Monday, January 31, 2011

Stuck in Stage Two by Cindy Sheehan

Iraqi Mother and Son--Nameless to us.
Casey Sheehan, not just a number.

The 5 Stages of Grief:
1)   Denial
2)   Anger
3)   Bargaining
4)   Depression
5)   Acceptance

In 1969, Swiss psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a groundbreaking book called: On Death and Dying. The five stages of grief listed above are called the Kubler-Ross Model and were originally designated for people who were diagnosed with a terminal illness but were extended to anyone who has suffered a major loss such as: losing a limb, losing freedom, or a death of a close loved one.
Subsequent studies have shown that most people suffering such a profound tragedy go through at least two of these stages, some go through all, few go through in the order the stages are listed, there is no set time-frame, but the theory is, each “griever” finally reaches the final stage of “acceptance.”
As most of you who are reading this know, my son was killed on April 04, 2004, in the US’s illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. He was a US soldier who enlisted to not only get college benefits, but also for some kind of misguided idea that he would be performing some kind of valuable service for his country. So far, in almost seven years of my grief, I have experienced the first two listed stages.
When we were informed by the military that Casey was killed in action in Baghdad on Palm Sunday that year, my “denial” stage lasted as long as I laid on our living room floor screaming, “Nooooooooo, nooooooooo, nooooooooo, not Casey,” over and over. It felt like an eternity, but it was probably only a couple of minutes. I don’t know, but I am surprised I didn’t burst capillaries in my brain, heart or lungs after that episode. Since about 9:05 PM on that day, I have been stuck in stage two: Anger.
The Anger stage of grieving can manifest itself in many ways. One can be angry with oneself for a stupid lifestyle choice that led to an illness or incapacitation. One can be angry with the loved one for his/her choices that led to death. I have never been angry with Casey—I have been angry with myself for not trying harder to stop him from enlisting or going to Iraq. In this stage it is very common to place blame. Besides blaming myself, (and my prison is the hell of living the rest of my life knowing I failed my son who died too early before he could really even live), I blame the rotten system here in the USA. At first, all my anger and recrimination was focused on the Bush administration, but as my knowledge and experience expanded, I realized that there was enough blame to go around: war profiteers, the media, the banksters, Congress, greed, the apathy of the average US citizen, etc.
So, after almost seven years, why am I stuck in the Anger stage? I haven’t even gone through the depression stage and my oldest son was killed. I get up every day and mostly greet each day with the gusto of having a purpose greater than myself. There have been days, especially in the first year, when I felt that the pain was so overwhelming and unbearable that I would walk aimlessly around the house just picking up things and putting them down with tears streaming from my eyes. I spent hours journaling at Casey’s grave trying to make sense out of something that was so disordered, violent, and senseless. But I have never been depressed. Down, sad, wracked with pain, but not depressed.
As an introspective person, I think there are two major reasons I am stuck in Anger—first of all; my grief extends to every single person who has been killed in these Imperial wars for profit. My dear son wasn’t the first one killed by US violence and the killing hasn’t stopped. Violence perpetrated by the US is a daily occurrence and the wound that was opened on 04/04/04 can’t even scab over. That’s why this piece is relevant in general, not just specifically to me. Millions of people have been killed, wounded, displaced or otherwise traumatized since 9/11/01. Casey’s murder is literally just a teardrop in an ocean of global grief caused by the lies and crimes that led to so much heartache.
The second reason that I am stuck in Anger is that, even though the culprits for this pain have been self-identified, there has been no justice delivered. 
My son was killed. Casey didn’t die of natural causes or by accident. He was deliberately put into harms’ way and many people in the Bush administration have incriminated themselves, or others, by admitting that Saddam had no WMD, or lying and saying that they never said he did. Cheney has even said that he never implicated that Saddam was connected to 9/11, and are now trumpeting some myth of a “free Iraq.”
From Cheney having pre-invasion meetings with oil execs, to Condi having meetings with foreign diplomats saying that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"(Downing Street Minutes) of invading Iraq, to George Bush even admitting in his recent book that he was an enthusiastic supporter of torture—the murderers of Casey, et al, should not be roaming free and prospering from their eight years of unfettered carnage. “It’s just not fair,” is the refrain that keeps running through my mind.
I worked super hard for the impeachment of the Bush administration. I even ran for Congress against Nancy “Impeachment off the table” Pelosi for this very reason, announcing my run right before Congressman John Conyers, who was at that time Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had me and about 49 other impeachment activists arrested in his Capitol Hill office.
Even though the US has committed international crimes of aggression since they were more precisely defined after World War II, and since the US regularly violates UN resolutions and runs roughshod over the Security Council for its own interests, and not one US president has ever been held accountable, I have all but given up on my son receiving justice for his murder. It’s sad because I don’t think complete healing (of me, or humanity) and acceptance can be achieved without justice. I am not talking about revenge. Revenge is just perpetuation of violence.
This planet has been set on the road to mutual ruin. Would Bush have felt so full of hubris if one of the war criminals that preceded him in office had to pay for his crimes? Would Obama feel so free and comfortable continuing the vicious policies of the Bush years, if BushCo had been held accountable?
Not too long after his inauguration, Obama basically said that accountability for the crimes (national and international) of the Bush regime would be “off the table,” because we need to “look forward.” That’s easy to say if A) one hasn’t experienced such unpunished loss, and B) one is planning on continuing the crimes. Indeed, the Obama DOJ has vigorously blocked accountability for anyone in the Bush regime; maybe most notably, John Yoo and Federal Judge, Jay Bybee, who collaborated to formulate the disastrous US torture policy.
I can’t lie to myself or to you, I am stuck in Stage Two, and if someone, anyone, had a fair trial (something denied to thousands of their detainees and political prisoners), and was convicted (since it was a fair trial) and sent to prison, I would get “unstuck,” but I am not the only one in this country who is “stuck.”
We have to come collectively out of our “denial” that we live in an Evil Empire that won’t stop, and indeed will use every tool at its disposal, until it drains this planet dry of every drop of oil and every molecule of precious minerals, and it doesn’t really matter who inhabits the Oval Office.
We need to get angry enough to actually do something about it and leave the depression stage for the oppressors when their ways of lives are diminished because their wars for profit have ended.
And we won’t “bargain” with anybody for peace or justice, we will seize them as we reject the violence of Empire and embrace healing.
Finally, acceptance, Never! We won’t rest until we have created a world that is free from the wars of the ruling class and filled with economic equality and environmental sustainability for everyone.
We need to “Protest like an Egyptian.”

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Urgent Solidarity: Prisoner Activist Facing Violent Retaliation

The "R" Word by Cindy Sheehan


The “R” Word
Cindy Sheehan
More powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound--Revolution is simply joining forces to overthrow the status quo with uprisings against the world’s ruling class courageously springing up all over the globe.
I have a few "friends" that have been rather indignant and have broken off contact with me because I frequently use the word, “revolution.” I wonder if these same people quit eating at IHOP when the restaurant chain, known for it’s pancakes started it’s new club: “The Pancake Revolution.”
I’m serious, if one Googles the words, “Pancake Revolution,” you will be taken to IHOP’s page to sign up for the “Revolution.” The slogan for the Pancake Revolution, is, you guessed it: “Pancakes to the People.” The sign up page has a distinct revolutionary look to it.  What is a pancake revolution anyway? They make them into triangles?
We are slammed with the word “Revolution” in advertising—we are cool with the Pancake Revolution, the Chevy Revolution, the iPhone Revolution, and even the American Revolution—why was it okay for we here in America to violently throw off the shackles of an Evil Empire 235 years ago, but to not do it peacefully today? Our war for Independence was just as bloody as any other “revolution.” I suppose the revolutionaries of those days were also “defriended” many times over before Facebook was even invented.
Since we started exploring the idea of Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities, which is a totally non-violent way of resisting the crimes of the Empire, the world has witnessed some honest to god uprisings in the Arab world: Yemen, Tunisia, Jordan, and now Egypt, where tens of thousands of people are there courageously standing up to a horrible US/Israeli propped up dictatorship that has been in place for almost 30 years. Of course, mouthpieces of the Empire are warning Egypt to “reform” its government and use “restraint” when the billions of dollars they have sent to Mubarek since he became dictator are what he uses to oppress his people and what he used to create the police state that has helped our CIA imprison and torture other people, among other things. The people of Egypt know which side of the “Wall” that the US regime stands on, and it’s not the side of the people.
As of this writing, Mubarek is stubbornly holding on to power in Egypt, no matter what the people want. After years of truly sham elections, the people are resisting and bearing witness and many in the lamestream media want to portray Egypt’s uprising as anti-austerity riots, or protesting food shortages—I heard one commentator say that the Egyptians have been "happy" with the dictatorship for almost 3 decades, now—so what are they protesting? Why are they all of a sudden angry at Mubarek, what did he do? I have been to Egypt and worked with activists there—these uprisings have been brewing for many years now. People can only take so much and I heard one CNN reporter that has lived in Egypt for over 20 years confirm this and he also told us here back in the states that the violence is “not coming from the protesters,” which is almost always the case.
My idea for Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities does have that dreaded “R” word in it. The Empire is taking away our homes while bailing out and supporting the banksters that are stealing them. The Empire appoints a man notorious for sending jobs (Immeldt of GE) out of the country to “solve” a Great Depression Era unemployment crisis. The Empire is continually allowing drilling and more exploration for fossil fuels in a world that is being poisoned and violated by its dependence on this filthy fuel. The Empire is imprisoning whistleblowers without a trial while self-confessed criminals like George, Dick, Condi and Donny run free.
Is it possible for we here in the pit of the Empire to reclaim our revolutionary spirit and organize to throw off the chains of oppression—maybe, but many people believe that the chains are there for our own good, and that’s really bad!
What we can do is work on the localization movements to not only create healthy communities locally, but to link globally to break the chains of oppression and create strong bonds of awareness, prosperity, peace, health, and sustainability.
Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities is holding a conference call Sunday, February 6th and we have over 130 participants—we are going to plan the kick-off community events for our healthy, truly grass roots movement.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



For every book sold, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox will donate $10 to the Bradley Manning Legal Defense Fund.


If you don't want to pay by credit card, you can send a check/money order to:

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, LLC
PO BOX 6264

Vacaville, Ca 95696


1 BK:  15.00
2 BK:  28.00
3 BK:  41.00
4 BK:  57.00
5 BK:  73.00





Sunday, January 23, 2011



Afghani-Scammed by Cindy Sheehan

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain, "Chronicle of Young Satan"
The current president of the USA is no less skilled at being the Liar-in-Chief than the last one—after all, to be fair, that is the job description of the CEO of the Empire. Near the end of 2010, the president, (whom, in instances pertaining to the eternal war in Afghanistan, I call: “Barackistan O’Bomber”), had this to say: "Today, al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in the border region is under more pressure than at any point since they fled Afghanistan nine years ago. Senior leaders have been killed. It's harder for them to recruit … It's harder for them to plot and launch attacks. In short, al-Qaeda is hunkered down.”
So, "in short," the U.S. occupying forces are making progress, but the progress is slow, and more troops and hardware will be needed to ferret out this few very few people that are “hunkered down,” plotting more attacks on defenseless Americans. At a cost of one million dollars per year, per soldier, someone is benefiting from this violent occupation, but it’s not the people of Afghanistan as the people of that war-torn country (that “coincidentally is rich in minerals, oil and natural gas), struggle to survive.
Another “ace in the hole” of supporting violent Imperial aims is the USA’s top “diplomat,” Hillary Clinton who, being skilled at fear-based rhetoric, warned us that if we “abandon” Afghanistan now, like we did after the U.S.S.R. failed to subdue the country (being closer and using all of its advanced weaponry), it would be a “grave mistake.” The graves that the US/NATO forces are digging with their Hellfire missiles in the border regions of Af/Pak mean little to the hellions of the Empire as human life means so little compared to the rich natural resources of that region.
There is very little left to be said if you buy into the scam that the invasion and subsequent occupation of Afghanistan was justified because the U.S. was “attacked” on 9/11—however, here is brief review of facts, not scam:
Afghanistan didn’t attack us on 9/11. Even if one believes the lies of the Empire about the “official story,” the nationality of the hijackers were overwhelmingly Saudi Arabians—and the US didn’t go half-cocked into Saudi Arabia to invade its buddies there. No, in fact, in 2010, the U.S. sold 60 billion dollars worth of arms to Saudi Arabia—making it the largest such sale in history. Which makes the next fact a little more interesting:
Al Qaeda was a construct of the CIA and the CIA armed Osama bin Laden and Saudi Arabia funded him to wage jihad against the Soviet Union. Al Qaeda was originally a CIA database of thousands of mujahadeen who were recruited and trained by the CIA. Our troops are being killed by first and second generation CIA operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan and, knowing what I know now, I have very little illusion that the CIA didn’t know what it was doing or that the mujahadeen would eventually use those weapons against the U.S. Being the biggest dope dealer in the world, the CIA had big stakes in Afghanistan’s poppy fields.
Two of the biggest lies the Empire tells about U.S. crimes in Afghanistan are we are there to: A) Redevelop the country (like Haiti) and B) Protect the women. “Protecting the women” of Afghanistan is one thing the liberals here in the U.S. and Laura Bush have in common as a justification for the occupation.
On Sunday, January 23, 2011, my guest on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox was Spogmai (Spaj-My) Akseer, who is a bright young woman on the steering committee of the international organization, Afghans for Peace (AFP). Spogmai was born in Afghanistan and now lives in Canada. She travels to Afghanistan frequently and she clearly dispelled the above two myths.
Spogmai and AFP believe that the occupation of Afghanistan is for the financial benefit of global war profiteers, some NGO’s, and the elite of Afghanistan. Spogmai has seen very little progress in the way of development for the average citizen of Afghanistan. If I believed in Hell, it would be a comfort to know that there was a special level for War Profiteers who must spend eternity paying for their inhumanity by living in a constant state of deprivation and war. But as Spogmai has personally witnessed in her many trips to Afghanistan, unusable schools have been built, roads to nowhere have been constructed and there is zero accountability for the contractor who builds useless infrastructure than leaves the country with a tidy bundle of U.S. taxpayer dollars in his bank account. In a country rife with corruption and scandal, there is enough blame and fraud to go around
I told Spogmai a story about a time, last July, when I was vigiling in front of the White House (in Lafayette Park, because I had a ‘stay-away’ order from the WH at that time) and a phalanx of very elegantly and expensively dressed Afghans emerged from a meeting. The women of the party, who knew who I was, came up to me and through a translator, explained to me how they had been in the White House to meet with the president (something which I have always been denied) so they could tell him how desperate the situation is in Afghanistan and how our troops needed to stay there, even though they “regret” the deaths of our young people. Occupations always benefit the elitists of every country through similar Carpetbagging corruption as the Karzais and their cronies—it even happened in our own South during the Reconstruction period. There is nothing new here—and what else is an age-old story is how the non-elites of the world lap this crap up believing in the myth of the “accidental war/tragedy profiteer.” Isn't this part of the "American Dream," to be in the "right place" at the "right time?" How fortuitous! There is no way to "get rich quicker" than through the war and its profitable aftermath.
Afghanistan is just one tragedy in the long list of scams every Empire has perpetrated in the name of profit and population control.
The destruction of the way of life of we non-elites will only stop when we stop participating in our own demise.
Spogmai and Afghans for Peace work for peace, development and Afghan sovereignty. It’s very dangerous for the people in Afghanistan to speak out against the occupiers and the elite in their own country, so we must, whether Afghan, or not, struggle in solidarity FOR these noble goals against the violence and with the people who are paying the most for the disease of Empire.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Anniversaries Abound on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox!

Click here to listen

Beginning at 2PM San Francisco time (and in the archives for eternity).

This Sunday (January 16th), Cindy presents admirably scurrulous election satire by no less than George Carlin, and then "celebrates" two anniversaries, one famous and most healthy for our nation - but oh so hated today by the "religious right" (which is really neither) - Roe versus Wade - and the other, a truly sickening anniversary, that of the opening of Guantanamo Bay Prison, on Jan 11th, 2002.  Roe versus Wade is commemorated by Somer Loen, a long-time activist for the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, or BACORR.  The disgusting opening of Guantanamo Bay Prison by Matthew Daloisio of Witness Against Torture, another long standing activist against our modern Imperial "Death State" (as so eloquently designated by one of our webmaster's heroes, Arthur Silber).  Cindy and Matt have an illuminating discusion about Guantanamo and its meaning for America's future.  A future which we all hope will be far brighter than today's sad state of affairs.
Smedley ButlerPlease be sure to use the "Click here" link above, and listen in.  Plus, get your very own copy of Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Major General Smedley Butler's woefully still not famous speech, "War is a Racket."  (And then, please do go read it!)  OK - Maybe it isn't a surprise any more, but we kept it:  Click on Smedley's picture (on the right) to watch Smedley's very own special message, "Now You Mothers."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pebble People by Cindy Sheehan

"Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." Dorothy Day

I interviewed Yoko Ono on Thursday, January 4th for Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Radio Show. The interview itself, besides being a great coup for my show, struck a deep chord with me.
True, I have spent a small part of my life trying to change the way the Empire I live does business, but I have done everything from camp out for weeks in Crawford, Tx to running for Congress in San Francisco. I have been arrested multiple times and have shaken my fist more than once at empty buildings in DC on those confusing Saturday marches. I think the emotion I can associate with my activism, besides continuing and constant sorrow (for Casey and all the other victims), is anger! I got to a point, that like a sponge, I had absorbed so much news of blood, gore, pain, greed, lies, oppression and overall suffering that it got to a point where the new info registered, but bounced off my psyche. As Popeye says: “that’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.” But unlike Popeye, most of us have to suppress our “fight or flight” instincts because we are not three-years old.
I do believe that anger is a reasonable response for a reasoning and aware human-being to the unreasonable crimes of the Empire; however, these crimes have been occurring for centuries and they do continue to occur with shocking regularity—no matter who occupies the Imperial Throne. A state of rage, I’ve learned, cannot be sustained forever without some kind of permanent damage being done. I tend to write, or pick up my bullhorn to yell at the people I’m pissed at, but some, like this Empire and Jared Loughner can choose to express their anger with violence.
Back to my interview with Yoko—in it she basically said (listen to the entire interview here) that we should not be angry with the government, because our anger/marches have no affect on its policies. Yoko said, rightly, that 99% of the people in this world want peace and it’s the other 1% that causes most of the violence and problems out of greed. I can imagine, since Yoko’s younger days in war-torn Japan, that she has seen this dichotomy grow even more pronounced. What I do know, though, is she’s right, our activities and anger have little affect on those one-percenters; so what should we do?
The anti-war movement has been on the decline for years after it peaked in the Fall of 2005. There are many reasons for this—some are tired; some are poor; some hated Bush, but not so much his wars; some are frustrated and discouraged; some were in the movement just to destroy it from within—and some have just grown more and more fearful of the creeping fascism of this “Post-9/11” terroristic government.
Near the very end of the interview, I told Yoko about our idea of Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities (RRC). It’s a plan to implement the ideas in the last chapter of my book: Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution.
It’s about creating revolutionary change in our own communities or tribes. We can do this by growing and trading as much of our own food as possible (while advocating for more seasonal consumption of food, native seed, organic farming, water-conservation, etc); trading goods/services and supporting our local thrift stores and merchants; being the primary educators for our children/grandchildren and other community's children (while advocating for increased funding and more diverse and well-rounded curricula in our neighborhood schools); creating local economies based on trade and local scrip when we can; making/saving as much energy as we can (while advocating an end to the resource wars and increased investments in renewable and sustainable forms of energy); running for local city councils and school boards—your local government is the one that can be most easily influenced by regular citizens and ones that we have the most chance of infiltrating with our progressive and compassionate ideas.
All of these things, and more, can be easily done on a micro scale with very little (or no) investment. I believe we have little chance to bring world peace before we create peace in our own communities or families to spread in a very horizontal way.
RRC is a grassroots movement that already has attracted people willing to become involved from about 40 different states and five different countries.
We oftentimes seek immediate gratification in this fast food, open 24 hours/day society. I wanted peace in the Middle East yesterday. I want the war criminals from the USA to be held accountable today. But most of all, I want a peaceful and sustainable future for my grandchildren and all of the children of the world tomorrow.
No matter how pretty he talks, Obama is not the answer to our problems, or even the question. Obama is not the Alpha/Omega, or the cat’s pajamas—he is a man deeply invested in promoting and supporting the filthy, rotten systems that oppress us. In the interview with Yoko, she said that we give the government too much power over our lives, and she was right.
According to our own Constitution, common law, and common sense, government can only derive its authority from the consent of those governed.
RRC is about withdrawing our consent in a very peaceful and healthy manner and supporting each other so our wealth, resources, and children can stay in our own communities and families and not contribute any more to the wars or violence of the Robber Class.
We do live in the Empire, but we do not have to be subjects of it—we owe our allegiance to the human family, not it. However, RRC is not a separatist movement—it’s a movement to be constantly stretching our wings and connecting with each other to eventually have a favorable society that is finally by, for and of the people.
In conclusion, as Yoko said, we often try to throw boulders into the Ocean of Change to make huge splashes, but oftentimes, we create more problems, or get washed away by the tidal wave. Although, big and exciting, these movements are also over very quickly.
We can have greater and better affect by being “Pebble People.” Dropping our small pebbles into ponds to create gentler, yet infinite, ripples for profound and lasting change.
Not as glamorous as the boulders, but it’s our best chance to reject this “filthy, rotten system.”

For more info on RRC, Contact Cindy Sheehan

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Peace and Justice Groups Ask Military to End Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning

January 12, 2011
Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20318-9999

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army Chief of Staff
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington DC 20301-1400

Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-3000

Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Base Commander
Marine Corps Base Quantico
3250 Catlin Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134-5000

Dear Adm. Mullen, Gen. Casey, Gen. Amos, Col. Choike,

The undersigned organizations are deeply concerned about the inhumane treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning, who has not been convicted of any crime, and yet has been subjected to six months of solitary confinement with no known end date. It has been reported by his attorney and a visitor that Manning's mental health is suffering from this cruelty, which serves no known judicial purpose and could result in Manning being found unfit to stand trial.

Your conduct, as judged by the information available to the public, appears to be in clear violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty to which the United States is a party and which is therefore, under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land. The treaty is also enforced by US Code Title 18, Part I, CHAPTER 113C.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice states that "No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence." The same UCMJ bans cruel and unusual punishments following convictions.

We urge you to come into immediate compliance with the law. As a U.S. citizen and as a member of the U.S. military, Bradley Manning has legal rights that are being grossly violated. If you have reclassified Manning as an enemy in some sort of war, the same is true. The US Code bans war crimes, defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party. The following are a few examples of the rights you are bound by the Supreme Law of the Land to respect for prisoners of war:

-Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated.

-The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical attention required by their state of health.

-Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise, including sports and games, and for being out of doors. Sufficient open spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps.

This is not to suggest that Bradley Manning could rightly be considered some kind of Prisoner of War, but under international treaties which the U.S. has signed, EVEN POWs are guaranteed certain rights now being ignored in the case of Manning, a citizen of the United States. Manning is, in fact, being subjected to treatment almost certain to cause permanent psychological damage. Please see the enclosed letter from Psychologists for Social Responsibility to Robert Gates re. Bradley Manning on January 3, 2011. The following steps should, at a minimum, be taken immediately to mitigate the damage and increase the likelihood of Manning being capable of assisting in his own defense. He should be permitted:

-Lifting of the baseless POI (prevention of injury) status that allows guards to harass him with inquiries

-Extensive daily interaction with other accused but not convicted prisoners

-His meals in a common area with other accused but not convicted prisoners

-Nightly sleep undisturbed by light, noise, or interruption

-Sleep during daytime as desired

-Normal blankets

-Sight at all times of daylight or night's darkness

-Exercise in his cell anytime he wants

-At least three hours outside each day, and access to basic exercise and sports equipment

-Whatever reading material he wants

(initial signers)

Backbone Campaign, Bill of Right Defense Committee, CodePink, Courage to Resist, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, DC National Lawyers Guild, Defending Dissent Foundation,, Friends of Human Rights, Jobs for Afghans, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Peace Action, Peace of the Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Tackling Torture at the Top - subcommittee of Women Against Military Madness, United for Peace and Justice, Voters for Peace,, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Witness Against Torture, World Can’t Wait

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cindy Sheehan's Interview with Yoko Ono

OCTOBER 5, 2007

Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
John Winston Ono Lennon
October 9, 1940-December 8, 1980

A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is reality.

Yoko Ono Lennon

10/05/07 -- -- On October 9th, on what would have been John Lennon's 67th birthday, his widow, Yoko Ono is dedicating a peace tower in Reykjavik, Iceland in the memory of her husband. There will also be almost a half a million peace wishes buried in capsules around the tower which is a blue tower of light extending up to the sky above us.

I received the link to the Imagine Peace website while I was on a layover in the airport in Las Vegas, Nv. Still reeling from the reports of hundreds, if not thousands of Burmese monks and other humans being slaughtered for protesting against their oppressive government, it was hard for me to watch all the people sitting hypnotized at the slot machines, pulling the handles or pushing the buttons as if the world is not going to hell in George's hand basket. The dichotomy of business as usual in America compared with genocides in Darfur and Iraq while I am still and always will be mourning my son makes me dizzy sometimes.

So, I made myself close my eyes for a few minutes between planes and tried to shut out the bells and whistles of the slots and "imagined" peace. What would a world at peace look like? What would a world at peace be like to live in? I have a great imagination but I knew this exercise would be challenging.

John Lennon called his song Imagine an "anti-religious, anti-nationalism, anti-conventional, anti-capitalist" sort of a "Communist manifesto." It is for sure a utopian vision of a perfect society that unfortunately can not be achieved by imagining, and probably not at all---but how close can we get to this world and how much sacrifice will a world at peace take from each and everyone of us?

First of all, imagine a world with no religion. A world where sick and evil people could not manipulate the masses into believing that the set of myths and beliefs that they profess are more important or powerful than the other's set of myths or beliefs. Israelis could not (with the help of Christian extremists) tell Palestinians that it is okay to occupy them or kill them so that the Jews could claim their "Promised Land." Land promised to whom by whom? Muslims could not proclaim "jihad" against infidels. There would have been no Nazi holocaust against Jews; no Crusades; no holocaust against our own native population; no black slavery justified by the Christian scriptures; no George Bush saying that his Christian God is like a mob-boss ordering him to "hit" the world. Imagine that!

Secondly, imagine no countries. No jingoistic worship of banners made of mere cloth (not spun gold) or arrogant nationalism that gives leaders the right to kill other human beings just because they do not happen to live within the same false borders that were artificially drawn many years ago by empires that have long ago fallen. In this homeland-istic fervor it is especially correct to kill those other people if they are not the same religion as the religion of your state (and don't kid yourself that the US does not have a state sanctioned religion). Imagine no armies that in reality kill and get killed for the imperialistic neo-liberalism that has crept around our globe like a flesh eating bacteria since the Reagan years. Imagine that.

Imagine no possessions: This is the crux of our problem. Going back to my brothers and sisters at the slot machines in Vegas, pulling almost catatonically on the lever of the One Armed Bandit, for what? To win the "jackpot" of course! How nice is it of the State of Nevada to allow gambling machines in their airports, so we can perchance live the American dream of buying higher stacks of stuff! On a day that George vetoed the health of over six-million children here in America, 16,000 children around the world died of starvation. In a week that we saw murder on a horrendous scale in Burma, more Iraqis were killed or forced from their homes by violence: to wander in the desert, or probably off to Syria where their daughters may be forced into prostitution to help support the family which should be able to live in peace and relative prosperity in their own country. Imagine that.

It was hard for me to imagine or envision peace when I am terrified because BushCo is contemplating even more slaughter in the Middle East in Iran and when Congress, Inc is busy supporting a murderous status quo that hurts humans within all borders, even our own.

Peace will only happen when every member of humanity is guaranteed prosperity, health and security which will not happen when we here in the US can't even get off our asses to protest a war that is four and a half years and hundreds of thousands of bodies old, now.

We can imagine peace all we want but until each and everyone of us is willing to sacrifice some of our prosperity (because we have already had our security robbed from us by the rotten Republicans and complicit corporate Democrats) true peace---not just the absence of war---will be as elusive as a morsel of truth or modicum of courage coming out of Washington, DC.

Voluntary sacrifice is truly a revolutionary concept here in the United States of America.

So you say you want a revolution? Imagine that.

Violence: From Tucson to Datta Khel by Cindy Sheehan

“Violence is a part of America. I don't want to single out rap music. Let's be honest. America's the most violent country in the history of the world, that's just the way it is. We're all affected by it.
Spike Lee
“I do not know a method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.”
Edmund Burke

January 8, 2011 was a tough day—six people were killed and many more wounded in a cowardly act of unspeakable violence.
These people awakened on that day, ate their breakfasts, played with their children/grandchildren/parents/friends, made love, brushed their teeth, used the toilet, and any number of other “normal” activities we do every day, and they probably didn’t even imagine that it would be their last day on earth—beating hearts silenced by hatred, ignorance and bigotry. Lives cut short and futures canceled by a murderous and unconscionable massacre.
I hope for the sake of the victim’s families and for international justice that those responsible for this massacre will be held accountable, but unfortunately, they are not even in custody—or even “persons of interest” in this despicable crime.
Oh, did you think I was talking about the “massacre in Tucson” that has been in all the news? Although, that was also a horrible, unspeakable act of violence, I am actually talking about the fact that at least six people were killed in North Waziristan by a Hellfire missile dropped from one of Obama’s drones.
Since Obama is Commander in Chief, I want him arrested for these, and other murders. Not only has Obama tripled troop strength to Afghanistan, he has quadrupled bombings in Pakistan by un-manned aerial vehicles since he ordered his first drone strike on January 23, 2009. Being an over-achiever and Nobel Peace Laureate, I guess he didn’t want to be outdone by his predecessor in the senseless carnage department. Obama is targeting whomever he wants to target with his Presidential Execution Program and has been indiscriminately using drones in Yemen. The serial-imperial killer Barack Obama had this to say about the tragedy in Tucson on January 8: “Such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society." First of all, I wonder what country Obama lives in and, secondly, he presides as president of the Empire over much of these “terrible acts of violence.”
While we’re at it, throw Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates into the brig at Quantico with no possibility of bail and treat him the same way PFC Bradley Manning has been treated: 23 ½ hours per day of solitary confinement with no books, no TV, no exercise, no variation of lighting, no communication with fellow prisoners, etc.
Since the CIA is the institution that facilitates the drone-bombing crimes in Pakistan—I want Leon Panetta arrested. Since the CIA is also responsible for torture and false imprisonment in many “black sites” around the world, I want him incarcerated in Guantanamo or Bagram and detained indefinitely until or if his military commission is ready.
Not forgetting the Bush administration that set these programs in motion, I would like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Yoo, etc, arrested and incarcerated until their kangaroo courts are convened—the same kind of ridiculous trial that was afforded to Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Being “kangaroo courts,” when they are found inevitably guilty, I hope they are each given 86 years, plus life, in prison, like Dr. Siddiqui was.
The drones that carry out these despicable attacks on “suspected terrorists” and their neighborhoods and families are piloted from Air Force bases in the U.S. —the pilot who followed an illegal order (condemned by the U.N., among others) should be court-martialed and tried for his part in the war crime that occurred on January 8. In our top-down, violent society, though, people that kill civilians in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are usually given commendations; but people that shoot “raunchy videos’ are relieved of duty.
Vietnam war criminal, John McCain, who dropped bombs on innocent civilians during his stint and was responsible for “wet-starting” his jet while “hot dogging” on his aircraft carrier, the USS Forrestal, and incinerating 134 of his fellow crewman, called the Tucson shooter: “a disgrace.” How ironic that such a criminal (who also crashed five jets and graduated very near the bottom of his class at Annapolis) would call anyone else a “disgrace.”
We live in a society where we are taught that violence solves everything, indeed, scoundrels like McCain rise to the very top. Those of us who strive and advocate for non-violent, creative solutions to problems are perceived as being “crazy, weak and traitorous," while history bears out that those using guns, tanks, planes, and drones are the weak ones.
Although top-down violence is oftentimes rewarded, bottom-up violence is usually vigorously prosecuted, even though, it’s possible, that if the same amount of resources and commitment were devoted to education, mental health care, and our communities, many of these bottom-up crimes could be prevented. You know the old saying: Prevention is the best medicine.
Whether it was the tragic massacre in North Waziristan, or the tragic massacre in Arizona, the same rotten imperial system is to blame—but only those of us on the bottom of the so-called food chain are required to pay for our crimes.
Bombs are dropped on real people by real people who basically want the same things out of life: love, happiness, security and prosperity. Violence is also perpetrated by individuals--like some sort of Palinesque sicko that snuffs out the life of a nine-year old (and others) because of some manufactured psychosis perpetuated by the collaborators in the US media.
What did young Christina Greene ever do to the demented shooter in Arizona that deserved her unnecessary death at the too young age of nine? Christina was tragically collateral damage and my heart breaks for her family. Similarly, what did the hundreds of thousands of the nameless and uncounted youngsters in our war-torn countries ever do to us? They are tragically just collateral damage, too, and my heart is torn apart for their families. Twenty-two year old white men and women kill nine-year old people in our war torn countries every single day and I hear few politicians or news commentators crying over their mangled bodies. The disproportionate outcry over the attempted murder of a US Congressperson over the murders of innocent people by our wars is the elitist way of saying: "Our lives count more than theirs or yours."
The only people who are our enemies and the enemies of universal love, happiness, security, and prosperity are sitting happily in their comfy and opulent homes (in Wasilla or DC) while at least one-dozen families are in profound mourning right now.
There is only one solution to this acute problem—whether the pilot who killed six in North Waziristan, or the shooter that killed six in Tucson—we have to stop killing each other to satisfy the blood lust and greed of the Robber Class.
We lose, they win. 
My heart goes out to the people in Tucson, Datta Khel and everywhere who are the victims or survivors of violence.
As an American, the shame I feel for my country is profound.

Transparency in the Age of Obama by Cindy Sheehan

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. 
 Government should be transparent.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.
 Taken from the White House Website - A message from President Obama to his staff.
From the outset of Barack Obama's political career, up until his presidential election victory, a large part of his political platform was the concept of transparency in government. As a legal scholar of Constitutional Law, having taught the subject at the prestigious University of Chicago Law School, his promotion of political decision making transparency, at the time, seemed to be more substance than rhetoric.

The political chattering classes were championing his credentials; many talking heads on the 'liberal left' were predicting the closure of Guantanamo, amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 removing the suspension of habeas corpus, thorough Congressional investigations into warrantless wiretapping etc etc. The 'wish list' was endless, the previous president had spent the majority of his time in office eroding our Constitutional rights and civil liberties at home and tarnishing our image abroad - all sandwiched between his primary pursuit in office: family holidays at Kennebunkport.

Obama was going to be different, he planned to send Mr Lobbyist out of Washington, government was going to be clean, efficient and focused on public good. He knew exactly the dirty secrets of government, an Obama '08 document entitled Restoring Trust and improving Transparency states "Oil and gas executives met with Vice President Cheney to write our energy laws, with the goal of increasing their profits and saddling the public with their environmental and public health costs; Cheney went to the Supreme Court to keep the names of these lobbyists secret." The gig was up for backdoor deals and the time of what Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig calls 'institutionalised corruption', was over. A new sheriff was coming to town. 

Friday, January 7, 2011


Help us spread truth and peace

Or Send a check/money order monthly to:
Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, LLC
PO Box 6264
Vacaville, Ca 95696


January 17, 2011
Defend Free Speech and the Right to Organize!
Opposing War and Occupation is not a crime

Noon: Protest at FBI Headquarters
935 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC

1 p.m.: Convoy to Quantico Military Base
caravan to Quantico, Virginia (about 1 hour south of DC

Protest FBI Sureveillance and Harassment of Activists
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and honor the hundreds of courageous civil rights activists who fought for justice during the 1960s and 1970s, but were spied on, harrassed, undercut and villified by the FBI.

Protest surveillance, infiltration and attempts to entrap peace, environmental, animal rights civil rights and solidarity activists.

Stand up for the 29 peace and solidarity activists from Chicago, Minneapolis and Michigan who have been subpeonaed to appear before a grand jury purportedly investigating material support of terrorism, but really meant to intimidate international solidarity activists.

We'll convoy down to Quantico Marine Base at about 1 p.m. for a rally to support Bradley Manning.

Blowing the Whistle on War is Not A Crime!
Bradley Manning, is an army whistleblower who faces decades in prison for revealing truths about the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan and U.S. diplomacy. Manning, a 22 year-old Army intelligence analyst, is suspected of leaking the video “Collateral Murder,” which showed an U.S. helicopter attack that killed at least eleven Iraqi civilians. He is also accused of leaking the "Afghan War Diaries" -- tens of thousands of battlefield reports that explicitly describe civilian deaths and cover-ups, corrupt officials, collusion with war lords and a failing war effort; and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables revealing , and thousands of documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables.

Currently, Manning sits in the brig at Quantico Marine Base -- in solitary confinement and under inhumane conditions. Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) have called for Manning’s execution.

We call on the Army to release Bradley Manning from his pre-trial confinement, and drop all charges against him.

Endorsed by: Defending Dissent Foundation, World Can't Wait, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coaltion,,, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, DC National Lawyers Guild, CodePink, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, Witness Against Torture, Peace of the Action, Cindy Sheehan, Friends of Human Rights (list in formation)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Re-creating Revolutionary Communities (PART ONE) by Cindy Sheehan

In 2009, after the inauguration of Barack Obama, I was feeling out of step with the ½ of the country that I would usually be in step with: those Hope-notized by his campaign-ad/sound-bite rhetoric.
I spent a lot of time pondering the why of this Hope-nosis and how badly our country was still doing economically and I was dismayed (but not surprised) by the increasing violence of Obama’s foreign and domestic policies.

Now, two years later, we are a country in multiple crises because the very foundation of capitalist-imperialism is crumbling no matter how hard the capitalists try and keep it together using all the tools at their disposal: the US military, the corporate media, the fear of “terrorism,” wedge issues such as LGBTQ and immigrant rights, the farce of elections, etc.

In 2009, I wrote a book called: Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution. In this book, I identified and dispelled 20 myths that I think keep us attached to the class that is robbing us, killing us, and otherwise oppressing us. More importantly, I laid out a case for creating these Revolutionary communities.

Another phenomena I have observed that is holding our class (the Robbed one) from seeing peace, justice and economic equality is the new-ish one of online social networking, like Facebook. Now, I see Facebook as a blessing and a curse. Obviously, Facebook gives us all the opportunity to reach people that would otherwise not be reached and it is a good tool for passing along information, etc.

The downside of Facebook is, of course, our personal information is collated in one place and the Empire can track our whereabouts more conveniently. I also see a sociological problem, too—one where online activism and interaction is rapidly replacing in person actions and personal contact.

While I enjoy the debates on Facebook and the information I access, I have struggled with having a presence on Facebook. I have come to the conclusion that we need to take Facebook’s biggest limitation and make it a positive tool in our box to make revolutionary change. We are calling for people on Facebook to gather together with their neighbors and other people near to them on a regular basis to begin to form Revolutionary Communities.

The “revolution” I called for in Myth America, was one based on the simple fact that the Robber Class will stop at nothing to have EVERYTHING, and we don’t have the weapons to defeat them, even if we had the inclination to be violent like them.

What we do have is each other and the power of community. Every step is very achievable and every step brings us closer to a healthy future.

• We can create our own local banking/currency system. Community banks, credit unions and local scrip are preferable to being debt slaves to the banksters.

• We can create our own governments, filled with caring people from our own communities that really reflect and resonate with the issues that are important to us. Washington DC is so far from most people and so far removed from our realities down here that most of us feel that we are literally being taxed to death and get tons of crap from the feds with very little positive return.

• We can create communities that care and nurture every aspect of every human being, but especially our children. Our children need to know that they are so loved and so important to all of us that joining the military of the Robber Class is not an option and we will make sure they are educated, or learn a trade that not only fulfills their spirits, but contributes positively to our community—and other people’s children mean as much to us as ours and we should never allow our children to be killers of other children for the Robber Class.

* We can create our own healthy food growing and trading co-ops; we can create energy co-ops, we can trade goods and services; we can trade with locally owned merchants; we can create healthy and sustainable ecologies as well as economies; and we have the power to do all this and much more if we are willing to organize locally along with keeping our eyes on the bigger fish we still have to fry.
The possibilities are limitless and exciting!

So, we are using the strength of Facebook to exploit its weakness and cluster humans together in their own local communities—to be creative and specific and to also plug into what your community may already be doing.

If you would like more information on Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities, please email us at:

Make sure to include your name and city.

I haven’t felt this optimistic about our chances for organizing in a meaningful and constructive way in years and I am excited to put my energy and resources behind this project.

2011 will finally be OUR year, but only the genesis of something bigger and better.


Also, email me if you would also like a free pdf of Myth America.