Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Cindy Sheehan's resignation from public activity
by Cindy Sheehan
Mon May 28, 2007
I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground. Being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance" are some of the more milder rebukes..
I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me. The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party.
Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don't find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland.
I am demonized because I don't see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person's heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an "attention whore" then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey's brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings.
I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times. The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however,was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.
It is so painful to me toknow that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won't work with that group; he won't attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard towork for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children's children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain someof what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.
Camp Casey has served its purpose. It's for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too...which makes the property even more valuable.
This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement. This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or any more people that I love and the rest of my resources.
Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it.
It's up to you now.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Dacia Valent - A post that will pass the liberal gatekeeper censors
Recently, a post she wrote for the progressive metablog Kilombo was censored, so she decided to write the kind of post which would pass the average liberal gatekeeper.
This tongue-in-the-cheek post is such a good spoof on today’s “Left” that it can easily be understood outside its context, and survives translation.
There are a few references which might need explanation: Jovanotti is a mindless progressive pop singer, Inter is a leading Italian soccer team and there has recently been a proposal to send the Carabinieri (a kind of police force) to monitor drug abuse in the schools. Many people in Northern Italy tend to look down on the supposedly “lazy” people in the South of the country: the epitome of this spirit is the Brianza region just north of Milan.
“We don’t wear alarm clocks on our necks” means “we are nobody’s fools”, based on a colonial icon of the “backwardness” of Black Africans.
The rather halting syntax is, of course, part of the fun.
Hi I’m Dacia Valent, and I am on the Kilombo metablog, how’s everything ?
What I want to say is one’s got to be an optimist and love life. And loving life means loving peace
Every single one of us can achieve peace, because it’s our right and because it’s a lovely thing. I struggle for peace, beyond every orientation, sexual or political, but also environmental, anti-racist, pro women and pro-men, secular but also Muslim, for peace and multilingualism .
We’ve got to seek love and not hate. Love unites all differences, racial or political or in terms of our favorite football team. Hatred on the other hand drives people to martyrize each other and to hurt each other. And hurting each other isn’t fair .
The way I see it, both Italian politics and abroad, there’s a bunch of politicians, who decide and who we see on TV. A lot of people say that “they’re just in it to make money quick” , but really they don’t do what they are paid for, but they do the interests of other people, heartless oil tycoons who pollute the sea and businessmen who make children work, maybe making footballs for the world cup, by hand, pricking their fingers with infected needles I mean they don’t even have safety at the workplace, they don’t!!! .
The ancient Romans used to say “panem et circenses” but not meaning “bread and circus”, like for us at the soccer stadium on Sunday, but to show lions eating Christians, and bread. Not the lions , but the public would eat the bread, huh
Well, since we were talking about peace in the world, how can we avoid talking about the endless issue where Israelis and Palestinians continue to face each other ?
As you probably have already understood, I struggle against war, especially the one in the Middle East. This is because wars, besides being something very ugly, mean that human beings go around killing each other . Actually, people kill each other because they are a little sad, but they are wrong to do so!!!
God made us to be happy and to be optimistic about the future and to bring lots and lots of children into the world .
This is why, like the great Jovanotti, I want to say here from Kilombo, cool down guys, “think positive” and this especially where there isn’t real peace, I mean like in the Middle East .
As I see it, it’s all a matter of communication among people, if they thought positive things would go the right way .
This post that I’m writing is very brave but also terribly honest: it won’t hide the faults of the Palestinians at all.
I mean, let’s be open about it, we “on the Left”, maybe even if we don’t do it on purpose, tend to consider as if the Palestinians had a lot of excuses for doing what they do, but we never, or almost never, say that the real reason could just be plain envy. I’m saying it now, and this is why you should appreciate my being so straightforward .
On the Left, we gab a lot about resistance, but we should be careful how we use words. Actually, we all know that the Palestinian leaders could buy tanks and remote control aeroplanes too, like the Americans do, but they don’t do it because they are corrupt and spend all the money with loose girls and belly dancers,, maybe with that guy in Iran who has the atom bomb to kill all the Christians and Jews.
So it is right for us to say that the Palestinians are not doing “resistance” but just “getting along as best they can” .
I think that we on the Left, as our stand on foreign policy, ought to make sure that the money we send is actually spent to buy weapons.
Then, personally, my political stand is against those Palestinians who go to Tel Aviv full of dynamite and blow themselves up on Saturday evenings in a nice fashionable disco. Sorry, I mean, but those Palestinians ought to build discos for themselves!!! That way they would be dancing too in Jenin, Ramallah, Nablus .
And it’s no excuse to go around saying that they will knock them down if they build them, we on the Left should make sure that the Palestinians comply with town planning regulations, that way they wouldn’t always be seeing the bulldozers coming in, I mean it’s a kind of excuse and people are just making heaps of money on it .
Anyway, these Palestinians, let’s be frank about it, play the victim and we can’t say that they really want to work all that much .
I mean, take those ruins, for example: why do they leave them there? Instead of doing ethnic cleansing, they could do rubbish cleansing, by Allah!
It’s been 60 years that every time you see Palestine, you always see demolished buildings. They should pick up that rubbish! Wait a little until the bulldozers have gone away, and pick the rubbish up. If we look at it closely, you can see that these Palestinians are a little like our folk down in the South, they’re lazy .
And yet they’ve had the example of the Israelis who actually made the desert bloom, but why don’t they learn too? You take all that demolition scrap, you can’t imagine how many discos and shopping malls the settlers could have built with them! Think pink, Palestine ! You can’t expect the desert to turn into a garden, but at least they could bring out a potted cactus, just to show their goodwill!!!!"
And then there’s that habbit of launching Qassam rockets … I mean, why don’t they put flowers in their guns ? That would be a surprise for the Israelis, a real shock. If they declared their wish for peace, the Israelis could no longer get their tanks and maybe knock down a bakery which is actually hiding a Hamas militant, or the bodyshop which is actually where they enrich uranium. We don’t go around with alarm clocks on our necks, not us .
If I want to be really frank (and I sure do), I’ve got to say that I too have my doubts about these Palestinian youths that don’t do anything. I mean they never go out and have a pizza with their friends, never go to the movies, never hold a rave party on the Gaza beach. How can these Palestinians go on playing the victim, and when it’s time to have fun, they can’t think of anything better than to fill themselves up with dynamite and nitroglycerin and blow themselves up in the Jews’ discos? What’s the matter with them? Don’t they like their DJ’s?
I mean, me being Italian, I’ve always admired the initiative of some businessmen of the Brianza who, I guess like their Israeli counterparts, simply rolled up their sleeves, they changed their own fate, it just takes a little at times: a little factory, a swimming resort, a poga-party in the open, because it’s always hot there not like in Lombardy, where there’s fog.
It seems to me that the Palestinians have got a problem with their image, because though they are nice and friendly people, they always appear as scrounging and weeping victims, always asking for the government to do something, and then complaining about the wall, and saying they’re killing us and they’re deporting us and everything else, not to mention that when they went to vote, they voted the wrong people, so they should thank the Israelis who arrested them all, it would be a good idea here too...
And what about all those complaints about prisons, and administrative detention and the Ansar camps? They complain about their leaders being in jail, and they don’t even realize what a harsh prison sentence, or isolation, can do for people. Do you think Nelson Mandela would have been the man he was, if he hadn’t spent 27 years locked up in a cell? Would they have given him the Nobel Prize?
I mean, I don’t know who’s managing their communications, but they ought to change the guy. Especially, they never see the sunny side of things. A people which is not optimistic is really hard to like, let’s say it .
I am sorry my Leftist and anti-imperialist comrades don’t understand how the word deportation is really not generous towards the state of Israel. Actually, Israeli policies are not based on expulsion, it’s just like mother eagle who pushes her chick out of the nest, to teach it to fly: not everybody is lucky enough to get to know the world, is he?
And we should also quit this business of hiding the fact that there is an Arab world which hates the Palestinians much more than it hates the Israelis (actually the Israelis don’t hate the Palestinians, it’s just that they can’t manage to communicate with them, if the Palestinians studied Hebrew I’m sure half the problem would fade away).
It hasn’t happened to us, but I am sure that if 2 million armed Kosovo militants poured into southern Italy, armed and ready to make trouble, we would have welcomed them happy to understand their reasons and to support them in their good struggle for freedom. But we are not backwards like the Arab world, which only has Pagan and Muslim routes whereas we’ve got Judeo-Christian roots and the Enlightenment.
Thank goodness we have humanitarian missions which show the good goodness of these roots to those peoples in need of them.
Think how lucky these Palestinians are. While the Left here is struggling to get the Carabinieri to monitor the kids at school, they don’t even have to pay tax money, because the Israeli comrades place their sharpshooters, at their own expense, in front of the elementary and middle schools, ready to shoot those little bastard pushers who are hawking hash and cigarettes in front of those buildings which are always chock full of young people who don’t study much .
This isn’t nice. I think that one of the first tasks of the Left should be to help this people, which is kind of left to itself and has got a bit lazy, to walk together with their Israeli friends, so they can educate each other how to listen. This is the only way that there can be the peace we are all struggling for, on the Left, and which will be a step forward for all of us, and certainly for them too .
If instead of resisting, so pigheadedly, against progress and friendship, they stopped fighting against manifest destiny, the destiny willed by G-d and by everybody, people would appreciate them more. If instead of killing, they just started dying, then they would be much more lovable and they would help us to help them.
Wowwowchowchow, Dacia Valent
Translated from Italian by Miguel Martinez, (and smiled up by Dacia Valent and Mary Rizzo). Miguel and Mary are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This article is on copyleft and may be published elsewhere, as long as the author, source and translators are cited and the content remains unchanged.