May 4th, 2007 will be the 37th year since the Kent State, Ohio, massacre where four anti-war protesters were killed by Ohio National Guardsmen during a protest against Richard Nixon's announced escalation in Vietnam.
On that day in 1970, anti-Vietnam war sentiment in the entire nation was high as hundreds of soldiers were coming home in flag-draped coffins every week and we were bombarded daily with images of burning villages and screaming Vietnamese children. The images were harsh, but what was even harsher was the Nixon regime escalating a war in a Johnsonian way when he had promised that he would end the quagmire in Vietnam if elected.
The Kent State protest rose spontaneously against Nixon's pronouncement. Anti-war sentiment was high on campuses all over America and soldiers during that time were in full-blown mutiny and actively protesting the war both "in country" and here in the states. By 1970 there were a reported 209 "fraggings" (lower rank soldiers killing their superiors in the field) and well over 55,000 deserters. A young Alabama Air National Guardsman named George W. Bush would soon add his name to the deserter's when he failed to report for duty in 1972. It seemed like people from all demographics really cared enough to get out from behind their TV sets and out from behind the protection of their comfortable lives to join protests all over the country.
When that young Vietnam deserter cum illegitimate president announced a new Nixonian escalation of the violence in Iraq late in 2006, there was barely a peep from an American public that has been rocked to sleep by knowingly complicit news conglomerates and their high powered advertising agencies that whip our country into a frenzy of un-fettered and borderline immoral orgy of consumerism. In the '60's and '70's we were rightly exposed to the horror of war. War is horrible and the sacrifices should be borne by the entire country not just we unfortunate few. Today we are bombarded with propaganda from a duplicitous government and ads that convince us our lives won't be complete unless we go into debt to purchase the new and improved doo-dad of the day.
Now in a very weak, baby step, but a step in the right direction, nonetheless, Congress sent King George yet another "non-binding" bill for troop withdrawal that he vetoed, exercising that power for only the 2nd time in his administration.
Of course George Bush vetoed the will of the American public that he scorns and ignores (unless they are the members of his "base"- the wealthiest top two percent). Of course he is waging crimes against humanity against the people of Iraq and in such prison camps as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. All doubt has been removed that Bush&Co lied before the invasion and have continued lying throughout the occupation. But now that he has defied Congress yet again, the people's representatives need to slam shut the bank vault to bring our troops home and get busy removing an Executive Branch run amok. Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis...Bush&Co are the crisis and impeachment is the remedy.
It is time to come out from behind our complacency in the face of one fresh outrage after another to stand up to the Bush Regime and take our country back while there is still something worthwhile to save. Bush&Co are as surely destroying this country with their greed and callousness as they are destroying Iraq. Our republic is rapidly disintegrating due to George's War of Terror and we citizens are the only glue that can hold it together.
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Join the Camp Casey Peace Institute on Monday, May 14th as we gather in front of the White House to march on Congress to show the people who work for us that saving lives is more important to us than partisan politics. It is time that people on both sides of the aisle stop playing their bloody games with our children's lives and the country of Iraq. Real people are dying and civilized countries are being demolished while time is being wasted on non-binding b.s.
Washington DC needs to be shut down on a day when there are actually people in town, It's time to go retro and reclaim our collective history as dissenters, protesters, patriots and effective and affective players on our political scene. It is too late for so many, but even more need our help now.
No one is asking anyone to make the same sacrifices as the students who were killed for exercising their 1st Amendment right to protest and be heard. Everyday our troops and their families are suffering and sacrificing in an occupation that was declared over four years ago by Captain Codpiece on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln. We are just asking for a little of your time and a commitment to peace for the world's children.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.