Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Cindy Sheehan: Obligations

Obligations


By Cindy Sheehan
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
From: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090106A.shtml

Friday 01 September 2006

I bought land in Crawford, Texas, to conduct our Camp Caseys until the horrendous nightmare of an occupation ends in Iraq or/and until our world no longer has to suffer under the Bush Regime. But our land will also be a permanent place for peace and a bastion of hope and refuge for soldiers whether they want to be in the military or not.

So many other people have literally put their blood, sweat and tears into Camp Casey III and all of the previous Camp Caseys - wonderful peace activists who give up many days, but in most cases, many weeks to come to hot, sweaty, dry, and dusty Crawford, Texas, to show BushCo, our country, and our world that there are people in our nation who love peace with freedom so much that they are willing to drop their own lives to make such things realities in our lifetimes.

Camp Casey has not received the media coverage that we enjoyed (or not) last summer - because Cut and Run George has spent less time in Crawford this year than Camp Casey has. For some reason, the media follows him.

All of our hard work and every penny that I have spent was made abundantly worthwhile today when Mark Wilkerson, a 22-year-old Army Specialist out of Ft. Hood who has been AWOL for 19 months heard our call of sanctuary and came to Camp Casey to spend his last few days of freedom before turning himself in to military authorities at Ft. Hood.

After one tour in Iraq, Mark decided that the war, which he initially supported, was as illegal and immoral as he was hearing some people say. He tried very hard to go through the proper channels to attain Conscientious Objector status, but he was denied. So instead of being redeployed to Iraq for a 2nd time, he decided to go AWOL.

He heard our call for sanctuary at Camp Casey and he came. He found a home and a new family who love and support him fully. Mark is anxious to pay whatever price he has to pay for his decision and then to work with us in the Camp Casey Peace Institute and in the peace field.

One question that I heard the reporters who were there ask him over and over again went something like this: "Don't you feel that when you take an oath you have an obligation to fulfill?" Mark handled this question wonderfully, stating that he also has an obligation to follow his own conscience. Knowing that this war is both illegal and immoral by all rational and sane standards, he could not morally participate in the war crimes and crimes against humanity forced on everyone by our lying leaders.

I watch a lot of news and I read reports of Bush's rare press conferences, and I have never seen any one ask George Bush the same question asked of Mark. The commander in chief did not fulfill his obligation during the Vietnam War. He was transferred to the Alabama Air National Guard, and despite a reward, which no one has come forward to claim saying anyone saw him there - he never reported for duty. I would like the same question asked of the president as was asked repeatedly of Wilkerson. How can he dare send a 22-year-old Spc. 4 to Iraq to fight, perhaps die, and perhaps kill innocent people in a FUBAR excuse for a war, when he used all of his daddy's connections to get out of the FUBAR excuse of a war that his generation had to fight, die, and kill innocent people for?

Along with most of the Republican Senators, congresspeople, executive branch, and Dick "I had other priorities" Cheney, I have no problem with anyone who did whatever they had to do to not go to Vietnam. What I surely do have a problem with is while they ran from the military industrial complex in the 60s and 70s, they feed our children to the ravenous monster in the next century's first war for greed. Congress also abrogated its Constitutional responsibility to declare war and handed the keys to the war machine to an irresponsible deserter and his vice-draft dodger.
Additionally, our commander in chief has an obligation to use his troops wisely - not recklessly and negligently. And what about the obligation to tell the truth to our country?

Instead of having the dubious "courage" to ask a brave young man full of integrity and honor the question about fulfilling an obligation, I would love for one of the press corps to ask the same question of Mark and Casey's commander in chief. George had all the advantages of his East Coast birth and daddy's wealth and cronies - so, he just didn't have to show up if he didn't want to. Mark did not have such advantages, he had to live in fear of discovery for over a year and a half. The rich always send the children of the poor to die to make themselves richer.

The peace movement needs to encourage all the soldiers to lay down their weapons and refuse to die or kill innocent people for the cowards in DC and the war machine. We as peace people need to support them with our moral support and monetary support so they feel comfortable doing so. We as peace people need to work on stopping the next war and work on giving families information and alternatives to their children putting on the uniform of the war profiteers. College is too expensive and they have no jobs in their communities. We need to wrest away money from the War Department and give it back to our future: our children.

War will only continue if we keep giving our kids to the war machine to chew up and spit out for their wicked profits.

  • To find more information on how to help young people get out of going to a war, please go to the GI Rights Hotline.
  • To find more information on obtaining CO Status, please go to the Conscientious Objectors Web Site.
  • To find more information about alternatives to joining the military, please go to American Friends' Service Committee
  • I wish I had had all of this info before my oldest child came home in a body bag.

    *************

    Cindy Sheehan is mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is the author of Peace Mom, which will be available on September 19th, 2004.

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
     
     
    Top Scoops Headlines

     

    Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

    Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

    Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

    The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

    ALSO:

    Buildup:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

    It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

    ALSO:

    Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

    Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

    Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

    Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

    Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

    I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

    Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

    It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

    ALSO:


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Top Scoops
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news