Wednesday, August 31, 2005
And I still wonder...with what is going on in our name, why aren't Americans in the streets?
Bush's Next Reason For War in Iraq
2) No, it is because of the weapons of mass destruction.
"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
Address to the Nation
March 17, 2003
3) Oh, now I remember! It's to liberate this poor country from a brutal dictator and bring democracy to them. They must've asked us for this; after all, there are many other countries that are not under a democracy – why Iraq?
And today, reason # 4: We are there to protect Iraq's oil fields from terrorists!
From the today's Boston Globe:
Bush gives new reason for Iraq war
Says US must prevent oil fields from falling into hands of terrorists
By Jennifer Loven, Associated Press August 31, 2005
CORONADO, Calif. -- President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.
MR. BUSH, YOU'RE GETTING CLOSER! Keep tryin', we'll believe ya sometime.
Labels: Iraq War
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Crawford's Effects - One Week Later
Cindy Sheehan, a woman three years younger than me whose son died on 04/04/04 was not afraid to camp near Mr. Bush's vacation home with snakes, fire ants and mosquitos as neighbors. That humble act brought together thousands of people with like mind. No longer will I swallow my voice, because I'm afraid. No longer will I stay silent, not believing that one person can make a difference. We have reached a tipping point and a movement has started.
Monday, August 22, 2005
The Bush Camp
Above: Lynn Bradach and me, two mothers sharing grief.
Sheila Jackson Lee meeting with families.
Labels: Camp Casey
Camp Casey I
On Monday, the 22nd, we drove over to visit Camp Casey I - the location where Cindy Sheehan began this adventure by camping out in a ditch by the side of the road. Now tents and memorials sit here, side by side for about a block. It is kind of hectic here, because we are not allowed to stop in the street and there is not a lot of room to park. We did park further down the road - in a ditch and checked out the different tables and memorials. We met a couple of women whose sons died in Iraq. One woman's son was 37 and in the National Guard when he was killed. These are kind, powerful women. As we walked around, a car pulled up. Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Congresswoman from Houston, stepped out. There were three family members who had lost loved ones and two women with family in Iraq there at the time. Sheila walked up to each one, heard their story, hugged them, and gave her apologies for their losses. She said that this war is a mistake and we need to figure out a way out. She said that congress should not have a vacation until they can figure out a way to stop the deaths of our sons and daughters. We couldn't help but have tears - the poignancy of witnessing these people finally receiving an acknowledgement and apology from someone in our government... The families who have suffered this kind of loss deserve nothing less than that.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
This is My Song
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.
May truth and freedom come to every nation
May peace abound where strife has raged so long;
That each may seek to love and build together,
A world united, righting every wrong.
A world united in its love for freedom,
Proclaiming peace together in one song.
Lloyd Stone, 1934
September 21, 2005
I didn't get to see Joan Baez performance from the front of the stage, because I had volunteered to do security for her. So I just got to stand right next to her as she waited to go on stage. She is 64 years old and absolutely beautiful. She had bought her plane tickets before she was even invited to Crawford. Opening song: This is My Song - see next entry.
This is a photo of a collage that was set up at CCII. Juan Torres Sr. told me that his son, Juan, was stationed in Aghanistan with only 12 days of his duty left when he died due to "suicide" (or as the DOD has it listed, non-combat injuries). Juan had been in the military for 8 yrs., had 12 days until he could come home to his girlfriend, and he kills himself? With his own rifle? The family is left with many un-dotted i's, questions not answered, and silence from our gov. And one VERY grief-torn father. Guesses on what may have been the motivation for a cover-up on this death?
Camp Casey II
Camp Casey I still lives beside the road on the way to George's ranch. We passed it on the way here. Camp Casey II is on an acre of land that is pretty darn close to George's ranch, but since the ranch is 1600 acres, I don't think we have ever been very close to THE MAN. CCII has full kitchen facilities - two huge gas stoves, large storage tanks of water, and ice, ice, and more ice. Food Not Bombs, with the help of many volunteers, feed us well every day.
For some great photos of Camp Casey, this blog is good: Alaska Gyrl in Crawford
The Yellow Rose
The Yellow Rose. I saw two stores in Crawford. This one is at the main intersection of town. The big "tablets" contain the Ten Commandments.
Welcome to Crawford!
What a warm welcome!
Can't wait to meet you, Mr. Bush, and ask you some hard questions about the purpose of our sons and daughters dying in this war. And while I have your attention, what about Valerie Plame?
Texan Reality Check
We didn't move too quickly this morning - ate breakfast around noon, then moseyed along in the stifling Texas heat and humidity. We made a stop at Wal-Mart (I'm sorry, God, but where do ya go in Waco, TX to buy some of the necessities in life? I will have to do penance for this one! ) to buy a big umbrella to donate to Camp Casey, since we had read that there is a lack of trees and shade there. We also bought a bunch of Gatorade to donate. Since Wal-mart gives me the heebies in my stomach, I didn't last long in there, and decided I'd rather sit out in the heat than suffer in the cool, over-loaded-with-stuff store. I parked myself outside on a bench and watched the shoppers come and go. Soon a man sat down beside me. We exchanged pleasantries and I soon found out that he was a disabled vet - a very TEXAS disabled vet. I, in my most cautious, yet sweet way, said to him, "I don't know how you feel about this, but my friends and I are down here to ask Mr. Bush some hard questions about this war." He totally shocked me by replying that he had voted for Bush and now he was sorry. He said that this war was wrong and another Vietnam. He expressed his sadness about killing people in Vietnam. We parted with a warm handshake -and I left with tears in my eyes, gratitude for this beautiful human and hope.
It's a Long Way From Denver To Crawford
Yesterday was one long drive to Crawford - 17 hours, including our stop in Colorado Springs and the time it took to take care of our booboo (We left one of our members at a gas station without realizing it. Thank God for cell phones!).
At the Pikes Peak Peace & Justice Center in Colorado Springs, we were greeted by Colo Sprgs channel 5 and a warm group of peace people. They had cookies, coffee and BATHROOMS! They held a circle with us and offered a Jewish prayer for our trip. It was absolutely beautiful.
In some Smalltown, TX, USA town, we stopped for gas. Sara's t-shirt read, "I Still Hate Bush". The locals guys hanging out at the station didn't even act like we were there. Ellen had to ask to be able to pay for her gas.
We landed at a Motel 6 in Waco, Tx at 3:00 a.m., local time. We were very tired, but not bushed!
Saturday, August 20, 2005
The Crowd Assembles
August 20, 2005
This photo is of Dave, Sarah, Chun Pan, and Michael (my honey, here to say goodbye) in the parking lot of Mile Hi Church as we prepare to leave.
Saturday a.m. Originally, we were going to leave at 5:30 a.m. this morning and have 13 people in our caravan. Things have changed, and now we are leaving at 8:30 with 8 people, 3 cars. I am exhausted from a couple of days of little sleep.
We are a diverse group - Sara, 20, is the youngest. Her boyfriend, Jacob (Krash) is 26. The rest of us - we are old enough to not divulge our ages - are Dave, Karen, R, Ellen, Joanne and me. Peace-making begins right away. Sara and Jacob are smokers. They don't have a car to drive. The rest of us are allergic to smoke, dislike smoke or have asthma. Now that we are all assembled and ready to go, what do we do? I decide that since it is my preference not to be around smoke, but my health is good, I will be the one to drive Sara and Krash to Crawford - but no smoking in my car!!!
An independent film-maker was going to come with us, but he had to withdraw at the last minute. He is making a film about peace activism. Maybe some of the footage he took while we were preparing to leave will be in the film.
So excited! Don't know what to expect in Crawford.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Fox Television Interview
Karen has appointed me as the media contact. Yikes! I have never been interviewed by the media. The Denver Fox channel came into my house and interviewed me today. They did a very nice job. You can see it by clicking on "Video Coverage" in the upper right hand corner of this site.
I am soooo thankful to Lee Glickstein for his wonderful book "Be Heard Now" and for his genius at creating Speaking Circles. I am forever indebted to Cindy Aron for her love and wisdom in holding Speaking Circles. That is where I overcame my incredible fear of speaking. And thank you, Karen, for giving me the opportunity to put my practice in action! I was not the most polished interviewee, but it was my first time and I learned a lot. Watch out world!
I am scrambling to get everything together in order to leave first thing tomorrow morning. So many details. So much anticipation.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The Road to Crawford
On August 4th, Cindy emailed me, telling me that she was going to go to Crawford to camp in a ditch and ask Mr. Bush to tell her what "noble cause" her son died for in Iraq. She asked if I wanted to go to Crawford. I was bummed that my family was already going to be flying to Boston for a very important family event. While in Boston, I kept up with the news and realized that this was not just Cindy sitting in a tent by the side of the road. Others were joining her and the media was putting out her message all over the country. My email friend had become a hero!
After I got back from Boston, I received an email announcing that Karen Trietsch (her website is http://www.justpeaceworks.org) was organizing a caravan to Crawford. I had never heard of Karen, but I immediately emailed her. Two minutes after clicking the "send" button, my phone rang.
The rest is history...