From the October 2005 Idaho Observer:
Go get him, Cindy!
This is not intended to be a news story about the adventures of Cindy Sheehan. For one, it is difficult for a monthly newspaper to keep up with this mom-on-fire. Also, you can stay fairly current with where she is and what she’s doing by reading up on her in the dominant dailies.
This is, however, intended to be a heart-and-soul-felt tribute to a woman who was truly inspired into setting the mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of this nation on fire with the desire for the commander-in-chief of the armed forces to answer for America (and the world) one simple question: "For what noble cause are our young men and women dying in Iraq?" For whatever reasons (pick one or more from the list: divine guidance, good timing, a noble cause, a nice face, slow news days or lucky stars), Sheehan has captured millions of hearts. It is my firm belief that this one mom-in-search-of-an-answer has done more to raise awareness of the ongoing criminal enterprise called Operation Iraqi Freedom (or is it called something else now?) than any other one person or organization in America today.
Sheehan’s son Casey was killed April 4, 2004, a few weeks after arriving in Iraq. The circumstances of his death and the deaths of four other soldiers during the same incident are, themselves, curious. Casey’s death led Sheehan to question everything about it—including the war itself. Her audience with President Bush in June, 2004 (The IO, July, 2005), was a dreadful experience for the entire Sheehan family and furthered Sheehan’s resolve to do whatever it took to end the senseless killing.
She co-founded "Gold Star Families for Peace (www.gsfp.org) and began speaking to students, organizations, politicians and anyone who even pretended to listen. She wrote letters and articles and kept accumulating information, insight, contacts—and a growing contingent of people who liked her personally and supported what she was doing.
It was during this phase that we met Sheehan. She came to Coeur d’Alene at the behest of her friend John Taylor and spoke passionately to an audience of about 50 college students and local Democrat-leaning activists.
That was May 18. We even had Sheehan and a few people over for dinner. At the risk of sounding like a name dropper (a capacity we all share, we vary in degrees of shamelessness), it was that evening with her that allows the phenomenon she has since become to make more sense: Cindy Sheehan will stop the war and the senseless killing—or join her son trying.
As of our evening together, she did not have the support of her family. I think most of us know what that is like.
Then came her 15 minutes of fame: She and a group of supporters established Camp Casey August 5, 2005—as close to the Crawford Texas Bush ranch as she could camp. "Just answer one question, Mr. President, and all these mean people will go away."
Sheehan’s 15 minutes became 15 days. Camp Casey grew by day—hundreds of people out there, baking in the scorching Texas sun and millions of people watching and silently supporting her from behind their televisions. Finally, after nearly three weeks of nonstop Cindy, the president, unable to finish his six-week vacation in peace and obviously unable to name the noble cause for which Sheehan’s son was killed, fled his Texas retreat for the exclusive wilds of north-central Idaho.
Fleeing from justice, as it were, was not good for the commander-in-chief’s sinking public image. In fact, it made matters worse and the international press corps helped Sheehan capitalize on the Bush’s public relations faux pas.
Then, blessedly for Bush, Katrina came and took care of the Camp Casey chapter of Sheehan’s mission to stop the war.
Hurricane Katrina came and went but Hurricane Cindy is still out there—and there is nothing FEMA can do about this storm, either.
To Cindy: Ingri and I send our love. I am sure we can speak for the rest of The IO staff, Edda, Kay, Penney, John and everyone else who heard you in north Idaho when we say, "Go get him, girl, we are proud of you."
To everyone else who spent time at Camp Casey, reported her activities, provided support in whatever way you could and then sent our hero on her way, bless you and thank you for taking the time to watch her back and help her go forward. ~DWH
We Don’t Exist
by Cindy Sheehan
Sunday 25 September 2005
Last weekend, Karl Rove said that I was a clown and the anti-war movement was "non-existent." I wonder if the hundreds of thousands of people who showed up today to protest this war and George’s failed policies know that they don’t exist. It is also incredible to me that Karl thinks that he can wish us away by saying we aren’t real. Well, Karl and Co., we are real, we do exist and we are not going away until this illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq is over and you are sent back to the depths of whatever slimy, dark, and loathsome place you came from. I may be a clown, Karl, but you are about to be indicted. You also preside over one of the biggest three-ring, malevolent circuses of all time: The Bush administration.
The rally today was overwhelming and powerful. The reports that I was arrested today were obviously false. The peace rally was mostly very peaceful. Washington, DC was filled with energetic and proud Americans who came from all over to raise their voices in unison against the criminals who run our government and their disastrous policies that are making our nation more vulnerable to all kinds of attacks (natural and "Bush"-made disasters).
I led the march for peace alongside such venerable activists as the Reverends Al Sharpton, Bob Edgars, and Jesse Jackson Jr., and Julian Bond. Two of our Congresswomen with cojones from California, Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, also led the march.
Many people told me thank you for coming. I want to tell America "Thank you!!" At the Camp Casey reunion this evening, I was so overcome with emotion and gratitude that I wanted to hug every citizen of this country. We in the Camp Casey movement are so proud and thrilled that America showed up in such great numbers.
So much happened today! I am exhausted but very content. I am again filled with a renewed sense of hope that we will get our country back and get our troops home. I was also thrilled at the number of young people who came out today. That is another great sign that the side of good is winning.
With the Reverends, we stopped in front of the White House and said a prayer. After the prayer, I said that we are light and they are darkness. Darkness can NEVER overcome the light, ever. As long as there is one spark, the darkness has lost. We will prevail, we will be victorious. The darkness has lost because our beacons of peace and truth are shining for the entire world to see. And it is a very pretty sight. Take that Karl.
~Courtesy of T R U T H O U T www.truthout.org
(Truthout has faithfully posted everything Sheehan has written during her journey and its writers have kept us up to date on her activities every step of the way).
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