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Cindy Sheehan at VFP Conference, Aug. 5th.

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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:17 AM
Original message
Cindy Sheehan at VFP Conference, Aug. 5th.
(Moderators, this is my transcript, so I'm posting the whole thing. -r.)

The Veterans for Peace National Convention wraps up today at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas.

Thursday and Friday saw the vets check-in, and attend workshops that varied from Stan Goffs Gender & Militarism to Speaking Truth to Power which featured Ann Wright, Coleen Rowley, and Jesselyn Radack.

Friday night featured keynote speakers and entertainers at Lynch Hall, on campus. They all had great things to say, and Cindy Sheehan was no exception.

Here is what she had to say:

Cindy Sheehan: Its so great to be here.

Last year when you guys had your convention in Boston, my son had only been dead a few months, and we were really honored because the Santa Barbara chapter took my daughters poem A Nation Rocked to Sleep, (and they did it again this year), and I remember Michael Cervantes, he brought the booklet over to our house and showed it to us, and I never dreamed in a year Id be standing here in front of you as one of the speakers at your convention, I never dreamed Id be doing this at all, but isnt it weird what life hands you

I never heard about Veterans for until, I can tell you the exact day I heard about VFP, it was May 4th, 2004, and my son had been dead exactly a month, and I was watching CNN, and something came on, it was a report on Arlington West in Santa Barbara, and we lived about 6 hours north of Santa Barbara, and it was the May 4th before Mothers Day, which was May 8th, and VFP was going to put it up on Sunday, every Sunday, so I called my husband and I said, Theres only one place I want to be on Mothers Day this year, I want to be at Santa Barbara. I want to go and see Arlington West.

When we went, the first time we went, there was a little over 700 crosses, now theres over 1,800 crosses.

And Im glad to hear everybody elses words, because somebodys gotta stop those lying bastards. Somebody has to stop them.

I got an email yesterday - - If you guys heard I just had a story published that talks about - - its called Where Do I Live?, it talks about an Iranian-American who got the shaft because a recruiter liked him, and the recruiter falsified his paperwork, so he ended up in prison. Hes been in prison since November without due process. Another mother whose son was found dead in Iraq, they told her that he died from a drug overdose. Three months later, they got the toxicology report; no drugs. She was devastated, she said, I know my son, he did not do drugs. She was told that her sons wife and his battle buddies said in a report that yes, her son abused drugs in Iraq. But when she got that report it said categorically that no, he did not abuse drugs. So how did her son die?

And then theres Kevin and Monica Benderman. Kevin did exactly the right thing and got 15 months in prison. Whereas like Dahr (Jamail) said, the war criminals in Washington, D.C., they dont even lose a nights sleep. Then we have this lying bastard, George Bush, taking a 5-week vacation in a time of war. You know what? Im never going to get to enjoy another vacation, because of him.

My vacation probably - -this is really sad because I have a really cute dress I was going to wear to the banquet tomorrow night, but Im either gonna be in jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me why my son died.

Anyway, I got an email, I kinda got off track, a man emailed me yesterday, I get contacted by all kinds of people with their stories, and he said Cindy, I read everything you write, I read it on, he said, I get tears in my eyes, but today I cried real tears, and I screamed, because my dear sweet nineteen ear-old cousin was killed in Iraq.

And he said, Cindy, why didnt I save him? Why didnt I knock him out, why didnt I take him to Canada? and I wrote him back and I said, You know what? We all think that.

I said to my son not to go. I said, you know its wrong, you know youre going over there. You know your unit might have to kill innocent people, you know you might die. And he says, My buddies are going, I have to go. He said, If I dont go someones going to have to do my job, and my buddies will be in danger.

So what really gets me is these chickenhawks, who sent our kids to die, without ever serving in a war themselves. They dont know what its all about.

30 of our bravest young men have already died this month, and its only the 5th of August. And the tragedy of the marines in Ohio is awful.

But do you guys remember back in March when we were having our 2nd year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq which was pre-empted by Terry Schiavo, so thats all that was on the news, not 5,000 of us in Fayetteville, Wolf Blitzer said it was insignificant, but they put Terry Schiavo on, and I wrote something then called The Amazing Hypocrites and I asked why does she deserve life more than my son, and the Iraqi people? And more than the other people that this war has killed.

But do you think George Bush will interrupt his vacation and go visit the families of those 20 marines that have died in Ohio this week? No, because he doesnt care, he doesnt have a heart. Thats not enough to stop his little playing cowboy game in Crawford for 5 weeks.

So, as you can imagine, the grieving parents who lost - - lost, I dont like to use that word, whose child was murdered, its extremely difficult, you cant even get a small scab on our wound, because every day it rips open. Every day, I dont know why I do it because I already know that war is ugly, I already know that war is hard. But I open up the DOD site to see, who became an angel, while I was sleeping.

And that rips my heart open, because I know there is another mother whose life is going to be ruined that day. So we cant even begin to heal.


So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush was speaking after the tragedy of the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that outraged me. Seriously outraged me. And I know I dont look like Im outraged, Im always so calm and everything, thats because if I started hitting something, I wouldnt stop til it was dead. So I cant even start, cause I know how dangerous that would be, but George Bush was talking, and he never mentioned the terrible incident of those marines, but he did say, that the families of the ones who have been killed can rest assured that their loved ones died for a noble cause.

And, he also said, he says this often, and this really drives me crazy, he said that we have to stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen.

And I say, why should I want one more mother to go through what Ive gone through, because my son is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor my sons sacrifice is to bring the rest of the troops home. To make my sons death count for peace and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for.

I dont want him using my sons death or my familys sacrifice to continue the killing. I dont want him to exploit the honor of my son and others to continue the killing. They sent these honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable themselves.

So, as many of you have heard, and I didnt mean to cause any problems with the convention, but I was writing an email to everybody, and I was so mad, like I said, and I just had this brainstorm, Im going to Dallas, I dont know where Crawford is. Ive been in Texas, Casey was stationed at Fort Hood. I drove from northern California to Fort Hood one time, it took like, 30 hours. And I thought, I could be driving for days to get from Dallas to Crawford!

But I dont care, Im goin. And Im gonna tell them, You get that evil maniac out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody whos blood is on his hands, has some questions for him.

And Im gonna say, OK, listen here, George. #1, you quit, and I demand, every time you get out there and say youre going to continue the killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by continuing the mission; you say, except Casey Sheehan.

And you say except for all the members of Goldstar Families for Peace cuz we think not one drop of blood should be spilled in our families names. You quit doing that. You dont have my permission.

And Im gonna say, And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for. And if he even starts to say freedom and democracy Im gonna say, bullshit.

You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you dont tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.

Cuz, were not freer. Youre taking away our freedoms. The Iraqi people arent freer, theyre much worse off than before you meddled in their country.

You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out of Palestine

(massive round of applause)

And if you think I wont say bullshit to the President, I say move on, cuz Ill say whats on my mind.

So, whats gonna happen? I started this, I thought it was gonna be just me and my sister driving to Crawford, but it kind of mushroomed and people from as far away as Dayton, Ohio are coming, to help us, to stand behind us, because I travel all over the country, I speak, I write, I get feedback on my writing, and just in the little over a year that Ive been doing this, Ive seen a major turnaround in this country.

People dont just want to hear it, they want to know, what can we do? What can we do to get him out of power? And Im gonna say the I word. Impeach. And we have to have everybody impeached that lied to the American public, and thats the executive branch, and any people in congress, and we gotta go all the way down and we might have to go all the way down to the person who picks up the dogshit in Washington because

We cant let somebody rise to the top who will pardon these war criminals. Because they need to go to prison for what theyve done in this world. We cant have a pardon. They need to pay for what theyve done.

So anyway, Im gonna go to Crawford tomorrow, and Im gonna say I want to talk to him, and they say, hes not coming out, Im gonna set up my tent there until he comes out to talk to me.

And I have the whole month of August off, just like him. Its just the way it worked out, I was supposed to go to England tomorrow to do some Downing Street things, but Conyers cancelled, so hey, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and Im gonna stay until he comes out and talks to me. And if he quits his vacation and goes to D.C., Ill pull my tent up, Ill go to D.C., and put it on the White House lawn, and Ill be waiting for you guys when you get there September 24th.

Another thing that Im doing is - - my son was killed in 2004, so Im not paying my taxes for 2004. If I get a letter from the IRS, Im gonna say, you know what, this war is illegal; this is why this war is illegal. This war is immoral; this is why this war is immoral. You killed my son for this. I dont owe you anything. And if I live to be a million, I wont owe you a penny.

And I want them to come after me, because unlike what youve been doing with the war resistance, I want to put this frickin war on trial. And I want to say, You give me my son, and Ill pay your taxes.

I live in Bacaville, come and get me if you can find me there and put me on trial, because like Camilo (Mejia), Camilo knew what was right. And he went to prison for that. And Henry David Thoreau he went to prison, he refused to pay his poll tax, and Emerson, I call them HT and RW, and RW came to visit HT and said what are you doing here, buddy? And HT said, why arent you here? This is the only place for a moral person in an immoral world.

Its up to us, the people, to break immoral laws, and resist. As soon as the leaders of a country lie to you, they have no authority over you. These maniacs have no authority over us. And they might be able to put our bodies in prison, but they cant put our spirits in prison. And I know that Camilo came out a much stronger person, hes one of my heroes, its great a row of heroes in front of me here.

And everyone gave such great testimony this evening, I have to wonder, why do we keep doing this to each other? Why do we let this continue time and time again, why do let it happen? And its because our country, is so good at demonizing people, I still have relatives from WWII that still call Japanese people Japs. And we demonize the Iraqi people, where, most of this country doesnt even think were killing innocent people.

Because, Oh Cindy, dont you remember what happened on September 11th?

Yeah, but, were any of those people in Iraq? And the people who flew those planes into the Trade Center, where they from Iraq?

When I was growing up, it was Communists. Now its Terrorists. So you always have to have somebody to fight and be afraid of, so the war machine can build more bombs, guns, and bullets and everything.

But I do see hope. I see hope in this country. 58% of the American public are with us. Were preaching to the choir, but the choirs not singing, if all of the 58% started singing, this war would end.

I got an email the other day and it said, Cindy, if you didnt use so much profanity theres people on the fence that get offended

And you know what I said? You know what? You know what, god-damn-it? How, in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?

If you fall on the side that is pro-George, and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out.

But whatever side you fall on, quit being on the fence.

The opposite of good is not evil, its apathy. And we have to get this country off their butts, and we have to get the choir singing.

We need to say, bring our troops home now. We cant depend on the people in charge binging our troops home. Because you dont plan on bringing the troops home when you drop so much of the reconstruction money into building permanent bases.

I was hoping to come to the banquet tomorrow night, but unless George comes out and talks to me, Ill be camping at Crawford.

Thank you.


(No copyright for non-commercial use. Pass it around. -r.)
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks reprehensor. Great speech
Cindy Sheehan is an inspiration to us all.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wow! What a speech!
Thanks for posting this.

I haven't heard anyone speak so forcefully since Vietnam.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. Perfect speech. This needs to be on the home page!
Thanks, reprehensor!

She speaks the truth.
I'm so in awe of her. What courage.
She says * lost his authority to lead our country when he lied to us.

It's true. Let's get off our asses and impeach the bastard!

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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. Kick and nominated!
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. wow. That is a great speech.
Thank you for posting this.
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Janice325 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Another kick and another nomination
WOW!! What a speech. :applause:
She is not going to stop.
Karma is a bitch, and I hope it comes soon to bite Dimson and buddies in their collective butts.
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. I wish I was there to just hand her a lemonade!
Edited on Sun Aug-07-05 11:59 AM by ClayZ
And watch her back! She is a true PATRIOT and a truthteller.


:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

:kick: :kick:
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. Wow. I'm crying. n/t
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hiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. reprehensor
thank you for posting !
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jurassicpork Donating Member (435 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. Hot damn
...what a great lady. She's gonna do something great with her life, I can tell. No thanks to Bush, Casey's death will stand for something positive because his mother Cindy will make it so.

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fighttheevilempire Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. God Bless That Woman
I would love to be able to be there myself. I'm glad she's going, I'm glad she's speaking up, and I'm particularly glad she has such determination. I'm honestly going to try to save money so that I can make a day trip to DC for the sept 24 protest - and people like her are truly an inspiration.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-07-05 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. Rep, great job!
I'm sorry we missed being there Friday. Hope you all are doing OK.
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-05 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kick kick and KICK! n/t
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