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4 July 2005

Still Not Worth It
   By Cindy Sheehan   

Last January, I was bumped from the Larry King Live show for an
appearance by the soon to be proven innocent Michael Jackson. I was
going to be on the program to answer the question: Did I feel my
son's murder in Iraq was "worth it" after the "free" elections in
the war torn country on January 30th. I wrote an article then
called: "Not Worth It."

I never thought I would be invited back on as a guest after I pretty
much burned the Larry King bridge with my article. However, to my
astonishment, I was invited to be a guest on June 28th. I was asked
to be on the broadcast in order to give my impressions and rebuttal
to George's speech on Iraq that he delivered in front of the less
than enthusiastic (what the White House spin doctors call:
respectful) troops at Ft. Bragg, NC.

I felt like I was in Bizarro World as I heard George speak about
9/11 five times and mention terrorism 31 times, even though these
rationales for war have been disproved repeatedly. I think George
thinks that since we believed him once about terrorism vis-a-vis
Iraq, that we must therefore be gullible enough to believe him this
time. I don't know, and I am not a professional pundit, but my
theory is he might have mentioned 9/11 to manipulate our emotions
and maybe even frighten us a little again?

The thing that struck me when I was watching that vacuous man giving
his hollow speech was the fact that he could have always replaced
the word "terrorists" with the phrase: "my moronic and callous
foreign policies" For example, when he said that terrorists spread
death and destruction on the streets of Baghdad and kill innocent
people, he could have just as easily said: "My moronic and callous
foreign policies spread death and destruction on the streets of
Baghdad and kill innocent people." When he said that we need to stop
terrorists from toppling governments in the region, he could have
just as easily said: "We need to stop my moronic and callous foreign
policies from toppling governments in the region." People have
characterized the speech-lite in many ways, but if I had to pick a
few words to describe it, I would say: "Hypocritical, manipulative,
condescending, meaningless drivel."

I sat through an entire hour in the CNN studio in DC hearing not one
person say that the invasion was a mistake and if it was a mistake,
then our troops should be brought home immediately. Even the
"Democratic" Senators (Kerry and Bayh) on the program just gave
their recipes for "success" in Iraq, which did not include any exit
strategies. The guest host for that hour was Bob Costas and he asked
one guest, Sen. John McCain, an intriguing question: "If you could
push Button One and have an eventual wonderful outcome in Iraq, or
if you could push Button Two and never have had it happen, which one
would you pick?" Of course, Sen. McCain chose Button One. He hasn't
had a loved one killed in this enormous tragedy of a war, nor does
he have a loved one in harm's way. It has not affected him
personally one bit. What skin is it off McCain's nose if our troops
remain for a highly unlikely rosy outcome at the cost of thousands
of more lives? I would push the button that would bring back my son,
Casey, and the tens of thousands of other victims who have been
killed for nothing but outright lies and bald-faced betrayals. I
would push the button that would give Iraq back its power, water,
and infrastructure.

My absolute favorite guest of the evening was Sen. John Warner,
powerful chair of the Senate Armed Disservices Committee. Of course,
he fell in lockstep behind his Fuehrer and praised the speech and
how, although we have "all" paid a terrible price for this invasion
and occupation, bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people
is worth all the sacrifices that the world is making. I sat in the
Green Room with Sen. Warner's entourage. I wondered (even out loud)
what price they have paid for our administration's misdeeds in Iraq.
They all looked like happy, well-fed, well-dressed, well-educated,
and well-hydrated Americans. They looked to me like they had plenty
of electricity to blow-dry their hair and charge their cell phones
and laptops. They looked like they had quite a nice supply of clean
drinking water and fresh food. I sincerely doubt if any of them had
a loved one ripped from their lives by a car bomb, IED, or bullet in
an ambush. I wondered who the "we" was that John Warner spoke of. I
spoke with John Warner after his interview and told him unless he
was prepared to sacrifice even a good night's sleep over this
senseless and criminal war, then he should work on ending it, not
prolonging the carnage. He told me that I was "entitled to my
opinion," but he would respectfully have to disagree with me. That
was awfully Constitutional of him!

I finally got on to speak for my 82 seconds (all the time Larry King
Live could spare for the peace message) about how this war is a
catastrophe and how we should bring the troops home and quit forcing
the Iraqi people to pay for our government's hubris and quit forcing
innocent children to suffer so we can allegedly fight terrorism
somewhere besides America. How absolutely racist and immoral is it
to take America's battles to another land and make an entire country
pay for the crimes of others? To me, this is blatant genocide. How
dare we export our brand of flag-waving death and devastation to a
people who have been through so much already? It wasn't bad enough
that our sanctions killed tens of thousands of Iraqis before we even
started an active aggression against them. Now we have to create
confusion, chaos, and disorder there. How dare our president and
Congress, and we Americans, allow this to continue?

After my brief advocacy for peace, my position was refuted by
another Mom whose son was killed in Iraq in 2003 who said she
"totally disagrees" with me and "feels sorry" for me. Well, you know
what? I ache for her blindness and for the millions of sheeple who
have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the bunch of
hypocritical, bad shepherds who are running a disastrous herd over
the world. I have distressing news for the Soccer Safety Moms and
the NASCAR Dads who are such ardent supporters of this
administration and war: Your grandchildren and children who will be
entering Kindergarten this fall will be fighting George's endless
war if he gets his way and is allowed to continue spreading the
cancer of imperialism in the Middle-East. Donny Rumsfeld said we
could be in Iraq for another dozen years. Does anybody think with
all the billions of dollars that are being poured into constructing
super-sized bases in Iraq that the war machine plans on
relinquishing the cash-cow that is that poor, unfortunate land
anytime soon? Think about it when you tuck your child into bed
tonight.

I heard George and the Senators say that evening the sacrifices we
as Americans have had to make for Iraq are "worth it." I really
would like to know who has benefited and profited from Iraq and who
has really had to sacrifice anything. I know it was "worth it" to
Dick Cheney who was the CEO of Halliburton, (of no-bid contract
fame) which has raped billions of dollars from our government, from
the people of Iraq, and from our soldiers who are not getting what
they need to survive in a combat zone. It is "worth it" to Black
Water Security Co. who sends one-thousand-dollar-a-day mercenaries
to Iraq, funded by the War Department. It is "worth it" to L. Paul
Bremer who slunk out of Iraq with 8.8 BILLION dollars missing from
the Provisional authority. It is also "worth it" to the other
companies and individuals who have been enriched by feeding our
children to the military industrial complex. By George, I think we
have found the people who think this war is "worth it." But, is it
worth it to George Bush who was counting on this unlawful and
unprincipled aggression in Iraq to give him "political" capital?
Instead, if poll numbers are any good indication, Americans are
withdrawing their assent for George and they are withdrawing their
consent for him to wage eternal war on humanity.

As I sat in the Green Room of CNN, I was saddened and troubled by
George's call for us Americans to fly the flag proudly on the 4th to
honor our troops. For one thing, the American flag is not a magical
token that can bring armor to the troops who are still dying without
the protection. The flag is not a faith healer that can restore
limbs and eyesight to the ones who have been maimed forever. The
flag is not a genie in a bottle that can blink her eyes and bring
our children home from this horrible blunder that they are suffering
for and being slaughtered for. But, as for me, I will never be able
to celebrate another patriotic holiday without mourning what this
nation has stolen from my family. I will never be able to look at an
American flag without thinking of the uniform my son wore proudly
that displayed that same symbol and the evil ones who desecrated and
defiled the stars and stripes by lying us into the invasion of Iraq.
No, Casey's sacrifice was not "worth it" and George needs to do more
than wave his flag and manipulate our sense of patriotism. He needs
to march his girls to a recruitment center and send them to Iraq to
fight the terrorists that his moronic and callous foreign policies
have recruited or he needs to wake up and smell the apple pie and
bring our other sons and daughters home, now!

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin
Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04 .
She is co-founder of Gold Star Families for
Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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