Cindy Sheehan: Helplessly Hoping
Helplessly Hoping - Day 21, Troops Home Fast
By Cindy Sheehan
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 25 July 2006
I have been in such a blue funk of depression and worry since Israel's over-reaction - or "over action" - in Lebanon in what seems to be insanity escalating out of control. What our media and some world leaders seem to expediently forget is that Israel massacred an entire family on a beach in Lebanon with a rocket and kidnapped two Palestinian citizens before Hezbollah and Hamas kidnapped some Israeli soldiers. Who started the cycle of violence in those countries? Who knows? Who cares! The important question is: who are going to be the courageous ones with integrity, wisdom and compassion who are going to at long last stop the absurdity?
As hard as I may try, I cannot wrap my mind around the fanatical rhetoric coming out of DC and from all over the world and the mindless and seemingly overwhelming support of Israel's right to "defend itself." What Israel is doing in Lebanon by killing hundreds of innocent civilians in a relatively short period of time is like the US defending itself from the tens of thousands of innocent babies, women and children in Iraq. It is morally reprehensible and just an extension of BushCo's campaign to enrich the voracious war profiteers.
I read yesterday that our State Department approved a new shipment of bombs and rockets to Israel. With the thousands upon thousands of US-made bombs and rockets being dropped on Lebanon by the IDF it makes one wonder if the expiration dates on the bombs were nearing and the war machine needed to sell and ship more bombs so that the CEOs could fill their Hummers, limos, and jets with gas. Naively, I always presumed that the State Department was there to prevent the use of military force, not support it by authorizing more weapons for more efficient killing! Don't we have a War Department for more killing? I feel like I am living in Bizarro World.
I have been watching a lot of cable news networks and have heard such one-sided phrases as: "Over 50 civilians killed in Lebanon today, but the real story is in the Israeli city of Nazareth, where two Hezbollah rockets landed." Why is that the real story, Tucker Carlson? It is an immensely tragic story, because two harmless children were killed in Nazareth, but how does it trump over 50 civilians being killed in Lebanon? Oh yeah, I forgot! John Bolton said that there is no "moral equivalency" between innocent Arabs being killed and innocent Israelis being killed. It's not immoral for Israel to kill innocent civilians because they are fighting terror with more terror: it's the American Way!
One day I heard another perfectly coiffed and composed talking head say while the fancy war graphics rolled across the TV screen in my hotel room: "This is day 12 of fighting in the Middle East." Day 12! Try selling that idiotic sound bite to the people of Iraq and who are dying by the dozens still every day in increasing violence. Try telling our soldiers who keep on dying over there that this is "Day 12" … It is more like 2,567 on day 1,200 plus of fighting in Iraq. The war crimes in Israel and Lebanon have so conveniently knocked Iraq completely off the radar screen, which is probably a thing of beauty and a welcome development to the White House and Pentagon.
We are being told that a few hundred people have been killed in Lebanon when we were shown a mass grave on CNN in the ancient city of Tyre that had almost 90 coffins in it being presided over by a distraught mayor, telling us that at least two or three hundred more of his city's residents were buried in the rubble of the barbaric Israeli attacks. Tyre is one city, and we viewed the mass grave days ago. Tyre and the rest of the country are being relentlessly bombed for the sins of a few, which is a crime against humanity.
It seems like we are armchair witnesses to Armageddon and ashamed witnesses to our fool of a President at the G-8: groping women; talking, eating, and swearing with his mouth full; drooling over slicing a pig and generally acting like a drunken and amorous frat boy at a toga party. I would like to ask George Bush a few more questions besides "What noble cause?" Like: "What the hell is so humorous, you jester in a tailored suit? You told us that you were making the world a safer place because of your War of Terror, and you are decidedly not!" I would also like to ask him if he is proud of himself for the way things are going on the 1200th plus day of fighting in the Middle East. Of course it is not about pride - it is about profit and the Project for a New American Century.
I mourn for the murders of the Israeli people, which are just as tragic (but not more tragic) and done just as barbarically (but not more barbarically) as the murders that Israel is commiting in this needless violence, as much as I mourn the deaths of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the innocents in all Arab countries who are trapped in this insane spiral of bedlam. When is the world going to realize that bloodshed cannot be stopped, cured or even alleviated by shedding more blood? Killing is a cancer that spreads the more it is fed. This disease is spreading around the world, and instead of passing resolutions to condone the punishment of an innocent civilian population, Congress should be passing resolutions condemning ALL types of violence and should be supporting Rep. Dennis Kucinich's (D-Ohio) call for a truce (H.Con.Res 450) so a diplomatic solution can be sought - one that brings ALL sides to the table and one that ALL sides can feel comfortable and safer with. The only way to a "lasting cease-fire" that the weapons broker, Condi, keeps talking about is a negotiated settlement that includes and insists on peaceful co-existence in the region.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it is either "peaceful co-existence or mutual co-annihilation." Our planet is headed on a path of annihilation if we don't all stop and take a deep breath, relax and realize that our brothers and sisters are being killed in the Middle East so that more bombs and rockets can be rushed there (on all sides) and so that our oil companies can have total control of the world's oil resources.
I have felt so helpless in the face of such unwarranted carnage, calamity, and sorrow. I have felt hopeless that anything I do can even alleviate the suffering of one person. I am helplessly hoping that the people of the world will join me and rise up to say a collective: "In God's (Allah's - whatever's) name: enough is more than enough, already!"
One last quote: Dwight David Eisenhower said, "I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." I believe that we the people of Earth should demand that our governments get out of our way and stop being beholden to the war machine and allow us to have peace. Selfishly, I would love to have a world that my surviving children and their children can peacefully co-exist with peoples of other nations in.
I recognize Israel's right to defend itself as I recognize the US's right to defend ourselves as I recognize Lebanon's and Iraq's right to defend themselves - but I do not, cannot, and will not recognize anyone's right to commit wholesale slaughter on babies and children. I refuse to recognize that right no matter who does it - terrorists or state-sanctioned wars of terror - I refuse to recognize the right to slaughter and, whether it makes a difference or not, I refuse to be silent about it.
It must stop: For my children, your children and their children.
They are all our children.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey
Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She and
thousands of others from around the world are getting ready
for another summer of holding BushCo accountable in
Crawford, Texas, at Camp Casey. For more information, go to