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Cindy Sheehan: Playing the Numbers Game

Playing the Numbers Game

By Cindy Sheehan
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 17 October 2006

Numbers have been flying around the airwaves lately.

How many Rebublican congresspeople have had to resign from scandals this past year? 4. Randall "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), Bob Ney (R-Ohio), Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and Tom Delay (R-Texas). How many more "R's" are implicated in the scandals that the above four resigned for? Who knows?

How many staff members of the corrupt administration have resigned in disgrace this year? 4. Andrew Card (R), I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (R), Susan Ralston (R) and Scotty "Spokesliar" McClellan (R). (Sorry if I missed any scoundrels.)

How many members of Congress (both houses, "R's" and "D's") should turn in their credentials? All of them who voted to take away our centuries-old right to habeas corpus and who voted to exonerate George and the other Torquemadas for authorizing torture and crimes against humanity.

According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, how many innocent Iraqis have died due to our invasion and occupation of Iraq? 655,000! 655,000! Stop and think about that number. That is roughly the population of one of my favorite cities here in America: Austin, Texas. With the population of Iraq roughly 1/10th the size of the United States, that's like 6,550,000 of our citizens gone. That is larger than the populations of 37 of our states. Millions have fled Iraq; "all the good people," one Iraqi parliamentarian told me. Halliburton is busy taking our tax dollars to not rebuild a country that the bloodthirsty fanatics in power have destroyed.

I have spoken to many Iraqis and everyone in that country has lost a close member of his/her family. Not a "friend of a friend of a friend of a friend," but a son/daughter, mother/father, sister/brother: entire families wiped out for greed of mammon. But they are all our children and one loss is unacceptable. George said that the abominably high number of people killed in Iraq only proves how much they are willing to suffer for "freedom and democracy." Well, here's another number for George, 87% of Iraqis want the occupying forces out of their country. How is that for democracy for you, George? Another one of the disturbing consequences of your "freedom and democracy" is that over 50% of the Iraqi people think that it's okay to target American and coalition of the "wilting" forces to accomplish this complete withdrawal.

How many of our brave young people have been killed because of the lies of the Bush administration and the rubber-stamping of Congress? 2766. Over 50 this month alone. It is monstrous and barbaric that the occupation continues (and was even started in the first place) with Congress giving the irresponsible George ever more and more money to kill our kids.

Besides the needless human cost of this war, how much money does America spend in Iraq every hour? $10,000,000.00! What could we do with ten million dollars if it weren't being dumped into the now-virtual wastelands of Iraq, filtered into the pockets of the war machine? How many people could we have rescued off their rooftops in New Orleans? How many levees could have been repaired? How many young people could we send to college instead of sending them to fight illegal and immoral wars? The thought of the cost of one, two, twenty-four hours in Iraq is staggering, and how long will it take our grandchildren to pay off the trillions of dollars in debt that George is sinking them into?

How many of our troops and Iraqis have been wounded? Who really knows for sure? The physical wounds are horrifying enough, but I believe close to 100% have been wounded emotionally and do not even get the bare help that the obviously wounded do.

How many people live in the United States? 282,000,000. How many people believe that George is telling the truth about Iraq? 17 percent, which is about 48 million people - that leaves us with about 235,000,000 people who know he is lying.

How many members of Congress? 535. How many members of the Executive Branch and cabinet? 17.

We the people who abhor the killing policies of our government are the very silent majority in this country, and we are allowing less than 600 people to control our destinies, run our country into the sewers, tarnish our good name in other countries, kill and torture innocent human beings and imprison them without due process (with the Congressional seal of approval), drain our treasury and put most of our debt in the hands of Communist China, and endanger our own precious lifeblood to boot: while destroying the very planet that we need to live on.

How much of these criminals and their crimes can we stomach? I can't stomach any more, and I call anyone in America who is sick to death of the people we employ to represent us - but who represent their own interests and the war machine's interests - to join Gold Star Families for Peace in front of the White House for a sit-in to surround it and tell the people who mislead us that we want our country back and our troops out of Iraq. We are tired of politics as usual, which mean lies and the stealing of our freedoms. We want honest and brave politicians; i.e., politics as unusual!

Please go to Gold Star Families for Peace for details of our sit-in which will run from November 6th to the 9th.

Also, go to Progressive Democrats of America to sign the petition to support Congressman Jim McGovern's bill, HR4232, which cuts funding for the continuing occupation. Ending the funding is what stopped Vietnam. Let's cut Iraq off before it becomes as bad as Vietnam.

We the people of my generation and older need to put our bodies on the line for our children and grandchildren. I want to be able to look in the eyes of my (hopefully) future grandchildren and say with a clear conscience: "Your grandma did everything she could to make your world a better place."

I hope to heaven that I can utter those words in a world that is truly better than the one that I gave Casey. I hope that war will eventually stop being used as a diplomatic tool and that my grandchildren won't be used as pawns in the war profiteer's avaricious numbers game.


Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is the author of Peace Mom, available now from Atria Books.

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