Intended Consequences: The Imperial Meat Wagon Rolls On by Cindy Sheehan

Intended Consequences
The Imperial Meat Wagon Rolls On
Cindy Sheehan

 Girl in Futhal, Baghdad, February 2012. (AP Photo/Kamaran Najm/Metrography/Corbis)

I recently saw an article in the UK Guardian about how the global anti-Iraq War movement was correct about predicting that the US led invasion and bloody occupation would lead to “chaos and instability.”
Well, “duh.” And, I hate to say this, but, of course, in the place wherever these invasions and bloody occupations are planned, whichever war criminal was in attendance, knew it good and damn well, too. How can a nation’s natural resources be stolen and empire be spread if the population of a resource rich nation is not divided? Ever heard the phrase, “divide and conquer?”
After many years and multiple exposés disproving the “reasons” and “justifications” for going into Iraq, we know it wasn’t because of WMD or 9/11 or anything about defending Americans or spreading freedom, right?
Now, as members of the anti-Iraq War movement “predicted” and the Empire intended, the violence in Iraq is continuing and by all accounts, unfortunately escalating.
My son and thousands of other US troops were killed in the bloodiest part of the invasion and occupation starting in 2003, but millions of Iraqi have been slaughtered, injured, displaced, and made desperately ill by depleted uranium and other toxins and poisons delivered by the “freedom bringers” of the US military. I just want the US to get out of the war business so there can be peace abroad and peace and economic justice here at home.
No one should have to live under oppressive occupational forces, then to be “ruled” by a so-called elected government that is just a tool of US Imperialism.
No one should have to live in constant fear of being blown-up while doing things we here in the heart of the Empire take for granted, (or used to): going to school, shopping, walking down the street.
The USA’s allegiance to Empire and absolute devotion to war is hurting everyone, even the jingoists who proclaim, “support the troops,” loudly while vets are dying waiting to get health services from the V.A.
Bottom-line, we should stop stoking the flames of Empire with the fuel of our own flesh and blood.
Recently, I was traveling by air and my next layover was in Las Vegas. A couple of dozen youngsters, really, were dressed in desert camouflage waiting to get on my plane with me to head to Las Vegas. They could have been your average American young person, except they were sporting the uniform of carnage. There was probably one reason per soldier for enlisting, but I am sure many of them were economic of nature: our young people have little or no opportunity in the Land of Constant War for the Gross Profit of a Few.
After landing in Las Vegas while we were taxiing to the gate, it was announced that these “heroes” were coming to the Las Vegas area to train and then “go off to war.” The other passengers were asked to show our “appreciation” and the plane went wild with applause and cheers.
Was I the only one who wept?
No MORE WAR in Iraq!
US troops home from everywhere.
PS: In 2003, in a speech protesting the imminent US invasion of Iraq, then Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama called Iraq a “dumb war,” a “rash war.” My question is when will his Obama-trons finally admit that ALL WARS ARE DUMB, and Obama has been a complete success for the war machine and an able servant of Empire?



  1. In order to abhor death one must revere life. Sadly many lack the capacity to appreciate life, of any kind. Subconsciously millions of Americans believe (or understand) that in order for us to thrive others must be denied. They also understand that denial implies explicitly, the denial of life itself. Politicians use "Our way of life" as code for the suppression, repression, and oppression, which must necessarily result from US aggression. We have become a predatory capitalist nation, a carnivorous culture, a consumer of civilizations.

  2. Wow what a news flash! War is bad! Now what ?

  3. At present, the 2003 US led invasion of Iraq has resulted in the death of more than 600,000 Iraqi citizens, with a large percentage of them being women, and young children under the age of twelve. Prior to that, the US led food, drug and economic embargo imposed on Iraq during the 1990s led directly to the death of more than 500,000 women and children from malnutrition, infectious disease and out-right starvation. Yet a vast majority of Americans still consider their country to be a ‘shining beacon sitting upon a hill’, and of themselves as moral, caring people who have been given the unique mission of ridding the world of evil.

  4. I would say there was probably MORE than one reason per soldier for enlisting. While economics is a huge factor as you point out, I think these young people also lack a strong sense about the wrongness of war. I was, and still am, poor. I've never gone past community college mainly because I feared the cost and didn't want to fall into a bunch of debt. Why didn't I join the army? It's mainly because I had a very strong sense that it was wrong. Even if they paid for all my college plus a million dollars, I couldn't do it. I think these young people you saw probably believe they are doing the right thing by joining, I don't think they would have joined just for the money. They probably also care a lot about what other people think of them and they want to be admired and praised for their actions. The people who are praising these "heros" are just giving them one more reason to be stupid and die like dogs and for no good reason, as I believe Hemingway once said about war.

    As a teen I never cared much for other people and spent most of my time alone reading literature. It was during that time I read a book called "The Things they Carried" by Tim O Brien and I think it was that book more than any other that made me hate and fear war. It's a book I always recommend to people who haven't read it.


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