Thursday, June 27, 2013

Disposable Humans by Cindy Sheehan

Disposable Humans
Cindy Sheehan

To The Empire, most people are as disposable as the lighters and razors that are sold in the brightly lit chain stores; Stores that are packed to the ceilings with cheaply made items that are either built to break or wear out quickly, or like the razors and lighters, made to throw away soon after purchase.

In The Empire, massive waste is a requirement, so those at the top can make even grander amounts of money and that is no less true for Wal Mart® as it is for the War Machine®.

Even though I concentrate more on the people that The Empire I live in murders, exploits or oppresses abroad, since I am here at Ft. Meade for the court-martial of Bradley Manning, I have been thinking of some US troops—still with us, or not.

Of course, my first thought of any day goes to my son, Casey. Since my stand against George Bush there is much misinformation about Casey out “there.” From the ridiculous: he left behind a widow and twin sons and I left him when he was 3 (5 or 7, depending on the lie) to be raised by his father and new stepmom; to the hurtful: he enlisted, he deserved to die.

The problem with numbering the war dead (on the US side) is that it reduces our young ones to impersonal digits. Many people, from the left to the right, think that they know everything there is to know about every soldier/airman/marine/sailor just because that person was in the military. From the left: “Cold blooded baby killers,” to the right, “Super-patriots defending the USA.” How about in Casey’s case? “Oldest son of a working-class family who wanted to take pressure off the family finances by joining to obtain college benefits?” No cold-blooded killer, in fact before he was forced to go to Iraq, he told everybody that he could never kill anyone and he was forced to go on the mission that killed him a few days after he arrived. Casey was a hero for that reason—knowing that it was wrong and refusing to kill—not because everyone in Casey’s chain of command, from his recruiter to the Commander in Chief, lied to him, that would make him a victim. Casey was not a liar so, sadly, he tended to trust people and paid for that dearly with his dear life. After all, hasn't The Empire conditioned us to trust people in uniform?

Then, since I am at Ft. Meade, I think of Bradley Manning. I don’t know his reasons for joining the military, but I did see one post on his own Facebook wall that said, after he heard fighter jets and saw flashes of lights at his post in Iraq, that he wondered if Israel finally got the “guts to bomb Iran.” That post disgusts me, but obviously Manning learned very quickly that the USA doesn’t stand for freedom or anything else good and actually tried to do something to help other USAians understand that. As far as I know, not one of the killers in the Apache helicopter in the “Collateral Murder” video have been held accountable—yet, Manning faces life in prison for exposing those crimes. The people at the top of all Empires historically go mad with bloodlust and power and the Imperial scum in the US are no exception!

Ethan McCord is seen in the “Collateral Murder” video helping to rescue the two children that the killers in the helicopter tried to murder and I think of him often. He is a friend of mine and he grew up in Vacaville and attended the rival high school of my children. Ethan has been through a lot of trouble dealing with his PTSD, but recently he found out that the children he rescued were safe, although their father was killed trying to help the two journalists that were slaughtered by the killers in the Apache. Ethan was rightfully overjoyed and I was overjoyed for him!

The heartbreaking eloquence in the suicide letter to his family of another veteran is currently haunting me. Daniel Somer was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2004 and since he left the military he has been trying to reconcile his life with the fact that he, and his comrades, slaughtered civilians:  The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity.

Daniel tried to use music and art to heal, but he felt that he shouldn’t be alive and creating art: How can I possibly go around like everyone else while the widows and orphans I created continue to struggle? If they could see me sitting here in suburbia, in my comfortable home working on some music project they would be outraged, and rightfully so.

Daniel knows that his family will be devastated, but he tries to reassure them that in the long run they will be better off and because of the pain in his soul and the pain in his body, he writes:

This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing. I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever. It was quick, and I did not suffer. And above all, now I am free. 

I feel no more pain. I have no more nightmares or flashbacks or hallucinations. I am no longer constantly depressed or afraid or worried

I am free.

I ask that you be happy for me for that. It is perhaps the best break I could have hoped for. Please accept this and be glad for me.

While reading articles by and about Bradley, Ethan, and Daniel, I ran across two troubled vets whose stories have become intricately linked: Chris Kyle, the proud killer and Eddy Routh, the tortured Marine who killed him at a shooting range several months ago.

Eddy couldn’t deal with his pain either and Kyle only felt pain for the other Seals or troops he knew that got killed. Eddy was devastated because he had to pull babies out of the ocean after the earthquake in Haiti, while Kyle called the people he killed, “savages.” Kyle lived by the gun and put the gun into Eddy’s hands that ended up killing him. Eddy will go on trial for his life and Kyle’s widow gives speeches to the NRA and thinks teachers should be armed because guns can be used for “healing.”

What a rotten Empire we live in that can just do such things to humanity! Whenever anyone is dealt such unbearable suffering the entire psyche of our nation blackens, and blackens, and blackens. As Martin Luther King, Jr said on April 04, 1967, we are a “nation approaching spiritual death,” and even if one looks at the quote without the Christian aspect, I think we passed that point long ago.

In Daniel Somer’s magnum opus he correctly states the fact that 22 veterans kill themselves EVERY DAY. So the little yellow ribbons should say BUT DISCARD THE VETERANS after SUPPORT THE TROOPS? Eddy Routh’s family tried their damned hardest to get them the help that he needed from the VA and the VA failed him spectacularly and tragically.

The above examples are just a tiny fraction of our damaged troops and veterans, but we must realize that war scars and harms us all, even if it’s just the trillions spent on war.

Nope, humans are not disposable and it’s up to us to reject the notion that The Empire can treat us as if we were. 

Please think about these discarded humans while you're eating hot dots, watching fire works and waving your flag on the 4th. That's the least that they deserve. Better yet, hang your flag upside down to indicate the distress that our "Republic" is in.



  1. You are so brave.

    I fear for your health.

    Take care!

    Your friend

    1. After riding my bike across the US, my health has never been better. Thank you!

  2. First I want to say that I feel your pain, and have studied history well enough to know that this has been going on for thousands of years. Please view this youtube video, and understand that I ask this of everyone so that they may finally wake up.

  3. good vs evil is a popular false dichotomy that is used by almost everyone. but each individual has ambiguity. no one is completely good and no one is completely bad. the enlightened mind does not accept condemnation nor forgiveness but rather simple understanding. none of us are free, we are all products and victims of our culture, upbringing, and genes. even the elite i feel sorry for since they were raised as children with the corrupt values and beliefs that they have the right to dictate over everyone. we support their narcissistic beliefs when we collectively admire them for their wealth and political standing. there is no one person to blame, we are all to blame. every single one of us.


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