It is absolutely flabbergasting to me that our world will be soon commemorating the 5th year since George Bush announced that the US had commenced "Shock and Awe" against Iraq.
Millions of people marched against the impending invasion all over the world on February 15th, 2003 in one of the most touching and amazing shows of solidarity against global aggression ever seen. Since then, the pro-peace/anti-war demonstrations have been mostly disjointed with not so much solidarity.
I left the peace movement in May of this year partially in frustration over this lack of unity. At the time I was in despair over the fact that the movement had been unable to stop anything because of the egos and the infighting. Since then, the usurpation of our liberties and the killing of our children and the Iraqi people has just grown worse. The movement was unable to stop a funding bill or be united in demanding accountability for the war criminals that have been instrumental in destroying three countries, ours included.
Now, after nearly 5 years of the illegal occupation of Iraq and over 5 years of the immoral occupation of Afghanistan, we all know, even those who watch the propaganda news networks and are in denial, that this war is not only gone horribly wrong from day one, but is a sham based on deceit.
Not only has our foreign policy suffered profoundly under BushCo and Congress Inc., but the foreign war expenditures without a commensurate raise in revenue have driven our country deeply into a quagmire of debt. Our trade deficit is the largest it has ever been and 54,000 homes went into foreclosure in October. Gas is hovering around the $4.00 a gallon mark in the vicinity of San Francisco and is only going to go up. The degradation of our environment is becoming catastrophic while closeted, deviate Republican lawmakers are worried about people of the same sex having intimate relations and Democrats are too busy trying to act like Republicans while pretending to be Democrats. It is up to us---We the People.
Our country is rapidly slipping into a corporate-militaristic fascism and the peace/anti-war movement is worried about personalities and who gets a bigger piece of the pie---and I am not sure what kind of pie it is. The only thing I know about this work is that it is very difficult and requires a lot of sacrifice and commitment without resulting in much monetary reward. The rewards of true and lasting peace with an overthrow of the pigs of war who think they are globally in charge is our reward and seeing a better world for all the worlds' children and grandchildren is what we should be striving for.
This is why I am calling for The Dave Cline/MLK, Jr. Memorial Peace Summit in January (18-20) to bring all of the various groups together so we can strategize and brainstorm more effective ways of challenging war and injustices.
We not only need to come together in a Year Five Committee to come up with effective strategies to mourn the coming Sixth Year of a mistake that should have never happened with the loss of life counted past one-million, but we need to check our egos at the door and bring a healthy longing for the unity that can finally bring the peace that will bring health and prosperity to our country and the world.
Please contact The Camp Casey Peace Institute for more info about the Summit.
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.