Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Heartbreaking thoughts on Memorial Day

For non-US readers, two quick prefatory notes. One, Cindy Sheehan has been a leading figure in the anti-war movement for some years, since her son Casey died in Iraq. She first made news by camping near Bush's home in Crawford, Texas. And two, the US observes Memorial Day (last Monday of May) as a national holiday in honor of soldiers who died serving the country (these days, their sacrifice is usually noted by burning up maybe 15 gallons of gas by driving in your minivan to the beach for the long weekend, or drinking yourself silly with friends at a barbecue).

Excerpts from Cindy Sheehan's resignation at The Daily Kos:
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...
...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."
...Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on.
...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 every 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 to know 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 to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
...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.
...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.

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