Sunday, February 26, 2006

Editorial: Use your voice

I truly don't believe that sending coffee to our troops and putting yellow "Support our Troops" magnets on cars is supporting the troops.
Coffee is good, I love coffee myself. I just don't understand how sending our young and brave people off to die in a war that has been proven over and over again to be based on lies is supporting the troops. I don't understand how cutting the VA budget and closing VA hospitals is supporting our veterans. I don't understand how exposing our brave young people to depleted uranium, white phosphorous and enhanced napalm is supporting them. I don't understand how forcing our troops to use WMD's (and also conventional weapons) against innocent fellow members of the human race is supporting our troops.
Deborah Johns is a member of Move America Forward and as a mom who has a son in the Marines, is a vocal critic of mine and has been telling everyone that I don't speak for her for months. She in fact is planning a new "Cindy doesn't speak for me" event in San Diego where I will be speaking on February 27th at the Thomas Jefferson Law School.
I have news for Deborah and for the rest of America and the world: I never said I spoke for Deborah, or anyone else.
I speak for Cindy Sheehan. Only Cindy Sheehan.
I expect everyone else to speak for themselves. That is each and every one of our duties and responsibilities as Americans and human beings. I wish someone would show me anywhere that I said I ever spoke for anyone but myself.

The above is from Cindy Sheehan's "Speak for Yourself" and she's been the focus of editorials before. We feel it's past time she was again. The woman who jump started the peace movement is reminding us all of the power of our own voice, of the power in speaking for ourselves. It is your duty, it is your responsibility.

As the third year anniversary of the illegal invasion approaches, those are words worth heeding.
What are you going to do in the month of March?

From David Barsamian's "Cindy Sheehan Interview:"

Q: What steps can people take?
Sheehan: People need to start putting pressure on their elected officials for an investigation into the war crimes. They need to support John Conyers and his call for censure of this administration, and they need to support Gold Star Families for Peace and all our actions that we have coming up. We’re going to go back to Camp Casey during Easter week. And we're going to have an action at Barbara Bush's home in Houston called "For God's Sake, Can't You Make Him Stop?" You just need to use your voice and use your presence and go out of your comfort zone, because the longer we let this Administration continue with its war crimes and trampling on our Constitution and our civil rights, the more harm it's doing to humanity.

Can you use your voice? We know most of our readers already are. If you've been silent, can you speak out now? If you're already speaking out can you speak out even more? Can you leave tone to The New Republicans who want to insist that "how" we got over there doesn't matter?

How matters. Bully Boy's run the country off a cliff. You dust yourself off, you stand up, but you do fill out a police report. (We know Bully Boy's familiar with police reports.) Getting out matters. Knowing how we got in matters as well. Bring the troops home, head on home already. Bully Boy's resisting that and he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

How we got into an illegal war does matter. To say it doesn't is to pull a Cokie Roberts "none that mattered." Did Casey Sheehan matter? Did the 2290 American military dead matter? Did the countless Iraqis who have been killed matter? What of the 101 British troops who were killed? The 103 "coalition" troops? Is The New Republican suggesting that those people don't matter?

Or maybe they're just suggesting that the subversion of American democracy, the destruction of checks and balances doesn't matter?

What an idiotic statement to make, that it doesn't matter how we got over there. It matters. We all know it matters and we all know there needs to be accountability or it will happen again very soon.

As Amy Goodman has pointed out many times, before the war, we couldn't have the discussion, once the war started we couldn't have the discussion. So when do we have the discussion? And when that time comes, will the same gatekeepers pull the nonsense they did following the withdrawal of Vietnam? Where we aren't allowed to discuss the reality? The right-wing can spin like crazy. They can practice their revisionist history and the psuedo-left will remain silent (and join in the attacks on people who did show bravery and speak out against that war)?

Psuedo-lefties allowed the culture for another war to blossom by standing silent (or joining in) when brave voices were attacked. We've already seen that The New Republican is happy to publicly fantasize about anti-war activist Arundhati Roy. Those Liebermonkies wanted this war and sold this war. Until they own their guilt and their blame, no one here really needs to hear from them on "tone" or what we should do or what we shouldn't do.

Cindy Sheehan did speak out. She used her voice and really shook the nation. Is she fretting over "tone"? Is she telling you, "Speak just like me!" No, she's telling you to use your own voice. Sheehan was right in August of 2005, she's right now.

(The New Republican was last right when . . . Oh! When they fired Stephen Glass for his made up stories that they ran with. They were wrong to wait so long, they were wrong to ignore warnings, but, hey, they're always wrong. Finding an example of that is never hard. It's tough to find a time when they were actually right.)

Three year mark approaching. We'll be over there for many more years, stay over there for many more years, until we can learn to use our voices. A lot of the psuedo-left likes to mock the peace movement of "the sixties" (really the late sixties and early seventies). They apparently think sneering jokes about singing songs is the height of sophisticated comedy (which only indicates that none of them, as hard as they pretend, are really suited for a formal dinner). What they're sneering it is a massive movement that rocked the war hawks and ended the war a lot sooner. We can do that again. But it will require a massive mass movement.

It will require everyone of us using our own voices and using them loudly. We think we can all do that. If you doubt your own abilities, note this:

Q: What were the first couple of steps you took?
Sheehan: The first thing I did was connect with the Mitchell family, in Paso Robles, California. Bill Mitchell is the father. His son Michael was killed the same day as Casey, in the same incident. Bill had founded Military Families Speak Out, and he sent me the link. I signed up for Military Families Speak Out. I also sent them Carly's poem, which they posted on the website. They started sending me requests for speaking engagements.
I didn't feel comfortable with speaking until July 4, 2004. I was just going to support another Gold Star Mom who was speaking in Berkeley, California. But when I got there, I decided that I wanted to speak. I spoke that day, and I really haven't shut up since.

Take the first step and you'll find the ones that follow are much easier. Our military presence/actions there only inflame the tensions, there's nothing we can fix. It's time to head home. Demand it.
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