I joined seven Vermont bus loads of concerned United States
citizens in converging on the nation's capital,
Washington D.C. on Saturday, September 24, 2005. We endured twenty-two hours on a bus
which afforded little opportunity for sleep and twelve hours
on our feet in solidarity with the multitude protesting George W. Bush's illegal war on
Iraq. It was a tiring day, made so in large
part by standing in place for two-and-a-half hours at the corner of Constitution
Avenue and K Streets as the feeder marches converged on the rally site
nearby. Wave after wave of people streamed by as we awaited our
turn to step off into the march. We were standing at the corner
where Camp Casey was established and the Veterans For Peace were
gathering. More than one-quarter-million people had come to Mordor
to say, "Stop
the war! We've had enough". I joined hundreds and
hundreds of Veterans For Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out, Iraq
Veterans Against the War, and the Gold Star Mothers for Peace in being
the lead contingent of the march. We marched three-and-a-half miles
through the streets of D.C. passing the institutions and their immense
buildings that make war profitable. We passed in front of the White
House where we expressed the people's growing displeasure with this regime.
In no uncertain terms we let the occupant of the People's House know
that impeachment is in the wind.
my veteran brothers from Vermont, a Vietnam combat veteran burdened with
unable to stay in one place for very long headed off
to pay his respects at the Vietnam War Memorial. Upon arriving at the Vietnam
Memorial he held his VFP flag with both hands and gazed at the black granite wall.
Tears filled his eyes as he looked at the myriad of names while holding
the dove-on-helmet VFP flag in his hands. No sooner had the tears
flowed then he was ordered to put the
flag down. Not being easily intimidated this former G.I.
questioned the D.C. authority on the rationale for having to remove his flag. He was
he had to leave or be arrested. This Vietnam combat veteran who
was sent to kill
others in Vietnam under the pretense of protecting the American way of
life was now being threatened with incarceration for practicing it!
The U.S. system inculcates obedience to
the State. It indoctrinates children from a very early age in the
schools to parrot the Pledge of Allegiance. The words of the
National Anthem sung at sporting events state that we are "the land
of the free and the home of the brave." However, the free are
not those confined to paying their respects to fallen comrades within the
narrow parameters as defined by the State. Telling my Vietnam
combat veteran friend how he can mourn is not living in the land of the
free. His resistance, however, is testament to our still being in
the home of brave.
The Noble Cause of the People
George W. Bush says that one's service to one's country is a
"noble cause", with the sacrifice of one's life being the highest
offering. But why is one's service to one's country not noble enough to merit
being able to pay homage to the
war dead in one's own chosen way? Why is dying in
Bush's war, the so-called noble cause, not worthy of visibility as the dead
return home under secrecy and the cover of darkness? Why are the dead of Bush's "noble cause"
hidden from view the way that the executioner's face is always well
hidden? Bush's "noble cause" perversely requires that
the United States and Iraqi dead and maimed be hidden from public view.
Why do the United States people
allow this administration to callously use the dead for their own
political purposes? How many names will there be on the
yet-to-be-built Iraq war
memorial? How many names on the Afghanistan war
memorial? The future Iran war memorial? The future Syria war
memorial? The next and ad-infinitum war memorial?
Can the United States of America exist without waging some war, some
place in the world, all of the time? Has perpetual war become a
defining parameter of the United States? Is war a necessary
component for neo-liberalism's survival? Someday, the peoples of the world
will put up a memorial to the fallen victims of United States imperialism. How
many acres and acres of marble walls would that take? How many
tens-of-millions of names would there be on this wall? How many native
American names? How many African American names? How many
Southeast Asian names? How many Central and South American
names? How many names from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai,
Wrong Person Arrested
Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star Mother for
Peace, along with her sister and 370 others were arrested at the White
House on Monday, September 26, 2005. After being refused a
meeting with George W. Bush, Cindy Sheehan and others sat in front of
the White House refusing to move until George W. Bush came out to met with
them. George wasn't coming out. They were arrested. Cindy wrote of her arrest on her
We all know by now why George won't
meet with parents of the soldiers he has killed who disagree with him.
First of all, he hates it when people disagree with him. I am not so
sure he hates it as much as he is in denial that it even happens....he
is a coward who arrogantly refuses to meet with the people who pay his
salary... [The] reason why he won't talk to us is that he knows there
is no Noble Cause for the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq.
It is a question that has no true answer.
Cindy Sheehan gets arrested for as she
puts it, the "tragic and needless deaths of tens of thousands of
innocent Iraqis and Americans (both in Iraq and here in America) who
would be alive if it weren't for the criminals who reside in and work in
the White House". A Vietnam War veteran gets threatened with
arrest for crying at the Vietnam Wall with a Veterans For Peace flag in
his hands. Shame on you George. You have brought the United
States of America to a new low. Your noble cause is not the
noble cause of the people, which is to end the war and have you removed
A Crawford, Colorado man as he was being arrested at
the White House said it was "an honor to be arrested with this
group of people." The crowd chanted,
"Arrest Bush". Yes, indeed, do arrest Bush. The
tears of my Vietnam combat veteran friend and comrade, the arrest of
Cindy Sheehan, and the collective exhaustion of the 300,000 plus gathered in
Washington D.C. on September 24, 2005 will not be for naught. The time is
approaching when their noble cause will be realized as the thugs and
criminals in the White House are removed. The world's second
super-power, the People, are in the process of making certain this happens
shortly. Impeach George W. Bush.