Click here to Bellaciao V.3.0 !

Archives Bellaciao EN - 2003-2016 Archives : FR | IT | ES

Mothers March on Washington to End War on Iraq: Join Up!

Sunday 4 September 2005

Bring Our Troops Home Now! We Need Them Here in America!

Peace camp heads to White House


AN ANTI-IRAQ war protester who set up a peace camp outside the Texas ranch of the United States president, George Bush, takes her campaign on the road today as she pursues him back to Washington.

Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son, Casey, was killed in an ambush in Sadr City in April 2004, will embark on a bus tour that will end with a 24-hour vigil and anti-war march in the American capital on 24 September.

It promises to bring further embarrassment to Mr Bush after thousands of protesters joined Mrs Sheehan at ’Camp Casey’ over the past five weeks to demand an end to the war and the return of American troops, 1,879 of whom have been killed since the US-led invasion in 2003.

"There’s a momentum building across the country... and we intend for every member of Congress to hear our messages from Camp Casey loud and clear," said Nancy Lessin, founder of the Military Families Speak Out group that is supporting the ’Bring Them Home Now’ tour.

The protests have turned Ms Sheehan into the focal point of the country’s growing anti-war movement. A poll in the Washington Post yesterday found 52 per cent of Americans thought Mr Bush should meet with Ms Sheehan, who has been increasingly critical of the White House’s handling of the war and the "lies" it told to justify the invasion of Iraq in the first place.

The peace camp started when Ms Sheehan arrived at the president’s home town on 6 August, soon after the start of his summer holiday. She said she would stay until Mr Bush met with her and provided answers about her son’s death. As the number of protesters grew and the US media began to give the story attention, a pro-Bush camp also sprang up on the site, with tensions rising daily until both sides staged lively rallies on Saturday. Ms Sheehan, 48, said the sacrifices she has made for the peace campaign include a pending divorce from her husband, Patrick. "We’ve galvanised the peace movement. We’ve started people talking about the war again," she said.

The three-week bus tour begins today with a rally in Austin, Texas, and on the route towards Washington DC protests will be attended by relatives of other soldiers killed in Iraq.

Fear and Loathing in Crawford, Texas

By Stephen Webster

Lone Star Iconoclast

CRAWFORD - It was a hot Saturday in Crawford, Texas. In the last weekend of President Bush’s five-week vacation, a new occupying force moved upon the little town of Crawford. While much has been said about the Bushapalooza-like camp (and its sequel) that has spawned around Cindy Sheehan, few have given credence to the caravans of fair-weather Bush hawkers. After all, in this day when language betrays its very masters, and half-truths hinging on nothing but a single word can lead to wars of aggression, the freedom of speech should be held dear. This, at the very least, is one thing we all agree upon.

“Cindy Sheehan is a stupid f**king whore,” said a boy of about 17 years, standing with his back to a massive stone recreation of the 10 Commandments. “Why is ‘thou shall not kill’ on this one?” he asked nobody. “We should assassinate her.”

A child no taller than the seat of a nearby motorcycle walked up to the stone tablets, focusing on the prized disruptor of the day: an un-cracked replica of the Liberty Bell. He reached forward and grasped a rope hanging from its base, tugging sharply. A loud ringing rattled nearby demonstrators with each resounding thump. A motorized wheelchair-bound Vietnam vet scooted past, thanking the boy for “letting freedom ring.”

Across the street at the coffee house, the café was full as usual. Hungry, hot and thirsty patrons shuffled to and from the outpost, most wearing Bush-gear. A woman handing out samples near the entrance commented to this reporter, “Nobody who doesn’t support Bush comes through those doors. They know better.” Walking through the crowded parking lot, overheard conversations forced their way into the prevailing climate.

“I think the damn liberals should just stop already. This war is not going to end any time soon. They need to accept that and fall in line,” said one Bush supporter as he smoked a cigarette and filled up on gas. “Why do liberals always take the side of the enemy?”

“Why are you smoking so close to a pump?” I asked. The man just glared back.

In front of the store, a woman holding her son’s hand and a sign reading “Freedom through Superior Firepower” stood captive of one so-called liberal’s concerns about the Iraq war. “I am concerned about the method which Bush took us to war,” he said. “Congress voted to give him powers to pursue terrorists, not to launch a war against another state. And now there are plans to attack Iran, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea ... Its very frightening.” The woman shook her head and walked away, silent.

Beyond the Crawford Peace House, a group of the friends of Bush had set up “Camp Reality,” crowding a football field near last year’s Fahrenheit 9/11 screening site. Midday, Bushites numbered about 1,000 in town, with several hundred dispersed opposite Camp Casey I and II.

“You f**king pussies are too scared to go to Iraq yourselves!” shouted a counter-demonstrator driving past the 3,000+ person crowd at Camp Casey II. “We don’t hate you!” sounded a small, brown-haired woman standing roadside with a box of water bottles.

Back in town and across the train tracks, shuttles which had been backed up for more than two hours moved people, albeit slowly, to and from the Crawford Peace House and both Casey camps. Under the unyielding Texas summer, each ringing of liberty clapped like echoing thunder. Everyone was covered in sweat. At The Yellow Rose souvenir shop, a larger-than-life effigy of George W. Bush rests pasted across the side of the building. The image grabs attention due to an improvised marker drawing of a Hitler-esque moustache complimenting W’s upper brim. Some stop and point. Others laugh and nod in approval of the defacement. One man brings masking tape to obscure the fascist facial farce. Covering the impromptu art, he shook his head. “Damn these people,” he muttered.

Around 4 p.m., the town of Crawford had begun to die down. The main strip played venue to two country singers, standing under a banner proclaiming, “THANK GOD FOR GEORGE W. BUSH! GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND PRESIDENT!” As they played, even presidential panderers did not stop to listen. By that hour the crowds of Bush supporters had already dwindled significantly. Finally, with about 40 people still holding ground near The Yellow Rose, traffic had started to flow a bit faster.

Fear and loathing of the most rancorous architecture has crept into the sleepy Texas town of Crawford. The rhetoric has been amplified, the propaganda has been catapulted, and the battle lines have been drawn. As far as Crawford is concerned, liberals have become the major occupying force. While the counter-protests did serve to light a fuse and spark several dozen biased and misleading network news blurbs, it ultimately attracted more dissent into the city’s limits. This day’s fair-weather Bush hawks, having mounted their best and last attempt for this Presidential vacation, will be remembered as little more than an insurgency in an occupied land.

“I hope that bitch gets heat-stroke,” said an older Bush supporter. “The press keeps this thing going like they want to destroy us, this town. I’m inclined to just drive over there and shoot somebody.”

“But then you’d get arrested,” his accomplice said. “Well, shit,” replied the old man. “I guess we’ll just stay here then.”

Walking past the row of shops which exclusively offer Bush-related paraphernalia, I stopped to notice a sign taped to a rocking-chair that read, “Lemon-ade, 10 year old boys - $.50 cents.”

“If only that were the price of gas!” exclaimed a woman from behind, taking note of the same sign.

Laughing, I turned to give Crawford a final farewell. Mahalo, I mused. As we drove past the still-growing crowd in front of the peace house, a bolt of lightening cracked in the distance, as though to offer a warning of ominous conditions to come.

We will march on a road of bones, I thought to myself. As I rode out of town a passer-by flashed the peace symbol in my direction. Watching Crawford disappear in my rear-view mirror, the peace-nic jogged across the street, framed, as he was, against the backdrop of a nation and town irreconcilably divided.

Stephen Webster is a staff writer for The News Connection, a weekly newspaper distributed across North Texas.

Sheehan Glad Bush Didn’t Meet With Her

By ANGELA K. BROWN The Associated Press

CRAWFORD, Texas — A woman who led an anti-war protest for nearly a month near President Bush’s ranch said Tuesday that she’s glad Bush never showed up to discuss her son’s death in Iraq, saying the president’s absence "galvanized the peace movement."

Cindy Sheehan’s comments came as war protesters packed up their campsite near the ranch and prepared to leave Tuesday for a three-week bus tour.

"I look back on it, and I am very, very, very grateful he did not meet with me, because we have sparked and galvanized the peace movement," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "If he’d met with me, then I would have gone home, and it would have ended there."

Sheehan and about 50 other peace activists arrived in the one-stoplight town Aug. 6, the day after she spoke at a Veterans for Peace convention in Dallas. She and a few others spent that night in chairs in ditches, without food or flashlights, off the main road leading to the president’s ranch.

The Vacaville, Calif., woman vowed to stay until Bush’s monthlong vacation ended unless she could question him about the war that claimed the life of her 24-year-old son Casey and more than 1,870 other U.S. soldiers.

Two top Bush administration officials talked to Sheehan the first day, but the president never did _ although he has said that he sympathizes with her and acknowledged her right to protest. His vacation is to end Wednesday, two days early, so he can monitor federal efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast.

Sheehan’s vigil attracted crowds of other anti-war demonstrators. Most stayed a few hours or days at the original roadside camp or at the second, larger site about a mile away on a private lot offered by a sympathetic landowner.

The massive response has transformed her life, she said.

"I thought our country was going down, down, down. I thought nobody cared about our children killed in the war, but millions care, and millions care about our country and want to make it better," she said. "The love and support I’ve received give me hope that my life can someday be normal."

The protest also sparked counter rallies by Bush supporters who accused Sheehan of using her son’s death to push the liberal agenda of groups supporting her. Critics also said the anti-war demonstration was hurting U.S. troop morale while boosting the Iraqi insurgency.

Many Bush supporters pointed out that Sheehan never spoke against Bush or the war when she and other grieving families met the president about two months after her son died last year.

Sheehan said she was still in shock over Casey’s death during that meeting. She said she became enraged after independent reports disputed Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons _ a main justification for the March 2003 invasion.

After leaving Crawford, protesters will spread their message on a three-week "Bring Them Home Now Tour" with stops in 25 states. Buses on three routes will meet in Washington, D.C., for a Sept. 24 anti-war march.

Sheehan will leave the tour next week to spend time with her family, including her mother who recently suffered a stroke, which caused Sheehan to miss a week of the protest. She plans to attend the march in the nation’s capital, hoping to reunite with people who converged on the Texas roadside that came to be known as "Camp Casey."

"When I first started here, I was sitting in the ditch thinking, `What the heck did I do? Texas in August, the chiggers, fire ants, rattlesnakes, uncomfortable accommodations’ _ but I’m going to be sad leaving here," Sheehan said. "I hope people will say that the Camp Casey movement sparked a peace movement that ended the war in Iraq."


On the Net:

Bring Them Home Now Tour:

Forum posts

  • To whom it may concern
    You are an idoit !

    • an idoit, eh?...parlez vous francais?

    • Where were" mothers march" during mass graves@iraq during the rule of khaliaftul mumin?
      Man March for Support of War On Khalifatul mumin.
      Take no prisoners.
      Concealed Weapons Detection Rule over explosives from a distance.