Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
April 04, 1967
I want to take a moment to note yesterday's heartbreaking news that, five years after the start of this war, there have been 4,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq. Tens of thousands of our brave men and women have also suffered serious wounds, both visible and invisible, to their bodies, their minds and their hearts. As president, I intend to honor their extraordinary service and the sacrifices of them and their families by ending this war and bringing them home as quickly and responsibly as possible.
Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton
March 25, 2008
University of Pennsylvania
I was sitting on my couch writing about the horrors of war on this the 40th anniversary of the My Lai massacre and the approaching 5th anniversary of George's crime against humanity, the abominable occupation of Iraq. Reading about the testimony of Winter Soldier did nothing to alleviate my mood and the only thing that was giving me consolation is knowing that my son, Casey, was a conscientious objector in the last moments of his life.
"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Reverend Jeremiah Wright; Sept. 16th 2001
With the unbelievable 5th anniversary of "shock and awe" looming before us like a dark cancer that is out of control, the Buffoon in Chief, George W. Bush, once again tormented the nation with another obscene display of idiocy. This time at the Gridiron Club. Singing to the tune of "Green, Green Grass of Home" he warbles about the major scandals of his administration: Valerie Plame; Katrina; cronyism; Harriet Miers and Brownie; Dick Cheney and the fatal attraction (for our troops and innocent people in the Middle East) that they all have for the Saudi Royal Family, etc.
One early morning, exactly five weeks after Casey was killed, I was awakened by a disturbing dream. Casey's father, Patrick and I had traveled to Santa Barbara for Mother's Day that year to visit the Arlington West exhibit sponsored by the Santa Barbara chapter of Veteran's for Peace. This was when we still believed that that our marriage was not going to be a casualty of the illegal and immoral travesty of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Once, shortly before the 2004 presidential elections, I was having lunch with a friend from my old life: my life pre-April 4th when Casey was killed in Iraq. She informed me that she was going to vote for George Bush because he is "pro-life." My answer to her was:
Last year, on the 5th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo torture camp in Cuba, I had the singular privilege of being able to travel there. Travel to Cuba by Americans is, of course banned, but where in a "free and democratic" society does my government get off telling me where I can travel, or not travel? So, defying the incomprehensible ban, our group of intrepid anti-torture and pro-justice activists set off from Cancun, Mexico to Havana on Cubana Airlines.
I have just returned from five days in Egypt. To me, visiting foreign countries is so enlightening as an American who grew up as parochial and nationalistic as the next. However, since my son was killed in Iraq, I have had a crash course in foreign “relations” and cultures that came with a too steep price.