by Cindy Sheehan
Laying here in my motel room recovering from my 4th trip to the e.r. in a little over two weeks, and two surgeries, I found out from the Waco Tribune, (Sunday, August 27) that I have become "irrelevant" to the anti-war movement.
At first, I was a little defensive about that statement. I didn't really think that the article was fair, because in the last two weeks, I have been really ill and I have spent more time in the hospital and recovering from being in the hospital than I have not. Camp Casey has been limping along in my absence doing some huge things (like promoting the GI Rights Hotline at Ft. Hood and protesting Karl Rove and counter-recruitment) that haven't been covered by the media, because the media follows "cut and run" George around the country, not Camp Casey.
But then I thought about being irrelevant and the implications for that. I have worked my backside off for the last year -- traveling around the world speaking against the Iraq war and for peace and understanding. I have endured reich-wing smears and lies about me usually reserved for those seeking political office. I have been the subject of death threats and vile attacks on my character. I spent over ten months of the year away from my home and three living children. Being irrelevant can have its perks!
Why did I work myself almost to death, literally? Why did I endure all of the smears and attacks? Well, to put it in the words of the Trib, I did it to make myself irrelevant. Mission accomplished!
The article in the Trib pointed out that since public opinion is overwhelmingly against George Bush and the war and there is bi-partisan criticism in Congress against Iraq, I have become less radical and less relevant. When I sat down a year ago in a ditch close to the Bush Flying Photo Op ranch, I was radical. I was one of the only people in the country calling the president and his administration, liars. I was the only one saying the words "genocide" and "impeachment." I was one of the only ones publicly saying "illegal and immoral." Now Senators, Congress Reps, movie stars, rock stars, Army officers, almost two-thirds of America and 95% of the world, etc., are saying the same things which puts me in the middle of a very large crowd.
Thanks be to God for irrelevance. Now I can go home and get my strength back, spend time with my kids, and prepare for true and lasting peace.
Peace is the noble cause that I have been pursuing ever since Casey was killed.
Camp Casey will never be irrelevant as long as the military industrial complex runs roughshod over our government and our country. We are planning on turning Camp Casey into a haven, refuge, and sanctuary for soldiers like Lt. Ehren Watada who oppose this war and don't want to fight it. But Camp Casey will also be a refuge for soldiers who are far away from home who only want a place to come and stay for a weekend or a day.
The Camp Casey Peace Institute will also be a force for real peace. We will award young peace activists cash awards to continue their work for peace. We will encourage our families to think of other alternatives to the rampant militarism of our society. We will be safe harbor for soldiers who get trapped in the vicious cycle from GI Joe to flag draped coffin. Camp Casey will be a mecca for peace in Central Texas where the dark war lord has his vacation home.
Peace will never be irrelevant as long as war is used as a diplomatic tool.
A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now. The anti-war movement is strong and thriving and it no longer needs a "face." I have been promoted to irrelevancy and am feeling pretty darn good about that accomplishment! The Iraq war will end with or without me and our troops will come home sooner than later. However, the war machine is already preparing for the next war as public opinion against this one will force a change in policy.
I am moving on up to the peace movement. I hope one day, in my lifetime, that war will become irrelevant.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was KIA in Sadr City, Iraq on 04/04/04. She is the author of Peace Mom, which will be available from Atria Books on September 19, 2006. She is also founder of the Camp Casey Peace Institute and the mother of three living children: Carly, Andy and Janey.