|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
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
|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.
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.|
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- 2005Watch 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
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.
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
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 ˝ 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.
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
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
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'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.
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
There were so many good people who donated money, goods, or services who want to be kept anonymous.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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:
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
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
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?
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.
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
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
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford - Day 20
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
I will keep you all posted about today's events. Please pray for us that everyone keeps a cool head.
August 26, 2005
By Jodie EvansSuffering
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
said that two high-ranking members of his staff already met with her
earlier this month and that he met with her last year."
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."
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.
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.
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?
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."
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?)
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?"
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
"He said he thought that most mothers, regardless of their religion, would prefer to live in peace rather than violence."
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.
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
"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.
has scheduled more than two hours to meet with family members of slain
soldiers Wednesday at the Mountain Home Air Force Base near Boise. "
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
"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
"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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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?"
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
"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.
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?
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.
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
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford, by Cindy Sheehan
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.
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.
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
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 10Monday morning at Camp Casey
By Jodie Evans
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.
August 13, 2005
By Jodie Evans
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."
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.
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
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
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.
By Jodie Evans
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 9, 2005
The Peaceful Occupation of Iraq - Day 4
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
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.
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.
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.
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?