2005/01/26

Mother of slain soldier speaks out

She held up family photos of her son Casey as a toddler, at his confirmation, as a 21-year-old in boot camp and then, the photo that appeared in The New York Times last April, of his coffin, his brother kissing it to say goodbye.

Opening her heart-wrenching talk, she said, “I am not a political expert or a pundit. I’m just a broken-hearted mother.” Cindy Sheehan said she hoped she wouldn’t offend anyone in the audience, but her purpose in speaking out was to raise awareness of “the travesty of this war” and to help bring the troops home.

Casey became a Humvee mechanic, and was in Iraq for only two weeks when he volunteered for a very dangerous mission. His convoy was attacked and he was one of six soldiers killed on April 4 of 2004.

Her grief was almost unbearable, but then she said, “I knew I had to do something to try to stop this illegal and immoral war to prevent more soldiers from dying. People are dying every day, soldiers - but also innocent Iraqis that our government doesn’t even count.”

Sheehan urged everyone to become more aware of what is really going on in Iraq, to read articles on websites like CommonDreams.org and Truthout.org. She said she hears from soldiers as to what is really going on, “and they are not building schools and sewer systems as the government is telling us. They are just out there killing and trying not to be killed.”

She said the mainstream media really “failed us” in the rush to war, and since then, has not been reporting much on the mistakes the U.S. occupation has made, such as disbanding the Iraq army and taking away jobs from citizens and giving them to outside contractors, creating animosity and anger toward the Americans. The tragic problem of inadequate armor for the troops, which is the reason her son and many other soldiers have died or been wounded, is another travesty not mentioned enough.

Her speaking out has not endeared her to her community, she said. “I am a pariah in my own town. My best friend won’t even talk to me anymore,” she said. Everyone had compassion for her when her son died, but they don’t seem to like the idea of her protesting the war. She said she has also been vilified in the press, accused of taking advantage of her family’s tragedy.

“The time for being nice is over. We have to let our leaders know what we think. We have to help vets who have been wounded, and we have to help kids find alternatives to being recruited to go to this war. We have to put this war in peoples’ faces to get them to see.

“I know Casey would want me to be doing this.”

The website for Cindy Sheehan’s Gold Star Families for Peace is:
Gold Star Families for Peace

5 Comments:

As a mother this woman has given the ultimate price, her child. To a war that did not have to be faught. Now that the Bush administration has irresponsibly gone there and removed the government they have no choice but to stay.

America gives lipservice to "Freedoms" but attempts to curtail the them whenever they become inconvenient. The US government has always given reasons to be mistrustful of them.

The really scary part is the average Joe that swallows the propaganda whole, hook, line and sinker. So much so that the much vanted Freedoms they are supposedly in Iraq to install are being curtailed at home, by average citizens. That scares me even more than Bush and Co. It gives them the "political capital" to keep forwarding imperialistic agendas.  

Posted by deviant1
1/27/2005 12:27:00 am  
"So much so that the much vanted Freedoms they are supposedly in Iraq to install are being curtailed at home, by average citizens".

You're exactly right D1. Not long ago I came across an interesting discussion on the subject. It basically amounted to the fact today's America's loss of freedom does not come from a direct forceful gov intervention, it is the result of the masses themselves who are implementing their own censorship of freedom of thought. 

Posted by WhyNot
1/27/2005 12:52:00 am  
Do you think that that boy would really want his mother turning his sacrifice which he volunteered for into this fiasco?

I asked my friend who is in the marine reserves, and who just recently came back from Iraq what he thought and he told me that he was proud to be a part in trying to bring change to the region. He also said that the thought of his wife or mother turning his death into a crusade to undercut support for what he and his buddies were trying to do made him sick.

Do you actually think that the rest of his unit supports her cause? I doubt it. 

Posted by Catonine
1/27/2005 02:05:00 am  
Catonine,

I would highly suggest that a mother knows her son far better than you. You presume to know this individual better than his mother? One would wonder exactly where you get your information from.


Secondly, her correct characterization that this war is not about freedom at all. Its about US imperialism. Maybe the US would not be there at all if they hadn't propped up Saddam in the first place.

Why I'll bet if the US just stopped with the diasterous foreign policy, lots of things would be better. I'll bet 911 would not have happened for instance.

You eat propaganda hook, line and sinker if you believe the US is in Iraq to for "Freedom". What utter bullshit. The US isn't even all that free (Read: Patriot ACT, Carnivore,etc.).

I'll bet the rest of his unit may disagree. I don't how I could keep in the shit day in, day out if I believed it was all for Bush and companies imperialistic agenda. In fact, i would rather shoot myself or desert such an unjust conflict. So no big surprise there.



 

Posted by deviant1
1/27/2005 06:41:00 pm  
Catonine check out The Ground Truth:
http://www.thegroundtruth.org/soldiers.html

Remember if you get your news from mainstream US media, you need to balance it with the other side you are not getting. Also check out the videos:
Control Room
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

If you have an open mind, letting in these new perspectives may allow you to make more informed opinions when you watch say, Fox News. 

Posted by Sarah
1/27/2005 07:38:00 pm  

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