade, and my surviving son, Andrew. He joins his cousins Jonah and Jovie in my burgeoning Peace Tribe. Cohen weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs and 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long.
Everyone is doing fine-on with the struggle!
Hasta la Victoria, siempre!
The Casey Sheehan "End to War" Bill
I want to send the text of this proposed bill and a cover letter from me to every Congress Member and I want to visit a few who were a little more antiwar when Bush was president to see if this Bill can be introduced in Congress-do I think it has a chance? Probably not, but, hopefully, it will highlight the hypocrisy of the Empire sending our children to die for the profit and power mad elite.
Make a donation to help with postage and mailing materials for 535 + pieces of mail. The White House will get a special copy.
My son, Casey, joined the military in 2000, shortly before his 21st birthday, to help pay for college. He had already completed everything he could take at the local JC and was eager to move on-but he had a fulltime job, and even though we (his dad and I) helped out as much as we could, Casey also had three younger siblings and our family was firmly ensconced in the working-class.
Well, 16 months after he enlisted was September 11, 2001-and no matter what really happened that day-I had a horrible sense of foreboding that it would lead to my son's early death-and no matter how much I prayed, or cajoled him not to go, or worried-my worst fears were realized and Casey was killed just hours after arriving in Iraq on April 04, 2004.
There is no forced military conscription in the US today, but many will tell you that since forced conscription ended in 1973, there has been a "poverty draft." The poverty draft has only become more successful as the economy is tanking and our young people are finding less and less opportunity for work, or, as in Casey's case, to be able to afford college.
I have been finding it extremely difficult to find recruitment stats-I went to the DoD (Department of Defense) website and, although, the site claims the stats are published every month around the 10th, there are no such stats available for June or July. I did see many "The DoD identifies Army (Marine) Casualties-five just for today.
I found a story that was published in the Boston Globe from March of 2009 that states beginning in October of 2008, the military was exceeding their recruitment goals each month, mainly due to two factors: the economy and confidence in Obama's lies about Iraq.
So the beat goes on just like it always has: Poor people dying in rich men's wars-but now instead of being drafted, our kids are willingly joining to kill or be killed for a paycheck.
I am not going to elaborate on the mountains of evidence that the longest war (The Global War OF Terror) in US history is about profit, opening new markets for the globalists, controlling precious natural resources, etc-we have been over and over this. It was no coincidence that recently it was discovered that Afghanistan is chock-full of precious minerals-or that the only countries that are seriously threatened by the US War Machine are likewise endowed: Iran, Venezuela. Certain people and corporations are making a crap-load of money-as is the custom.
I am going to propose a piece of legislation that I would love to see introduced by a courageous member of Congress-not that I really believe it would happen, but this is my dream bill that I call:
The Casey Sheehan "End to War" Bill:
Immediately upon the president signing this bill into law, forced military conscription will begin.
The bill will have NO EXEMPTIONS to those who are eligible to the draft and the age limit is 18 to no upper limit. This bill seeks to draft those eligible from both genders and all gender and sexual preferences.
There will be very limited health exemptions as most people can perform a skill that is valuable to the military. As University is now open to all ages and attended by old and young alike, there will be no education exemptions. The draftees can resume or attend college when their stint in the armed forces is up. There will be no GI education benefits extended to the draftees, as they will be members of the wealthy of the US.
Citizens will be drafted in this order in the event of a Constitutionally declared war, or un-constitutionally started war, or any of these euphemisms (but not limited to) for war: police action, entanglement, theater, hostilities, occupation, special operations, interventions, cluster-fu@k, pacifications, war on drugs, peace-keeping, fighting for "freedom and democracy," etc:
The President and his/her Cabinet and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
Senators and Congress Members and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
CEO's of the Federal Reserve and Banks and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
CEO's of any company (including the media) that profit directly or indirectly from war and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
Anyone who by word or deed supports the entry into war, or any of the euphemisms associated with war, and their age appropriate dependents. This includes media pundits, male or female and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
Any citizen of the United States of America who does not fall into one of the above categories is categorically ineligible for this forced conscription draft.
This bill will also provide college tuition grants to anyone who does not fall into one of the above categories and who wishes to go to college-without having to join the military.
You may wonder who will "run" the country during time of war, but I can guarantee you if this bill miraculously was signed into law, war would immediately cease to exist. In a legitimate case of self-defense, every citizen of this country who is age-appropriate should enlist-but when was the last time this nation was in a war that wasn't about protecting its citizens, but protecting or stealing wealth?
Anyone know a legislator who will introduce the Casey Sheehan "End to War" Bill? Seriously, if a president feels so strongly about his wars of choice, then he and his closest allies and families should be fighting them. Also, if Congress feels strongly enough to fund these wars, then they and their closest allies and friends should also fight them.
No more of OUR blood for THEIR profit. Even in the "off" chance that this bill does not get signed into Federal law, we should do everything we can as parents, educators, community leaders and peace advocates to keep our young people from dying for the people who are mandatory draftees under The Casey Sheehan "End to War" Bill.
LISTEN TO CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX--
GO TO THE ARCHIVES FOR SOME GREAT SHOWS.
YESTERDAY, WE POSTED A SHOW WITH JOHN BURRIS--CIVIL RIGHTS' ATTORNEY AND ATTORNEY FOR OSCAR GRANT'S MOM, WANDA JOHNSON.