“Goodbye, Anerica”: Two Reflections on the State of Resistance

May 31st, 2007 - by admin

Cindy Sheehan & Ponderosa Pine – 2007-05-31 21:52:46


“Good Bye, America”
Cindy Sheehan / DailyKos.com

(May 28, 2007) — I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such “liberal blogs” as the Democratic Underground. Being called an “attention whore” and being told “good riddance” are some of the more milder rebukes.

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur-of-the-moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that are supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on.

People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I

am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an “attention whore”, then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others.

I have spent every available cent I got from the money a “grateful” country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29-year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful.

Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people.

However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.

This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This is not my “Checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

It’s up to you now.

Reflections from an Elder Peace Veteran
Keith Lampe, Ponderosa Pine (prez@usa-exile.org)

(May 31, 2007) — Dear Cindy, Thank you very much for dropping out of such a constricted anti-war role. Now you can represent an inclusive definition of war and thus become dramatically more effective. I’m speaking, of course, about the war against nature within which the focus of the conventional US anti-war movement is only a slice.

You’re in a fine position now to form a coalition of movements in the US (and elsewhere: right on) opposed to this unparalleled war against nature. Thus for this first time since the US invasions in Southeast Asia you can provide us with an opposition to war which in fact is historically influential.

What I mean becomes clearer when I insert here something I’d sent to my lists on February 12, 2007:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I want to return to this important topic today to suggest that we add the word More to the name of the coalition: No More War Against Nature Coalition (NMWAN). Also I want to list the currently-isolated US movements for which this coalition is rational and beneficial:

(1) The Anti-War Movement. As I pointed out yesterday, their current behavior is futile. If they finally open themselves up to this inclusive concept of No More War Against Nature, we stand a chance of avoiding the impending home-planet die-back.

(2) The Environmental Movement. They’re so weak now that what do they have left to lose? They have by far the best biocentric information on the War Against Nature. Perhaps this way they can regain a determination to bring this war to an end.

(3) The Feminist Movement. The War Against Nature is a mega-macho energy which the US feminist movement has thus far avoided addressing. The time is now. The War Against Nature does not benefit feminists.

(4) The 9/11 Truth Movement. They have by far the best information on the central cause of the current wars against nature in Afghanistan and Iraq. Once folks understand how extensively the BOOsch Junta has lied about 9/11, they’ll be ready to understand that equally extensive lies are being told over and over again to instill the delusion that there are no energy modes capable of quickly replacing coal and oil.

(5) The New Energy Truth Movement. They have by far the best information on these marvelous new energy modes which don’t impact nature negatively and thus can end the war against nature swiftly.

(6) It would be helpful also to have some sort of elders’ group as part of this dynamic mix. For one thing, the elders can tell young people what local weather was like when they were young — so young people can understand just how serious have been the effects of the War Against Nature already. One great advantage of elders is that they have lots of free time.

When combined, these several formidable energies can have a tremendous impact on US society now. The enhanced confidence felt by all activists in this strong new community will greatly increase their effectiveness. Looking back, they will understand just how effective the Fourth Reich’s ongoing divide-and-conquer strategy had been. And this coalition can bring together so many different sorts of campus activists that perhaps a new student movement will be born. I’m eager for your comments on this.

As far as I know, Cindy, nobody is working on fusing these haplessly isolated movements. I sure hope you can be the one to do so. Otherwise, I see no possibility of effective resistance to the Demopublican War Party. And I say this from long experience with various movements.

Forty years ago I’d been — like you now — an anti-war spokesperson (mainly via Veterans and Reservists to End the War in Vietnam) whose face appeared frequently on TV. My life also was threatened. I sacrificed two marriages to my activism and also “have traveled for extended periods of time away from” my children.

I left the anti-war movement in late ’68 in order to shift from an anthropocentric to a biocentric activism and start coping with what today is called Global Warming (though Climate Chaos or some such is a much better label). A few months later Michael McClure, Gary Snyder and I founded the US environmental movement.

I was co-founder of All-Species Projects in ’78 — and in ’91 during the bombing of Baghdad I founded the US Pro-Democracy Movement, pointing out that the US needed one at least as much as Burma did. So I have to be surprised that anyone is surprised that the recent timid Democratic congressional anti-war initiative has collapsed so ignominiously. Let’s remember that this same Democratic Party during its ’68 convention in Chicago mainly remained silent while the local police committed mayhem against unarmed anti-war demonstrators.

(See Toronto Star Columnist David Lewis Stein’s LIVING THE REVOLUTION: The Yippies in Chicago, Bobbs-Merrill, ’69.) Since then, it has never been able to attain a significant degree of integrity.

I wish you the very best at whatever activities you now select.

With highest regards.
Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te,
Ponderosa Pine