CODEPINK Blogs From Crawford


Camp Casey Blogs- 2006

August 14, 2006


First Blog From Camp Casey 3
by Samantha Miller
I arrived at Camp Casey 3 late Friday night just as the evening program was ending.  Everyone at Camp gathered around a group of crosses representing the American soldiers who died in Iraq since Camp Casey 1 last August.  We shared a moment of silence and then sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth” as the sun went down.  It was the perfect way to start off my Camp Casey experience.

Saturday we had a Texas-style BBQ and invited all the neighbors. Those who showed up didn't necessarily agree with us, but they were open to dialogue as we enjoyed the delicious food and cold beer.  After lunch a young man from Austin entertained us with traditional Persian songs on his sitar; it was an unexpected but very welcomed cultural experience in the middle of nowhere Texas.

Though Camp Casey began earlier than originally planned due to Bush's ever- changing vacation schedule, it's coming together beautifully.  A group of amazing volunteers have been working hard in the heat to get everything up and running.
On Sunday, Cindy was released from the hospital and joined us for the interfaith service.  The spirit was very celebratory, with music and poetry dominating the program.

Come join us at Camp Casey this summer, all are welcome.  We'll be here until September 2nd.  For more info on Camp Casey, directions, and a schedule of events, go to www.campcasey3.org

Camp Casey Blogs- 2005

Watch Jodie Evan's Interview by Will Pitt, Truthout 
(opens in a new window)
Read: Diane Wilson: an interview by Gayle Brandeis

Listen to: Cindy's Blog Conference Call


August 31, 2005

My Last Post From Crawford
By Cindy Sheehan

"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming an historic victory over the United States and our coalition."(George Bush, August 30, 2005 in San Diego.)

So it is official, Casey had his blood shed in Iraq for Oil.

He died so we could pay over $3.00/gallon for gas. Like I suspected all along, my dear, sweet son: almost 1900 others; and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis died so the oil fields wouldn't "fall into the hands of terrorists" and so George and his immoral band of greedy robber barons could become wealthier. Like I have said all along: how can these people sleep at night and how can they choke down their food knowing it is purchased off of the flesh and blood of others? We have found our "Noble Cause." And it is Oil. This man and his handlers need to be stopped.

Well, George and I are leaving Crawford today. George is finished playing golf and telling his fables in San Diego, so he will be heading to Louisiana to see the devastation that his environmental policies and his killing policies have caused. Recovery would be easier and much quicker if almost ½ of the three states involved National Guard were not in Iraq. All of the National Guard's equipment is in Iraq, also. Plus, with the 2 billion dollars a week that the private contractors are siphoning from our treasury, how are we going to pay for helping our own citizens in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama? And, should I dare say "global warming?" and be branded as a "conspiracy theorist" on top of everything else the right-wingers say about me.

We are now packing up Camp Casey and leaving Crawford and heading to George's place of employment. He wouldn't talk to us, his employers, while we were here to give him his "job evaluation," so we must go to him to have our little chat.

I just want to thank a few people and groups for their support, help, and love while we have been here in Crawford. So many people made the Camp Casey experience possible and so successful. If I miss someone, I am so sorry: that is the difficult thing about thanking people. I love you all, even if I don't remember to thank you!!

My sister: Dede Miller: My kids' second mom who is always by my side and supports me 100% in whatever I do. My cause is her cause, and I couldn't do what I do without her.

Carly, Andy, and Janey: Who would love to see more of their mom, but who understand that we are trying to save their future by what we do. I love you guys, and I will see you very, very soon (yea!!) I couldn't do what I do without their love and support.

The Crawford Peace House: I got an email from Hadi Jawad the day that I decided to come and camp in Crawford and he pledged the help and support of the Peace House. At that time, they only had a few bucks in their checking account and the phone was turned off. Now, thanks to America, they have been able to keep Camp Casey going and they will be able to continue their good works indefinitely. Thanks to John Wolf who had the vision for peace in Crawford and I think that Camp Casey was a fulfillment of his vision. They are going to make a garden and call it "The Casey Sheehan Memorial Peace Garden." What a tribute to my son.

CODEPINK: Jodie Evans and Tiffany and Alicia were the first ones here on Monday 08/08 to jump in and save me from going crazy and hopping on one of the trains that runs past the Peace House and pulling an "Agatha Christie." Code Pink also worked tirelessly (and I mean tirelessly) outside of Camp Casey.

MoveOn: For organizing the highly successful candlelight vigils.

Lisa Fithian: For all the organizing work she did behind the scenes.

GSFP, IVAW, MFSO, AND VFP: Our organizations with "skin in the game" for all of their support, presence, love, and help.

Bill Mitchell: Bill's son Mike, was KIA in the same battle as Casey and he was the first GSFP member to come to Camp Casey and take some of the heat off of me. He found a new love at Camp Casey (one of our miracles) and I am sooo happy about that. Plus, Bill is one of my most ardent supporters and he just gets in the middle of things, digs in, and helps wherever. I love him and he and his family will be parts of our family forever.

Fred Mattlage: For donating the amazing piece of land for our use that allowed Camp Casey to expand to include thousands.

Air America: The Morning Sedition, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, and Laura Flanders. Thank you for your support . Ed Schultz belongs there, too, although he is not affiliated with Air America Radio. Amy Goodman was here, too!

The bloggers on The Daily Kos (and most bloggers in general): I would read their comments everyday after I posted my diary and I was always heartened and encouraged by their remarks. After all of the negativity, their positivity gave me strength to go on. In addition, the first night we were in Crawford, and being harassed, they were posting things and getting the word out that we were there alone and defenseless, which may have saved our lives, or saved us from being injured, or harassed out of there.

So many other people: The Camp Casey volunteers…literally hundreds. The more than 10,000 people who came through CC. Ann Wright who kept CC going. Arianna Huffington for her advice and support. Joan Baez who kept CC's spirits alive while I was in California attending to my sick mother. George Bush for not meeting with me on August 6th. Martin Sheen for his support and presence. A.I.M for Dennis Banks and Russell Means. Gary Hart, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jan Schakowsky, Dennis Kucinich, Frank Pallone, Lynn Woolsey, Chuck Hagel, Ralph Nader, Jim McDermott, Walter Jones, Charlie Rangel and the other politicos who either came to CC, or called me to offer their support and love. I know I am forgetting some, but thanks to you all. Joe Wilson and his family for paving the way for me to be able to ignore and dismiss the right-wing smear machine who always tried to marginalize and discredit me by exaggerating or twisting my words and lying about me. The clergy who were there with their love and support: Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Dennis Shulman; Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Bob Edgars, Rev. Jesse Jackson (who prayed bed time prayers with me), Rita Brock, etc.

There were so many good people who donated money, goods, or services who want to be kept anonymous.

But especially to Americans who resonated with Camp Casey and gave us prayers, support, money, love and most of all hope for the future.

We will take our country back. And it will be a country that we want back.

God Bless America!!!!

August 31, 2005

Dear Friends

The past couple of weeks have been moving, exciting, astonishing, humbling, happy and sad all at the same time. On Thursday, August 18, as I was preparing to leave for Crawford to support Cindy Sheehan in her vigil at President Bush's door, I got a phone call. Cindy's mom had had a stroke. She was coming to LA and needed help while she was in town. I spent the next several days with her and her family there and Friday, August 29, came to Crawford, to Camp Casey II.

I'll be here ‘til Cindy leaves. She is a remarkable women, at once humble and fully aware of the sea change she has created with her lawn chair, her tent and her determination to take her questions to the President for the American people. Cindy wants to know:

  • What is the noble cause for which Casey died?
  • How many more lives are we as a country willing to sacrifice in Iraq?
  • What is your plan to bring the troops home?

These days in Texas have been a flood of images, events and feelings.

Saturday, August 27, was as amazing as it was unexpected. I knew there would be a rally in support of Cindy. The war-mongers' bus tour was coming to town and people supporting Cindy just kept pouring in. Busses arrived from all over Texas throughout the day, more than 2500 people gathered, both under our beautiful tent at Camp Casey II and Camp Casey. The speeches were heartfelt, articulate, short and to the point. No one (well, almost one, but that's another story) rambled on for too long. Joan Baez was Joan Baez — her beautiful voice remains so clear and strong! There were other musical moments, some professional sounding, some not — all intensely heartfelt. The mood was warm and inclusive. Each time volunteers were needed, double the number needed appeared instantly.

A particularly poignant moment was when Cindy met with a young man -- they are all so young! -- who was one of Casey's roommates at Fort Hood and was there when Casey was killed. She asked him to tell her something about Casey's life in the Army. "He was quiet, kind of kept to himself. He was a pretty good guy. He liked to collect those action figures.” Cindy said, "Yes, we got those back after he died." Another active duty soldier drove from New Mexico with his father and brother to see Cindy and thank her for what she's doing. He is going to be deployed to Iraq in two weeks.

Cindy's combination of humility and natural leadership continues to astonish. At one point she said, smiling, "Just sitting in my camper and Joan Baez is practicing her songs, yep, a typical day in my life at Camp Casey." Then, during her speech, "Camp Casey is going to end the war in Iraq!" Organizers plan to take Camp Casey to members of Congress in their districts and demand that their Representatives answer Cindy's three questions plus two more. It's time for our elected representatives not only to answer the questions but to finally direct them at the President themselves and begin to act to end the war.

I keep thinking I'm going to finish this, but I'm so exhausted at the end of each day — a combination of heat, humidity and the fact that I'm not 20 years old and just can't stay up all night. I will get this off to you and share more impressions and memories later. There's a new website: http://www.meetwiththemothers.org and you can keep checking for updates now at: http://www.codepinkalert.org/

Love and Peace (NOW!!!), Susan
Camp Casey Veteran & CODEPINK supporter

August 29, 2005

Good By to Crawford, But Not to Camp Casey
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford -- Day 24

While George golfed yesterday, the worst hurricane ever struck New Orleans; oil went up to over 68.00/barrel; and an American soldier was killed in the charade and cataclysmic occupation of Iraq. The soldier's family doesn't even know what's going to hit them yet. The death is "Pending Notification." I continually ask myself: "How do George Bush and other death-mongers live with themselves?" While George vacations and bikes and golfs his way to the lowest poll numbers since Richard Nixon, other "patriots" are wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes and going along with the farce that the mission from hell: Killing more people in Iraq, because so many have already been killed" is somehow a good thing ordained by God. I can live with myself, but trust me, sleep does not come easily to me these days.

Yesterday at Camp Casey was, again naturally, an amazing day. Dennis Means from the A.I.M. came with a group of Native American musicians and they made a presentation to me. He gave me a shawl in the tradition of Tecumseh and he pinned a brooch of 5 stars on it from "One chief to another." He also said we should all change our last names to Sheehan and he will be known as: Dennis Means Sheehan! Sheehan is Gaelic for "Peace" which I think is such a cool thing, and not a coincidence. Casey Sheehan's sacrifice will stand for peace forever.

I missed the candlelight vigil at Camp Casey I last night, but I heard that the counter-protestors came over and held vigil with us for our killed heroes. I heard it was beautiful and life-affirming. This is what Camp Casey does for us: it transforms bitter anger into righteous, productive anger. It turns hate into love. It brings people together in new love and cements mature relationships. It brings other people together who would normally not ever meet and makes them lifelong soul-friends. It heals broken hearts and mends broken souls. I know Camp Casey has healed my broken soul and heart. A veteran from the Iraq tragedy told me that he is now cured of any bad feelings he had.

Just another day at Camp Casey.

I must admit when I sat down in the ditch on August 6th, I thought to myself: "Self, what the hell did you do? Texas in August? A ditch filled with fire ants, rattle snakes, and chiggers? Pooping in a bucket? Dodging lightening bolts and heat exhaustion? But I knew I would have to suffer it through to the end. I knew that the people of Iraq and our soldiers have it far worse than we did. I thought as long as I could have plenty of water and an occasional shower at the Peace House, that I would survive.

What I never thought, however, was that I would grow to love it here: That I would be so overwhelmed by the magnitude of love and support I receive that I would be depressed to leave Camp Casey. I don't want to leave, but I know that for the Camp Casey movement to keep growing, we have to leave Crawford and take Camp Casey to the people.

Tonight I will write to look back on the good times, less than good times and the miracles that occurred here in Crawford. But I want to thank one person for the best "vacation" and most amazing experience I have ever had: George Bush: Thank you George for not meeting with me on August 6 th and thank you for being the motivation for Camp Casey. I know you don't want Camp Casey to come to the place you reside between vacations, so I would suggest you bring our troops home immediately.

But most of all: thank you my son. Thank you for living the kind of life that inspires people to work for peace and justice. Thank you for choosing me to be your mom. Thank you for being the embodiment of love and thank you for being the inspiration for the Camp Casey movement. I promise you it won't end until all of your buddies are brought home. And I promise I will fight for your unborn nieces and nephews and the rest of the children of the world, so they won't be misused and abused by corrupt leadership like you and your buddies were.

I love you Casey.

August 28, 2005

In My Life I Loved You More - Day 23
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford

Since I began my vigil in Crawford, an average of 2.69 per day of our nation's brave and noble troops died in Iraq for George's cowardly and ignoble war. 2.69 families per day have been devastated for no reason except that: we have to continue killing American soldiers because so many have been killed already. My heart and soul go out to these families who had a loved one killed so needlessly and avoidably.

How many more are we as Americans going to tolerate before we force the reckless commander in chief to bring our kids home? How much more blood are we going to allow congress to wash their hands in before we force them to force George to bring our children home?

We are doing everything at Camp Casey to build awareness of this illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. Now we need your help. We are taking Camp Casey to Congress. We plan to hold rallies and meetings in key Congressional districts (Democrats and Republican alike), where the incumbent is weak on the war. Here is the letter I am sending to all of our Congressional representatives:

Dear [Representative],
My son Casey, just 24, was killed in Baghdad on April 4, 2004. It is devastating to me knowing that Casey died needlessly, that so many other families face this same grief, and that new families are added daily. I have been sitting outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford since August 6 th in a roadside ditch we named Camp Casey, seeking a meeting and a dialogue about an illegal and immoral war. I have been joined there by other mothers and families, many of whom have lost children in the war, some who have children now serving in the military, and still others who in one way or another have been touched by the war.

The President has not been willing to meet with me, but he must meet and listen to you. President Bush sent our sons and daughters to war in Iraq. Congress gave him the authority to do so. That's why we are now turning to you, the elected officials who have the power to declare wars -- and end wars. We come to you with grieving hearts to request that you meet with us to answer our simple questions:
President Bush has said that brave Americans like my son Casey have died for a "noble cause."What is that "noble cause"?

"How many more lives are we as a country willing to sacrifice in Iraq? How many are you personally willing to sacrifice?

What are you specifically doing to bring our sons and daughters home from this needless war?

Mothers from your district -- all who share my conviction that this war must come to an end -- are eager to meet with you, and pose to you the questions that the President has refused to answer for me. They will be coming to meet you with a symbol from our vigil in Crawford and will seek honest, straightforward responses to our simple questions. They are your constituents, and they will be asking you my questions, their questions, and the nation's questions. They are going to ask you, your colleagues, and the President to answer us.

As a member of Congress you have the enormous responsibility to end this tragedy and bring our sons and daughters home now. Meet with us, answer us, and show us that there need not be a Camp Casey in your district. Show us that the Crawford Camp Casey, brought on by a stonewalling leader, was all we need. Show us your compassion and leadership.
Sincerely,
Cindy Sheehan
Mother of Casey Sheehan

Please keep watching www.MeetWithCindy.org for the schedule of our bus tour and our Congressional visiting schedule. We need your support at these events.

Yesterday was extraordinary at Camp Casey. It was filled with love, passion, and compassion. We started off the day with a prayer service led by religious leaders of all faiths, topped off with a little preaching by the Rev. Al Sharpton who gave an amazing talk in support of Camp Casey and all we are doing. Right before the Rev. Sharpton arrived, Sean Hannity said that if he were truly a man of God, instead of supporting me, the Reverend would "denounce" me for speaking ill of the President. The Reverend didn't take Hannity's advice, and I am glad.

The next stunning event was the marriage of Peter and Genevieve at Camp Casey II. It was so beautiful. Genevieve walked down the aisle towards Peter and his two sons, while we all hummed: "Here Comes the Bride." The couple for peace then had a collection taken up for our bus tour ( www.BringThemHomeNow.org ) in lieu of gifts. They also made a generous donation to the tour. It was amazing, beautiful, and touching, and I am so honored, but not surprised, that they chose to begin their new lives together in such a loving place as Camp Casey. At the end of the ceremony, they played "In My Life" by the Beatles. One part of the song says: "Some are dead and some are living, in my life, I loved you more." I had about all I could handle when I heard that line and I wept for my loss, but also for my gain. Camp Casey has given me back my joy for life, and a renewed sense of hope for my future and my country's future.

We ended the day reciting a rosary, led by Martin Sheen. Martin said Camp Casey was "holy ground" and he met with the Iraqi veterans and with me. I called him my "dream President."I am so happy that at least I was able to meet with a President, if a TV one, who turns out to be a very nice guy on top of everything.

Just another day at Camp Casey.

August 26, 2005

Not One More
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford - Day 21

A photographer friend of mine went down to Crawford to the Pro-War, Anti-Peace rally today. There were about 1500 people there he said. He also said that it was the most “third reich” spectacle that he had ever seen in America.

My friend said that the speakers were whipping up the crowd into a frenzy of hatred for me (like they already didn't hate me) and for the peace movement. My friend said that the entire theme of the rally was: “Cindy is killing American troops by her anti-American protest.” Oh really, isn't George Bush killing innocent Americans and Iraqis by sending them to fight in an illegal and immoral war for power and greed? I think the real culprit is my neighbor: George.

I am really sad that there are still people in America who think that someone exercising her freedom of speech is anti-American. People who say we DON'T have the right to dissent are un-patriotic and un-American. My friend said that the rally was really the scariest thing he had ever seen. Except for one funny part when some people were walking through the crowd with a “Say No to War---except when a Democrat is President” (whatever that means???) sign. I guess the people at the rally only read the “Say No to War” part and they were ripping up the signs and chasing the gentlemen out. The unfortunate sign holders were trying to tell the counter-protesters that they were on Bush's killing side, but the crowd wouldn't hear them.

Our rally had about 2500 people jammed into the Camp Casey II tent. The speakers and music were awesome. Joan sang a few more songs. I told the crowd that I totally understand George Bush's noble cause for continuing the war: I have to kill more Americans because I have already killed so many. Then I posed the question to them that we will pose to Congress and the small minority of Americans (38-40%) who still believe in George's oil war. How many more lives are you willing to sacrifice before you bring the troops home? I led the crowd in a deafening chant of “Not One More,” aimed at George's vacation home.

I kind of feel sorry for George; holed up in his ranch. Not being able to go out unless he flies over in his helicopter. If he drove out of the ranch, he would have to see people who disagree with him. But every time he leaves the ranch now, he faces people demanding answers to the question: What Noble Cause?

George is going golfing in Arizona on Monday, then to San Diego on Monday afternoon and Tuesday. Be sure we will have people in those locations bird dogging him. He deserves to be made uncomfortable: he is making the entire world more than uncomfortable.

We are relaxing a little bit tonight after the rally. A very nice young man who was wounded and put in a wheel chair by Bush's war on the same day Casey was killed came out tonight. He is spending his honeymoon with his new bride here at Camp Casey. Which reminds me…we are having 2 weddings here tomorrow: One at Camp Casey I and one at Camp Casey II. We have had so many children and babies come out too…it is the cycle of life.

I was visited by a 2nd Lt. from Casey's 2-5 Cavalry that told me to keep up the good work and Casey's old roommate came out from Ft. Hood to meet me. He may have to go back to Iraq soon. He hopes he doesn't have to since he will be out in 6 months, but he is pretty sure he will be stop-lossed.

It was so hot today in Crawford. So hot, it seemed like there wasn't enough air to breathe. Then a storm came and gave us some blessed relief.

 

August 25, 2005

Exhaustion

The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford
- Day 20

I finally figured out George Bush's NEW reason for staying in Iraq. This reason has also been co-opted by the Move America Forward (forward to what: Fascism?) and the poor mothers who would be honored if their sons were killed in George Bush's war for greed and power.

Since the Freedom and Democracy thing is not going so well and the Iraqi parliament is having such a hard time writing their constitution. Since violence is mounting against Iraqis and Americans and since his poll numbers are going down everyday, he had to come up with something.

I have continually asked George Bush to quit using Casey's name the name of the other Gold Star Families for Peace loved ones to justify his continued killing. He continues to say this: "We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission." So the mission is now this: WE MUST CONTINUE KILLING AMERICANS BECAUSE AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY BEEN KILLED!!!

How can anyone, anyone in their right minds support this line of reasoning? I have been silent on the Gold Star Moms who still support this man and his war by saying that they deserve the right to their opinions because they are in as much pain as I am. I would challenge them, though, at this point to start thinking for themselves. Iraq DID NOT have WMD's; Iraq WAS NOT linked to Al Qaeda and 9/11; Iraq WAS NOT a threat or danger to America. How can these moms who still support George Bush and his insane war in Iraq want more innocent blood shed just because their sons or daughters have been killed? I don't understand it. I don't understand how any mother could ! want another mother to feel the pain we feel. I am starting to lose a little compassion for them. I know they have been as brainwashed as the rest of America, but they know the pain and heartache and they should not wish it on another. However, I still feel their pain so acutely and pray for these "continue the murder and mayhem" moms to see the light.

I didn't do my blog last night because I was so exhausted. I am now lying awake at night thinking and worrying about a couple of things. First of all, how can we keep the momentum of Camp Casey going? Our first step is a bus tour consisting of three buses going through 3 different parts of the country, stopping at various places to do rallies and "visit" Congress people?s offices. I had a brainstorm during my press conference yesterday --our first stop will be at Mr.Tom Delay's office. I just opened my mouth and the words came out and the Bus Tour organizers re-worked the bus schedule so we could make that happen. But before we even issued the invitation to Tom Delay, his office had released a statement saying that he was "too busy to meet with me." In taking Camp Casey to Congress we are creating problems for the very people who voted to give George the authority to invade an innocent country and cause the deaths of so many people. We will eventually target every Congress person, pro-peace or anti-peace alike, Republican or Democrat, and ask them the same questions we are asking the president. Except with Congress, we are going to add one more thing: "Since there is no Noble Cause, you need to develop a speedy exit strategy and bring our troops home as soon as humanly possible". Check out www.BringThemHomeNowTour.org for more info on our bus tour and how you can be involved.

The second thing that worries the crap out of me is the almost icon status that I have achieved. I never set out to become the "Rosa Parks of the Peace Movement." I ventured out on August 6, 2005 to hold George Bush accountable and to raise awareness about his lies and misuse and abuse of power. I didn't set out to become anyone's hero. I am a regular mom who just wants peace and no one else to be murdered for the deceptions of our government. I love the love and support of America: it is what sustains me through these very difficult times and the reich-wing smear campaign. I am blown away and humbled that people are coming from all over the world to meet me and have their pictures taken of me. I am honored when people ask me for my autograph and I love meeting the little ones. I think we real! ly need to focus our energies on the cause of peace, though -- and the message, not the messenger. I am not a perfect person. I am strong and I do have the cajones to tell the world that our "emperor" has no clothes, but it is done out of love of Casey and the others who have died and who are in harm?s way and out of the simple fact that at the end of the day I have to look at myself in the mirror. If I didn't do everything in my power to end this monstrosity of an occupation in Iraq, how could I do that? I promised my boy that I would make the world a better place for his unborn nieces and nephews, and I mean to keep that promise.

We are going to have an eventful day at Camp Casey. We are holding a big rally and so are the "pro-continue the killing because Americans have died already" people. I am a little apprehensive about this. We know that the Sheriff's know that the other people are coming to stir up trouble and provoke us into violence. Well, that is not going to happen on the Camp Casey side. We will not resort to the same tactics as their leaders.

Camp Casey is a place of peace and love and we won't let ignorant citizens bring us down. At this point the smears are amusing me, rather than hurting me.

I will keep you all posted about today's events. Please pray for us that everyone keeps a cool head.

Peace!!!!

August 26, 2005

By Jodie Evans

Suffering from sunburns, fire ants, severe heat and humidity the camp continues with a beautiful and growing spirit. At the press conference this morning Cindy announced the plans for a Bring Them Home Now Tour from Crawford to Congress. Three buses will leave Crawford on Wednesday heading out in spokes north, east and south. Cindy will join one of the buses and travel Wednesday to Austin, by Thursday she will be in front of Tom DeLay's office near Houston. Along side the bus tour is Meetwiththemothers.org, which begins with a letter from Cindy and the mothers to all the members of Congress and the Senate asking them to meet and answer the questions Cindy has for Bush, but with an additional question, What are you doing to stop the deaths? The bus tour will do rallies outside offices of members of Congress and the Senate with Gold Star Families, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. The mother's will ask to meet with them, as Cindy has asked to meet with Bush. The website will track the answers and who is meeting and who isn't. Holding those in power responsible and asking them to act to end the killing and stop the war now.

The main concern of the press today was the plan for tomorrow. We are expecting 1-2 ,000 counter protestors and probably the same number will be coming to visit Camp Casey for our rally and Texas style barbeque. We invited the Bushes to join us, no rsvp yet. Cindy answered “We welcome them to Crawford, we will treat them with respect. The Sheriff has arranged for them to have a rally in town and those who come to stand across the street from us, can enjoy our rally and fine Texas music”. Cindy sent an email to the group today and invited the Gold Star Families traveling with them to meet privately with her tomorrow evening.

The afternoon was full of trainings, meetings about the bus tour and lots of music. Many in camp sharing their talents and their voices. A bus of Veterans for Peace arrived, a car full of IVAW's from California, Nancy and Charlie from MFSO, and many people returning for their 2nd or 3rd weekend. I was sitting at a table with about 8 bloggers and Paul clicked off his phone and said, “My family thinks I am crazy.” I ask if they didn't support him being here, “Oh no, they support that I want to be here, it's just that I came for a few days and have been here over a week.” A story you hear over and over. No one wants to leave, no day is the same and the community continues to grow. Each day more complex and varied than the last. The time flies, we are always shocked when it is time to go to the crosses and listen to Taps, “It can't be this late.” And yet, at the same time it feels like you have lived a month in the day for all that happens. We wear name tags with hash marks for the number of days at Camp Casey. Ann Wright, youthful but in her late 60's, has more hashes than anyone. She arrived with Cindy from the Vets convention and has been the camp coordinator ever since. She is always in good humor, even though she has been living in a tent and working 6am to 2am shifts most of those days.

Other new additions to camp today were a free speech tent for all the groups coming to share their materials, sell their t-shirts and display their banners. A kids table with toys and art materials appeared, another WiFi because we had overloaded the first one. The bloggers put a password on theirs so they were certain of access and the rest of us, it is first come, first serve. A huge first-aid tent filled with medical supplies and a few doctors and nurses on call in the tent. One of the doctors saw Cindy on television in Glasgow on CNN and came to be a doctor in camp. We now have 3 movie screens, 2 sound guys and non-stop music. If it isn't live we have a DJ.

Cindy's night ended with 10 minutes on the Bill Mahr show. Everyone gathered around to watch. She was radiant and fresh in her responses to Mahr's humor. With many of her responses the entire camp broke into thunderous applause, she had her own studio audience but it didn't need prompting. When she moved to the trailer for her late night radio interviews a movie started to a full and eager audience. She had been so inspiring, how could anyone think of going to sleep?

August 24, 2005

The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford - Day 19

False Freedom isn't Free

By Cindy Sheehan

Today when I was driving back and forth between Camp Casey II and the Crawford Peace House, I saw a lot of signs that say "I'm4W", "Support our Troops" and the one I hate the most: "Freedom isn't Free." I have excerpted an article I wrote a few months ago called: A Lie of Historic Proportions. I am not feeling well tonight, so I am heading to bed before six a.m. tonight.

Iraq has been the tragic Lie of Historic Proportions of Washington, DC since before the first Gulf war. For years, Saddam was one of our government's propped up and militarily supported puppets. Many people have seen the famous footage of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam. I suppose the two are smiling so big for the cameras because they are kindred spirits.

After all of the hand-shaking and weapon brokering, when did Saddam become such a bad guy to Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and Co.(Insert your favorite reason here). During the Clinton regime the US-UN led sanctions against Iraq and the weekly bombing raids killed tens of thousands of people in Iraq. Many of them were children, but since one of her children didn't have to be sacrificed to the homicidal war machine, Madeline Albright, thinks the slaughter during the "halcyon" Clinton years was "worth it." More lies.

Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of current events understands that this invasion/occupation of Iraq was not about Saddam being a "bad guy." If that logic is used, then how many innocent Iraqi people have to die before the citizens of America wake up and know that our government is a "bad guy?" We also know that Iraq was not about WMD's. They weren't there and they weren't going to be there for at least a decade, by all reports. Another reason, so wispy and more difficult to disprove, is that America invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people. When one tries to dispute this particular deception, one is accused of being unpatriotic or hating freedom. Even though correct, the statement "Freedom isn't Free" is very insulting to me.

False freedom is very expensive. Fake freedom costs about two billion of our tax dollars a week; phony freedom has cost the Iraqi people tens of thousands of innocent lives; fanciful freedom has meant the destruction of a country and its infrastructure. Tragically, this fabricated notion of freedom and democracy cost me far more than I was willing to pay: the life of my son, Casey. The Lie of Historic Proportions also cost me my peace of mind; I do not feel free and I do not feel like I live in a democracy.

Casey took an oath to protect the US from all enemies "foreign and domestic." He was sent to occupy and die in a foreign country that was no threat to the USA. However, the biggest threat to our safety, humanity, and our way of life in America are George and his cronies. Congress made a Mistake of Historic Proportions and waived its Constitutional responsibility to declare war. It is time for the House to make up for that mistake and introduce a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memos.

It is time to put partisan politics behind us to do what is correct for once and reclaim America's humanity. It is time for Congress and the American people to work together in peace and justice to rid our country of the stench of greed, hypocrisy, and unnecessary suffering that permeates our White House and our halls of Congress. It is time to hold someone accountable for the carnage and devastation that has been caused. As a matter of fact, it is past time, but it is not too late.

Later as we sat behind the trailer writing blogs and laughing she shouted, “Look, a beautiful shooting star.”

August 24, 2005

As the Bells of Freedom Ring
By Jodie Evans

The day started with the hustle and bustle of getting Camp Casey ready for Cindy's return, and all those who would be following her in. Rosie O'Donnell called to offer her support, “what did we need?” Buses for the rally Saturday and flights for more families and Vets to join us here. “Fine” she said, “I'll send a check to cover it all.” Yipppeee, we have 5 buses to help bring in the supporters from Dallas, Ft Worth, Houston and Austin to the big rally on Saturday. Some fabulous new organizers arrived and went to work on details, flyers were made and organizations contacted by 2:00. Lisa Fithian found a printer, we are even more high tech, we now have WiFi at Camp Casey II AND a printer.

Cindy arrived with many of the mothers including Melanie and Susan House and her 8 month old baby. Johnny, son of Melanie, husband of Susan was killed 7 months ago in one of the Black Hawk helicopter crashes. They walked to the crosses for each of their sons and took in the beauty of the camp. Cindy walked through the tent saying hi to the busy crew and new visitors. When she arrived at the giant 20 by 20 foot banner of the face of Casey that Johnny Wolf from the Peace House had made for her, she broke down for a very long time, thank God the cameras pulled back and gave her the space she needed. It was a very powerful and quiet time in the camp.

The kitchen staff laid out dinner and we all ate in a kind of stillness. I ran into Jeff Keyes, “What are you doing here? I thought you left. You have been desperately missed.” He looked serious, “I got to the airport and found myself bawling as I went to turn in the rental car, turned the car around and drove back. I couldn't leave, where else is there to be but here, right now.” Jeff is about 6'5”, in the US Marine reserves and served one tour of duty in Iraq. As the sun set, he and Cindy walked to the front of the crosses where Casey's cross stands. Cindy picked up the cross and walked to the middle of the crosses, flanked by Jeff and Joan Baez.

Quietly the camp moved from under the tent to surround the over 300 crosses. The sunset was beautiful, the sky streaked in reds and oranges. The light was amazing and the feel of the camp rich. Jeff picked up his horn and like an angel played Taps. Slow and sweet. Tears were flowing, I had goose bumps on goose bumps the entire time. Just before he finished we heard the sobs of Melanie House. When it was over Cindy took her shoulder and walked her gently back to the front of the crosses. Joan Baez with a force of a mother bear kept the press from following them, they backed down. With heads bowed and a gentle stillness, the campers began moving back under the tent to give them the privacy they needed.

Aimee from Santa Fe introduced Joan for the 4th night in a row, to an eager audience. She has spent the nights after the sun went down telling us the stories of her life, weaving in delightful stories of our heroes that she has stood by the side of, moments in history she has been present to witness and singing the songs of those moments.

We finally sit after a non stop day to have our hearts and souls fed. She began by singing Finlandia, a capella, the national anthem of Finland, which ends with, “Oh hear my song, Oh God, for all the nations, a song of Peace, for their lands and mine.” To honor Steve Earle for taking a side trip to Crawford to entertain Camp Casey on Saturday night, she sang Christmas in Washington; “You cannot break our will, as the bells of Freedom ring.” sending chills through all of us. She followed with a song she learned while living in Baghdad for a year when she was 10, the Arabic tones and words taking us there. Gracias por la Vida followed and she ended with Swing Low for Casey. It was a Swing Low like I have never heard before, tears were streaming and chills were going up and down my body. She could hit and hold those high notes that ripped our hearts open.....including Cindy's. We leapt to a standing ovation and Cindy moved to the stage to give her a hug and thanks.

Cindy pulled the microphone out and sat on Joan's chair, the tent silenced again. She began slowly, looking around the tent with her eyes often falling on the banner of Casey. She talked about all the Bush attack dog's attempts to discredit her, they were silly and stupid. But what hits her are those who say that Casey would be ashamed of what she is doing. She talked about seeing the banner when she walked in, bigger than life, “I miss him so much,” her voice quaked. We all felt that longing personally. “But you can't kill Casey's love and spirit, he is here with us tonight. Let me tell you about Casey, he was a gentle, kind and loving person. Casey ended up in another persons country, having been told he would be greeted with chocolates and flowers, but instead they didn't want to be occupied.” She took a few breaths, looked over at Casey again and said “Let me tell you about Casey. When he was little he would come up from behind me and grab my legs and kiss my butt and say ‘Mom I wuv you'. Every night when I would kiss him goodnight he would look up and say, ‘Thank you Mom, this was the best day of my life'.”

Everyone was in tears, Cindy took a few more breaths, and began the next story to sobs in the audience. “One day at church in the middle of the sermon, he stood on top of the kneeling prayer bench and at the top of his lungs launched into ‘I'm Popeye the Sailor man', and from that day on, his nick name at church was Popeye.” A pause and another glance at Casey, “One day we went shopping and I was going up and down the rows looking for a place to park, Casey said ‘there's one Mom'. Oh Casey we can't park there, it is for handicaps. Casey responded with ‘Oh, we're not handicapped, we're Catholic'.” We had moved from crying to laughing. She had taken us into the complexity of her heart as it was embracing all that was flowing through her, and we had surrendered to it. She continued with stories and then said that Casey had always wanted to help and serve. “I remember when I was nursing him, I told him I would never let him go to war. I broke that promise.” To pull it all back to how she started, she said, “When I get to heaven, he will say ‘Mom, you did a good job'.” You could hear the gentle sobs. “Nothing, not all the beautiful people I am meeting, not all the Vets that call me Mom will ever be able to replace Casey. It hits me 50 times in a day that I will never see him again. I can't bear that another Mother will have to go through this, bear this. Peace and Love is what it is all about. They say what are you doing? Recreating the 60's? What's wrong with Peace and Love? They have been missing for far too long. You might be able to lie to Congress, and the media, but not us, not mother's who have lost their sons, and some their only child. We aren't going to STOP. All the mother's have to rise up and say NO, I'm not giving you my son so he can die to line your pockets,” her voice was strong, firm and loud. She quieted and looked at Casey's banner again, “When I looked into Casey's eyes when he was just a week old, I knew he was going to be a great man, and look at what he did with his short life. He has brought us all here. He has joined with the tens of thousands of angels who are behind us saying ‘we hope our deaths can make the world a better place'.” The tent burst into applause, eyes full of tears, hearts opened and connected. She had taken us into her heart, into the deep well of Love and Peace that is Cindy Sheehan.

Later as we sat behind the trailer writing blogs and laughing she shouted, “Look, a beautiful shooting star.”

Later as we sat behind the trailer writing blogs and laughing she shouted, “Look, a beautiful shooting star.”

August 24, 2005

My Response to George
As He Speaks from his Vacation away from his Vacation
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford - Day 17

By Cindy Sheehan

"President Bush charged Tuesday that anti-war protesters like Cindy Sheehan who want troops brought home immediately do not represent the views of most U.S. military families and are "advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."

Bringing our troops home from the quagmire that he has gotten us into will be weakening the United States? George: even if you pretend you didn't know that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction and Iraq was not threat to the USA before you invaded, Americans know differently. We have read the reports and the Downing Street Memos. We know you had to "fit the intelligence around the policy" of invading Iraq. I want to know what your real reasons were.

"In brief remarks outside the resort where he is vacationing, Bush gave no indication that he would change his mind and meet with Sheehan after he returns to his Texas ranch Wednesday evening. Sheehan lost a son in Iraq and has emerged as a harsh critic of the war."

I will be back in Crawford George: Even closer to you now in Camp Casey II. Why don't you channel some courage from my son and come down and face me. Face the truth. Your house of cards built on smoke and mirrors is crumbling and you know it.


"Sheehan has been maintaining a vigil outside Bush's ranch, a demonstration that has been joined by more and more other anti-war protesters."

Because I am not the only one in America who wants the answers, America wants the answers.

"Bush said that two high-ranking members of his staff already met with her earlier this month and that he met with her last year."

I didn't go to Crawford to meet with Steven "Yellow cake uranium liar" Hadley or the other "high ranking" official they sent out. I went to meet with George. Does he get that yet? I did meet with him 10 weeks after his insane and arrogant Iraq war policies killed Casey and 9 weeks after I buried my oldest child. George: things are different between you and I now.

"I've met with a lot of families," Bush said. "She doesn't represent the view of a lot of families I have met with."

I never said I did. I want one answer: What is the "noble cause" MY son died for. There are also dozens, if not hundreds of families from all over the country who want to know the same thing.

"On Iraq, Bush said that a democratic constitution "is going to be an important change in the broader Middle East." Reaching an accord on a constitution after years of dictatorship is not easy, Bush said.

A Democratic Constitution? Is anyone else insulted that he thinks we are stupid and think that the Constitution they will form in Iraq will be democratic and insure equal rights to all citizens? Does anyone else know what "democratic" means? It simply means majority rule. Not some high-minded, free-floating, pie in the sky ideal. It means 50 percent plus one. Up to 62% of Americans think our troops should be coming home soon. That is a majority, so why don't we force our employee, the president, to do what we want him to do?

"He spoke after the head of the committee drafting Iraq's constitution said Tuesday that three days are not enough to win over the minority Sunni Arabs, and the document they rejected may ultimately have to be approved by parliament as is and submitted to the people in a referendum."

Another sham election where the country is shut down for the day and no one knows what the heck they are voting for?

"The Iraqi people are working hard to reach a consensus on their constitution," Bush said, speaking outside the Tamarack Resort, in the mountains 100 miles north of Boise. "It's an amazing process to work. First of all, the fact that they're even writing a constitution is vastly different from living under the iron hand of a dictator."

As hard as George is working riding bikes and taking naps? If he cares so much about an Iraqi Constitution, why doesn't he take some time from his busy vacation activities and read the US Constitution. He may find out that he started an un-Constitutional war in Iraq. He may lose some sleep over it. (What am I saying?)

"The Sunnis have got to make a choice," Bush said. "Do they want to live in a society that's free? Or do they want to live in violence?"

Too bad George didn't give them that option before he invaded and occupied their country resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people. I bet they would choose to live in a peaceful country free of foreign occupiers.

"He said he thought that most mothers, regardless of their religion, would prefer to live in peace rather than violence."

Amen to that George. You got one thing right. Thanks to you and your lies the people of Iraq are suffering from a tragic and unnecessary war and my son was violently killed and ripped out of the heart of our family.

"He said Rice had assured him that the rights of women were being protected. "Democracy is unfolding," the president said. "We just cannot tolerate the status quo."

Then bring our troops home. The status quo in Iraq is awful. Besides the Iraqi people suffering from lack of adequate infrastructure, clean water, and medical attention, our troops still don't have armored humvees or the proper body armor. I got a letter from a soldier over in Iraq who says that he feels like an innocent man in prison. All of the soldiers and Marines who contact me say that they were lied to about the "mission." They were told that they would be rebuilding the country and all they are doing is trying to survive so their moms won't go through what I am going through. I think the Camp Casey movement is taking a hold and growing because America is sick of the status quo. We are sick of needless death and suffering on both sides. We are sick of paying for a war with our taxes and with our lifeblood that is not making our country more secure. George: your employers cannot tolerate the status quo, either.

"On Sheehan, the grieving mother who has camped near his ranch since Aug. 6, the president said he strongly supports her right to protest. "She expressed her opinion. I disagree with it," Bush said. "I think immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake," he said. "I think those who advocate immediate withdrawal from not only Iraq but the Middle East are advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."

This is the biggest smokescreen from him yet. I didn't ask him to withdraw the troops, I asked him what Noble Cause did Casey die for. I am still waiting for one of the press corps to ask him that. I am still waiting for that answer. First, we were told WMD's: false. Then we were told Saddam=Osama: false. Then we were told Saddam was a bad man to his own people and we had to get rid of him: he's gone. Then we were told the Iraqi people had to have elections: they did. Now we are spreading "freedom and democracy" but we are building 14 permanent bases, some the size of Sacramento, Ca. To me that indicates that we are spreading the cancer of imperialism and usurping THEIR natural resources.

"Bush has scheduled more than two hours to meet with family members of slain soldiers Wednesday at the Mountain Home Air Force Base near Boise. "

I am just asking for an hour from his vacation, and he just has to come down the road not travel to Idaho. I wonder if any of the hand picked family members will ask for what noble cause their child died for. I hope so.

"Bush said he planned to go on a hike and have dinner later Tuesday with Kempthorne and the Idaho congressional delegation. Bush said he also planned to spend "quality time" with first lady Laura Bush, who is traveling with him. I would give everything I own, will own, or have owned to have one more glimpse of my son. Dare I even say...one last hug or phone call? How dare he go on vacation and live a normal life when he has ruined mine by his lies? How dare he take 5 weeks off when he is waging a devastating and needless war?

"Bush, who is seeking to quell growing criticism at home over the Iraq war, told the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Salt Lake City on Monday that "a policy of retreat and isolation will not bring us safety."

His policies of preemptive wars of aggression for power and greed don't bring America safety, either.


Bush made a rare reference of the U.S. military death toll _ more than 2,000 killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. "We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for ... by staying on the offensive against the terrorists, and building strong allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that will help us win and fight _ fight and win the war on terror," he told the VFW convention. "

How does he honor the soldiers by killing more of their buddies? People say Casey is ashamed of me and I dishonor his memory! I knew my son better than anyone on earth and I know he is appalled by the continued carnage in his name. George: you can't win the war on terror by killing more of our soldiers and innocent Iraqi people. You are breeding more terror. And judging from the fact that you are now tied with the worst president in US history (Nixon) in your abysmal poll numbers, the people of our country realize this too and want you stopped.

(The quotes are from an AP story)
Associated Press Writers Darlene Superville and John Miller contributed to this report.

August 22, 2005

Monday Night at Camp Casey -- Camp Casey II
By Jodie Evans

Cindy has been away taking care of her mother since late Thursday, but Camp Casey has continued to grow and flourish. We are now in Camp Casey II as we call it, the Vietnam Vet, cousin of the man who shot at us, gave us his piece of land right next to the Bush ranch, we are literally on his fence. We have grown. Saturday night the place was packed for Steve Earle, his band and an hour of stories from the Gold Star Moms. Sunday night Joan Baez had us on spellbound with her voice...and she offered to stay on. That is if she doesn't ruin her back sleeping out in the tent.

Tonight Joan talked to us about being an activist, told us stories of being with Martin Luther King, marching, sitting in at draft offices, and being in jail...each story had a song to go with it. Fourty five minutes later she said she would have to do the rest of the story tomorrow night. We yet again had our spirits lifted and our souls fed after a hellish HOT day in the Texas sun. Cindy called to let us know her mom was doing a bit better, she was able to raise her right leg and arm on her own, a good sign and she would be coming home soon.

The camp was a buzz today, so much to do to finish getting it ready for Cindy's return. The plans for the coming weekend, working on the kinks still in a camp that houses and feeds over 500 mid week and who knows the volume on the weekend. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston came by tonight to meet with the Gold Star Mom's that now number 10, and to give a rousing speech and introduce Joan Baez. Margo Kidder aka Lois Lane joined us making the rounds of the camp and buying up a CODEPINK wardrobe. It was wonderful to see all the little kids running around today their cries of delight bringing smiles to our faces. We spend the day moving from sobbing as we listen to the stories of the new arrivals of Gold Star Moms, to laughing at the joys of being in and creating community in the strangest and more difficult of circumstances.

I heard so many stories today of volunteers being sent out on errands for our needs and returning with the money and the item, most didn't have to pay after they said it was for Camp Casey, they were offered what we needed as a gift to the camp and blessings on our success. Not just that Cindy and the Mom's meet with George, but that we end this stupid war. Tomorrow the county commission has a meeting to yet again try and find a way to kick us out. The pressure from the White House can be felt daily, if not in the camp, certainly in the stories they spin for their bulldogs, Drudge, O'Reilly and Coulter

Newcomers continue to make their way up to the site and those who have left are calling to say they will be back. Only 8 days left before we are off and on our way to DC for the September 24th mass mobilization. Again I encourage you to come, this is a once in a lifetime experience.

August 20, 2005

Hypocrites and Liars
By Cindy Sheehan

The media are wrong. The people who have come out to Camp Casey to help coordinate the press and events with me are not putting words in my mouth, they are taking words out of my mouth. I have been known for sometime as a person who speaks the truth and speaks it strongly. I have always called a liar a liar and a hypocrite a hypocrite. Now I am urged to use softer language to appeal to a wider audience. Why do my friends at Camp Casey think they are there? Why did such a big movement occur from such a small action on August 6, 2005?

I haven't had much time to analyze the Camp Casey phenomena. I just read that I gave 250 interviews in less than a week's time. I believe it. I would go to bed with a raw throat every night. I got pretty tired of answering some questions, like: "What do you want to say to the President?" and "Do you really think he will meet with you?" However, since my mom has been sick I have had a chance to step back and ponder the flood gates that I opened in Crawford, Tx.

I just read an article posted today on LewRockwell.com by artist Robert Shetterly who painted my portrait. The article reminded me of something I said at the Veteran's for Peace Convention the night before I set out to Bush's ranch in my probable futile quest for the truth. This is what I said:

"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."

This is what the Camp Casey miracle is all about. American citizens who oppose the war but never had a conduit for their disgust and dismay are dropping everything and traveling to Crawford to stand in solidarity with us who have made a commitment to sit outside of George?s ranch for the duration of the miserable Texan August. If they can?t come to Texas, they are attending vigils, writing letters to their elected officials and to their local newspapers; they are setting up Camp Casey branches in their hometowns; they are sending flowers, cards, letters, gifts, and donations here to us at Camp Casey. We are so grateful for all of the support, but I think pro-peace Americans are grateful for something to do, finally.

One thing I haven?t noticed or become aware of though is an increased number of pro-war, pro-Bush people on the other side of the fence enlisting to go and fight George Bush?s war for imperialism and insatiable greed. The pro-peace side has gotten off their apathetic butts to be warriors for peace and justice. Where are the pro-war people? Everyday at Camp Casey we have a couple of anti-peace people on the other side of the road holding up signs that remind me that "Freedom isn't Free" but I don't see them putting their money where their mouths are. I don't think they are willing to pay even a small down payment for freedom by sacrificing their own blood or the flesh of their children. I still challenge them to go to Iraq and let another soldier come home. Perhaps a soldier that is on his/her third tour of duty, or one that has been stop-lossed after serving his/her country nobly and selflessly, only to be held hostage in Iraq by power mad hypocrites who have a long history of avoiding putting their own skin in the game.

Contrary to what the main stream media thinks, I did not just fall off a pumpkin truck in Crawford, Tx. on that scorchingly hot day two weeks ago. I have been writing, speaking, testifying in front of Congressional committees, lobbying Congress, and doing interviews for over a year now. I have been pretty well known in the progressive, peace community and I had many, many supporters before I left even left California. The people who supported me did so because they know that I uncompromisingly tell the truth about this war. I have stood up and said: ?My son died for NOTHING, and George Bush and his evil cabal and their reckless policies killed him. My son was sent to fight in a war that had no basis in reality and was killed for it.? I have never said "pretty please" or "thank you" I have never said any! thing wishy-washy like he uses "Patriotic Rhetoric." I say my son died for LIES. George Bush LIED to us and he knew he was LYING. The Downing Street Memos dated 23 July, 2002 prove that he knew that Saddam didn't have WMD's or any ties to Al Qaeda. I believe that George lied and he knew he was lying. He didn?t use patriotic rhetoric. He lied and made us afraid of ghosts that weren?t there. Now he is using patriotic rhetoric to keep the U.S. military presence in Iraq: Patriotic rhetoric that is based on greed and nothing else.

Now I am being vilified and dragged through the mud by the righties and so-called "fair and balanced" main stream media who are afraid of the truth and can't face someone who tells it by telling any truth of their own. Now they have to twist, distort, lie, and scrutinize anything I have ever said when they never scrutinize anything that George Bush said or is saying. Instead of asking George or Scotty McClellan if he will meet with me, why aren?t they asking the questions they should have been asking all along: ?Why are our young people fighting, dying, and killing in Iraq? What is this noble cause you are sending our young people to Iraq for? What do you hope to accomplish there? Why did you tell us the! re were WMD?s and ties to Al Qaeda when you knew there weren?t? Why did you lie to us? Why did you lie to the American people? Why did you lie to the world? Why are our nation?s children still in harm?s way and dying everyday when we all know you lied? Why do you continually say we have to ?complete the mission? when you know damn well you have no idea what that mission is and you can change it at will like you change your cowboy shirts??

Camp Casey has grown and prospered and survived all attacks and challenges because America is sick and tired of liars and hypocrites and we want the answers to the tough questions that I was the first to dare ask. THIS is George Bush?s accountability moment and he is failing?miserably. George Bush and his advisers seriously ?misunderestimated? me when they thought they could intimidate me into leaving before I had the answers, or before the end of August. I can take anything they throw at me, or Camp Casey. If it shortens the war by a minute or saves one li! fe, it is worth it. I think they seriously ?misunderestimated? all mothers. I wonder if any of them had authentic mother-child relationships and if they are surprised that there are so many mothers in this country who are bear-like when it comes to wanting the truth and who want to make meaning of their child?s needless and seemingly meaningless deaths?

The Camp Casey movement will not die until we have a genuine accounting of the truth and until our troops are brought home. Get used to it George, we are not going away.

August 19, 2005
By Jodie Evans

The day started very early, Amy Goodman arrived to broadcast Democracy Now from 7-8am and a local Air America station pitched their rig nearby for an 8-11 broadcast. Generators to power their equipment woke the camp before 6 and coffee didn't arrive until much later, if at all. We held the daily press conference at the usual time and Gold Star Families amplified Cindy's message with mother after mother calling on Bush to meet with them. The press conference was followed by a prayer service with members of the clergy from around the country offering prayers for the military families and for Cindy and her mother. It was another scorcher, but the beauty of the ceremony kept us all in the hot sun for an hour, in reverence, prayer and love.

During the day we began to move parts of the camp up to our new site, right next to the entrance of the Bush ranch. Our neighbors are the very friendly secret service. The Crawford Peace House arranged for a huge tent that can hold about 1,000 to be constructed and the breeze in the new camp lowers the temperature a bit. Or maybe it is just the difference between being in a ditch and being on mowed weeds.

Our evening began with Texas songbird Marcia Ball as we all sang along to our favorite anti war songs with some delightfully humorous new lyrics. As the program progressed on the new stage with a rock'n sounds system, Iraq Vet Jeff Keyes played taps, followed by a powerful speech by Reverend Joseph Lowery. The Reverend was one of Martin Luther Kings closest friends and his speech carried that power. "The war is over, now it is time for Bush to come to that understanding and bring the troops home." The Reverend traveled from Atlanta Georgia to spend time with us and will stay until Tuesday. He brought with him 2 beautiful mothers, Evelyn Allen and Patricia Roberts, both with sons who died in Iraq. As I was hugging Evelyn goodbye and thanking her for her long journey to join us, she said "I am here for the love, for the love of all the children of the world and the desire that no other woman has to carry my grief." She pointed to the corner of the camp where we enter and said "You can feel the love here, the minute you step into the camp."

One of the most beautiful moments today was during the Reverends words, they were powerful and had us all in tears and on our feet from his inspiration and call to action,. As he spoke the full moon rose beside him. I called Cindy to share the moment with her, and she said how much she missed everyone and sent her love and let us know that her Mom was getting stronger and was able to smile today.

The community is growing, people continue to come from all corners of the world, I encourage you to come join us. Tomorrow Steve Earle comes through to lift spirits at the end of the day and Sunday Joan Baez will join us. See you in Texas, and if not, make a lawn sign and put it up BUSH-MEET WITH CINDY!!!

August 16, 2005

Putting out Fires, by Cindy Sheehan

The right wingers are really having a field day with me. It hurts me really badly, but I am willing to put up with the crap, if it ends the war a minute sooner than it would have. I would like to address some specific concerns that have been raised against me.

The first one is about my divorce. I addressed this on my blog the other night. My divorce was in the works way before I came out to Crawford. My husband filed the papers before this all started. It just recorded last Friday. My husband didn't know that it would become public record, and public knowledge. He had told his lawyer not to serve me with the paperwork or even bother me while I was at Camp Casey. He was trying to do the right thing. He didn't want me to find out. Enough about that.

Another "big deal" today was the lie that I had said that Casey died for Israel. I never said that, I never wrote that. I had supposedly said it in a letter that I wrote to Ted Koppel's producer in March. I wrote the letter because I was upset at the way Ted treated me when I appeared at a Nightline Town Hall meeting in January right after the inauguration. I felt that Ted had totally disrespected me. I wrote the letter to Ted Bettag and cc'd a copy to the person who gave me Ted's address. I believe he changed the email and sent it out to capitalize on my new found notoriety by promoting his own agenda. Enough about that.

I didn't blog about the cross incident last night. I was at the Peace House when there was a big commotion and people started saying that someone had run over our Arlington Crawford display. I know this is old news because I have seen great posts about it today. This is how I feel. The right wingers are emailing me and spewing filth about me on the radio and on the television saying that I am dishonoring my son's memory. This man who ran over the crosses thinks he is a better American than we are. He thinks we are more patriotic than we are. Does he really believe that he is honoring the memories of the fallen and his country by running down 500 crosses and about 60 American flags? The Iraq Veterans Against the War who were here were also very offended. Those crosses represented their buddies who didn't make it home. And they are so aware of the fact that one of those crosses could have their name on it.

Yesterday, we had a counter protestor who played his guitar across the way from us and sang (very terribly!!!) a song that loosely went like this:

Aiding and abetting the enemy.
How many ghosts did you make today?
Google me this, Google me that,
How many ghosts did you make today?

I find it so ironic that he was singing it to me, and not to George Bush. We named the song: The Ballad of George Bush. He came back out today, but blessed be to God, he didn't bring his guitar, and he didn't sing.

We are moving to a place that doesn't have much shade and I put out an appeal for tarps and a soldier from Ft. Hood brought some to us that he "borrowed" from Ft. Hood for us to use. I have had a lot of soldiers from Ft. Hood come out and tell me to keep it up and that I am doing a good thing. We are doing this to honor Casey and the other fallen heroes in their memories. But we are doing it FOR the people of Iraq and the other soldiers who are in harm's way right now. Right after we heard about the crosses last night, a Camp Casey volunteer found out that a pen pal she had in Iraq was KIA on August 12th. This has to stop, now. We will stop it.

August 15, 2005

Leaving Camp Casey
Day 12
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford, by Cindy Sheehan


Today started out okay. I did my usual stint with Mark and Mark on the Morning Sedition on Air America Radio. I always love talking to them because they are so funny and smart. We have a 7:10am time. Nightline was also following me to do a “Day in the Life of Cindy Sheehan” piece so they got there nice and early to mic me up. I gave two interviews early this morning where I said that the Camp Casey Peace Movement has taken on a life of its own. With all of the vigils last night and the Camp Casey's springing up all over the country, nothing can stop it, not even me. I said if I had to leave today, the movement would continue to prosper and grow.

The only thing that Matt Drudge could dig up on me today was a speech I had given at a College Not Combat rally at San Francisco State where I said some cuss words. This posting of his may be the first true thing he has ever said about me. I wonder, though, if any of the words I used shocked him. I wonder if he has ever used those words himself. I wonder if he has ever had a child killed by senseless violence in a war that is such a waste.

Some Gold Star Moms from Oregon joined me today and another from California. Another mom whose son was killed this past February arrived last night. Then we had a Gold Star Dad whose son had died this past June 15th show up at Camp Casey today with his family. Ruben said he just came to give me a hug. He said until today he had felt so lonely. Every time I meet a Gold Star parent whose son died after Casey, I feel so badly. I have been struggling for months to call attention to this mistake of a war to end it sooner. Every new death is like a stab in my heart.

Even what Rush Limbaugh said about me yesterday, although very idiotic, wasn't really bothering me that much because it is so ridiculous. He said that I am not real, my son is not real, and Camp Casey is not real!!!???? He said my entire story is based on ‘forged documents.' I wonder just exactly what he meant. Did he mean that Casey's KIA report is forged? Did we bury an empty coffin on April 13, 2004? Am I just a really good actress playing a grieving mom? Does he realize how much I wish that all this were true? He is a clanging gong! How can anyone say anything so monstrous and so obviously false and how can anyone believe him?

So, although a scorching day in Crawford, things were going pretty well. We were planning our move and what turned out to be a successful mother's march up to the ranch to deliver some letters to Laura Bush. Then my sister received the phone call from a hospital in California: our mother had a stroke. We were on a plane from Waco heading to Dallas within 2 hours. The cameras beat us to the airport in Waco and filmed me getting my ticket, waiting to go through security and actually going through security. As I sit writing this on the plane from Dallas to Los Angeles, I am sure there will be a mob of cameras waiting to greet me in L.A. (Apparently whether I am walking to the out house at Camp Casey or through a small airport in Texas, it is fascinating stuff). The camera guys all wished us well and sent their best wishes to our mom, though. The camera and sound guys and I have been spending lots of time together lately.

I hated leaving Camp Casey, but this is a family emergency and the doctor couldn't really tell us about the status of our mother by phone. I couldn't bear to be worrying about her from so far away. We are carrying Camp Casey with us in our hearts, though, and Camp Casey will be moved to its new location and thriving when I get back.

In the first paragraph, I told you that the Camp Casey movement will continue to grow and thrive even if I am not there. Dozens of people work so hard to keep it going. Now we shall see. I am sure it will be fantabulistic.

August 15, 2005

Day 10
By Jodie Evans

Monday morning at Camp Casey
The day was hot and hard, but as the sun set so did the tension of the day. More interview request than Cindy can fill, new family members arrived, and even they couldn't take up the slack.

Everyone was finally turning in for the night, when someone came through camp in their pickup and mowed down all the crosses from Arlington West. The Sheriff says about 503 crosses were damaged. Whoever it was ended up with a flat and cross remains in his truck, he is now in custody in Crawford for property damage. Otherwise the day was hot, muggy and full of more than could be responded to. Rumor has it, the county will be closing down the camp tomorrow, so we will be looking for a new home. On the move, staying light on our feet. Goodnight.

August 13, 2005

Day 8
By Jodie Evans

You could feel it was going to be a scorcher almost before the sun came up, most of us were already suffering from sunburns and fire ant bites from a few days of Texas sun. The interview requests are overwhelming so we organized afternoon and morning pools.

Cindy was tired from an unexpected call at 5:30 from the Today Show and the heat and sun exhaustion from the day before. The first question of the morning pool came from a young soldier who had just returned from Iraq. He was polite, addressing her as Ms. Sheehan. Surrounded by cameras he told her he was sorry for her son's death, he said he had lost many friends in the Iraq War also. "Death is a part of war and what we are doing is more important, bringing freedom to the world. Think of all the people who died for the freedom we enjoy. So your son's life is just a drop in the bucket."

Those of us standing behind the cameras gasp, but Cindy's face continued to listen to him calmly and openly. Forced by the gasp he quickly said "but I feel for your son."

At this moment Cindy put her arm on his shoulder and holding him to her side they walked out into the field together, she asked the press to give them some privacy. They honored her in a way that I have never seen before, they were still shooting photos as the 2 walked away. Cindy drew the young man close like a mother, they spoke for about 5 minutes during which the shift in his feeling was palpable. He stepped away and pulled a book he had written about his experiences in Iraq and gave it to her. Then they hugged a long deep embrace, you could see the conversation continuing.

She walked back towards us and the press as he left. Yet again, this woman had made me cry with her strength her love and her courage (oh I forgot to mention everyone else in the camp had tried to keep this young man from confronting her). As we walked back to our make shift office in Casey's camper I was pouring my heart out in awe of her, she stopped me and said "do you know what that young man said as we were hugging? He said his mother agrees with me. She told him that if he had been killed in Iraq she would have done the same thing ...and then he called me Mom."

I wept. Welcome to Camp Casey. Come have your heart blown wide-open daily. As Eve Ensler said today after I told her the story, "It isn't really about truth, it's about love." And Cindy's love not only for her son, but for truth and for all the mother's, father's, sons and daughters of the world.

August 12, 2005

Day 7
By Jodie Evans

The counter protests began last night with about 200 arriving at Camp Casey in an obviously expensively organized campaign. The sheriff kept them on one side of the road and we were in the camp. They had the predictable signs and ended their stay singing God Bless America as we joined in with them. They turned and went back down the road. Tonight a right wing radio host called for his listeners to go to Camp Casey. They arrived this morning in droves but without water and anything for shade, they were soon gone. As they left, the caravan from the rally for the Military Families near the Peace House flowed towards the camp, it was so breathtaking to see 800 people arriving at once that everyone was in tears, Medea was sobbing. This really is the field of dreams. After Cindy spoke to the crowd she started singing God Bless America as everyone joined her.

Each day the camp grows and strengthens. The diversity of visitors is really the face of America, and everyone is welcome, even the counter protesters. Cindy is peace and creates what that word means around her, it is either comfortable and home for you or you leave. Please join us at the camp, Cindy and those who arrive inspired by her stand have created the possible world we all know can exist.

August 11, 2005

The Peaceful Occupation of Iraq - Day 6
by CindySheehan

Day 6 of the Peaceful Occupation of Iraq began early this morning when people in cars drove by our camp a few times and blasted on their horns. I just assume they were blaring their approval of us.

Before we get to the less than negative things that are happening out at Camp Casey and in the world at large today, over 700 people showed up at the Camp today. There were more people, flowers, cards, mail, interviews, laughter, heartache, comraderie, excitement, and just sheer work.

We had the first birthday party tonight at our little event. Alicia from Austin turned 17 today and they came to Crawford to celebrate with a cake. Alicia said that she wanted to be out here for her birthday. So many great people from so many parts of the country and our world are here.

Today is kind of a blur to me. From running around from interview to interview, to getting a visit from Viggo Mortensen, today was a whirlwind of activity. I have discovered that the White House press corps is always looking for something to do and someone to cover. We have been happy to oblige them. We had a press conference today with Gold Star Families for Peace and Military Families Speak Out members. It was very effective when people who actually have skin in the game ask the president to be held accountable for the words he has actually said.

Still putting out the O'Reilly fires of me being a traitor and using Casey's name dishonorably, my in-laws sent out a press conference disagreeing with me in strong terms; which is totally okay with me, because they barely knew Casey. We have always been on separate sides of the fence politically and I have not spoken to them since the elections when they supported the man  who is responsible for Casey's death. The thing that matters to me is that my family: Casey's dad and my other 3 kids are on the same side of the fence that I am.

Since Congress is not holding George Bush accountable and the media is not doing their jobs and holding George Bush accountable, we the American people need to hold him accountable for lying to us to get us into a disastrous war. November 2 2004 was not his accountability moment: today is. We are finished allowing him to get away with deceiving the American public and abusing his power.

We are mad as hell and we're not taking it anymore.

August 10, 2005

The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford - Day 5
by CindySheehan

Today started at 4am when the rain started blowing into my tent and my head and my feet started getting soaked then thunder and lightening came over my tent.

I was really frightened for my life, so I abandoned ship and went into Crawford.

By the time we made our way through the floods and got into Crawford, I had a fever, sore throat, and bad headache. So I was made to rest and not have any interviews until noon.

We had a little bit of trouble with locals today. We are beginning to feel a little unwelcome here. One lady almost ran over a television crew. She screamed at us that the neighbors are really mad ...so we moved down the road to our closest neighbor who is very sweet. Her husband is a medic who just got home from Iraq.

Again, I did tons of interviews. It looks like I will be on the cover of People Magazine. Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and Oprah's magazine will be interviewing me also.It was great having the other GSFP and MFSO there to help me with interviews and greeting all of the hundreds of people who came out from all over the country to be with us today. We were hassled by the Sheriff because there were too many cars out there. Our little Bush Town has grown to full capacity. The town Sheriff said we can put up tents and RV's in the town stadium. There are wall to wall sleeping bags here at the Peace House.

Due to the generosity of you all, the Crawford Peace House has receives over 30,000 dollars and GSFP has received a lot of donations too. I got about 2 and a half dozen bouquets of flowers from so many people who are moved by this stand. I am so amazed and overwhelmed by the support and love we are getting from everywhere.

As for Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Matt Drudge, etc...nothing you can say can hurt me or make me stop what we are doing. We are working for peace with justice. We are using peaceful means and the truth to do it. I guess the truth frightens people. It frightens them so much, they have to resort to telling lies to rebut my arguments. They are despicable human beings and not even worth our concern. Bill O'Reilly had the nerve to invite me on his show again today. But, Dolores Kesterson, another Gold Star Families for Peace member who also had a terrible experience with meeting George and she kicked his butt.
Tonight we are still on arrest alert...so we shall see.

Peace soon.

August 9, 2005

The Peaceful Occupation of Iraq - Day 4
by CindySheehan

Today started at 4am when I had to get up and get ready to be on Good Morning America. It was pouring down rain at Camp Casey. The wind was blowing and there was thunder and lightening. It was pretty exciting. The interview went very well. I haven't seen it or read a transcript. Since it was taped, I am just wondering if they showed it when I said Bush doesn't want to see me because he likes to surround himself with “sycophants.” I also interviewed with Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, Greta Van Susteran, and many others, and closed out the day with my pal, Mike Malloy.

The “first meeting” controversy died down a little today when my town's newspaper printed an op-ed that contradicted Matt Drudge's cherry-picked account of my first meeting with George.

But since they don't have that controversy, they apparently have been lying about other things. Bill O'Reilly said that I am doing this because I have been bought out by, “The Arab Anti-Discrimination League.” He was telling his viewers that I am a tool for the liberals and that I am a tool for the anti-war movement. Right now, what we are doing right here in Crawford is the anti-war movement. We have such a strong coalition of groups. GSFP, CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and the Crawford Peace House.

I talked with John Conyers today and he wrote a letter to George signed by about 18 other Congress members to request that he meet with me. I also talked to Maxine Waters tonight and she is probably going to be here tomorrow. I am so overwhelmed by the support.

I did non-stop interviews today. 100 people came through today to visit with us. About 25 people are staying the night. More food, water, flowers, and money came through today. One father brought his 2 and 4 year old sons out to meet me and thank me for trying to save his boys from the same fate Casey suffered.

Celeste and Dante Zappala from Philadelphia and Bill Mitchell from Atascadero, Ca., all members of GSFP, came out today to support me and help me do interviews and greet all of the people who are arriving.

There is a huge action tomorrow in Aurora, Il. George Bush is leaving the ranch tomorrow to go to Aurora, Il to sign a part of the energy bill at the Caterpillar factory. True Majority has raised money to dog George Bush when he leaves the ranch. Every time he leaves, there will be a GSFP member, MFSO members, VFP members, and Code Pink members who will protest him and say “Meet with Cindy.” We will not let him have a 5 week nice vacation when there are millions of people in harm's way in Iraq due to his careless policies. The people of Iraq and our soldiers are suffering. Why should George have a nice vacation?