Seems like strong women are not afraid of taking on George Bush and his war on Iraq in his home state of Texas and particularly in the city of Dallas.
In August, 2005, Cindy Sheehan began her 26 days in the ditch in Crawford, Texas by announcing in Dallas at the national Veterans for Peace conference, that she was going to challenge Bush's characterization of the Iraq War as a "noble cause" by going to Crawford and staying there until Bush answered her question. 26 days and 12,000 stop the war visitors later, Bush had still not answered Cindy.
This last weekend Cindy was in Crawford to transfer to a new owner, the deed of the property she purchased there last year for Camp Casey. On July 10 she with twenty others (including myself on the first day) began a 19 day, 16 city trip called a Journey for Humanity (www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org) from Crawford to New York City. The Journey will stop in Washington, DC on July 23 where Cindy will challenge Nancy Pelosi to put the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney "on the table." If Pelosi does not lift her block on impeachment proceedings, Cindy says she will run for Pelosi's seat in the US House of Representatives.
As Cindy left Texas earlier this week, another strong woman took on George Bush in Dallas. On July 11, in her keynote address at the International Women's Peace Conference being held in Dallas, Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams from Ireland told the audience of over 1,000 that the Bush administration was "treacherous and wrong and acted unconstitutionally" in invading and occupying Iraq. Williams said that "the Muslim world right now is suffering beyond belief. Unless the president of the United States is held responsible for what he is doing and what he has done, there is no one in the Muslim world who will forgive him."
To the applause of much of the audience, Williams called for the impeachment of both Bush and Cheney!
Williams later apologized for having also said, in an exasperated, joking manner, "Right now, I could just kill George Bush. No, I don't mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody?" Williams later said "My feelings now and again get way ahead of me. I couldn't kill anybody, but I must confess that I'm extremely angry with the Bush administration and what they have done. To say that I could just kill him was wrong." According to the July 13 Dallas Morning News, the conference hotel received at least 40 hate emails in response to Ms. Williams' speech.
Williams won the Noble Peace Prize in 1976 for creating a group that helped start peace talks in Northern Ireland.
On July 13, another strong woman, American Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams added her comments to the voices of women Noble Peace winners against war. Williams, who was arrested during anti-war protests in the United States before the war on Iraq began, said she was sick and tired of the neo-cons equating peace with people without courage.
She noted that leaders always have a choice in their responses to situations. Peace occurs when the choice is non-violent, rather than violent. She added that violence is usually chosen by men who are willing to send other people's children to die in war. Williams believed that a military response to the events of 9/11 was the wrong choice; a strong international police response to the criminal actions of 9/11 arguably would have produced better results in bringing to justice the planners of 9/11 and would have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
Williams urged people-centered security rather than state-centered security as state-centered security preserves the security of those in power rather than the security of the people that elected them to serve the people.
When asked whether she believed that Bush and Cheney should be impeached, Williams said that if voters believe the two should be impeached, they should put pressure on their Congressional delegation for Congressional hearings on impeachment.
Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for their campaign to outlaw landmines which resulted in an international treaty against the use of landmines, a treaty the United States has still refused to sign.
Other strong women attending the conference, in solidarity with Iraqi women and children, drafted a "Call for Restitution to the Women of Iraq" which rejects the policies by which the United States brought war to Iraq and renounces war as a means of solving conflict between and within states.
The call states: "We deeply regret the chaos and destruction this war has racked upon your country. We are women, like you. We have sons and daughters, like you. Neither of us raised our children to kill and be killed in war. Together as women, we will find a way to stop the cycle of war in your great land and everywhere on the planet. The responsibility is ours. The time is now."
The resolution calls for all women to commit to an immediate phased withdrawal of US and coalition troops, deployment of a peacekeeping force, direct humanitarian partnership between American women and Iraqi women to rebuild and restore Iraq, support of refugees and orphans and creation of refugee service centers at the borders and inside Iraq, unconditional US asylum for Iraqi women and children and material and financial support to create safe houses in Iraq and elsewhere to provide services and sanctuary for the protection of Iraqi children
The resolution is not sponsored by the International conference but rather by individual women who attended the conference who believe that women's voices and actions are needed to bring peace to Iraq. Several organizations including www.codepinkalert.org will have information on the international humanitarian assistance project for the people of Iraq coordinated by these women.
Strong women again have caused a stir about Bush, the war in Iraq and impeachment! All good reasons to come again to Dallas!!
Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army (13 years on active duty and 16 years in the Reserves) and retired as a Colonel. She also served 16 years in the US Diplomatic Corps in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001. Wright resigned from the US Department of State in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. Her letter of resignation can be read at www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0303/032103wright.htm.