CS: Cindy Sheehan
CM: Cynthia McKinney
CS: Welcome back to Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox. I am your host Cindy Sheehan and you are listening at CindySheehansSoapbox.com.
I am recording this from a faculty member’s office at Dominican University in a suburb of Chicago Illinois. I am going to be speaking there as soon as I finish recording our conversation and interview at Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.
I am speaking to the students and the subject is called women in the Peace Movement. I am also supposed to talk about the case of the Cuban 5 and I am writing an article about that that I am going to post at Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox blogspot. I am also going to talk about Cuban American relations. I just found out something very exciting. I probably will be going back to Cuba next month to do a colloquium around the Cuban 5 in Holguin, Cuba. Cuba is a country and a subject that is very near and dear to my heart.
Today we are going to be speaking to somebody who is also near and dear to my heart and a very good friend of mine. A very courageous woman. A friend of Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox and probably somebody you consider a friend whether you’ve met her or not and somebody who is to me always on the side of peace and justice.
Our guest today is ex-congresswoman from the state of Georgia Cynthia McKinney.
Cynthia McKinney, welcome back to Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.
CM: I know it’s been too long Cindy I have been missing you.
CS: Well you’ve been extremely busy, well we’ve both been busy but you’ve been extraordinarily busy in the past few months haven’t you? Tell my listeners, I think most of my listeners know what you’ve been up to, but tell them about your grueling schedule since you returned from Libya.
CM: Well oh my goodness. I went on a tour and it just kept expanding so I think the final count was 29 cities in about 40 days.
CM: So it was literally amazing. The reason it was like in 30 days I had to take a week out because I started a PHD program and I actually had to do some work.
The reason that I have been sort of low key is of course that I got very behind in my work and I have been putting my nose literally to the grindstone to make sure that I get all of my work done so that eventually maybe I can get back out on the road. But you caught me at a very interesting time because all of the, this is the first day actually that I have had to unpack and to wash my clothes and repack. Then go through the mountain of materials that people gave me along the tour. So the message is, if you haven’t heard from me it is coming. Those of you who were there with me on the tour and gave me a packet of information or gave me your card and told me to get back to you that is what I am in the process of doing literally right now.
When you called me Cindy that’s what I was doing going through everything so I can make the contact and reconnect with the people. Literally thousands of people in the 29 cities that included three cities in Canada. Every venue was a standing room only crowd and the reason I believe is because by now the people have clearly understood that they cannot rely on what they see on the television, what they hear over the airwaves. They can’t rely on that and they have to search for other opportunities to hear what’s going on. And then hopefully what they will do is weigh the two and then make their own minds up.
CS: I saw you when you were out on your tour to a really overflow crowd in San Francisco. Part of the people that were there were criticizing you and were saying that your report was false and I am here in Chicago, like I said, and the person who is driving me around saw you when you were in this area and said the same thing happened. What do you think was behind those people? Who do you think were behind those people? Who do you think was behind their coming out basically saying what you were saying was false: that the rebels are heroic revolutionaries and Gadhaffi is public enemy number one around the world. What do you think was behind that?
CM: Well it’s very interesting. There are some people have legitimate grievances with government. It would have legitimate grievances with the Jamahiriya. And I would caution you Cindy that Libya is 6 ½ million people, it’s not one person. So when we talk about Gadhaffi let’s also recognize that there is a system of government there that is larger than one person. So now if there are legitimate grievances I think the way to deal with those legitimate grievances is in the international arena, the international court system. But I have grievances. Look I am from the state of Georgia and we just murdered an innocent boy. I would never call France and Britain to come and bomb my country and use depleted uranium in my country if I had legitimate grievances. I believe that my grievances against the United States are legitimate. But we use a different way to exercise our right and attempt to get heard.
So these people, first of all, they called in depleted uranium, helicopter gun ships, no telling what other kinds of weapons caused the wounds that I saw when I was at the hospital. It looked like the weapons that were used against the people of Gaza that are called dime weapons, which is a new kind of weaponry. So that is what was going on when I was there.
Now of course the situation is far worse and Libya has been completely destroyed. Completely destroyed in the way that Iraq was completely destroyed, Afghanistan completely destroyed. Pakistan, well on it way to being destroyed as a political entity unless the people of Pakistan stand up and say no to NATO led by the United States which has a plan to engulf Pakistan in confusion, chaos and ultimately a loss of control from the people.
Unfortunately now what I have been told by the people I have been in contact with who I was there with, they told me that Tripoli, you would not recognize Tripoli and that saddens me because if you can imagine Tripoli has a million and a half people and they’re dropping bombs as people are driving to work or whatever, they’re dropping bombs.
The partners they were called, the African migrants who had come to Libya because Libya gave them the opportunity to work in dignity and to raise their families and to send their remittances back home so that their families back home could live in a modicum of dignity. Those people were and still are the ones that were there are no longer there at least in the way were, at least the group that I am about to mention. They gathered at Bob Alazeeba and there was one Libyan who was in, he was abroad. He was a dentist and he decided when all this happened he would come back and he served as my translator, my interpreter when I would go into Bob Alazeeba to see what was going on. They would have a party every night and when NATO sent those bombs into Bob Alazeeba they were bombing innocent people. Some of those people, the crowds began to grow because as more and more people became homeless due to the bombing they would set up their tents and they would also join what started out as the Partners who had come and these are largely Africans from other parts of the continent who were so loyal to the opportunity that they had been given to live with a modicum of dignity that they said they would stay there instead of going back home. So they stayed at Bob Alazeeba and they would have the drummers come out and they would dance and chant and do whatever. And this went on every night and every night NATO would bomb. Then NATO bombed them. NATO didn’t bomb beside them. NATO bombed them! Just about a week and a half ago two weeks ago I got a message that the dentist who used to perform my translations for me is no longer answering his cell phone he’s probably dead.
CS: Oh, that’s terrible.
CM: I am just beside myself with outrage at people who want to reduce criminal behavior to opposition to a political figure. There are people who dislike me intensely.
CS: Um Huh. I know the feeling.
CM: And there one of them was a journalist. I have to tell this story. This journalist who said on his show that I should be lynched. This was during when I was in congress. I had become accustomed to this kind of thing. My staff read this and they were stunned, they were horrified. They went to the FBI. They reported this to the FBI. Now only to find out about 3 years later when he was being prosecuted for making some threats against some white politicians, but he got prosecuted for that, what we learned was that he was on the FBI payroll and he was being paid to make those statements against me. That’s why there was no recourse when we went to the FBI. So even in a situation like that, I would never say let’s go bomb my opponent. It’s not the way I think. But these people have decided they want to destroy their country and fill it with the residue, the remains of depleted uranium and you know what that does genetically, so that they can have their country.
Now I have teamed up with some independent journalist who were among the last to leave and I am hoping that we can have Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya on your show.
CS: Yeah, right. We are trying to work that out.
CM: The last piece that he wrote was extremely instructive because people want to talk about one person. Let’s talk about one person but let’s talk about the one person who went to Geneva and said that 10,000 I think the number is actually 6,000 that were killed. What Mahdi pierces so carefully is that there is no evidence there was never any evidence.
CS: And the person that was there said Gadhaffi killed 6,000 people.
CM: There was never any evidence and in fact I don’t want to tell everything that went into the process of doing. But it is clear that the human rights commissioners also understood that there was no evidence. Mahdi has listed the names of the so called human rights organizations that signed on to the letter of this particular Libyan person. If you looked through the list if you were not a questioning person you would say oh my goodness this is authoritative we have to do something. But anyone of responsibility should’ve asked, where’s the evidence? There was never any evidence.
Now this is eerily similar to the testimony of an Italian who was in the European parliament right after September 11th happened and he has since gone on to do a film, to write a book about his experience. But right after the September 11th attacks happened a ministerial meeting was held of NATO and of course you know NATO is a collective of security organizations which means that an attack against one can be an attack against all if the relevant articles are evoked and this ministerial level meeting right after September 11th was to invoke the collective security agreement. What this Italian member of the European Parliament tells me and all of us in his testimony is that the United States said we have been attacked, we’ve got the evidence, we know who did it but we can tell you, we can’t show it to you, we can’t share it with you but we want you to attack Afghanistan. And on the basis of no evidence once again, NATO is doing what it was doing 10 years later in Afghanistan it spread it now to Pakistan.
CS: Well I was listening to an interview you and Madhi did with KPFK in Los Angeles and they played something that Wesley Clarke I believe it was Wesley Clarke who was the former commander of NATO who said that there was a list of countries that the US was going to invade and it was after they were bombing Afghanistan but before the invasion of Iraq. Of course Iraq was on it, Syria and Libya were on that list. So this has all been premeditated many years ago. Not only that but recently the UN has recognized the transitional government in Libya as the legitimate government while refusing to recognize an independent Palestinian state.
CM: Well you know my undergraduate from the University of California was international relations. I have my bachelor’s degree in international relations. My master’s degree from the Fletcher school of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, which is a school for study in international affairs. I am an internationalist and of course now a globalist.
CS: But not in a bad way.
CM: Not in a bad way, that’s right. But now and I have honestly I have believed in the United Nations but not any more.
CM: Not any more. I saw what the United Nations was supposed to do.
Actually my first involvement with what the UN was supposed to do was Rwanda. But prior to Rwanda there was East Timor. So I have seen the failings of the United Nations of course now we can list amongst the failings, we can list Haiti as an abject failure and it was the UN that brought in the cholera and no reparations have ever been paid Haitian people for that.
The United Nations peacekeepers go around the world and with them go all the vices known to human kind. So not anymore, not anymore.
The United Nations has become a tool from the aspect of justice. So apparently as I have traveled I’ve noticed there is a kind of apartheid around the world. Now that apartheid even extends into the global economy, administration of justice, culture such that there was a time that the United Nations I really believed that the United Nations was there to protect people, protect cultures, to protect. But not anymore I don’t believe it. So I think that as we look for new structures to promote peace, to promote our values the United Nations is one of those structures whose time has come and gone.
CS: You know Cynthia when the UN first passed the resolution of the no fly zone in Libya I sent out an e-mail to my supporters and I said, "you all know that a no fly zone is just code for we are going to begin bombing soon." And it was just a few days. As a matter of fact it was the anniversary of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Obama administration starting bombing Libya and of course there was no congressional approval of that.
This is going to be my last question because we only have a few minutes left. Some people dropped me and people unsubscribed from my e-mail list because they said that I don’t care about the people of Libya. What has this UN resolution and the resulting US/NATO bombing of Libya, has it helped the people of Libya in anyway? Was it wrong for me to be concerned if NATO and the US was going to be beginning a bombing campaign in Libya?
CM: You should never be concerned Cindy when human life is at stake and the war machine of the United States and its allies are revving up for action. You should never be sad that you were alert. This matter of the bombing of Libya the destruction, the total destruction of a country is not about one man. But it is about one person. It’s about each one of us and what it is that we truly value. I am deeply disappointed in the people who call themselves a part of the progressive community and who support what I saw in Libya.
CS: Right. I can’t believe that we are already out of time and I have to run over to the lecture hall now and give a talk to the students here at Dominican. Do you have a website that my listeners can read a copy of Mahdi’s latest article?
CM: The article is located at wbaix.org I believe. You know that’s really pitiful. I’m sure it’s at GlobalResearch.ca.
CS: I’ll also be putting a link on my website to that article. And how can my listeners add to your burden and get a hold of you?
CM: I’m always available at Cynthia@runcynthiarun.org and then of course the relevant Face Book and dignity but there’s facebook and Twitter by my name or Run Cynthia Run so people can find me on the internet.
CS: Cynthia as always thank you for your courage and thank you for always being on the right side of issues or at least on the good side of issues.
CM: That’s right. I am always on the people’s side.
CS: And the Peace and Justice side. We can always count on you to be on that side. Good luck with your studies.
CM: Thank you.
CS: Okay we love you a lot at Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox. So keep up the good work.
CM: Okay, bye-bye.
Thanks to my sister, Dede Miller, for doing the transcribing and the show can be heard at this link.
Thanks to my sister, Dede Miller, for doing the transcribing and the show can be heard at this link.