From Carol Wolman in California:
Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Iraq 2
years ago. She helped start Gold Star families
for peace and afterdowningstreet.org, and has
been speaking for peace all around the world.
She has been sitting outside Bush's ranch in
Crawford Texas for 3 days, waiting for him to
speak to her. This has attracted international
media attention, and supporters are gathering to
join her vigil.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, Carol Wolman
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Freeland
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 11:11 PM
Subject: FW: [911-disc] Cindy Sheehan's speech to
the VFP National Convention
Matthew 5: 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they shall be called children of God".
Cindy Sheehan Address Veterans For Peace
2005-08-08 David Swanson's diary, at
It's so great to be here.
Last year when you guys had your convention in
Boston, my son had only been dead a few months,
and we were really honored because the Santa
Barbara chapter took my daughter's poem A Nation
Rocked to Sleep, (and they did it again this
year), and I remember Michael Cervantes, he
brought the booklet over to our house and showed
it to us, and I never dreamed in a year I'd be
standing here in front of you as one of the
speakers at your convention, I never dreamed I'd
be doing this at all, but isn't it weird what
life hands you
I never heard about Veterans for until, I can
tell you the exact day I heard about VFP, it was
May 4th, 2004, and my son had been dead exactly a
month, and I was watching CNN, and something came
on, it was a report on Arlington West in Santa
Barbara, and we lived about 6 hours north of
Santa Barbara, and it was the May 4th before
Mother's Day, which was May 8th, and VFP was
going to put it up on Sunday, every Sunday, so I
called my husband and I said, "There's only one
place I want to be on Mother's Day this year, I
want to be at Santa Barbara. I want to go and see
When we went, the first time we went, there was a
little over 700 crosses, now there's over 1,800
And I'm glad to hear everybody else's words,
because somebody's gotta stop those lying
bastards. Somebody has to stop them.
I got an email yesterday - - If you guys heard I
just had a story published that talks about - -
it's called Where Do I Live?, it talks about an
Iranian-American who got the shaft because a
recruiter liked him, and the recruiter falsified
his paperwork, so he ended up in prison.
He's been in prison since November without due
Another mother whose son was found dead in Iraq,
they told her that he died from a drug overdose.
Three months later, they got the toxicology
report; no drugs. She was devastated, she said,
"I know my son, he did not do drugs." She was
told that her son's wife and his battle buddies
said in a report that yes, her son abused drugs
in Iraq. But when she got that report it said
categorically that no, he did not abuse drugs. So
how did her son die?
And then there's Kevin and Monica Benderman.
Kevin did exactly the right thing and got 15
months in prison. Whereas like Dahr said, the war
criminals in Washington, D.C., they don't even
lose a night's sleep.
Then we have this lying bastard, George Bush,
taking a 5-week vacation in a time of war. You
know what? I'm never going to get to enjoy
another vacation, because of him.
My vacation probably - -this is really sad
because I have a really cute dress I was going to
wear to the banquet tomorrow night, but I'm
either gonna be in jail or in a tent in Crawford,
waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me
why my son died.
Anyway, I got an email, I kinda got off track, a
man emailed me yesterday, I get contacted by all
kinds of people with their stories, and he said
Cindy, I read everything you write, I read it on
LewRockwell.com, he said, "I get tears in my
eyes, but today I cried real tears, and I
screamed, because my dear sweet nineteen ear-old
cousin was killed in Iraq."
And he said, "Cindy, why didn't I save him? Why
didn't I knock him out, why didn't I take him to
Canada?" and I wrote him back and I said, "You
know what? We all think that."
I said to my son not to go. I said, you know it's
wrong, you know you're going over there. You know
your unit might have to kill innocent people, you
know you might die. And he says, "My buddies are
going, I have to go." He said, "If I don't go
someone's going to have to do my job, and my
buddies will be in danger."
So what really gets me is these chickenhawks, who
sent our kids to die, without ever serving in a
war themselves. They don't know what it's all
30 of our bravest young men have already died
this month, and it's only the 5th of August. And
the tragedy of the marines in Ohio is awful.
But do you guys remember back in March when we
were having our 2nd year anniversary of the
invasion of Iraq which was pre-empted by Terry
Schiavo, so that's all that was on the news, not
5,000 of us in Fayetteville, Wolf Blitzer said it
was insignificant, but they put Terry Schiavo on,
and I wrote something then called The Amazing
Hypocrites and I asked why does she deserve life
more than my son, and the Iraqi people? And more
than the other people that this war has killed.
But do you think George Bush will interrupt his
vacation and go visit the families of those 20
marines that have died in Ohio this week? No,
because he doesn't care, he doesn't have a heart.
That's not enough to stop his little playing
cowboy' game in Crawford for 5 weeks.
So, as you can imagine, the grieving parents who
lost - - lost, I don't like to use that word,
whose child was murdered, it's extremely
difficult, you can't even get a small scab on our
wound, because every day it rips open. Every day,
I don't know why I do it because I already know
that war is ugly, I already know that war is
hard. But I open up the DOD site to see, who
became an angel, while I was sleeping.
And that rips my heart open, because I know there
is another mother whose life is going to be
ruined that day. So we can't even begin to heal.
So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George
Bush was speaking after the tragedy of the
marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that
Seriously outraged me.
And I know I don't look like I'm outraged, I'm
always so calm and everything, that's because if
I started hitting something, I wouldn't stop til
it was dead. So I can't even start, cause I know
how dangerous that would be, but George Bush was
talking, and he never mentioned the terrible
incident of those marines, but he did say, that
the families of the ones who have been killed can
rest assured that their loved ones died for a
And, he also said, he says this often, and this
really drives me crazy, he said that we have to
stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor
the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen.
And I say, why should I want one more mother to
go through what I've gone through, because my son
is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor
my son's sacrifice is to bring the rest of the
troops home. To make my son's death count for
peace and love, and not war and hatred like he
I don't want him using my son's death or my
family's sacrifice to continue the killing. I
don't want him to exploit the honor of my son and
others to continue the killing. They sent these
honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable
So, as many of you have heard, and I didn't mean
to cause any problems with the convention, but I
was writing an email to everybody, and I was so
mad, like I said, and I just had this brainstorm,
I'm going to Dallas, I don't know where Crawford
is. I've been in Texas, Casey was stationed at
Fort Hood. I drove from northern California to
Fort Hood one time, it took like, 30 hours. And I
thought, I could be driving for days to get from
Dallas to Crawford!
But I don't care, I'm goin'. And I'm gonna tell
them, "You get that evil maniac out here, cuz a
Gold Star Mother, somebody who's blood is on his
hands, has some questions for him."
And I'm gonna say, "OK, listen here, George. #1,
you quit, and I demand, every time you get out
there and say you're going to continue the
killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by
continuing the mission; you say, except Casey
"And you say except for all the members of
Goldstar Families for Peace' cuz we think not one
drop of blood should be spilled in our families'
names. You quit doing that. You don't have my
And I'm gonna say, "And you tell me, what the
noble cause is that my son died for." And if he
even starts to say freedom and democracy' I'm
gonna say, bullshit.
You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son
died for oil. You tell me that my son died to
make your friends rich. You tell me my son died
to spread the cancer of pax Americana,
imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that,
you don't tell me my son died for freedom and
Cuz, we're not freer. You're taking away our
freedoms. The Iraqi people aren't freer, they're
much worse off than before you meddled in their
You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out
(massive round of applause)
And if you think I won't say bullshit to the
President, I say move on, cuz I'll say what's on
So, what's gonna happen? I started this, I
thought it was gonna be just me and my sister
driving to Crawford, but it kind of mushroomed
and people from as far away as Dayton, Ohio are
coming, to help us, to stand behind us, because I
travel all over the country, I speak, I write, I
get feedback on my writing, and just in the
little over a year that I've been doing this,
I've seen a major turnaround in this country.
People don't just want to hear it, they want to
know, what can we do?
What can we do to get him out of power? And I'm
gonna say the I' word. Impeach. And we have to
have everybody impeached that lied to the
American public, and that's the executive branch,
and any people in congress, and we gotta go all
the way down and we might have to go all the way
down to the person who picks up the dogshit in
We can't let somebody rise to the top who will
pardon these war criminals. Because they need to
go to prison for what they've done in this world.
We can't have a pardon. They need to pay for what
So anyway, I'm gonna go to Crawford tomorrow, and
I'm gonna say I want to talk to him, and they
say, he's not coming out, I'm gonna set up my
tent there until he comes out to talk to me.
And I have the whole month of August off, just
like him. It's just the way it worked out, I was
supposed to go to England tomorrow to do some
Downing Street things, but Conyers cancelled, so
hey, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and
I'm gonna stay until he comes out and talks to
me. And if he quits his vacation and goes to
D.C., I'll pull my tent up, I'll go to D.C., and
put it on the White House lawn, and I'll be
waiting for you guys when you get there September
Another thing that I'm doing is - - my son was
killed in 2004, so I'm not paying my taxes for
2004. If I get a letter from the IRS, I'm gonna
say, you know what, this war is illegal; this is
why this war is illegal. This war is immoral;
this is why this war is immoral. You killed my
son for this. I don't owe you anything. And if I
live to be a million, I won't owe you a penny.
And I want them to come after me, because unlike
what you've been doing with the war resistance, I
want to put this frickin' war on trial. And I
want to say, "You give me my son, and I'll pay
I live in Vacaville, come and get me if you can
find me there and put me on trial, because like
Camilo (Mejia), Camilo knew what was right. And
he went to prison for that. And Henry David
Thoreau he went to prison, he refused to pay his
poll tax, and Emerson, I call them HT and RW, and
RW came to visit HT and said what are you doing
here, buddy? And HT said, why aren't you here?
This is the only place for a moral person in an
It's up to us, the people, to break immoral laws,
and resist. As soon as the leaders of a country
lie to you, they have no authority over you.
These maniacs have no authority over us. And they
might be able to put our bodies in prison, but
they can't put our spirits in prison. And I know
that Camilo came out a much stronger person, he's
one of my heroes, it's great a row of heroes in
front of me here.
And everyone gave such great testimony this
evening, I have to wonder, why do we keep doing
this to each other? Why do we let this continue
time and time again, why do let it happen? And
it's because our country, is so good at
demonizing people, I still have relatives from
WWII that still call Japanese people Japs'. And
we demonize the Iraqi people, where, most of this
country doesn't even think we're killing innocent
Because, "Oh Cindy, don't you remember what
happened on September 11th?"
"Yeah, but, were any of those people in Iraq? And
the people who flew those planes into the Trade
Center, where they from Iraq?"
When I was growing up, it was Communists'. Now
it's Terrorists'. So you always have to have
somebody to fight and be afraid of, so the war
machine can build more bombs, guns, and bullets
But I do see hope. I see hope in this country.
58% of the American public are with us. We're
preaching to the choir, but the choir's not
singing, if all of the 58% started singing, this
war would end.
I got an email the other day and it said, "Cindy,
if you didn't use so much profanity there's
people on the fence' that get offended"
And you know what I said? "You know what? You
know what, god-damn-it? How, in the world is
anybody still sitting on that fence'?"
"If you fall on the side that is pro-George, and
pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take
the place of somebody who wants to come home. And
if you fall on the side that is against this war
and against George Bush, stand up and speak out."
But whatever side you fall on, quit being on the
The opposite of good is not evil, it's apathy.
And we have to get this country off their butts,
and we have to get the choir singing.
We need to say, bring our troops home now.
We can't depend on the people in charge bringing
our troops home.
Because you don't plan on bringing the troops
home when you drop so much of the reconstruction
money into building permanent bases.
I was hoping to come to the banquet tomorrow
night, but unless George comes out and talks to
me, I'll be camping at Crawford.
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