A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan
A year ago today, about 100 of us marched down Prairie Chapel Road in the awful Texas heat into history. Today, with very short notice, dozens of us marched down the same road, with the same results: no meeting with the cowardly cowboy wanna-be in chief.
Since we began Camp Casey last August, I have traveled thousands of miles all over the world. I have been to 11 countries and over one half of our states. I have met with heads of states and other parliamentarians and I have given hundreds of speeches and marched with hundreds of thousands of peaceniks all over the world. I have received keys to cities, awards, Congressional Commendations, and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I capped off my year with a visit to Amman, Jordan the other day to meet with elected officials from Iraq and some human rights' activists who told us about their country and their demands for peace.
Every single Iraqi that we met with has been dreadfully affected by the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. One Sheik that we met with had his door broken down and he was beaten and dragged off to prison while the soldiers abused his wife. All of this while his teen-age son watched. The Sheik was tortured extensively and has still not recovered from his injuries. I apologized to him on behalf of human beings who abhor torture and abuse by one human to another and he told us a harrowing story: his son's dream is to buy a high powered rifle and shoot every American he can before he is killed. After speaking to us, he is sure that he can talk his son out of it, because he will assure him that there are Americans who care. I think if my son saw his dad being tortured and his mom sexually abused by an occupying force, he would probably have the same reaction. After meeting with the Iraqis and talking to other people from the Middle East, trust me, we are not winning hearts and minds!
When I was heading to the Queen Alia airport in Amman for my 20 hour trip home to Crawford, Texas, I rode in Abu Salem's taxi. Abu Salem (Father of Abu) is a Palestinian who has been in Amman for over 20 years. He is also a human rights' activist. Abu Salem's people in Palestine have been oppressed by Israel for decades and his family was fortunate enough to be able to flee to Jordan where over one million Palestinians are now living. Abu Salem had tears in his eyes when he told me that he missed Palestine. It is his home, after all. I understand. I miss my home, too.
Abu Salem and I talked about how we are all the same on the inside no matter what color, religion, language we speak, or what artificial border line we were accidentally born within. We all have the same hearts. Our hearts are all connected. When I reluctantly admitted to Abu Salem that even George Bush's heart was connected to ours, I thought he was going to crash the taxi. He yelled; "F**king, Bush. He has no heart he is a demon!" I softly replied to Abu Salem as I had my own epiphany: "No Abu Salem, his heart is connected to ours, his heart just forgot that."
No matter how much I struggle with this fact: George Bush is a human being, too. No matter how far he has strayed from his humanity and no matter how he seems to revel in the callous killing of innocent human beings and the destruction of a country that was no threat to ours, the same Universal Creator who created us, created him. The same Creator who created the babies in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, created George. The same Creator that made my darling, faithful, and sweet boy, Casey, created George! It is an abhorrent fact, but fundamentally true.
This is the mission of Camp Casey this year: To remind George and the rest of his heart disconnected administration that their hearts are connected to ours and the innocent people of the world who their thoughtless greed are killing. It is also our mission to remind the people of the USA who still support the carnage that their hearts are connected to the babies and children that are wantonly being killed. I have realized from the start of Shocking and Awful that George was killing people who are connected to my heart. I realize that he is killing my brothers and sisters of the heart and that is not acceptable to me.
The people of Iraq want the Americans to leave. I will be writing a report about what the Iraqis want as I sit in front of George's ranch at the checkpoint tomorrow reminding him that he killed a large part of my heart and his on 04/04/04 and that he is killing more of our children everyday. George is carving his heart into dangerously small pieces. I know I wouldn't want to face my Creator with so many needless deaths on my heart!
I will stand or sit all month to demand that George stop killing my heart family. That he and his administration truly get to the work of peace and not killing to justify more killing.
It is hot here. But it is hotter in Iraq. I am hungry. But I have the option of stopping my fast any minute, while the people of Iraq can be blown up just going to the market. I miss Casey terribly, but there are people who have had their entire families killed and their homes destroyed. The conditions can be hostile here in Crawford (One of my new neighbors has a sign on their lawn that says: "Fast, Why? Starve!" I don't think that's very neighborly, do you?), but they are more hostile in the Middle East.
Peace is not for wimps.
Strength through peace.
Join us for peace.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc Casey Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is currently on day 34 of the Troops Home Fast. Cindy and other activists began their month long vigil in Crawford, Texas at Camp Casey 3.