"The world is watching the people of Burma take to the streets to demand their freedom, and the American people stand in solidarity with these brave individuals," - George W. Bush
Watching the pro-democracy marches in Burma both inspires and sickens me. I am inspired by seeing thousands of red-robed monks leading the demonstrations and sickened by the violence they are being met with by the military.
Seeing the images of the monks and others being beaten reminds me of the Democratic Convention in 1968 where Chicago police beat the living daylights out of demonstrators who were there to try and force the party to come closer to the budding anti-war movement. It didn't work. Instead of wonderful pro-peace candidate, Eugene McCarthy, the party nominated Johnson's VP, Hubert Humphrey. We know what happened next: Nixon. After last night's Democratic "debate" I am terrified and assured that the Democrats will have another pro-war nominee.
The other event in my memory that the pro-democracy movement in Burma reminds me of is Kent State, Ohio in May, 1970. Four students were killed and nine were wounded marching against escalation of the Vietnam debacle.. I have heard from many people who were of age to protest the Vietnam war at that time that the killings had the affect of frightening them into not protesting, or scaling their protests back.
Of course the present state of our nation is not as overtly oppressive as the government of Myanmar (Burma), presently where a Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi has been under house arrest there for years, but we who have been paying attention to events can see that America is on the precipice of serious fascism and only the brave actions of Americans committed to freedom, democracy and peace will help stem the tide of this rising neo-fascism that doesn't march through our streets in goose-step and swastikas, but is creeping into our lives like cat's paws.
According to Chris Rowthorn, in his brilliant article, When America Went Fascist, we went fascist on December 11, 2000 when the Supreme Court appointed George as our unelected, un-democratic and illegal President. Although it is easy and tempting to blame everything on BushCo, this is about the only assertion that I disagree with in his article.
What about during the Clinton regime? Does anyone remember Elian Gonzales or The Branch Davidians in Waco? Let's go back further. What about when Truman dropped to WMD on hundreds of thousands of innocent victims in Japan? What about Korea? Eisenhower and the Military Industrial Complex? What about the Gulf of Tonkin? What about Watergate? What about Panama? Kosovo? Nicaragua? Free trade agreements that hurt workers in all countries that are involved in them and what about the abuse of language in this country: Patriot Act; Homeland Security; Clear Water and Clean Skies---and the No Child Left Behind Act that leaves every child behind and is just a funnel to the recruiter's office?
There are just a few measures that we can use to stop this slide and Rowthorn articulates what has become an important part of my platform. Only vote for candidates that promise the following things...for president, or any other federal elective offices:
* Repeal the Patriot Act * Repeal No Child Left Behind * Scale down the Department of Homeland Security and rename it so it loses its Nazi tone and is brought under civilian control. * Restore habeas corpus and close all torture camps by repealing the Military Commissions' Act. * Repeal all contracts with paid mercenary killer companies. * Restore the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. * Repeal all BushCo-Presidential directives (especially Directive 51) and review all laws that contain signing statements. * Restore the 4th Amendment by enforcing warrants for spying on Americans. * Impeach Bush and Cheney-post presidency so they can't receive federal benefits. * Bring all troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and review military needs for other bases around the world. * Repeal all free trade agreements. * Kick AIPAC and other lobbyists out of the halls of Congress where they have no business.
One of the most profound ways we can stop this descent into fascism is by impeaching, removing from office and incarcerating George Bush and Dick Cheney, et al. I am very skeptical of a complicit Congress, Inc doing anything about them in this term. I am also very skeptical of a "professional" and fascist military leadership taking their oath of service seriously and above their corporate-military allegiance to the Executive Branch recently and so tellingly revealed by General Betray-Us, so a military coup is out of the question and has the tricky element of becoming a military dictatorship.
I was supposed to be in court today in Washington, DC for my last arrest. I didn't go because I am not under allegiance and repudiate the fascists that run our government and the enforcers who are doing their best Nazi-job of "following orders" in oppressing our rights as Americans.
Why are they beating up a Reverend who served in the Air Force, and honorably left after the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, for wanting to attend a hearing in Congress?
Why are they arresting a Gold Star Mother for exercising the very freedoms for which George Bush freakishly says her son died?
Why are my daughter and assistant under indictment for Contempt of Congress when BushCo have steadily refused to testify before committees under oath, or any other way? As a matter of fact, Betray-Us wasn't even put under oath that day in the House.
Why are college students being tasered for asking the same questions that we all want answered from John Kerry who threw our Representative Republic in the garbage along with the 2004 election?
Why are nooses being hung in the South?
Why do any of us pay our Federal Taxes to a government that we abhor and which we adamantly disagree with? Why do we allow our hard earned money to be used for murder and oppression?
Why is Congress giving BushCo more authority to begin a New World War?
Where are religious leaders to lead us in pro-democracy demonstrations? Most of our mainstream religions suffer from the same neo-fascism that our governmental leaders suffer from.
Why do we march in DC on Saturdays and get arrested just to get arrested? It's time to descend on DC on a weekday and make commitments to our world and our posterity to over throw this fascism right now?
When can we have a country-wide massive general strike?
Recent reports show that Saddam made overtures to America through the UAE and Spain to go into exile weeks before the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq. Of course, the overtures were rejected because George's small mind was already made up to invade Iraq before he became president in some sick way to either show up or gain approval from a dysfunctional family. What if Spain's former President Aznar had spoken up then? What if Colin Powell, George Tenet, or any of the criminal neocons had spoken up to prevent this horrible loss of life and pain before it even started?
I wouldn't be under a bench warrant right now. Rev wouldn't be recovering from a badly sprained ankle. Casey would be alive and hundreds of thousands of others would be alive.
We can't count on anyone but ourselves. It's now up to we the people to follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Burma to courageously confront the anti-democracy/pro-fascist elements of our society.
Contact Cindy at: Cindy@CindyforCongress.org
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.