“America … You Are Not the Country That I Love”

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 is supported by Democrats and Republican 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 ever 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 every 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.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website at CindyforCongress.org. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy, or visit Cindy's website.

15 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Alan MacDonald said on May 30th, 2007 at 5:49am #

    If Sheehan is the emotion and passion of the anti-war movement, then Andrew Bacevich is surely the intellect and reason.

    It is ironic that both lost their sons to this imperial oil-war, and it is more than ironic that both reached the same ultimate conclusion, albeit from the differing paths of the heart and the mind —– that this war is an imperial war; launched and continued by an unaccountable ruling-elite Empire of money and power, which only poses as a democracy under the facade of its two-party “Vichy American” lie.

    Sheehan’s heart and Bacevich’s mind reached the same correct conclusion that hopefully will not be lost on the feeling and thinking American population at large —- that this war is the unavoidable consequence of a government that has metastisized from democracy to Empire because of our inattention.

    Hopefully, the American people will rise up against this murdering global corporate Empire that has stolen our government, stolen the lives of our children, and stolen the light of democracy from our country.

    If all honest, average, ‘working class’ Americans reach the same ineluctable conclusion as Sheehan and Bacevich, and rise up against this guileful two-party lie of Empire, then perhaps the otherwise senseless deaths of our children will not have been entirely in vain.

  2. Philip V. said on May 30th, 2007 at 8:52am #

    You know Cindy, when you first came to national attention, I was really scornful of you. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not a right-winger. No, I scorned you because I was like “Well what did she think was going to happen to her boy? Didn’t she know that by joining the military he might actually be put in harm’s way? Oh and now that he has, look at her.”

    I know, it sounds cruel. And from that point on I followed nothing you did. I know nothing of what you have done from that point forward. Whenever I saw your face I turned the channel. I read no news articles about you.

    What you just wrote, however, has changed my view of you, especially this: “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.”

    There’s some repentance there. I respect that. You accepted your part in a system that perpetrated this act against your own son. And now you reject that system. Thank you.

    I want to apologize to you. I want to thank you for your hard work. But most of all I want you to know that I am sorry for the loss of your son. What you have written here represents the most painful lesson any parent can learn about “our great nation.” You have grasped it.

    Lastly, I want you to know that I am praying for you. I hope on this journey you are able to find more meaningful ways to make the world a better place. God bless you.

    Philip

  3. jim slaybaugh said on May 30th, 2007 at 9:50am #

    Cindy Sheehan:
    I am 70 years of age and became aware of the rampant corruption of murka long ago.I agree with everything you have stated in your farewell.
    To those who believe that murka is NUMBER ONE….Damn right…
    We are number one : in apathy-ignorance-gullibility-gluttony-selfishness-laziness-
    prison building-an insatiable addiction to crap-etc.
    I believe that there many good people in this country who think as you do but do not have the courage to act.
    You are a true patriot , a very courageous person and also very fortunate to finally realize that stupidity is pervasive in our society and you have better things to do with your time.
    I believe that murka never has been or ever will be “the country we love”.
    The Military-Industrial-Political Complex RULES.
    Thank you for trying—jim

  4. Carl Stephenson said on May 30th, 2007 at 11:31am #

    Cindy,

    Thank you for giving us hope again. And thank you for being the right person to mobilize a movement at a critical time. You are our John Lennon and a wonderful, compassionate, beautiful person.

    We will never forget when we were being pressured to remove our protest signs from the windows of our house.. After being threatened with eviction we sent out an SOS to several anti war groups..Imagine our surprise that it was YOU who took the time to answer us and to make sure we were okay…Our signs remain and we are still a small outpost of freedom in a neighborhood given over to apathy…I know why you went home and you are right about the state of our once great nation. America has become a dark place. I wish the best of everything and our love goes with you.

    Carl

  5. Dr. Derrick Grimmer said on May 30th, 2007 at 3:25pm #

    If Cindy Sheehan wants to understand the process by which the Iraq war was started and is maintained, and the mechanisms that got her son killed, she needs to closely examine exactly what transpired on 911.

    A cursory but open-minded examination of the timeline and events of that day will lead to the logical conclusion that 911 was an inside job, perpetrated under false flag.

    I suggest starting with the writings of David Ray Griffin for background, and then watching the DVD “911 Mysteries, PartI: Demolitions.”

    These materials should provide an epiphany.

    911 is at the root of the Iraq war evil. If you wish to strike at the root of empire, then strike at the perpetrators of the 911 inside job.

  6. Trudy Springer said on May 30th, 2007 at 3:54pm #

    Cindy,

    Thank you for expressing what so many others have encountered in their efforts to hold our politicians accountable. The viciousness of so called liberals is worse than what the right wingers spew.

    This country does not deserve patriots like your or your son Casey. We are too insulated, shallow, affluent and willfully ignorant to ever face up to what is and has happened to this experiment in democracy.

    I too have left the Democratic Party and will not vote for those that have no spine. All of us that have been betrayed by these Republicans in Democratic clothing should all leave, maybe just maybe they might notice, but no the glitter of corporate gold has blinded them to everything else.

  7. Michael Miller said on May 30th, 2007 at 9:02pm #

    How sad is this?
    The Democrats used your hard work, sweat, blood and tears, and gave the thousands of Caseys only the hope that they will suffer a debilitating wound so they don’t have to go back to that hell of an ongoing war crime.
    And how evil is that?
    As evil as “Significant Quantities of Uranium”?
    As evil as “500 TONS of VGX”?
    As evil as “Mushroom cloud”?
    No. But not much better.

  8. o. rana said on May 31st, 2007 at 2:26am #

    America, what’s that?

    Media always talk about America when they actually mean the USA. Do they not know that America is much more than the US ?
    I think that grabbing the name America for itself is incorrect, and offensive to all the other countries on the American continents.
    When refering to the US specifically I suggest the term US-America to be used, or as written in full: the United States of America.

  9. Gary Stonecipher said on May 31st, 2007 at 1:10pm #

    Cindy… I am never sure why people are surprised at how shallow the American gene pool is… I would like you to examine, not the groups of people you encountered, but the individual lives you have affected/effected for the better… It is these individuals that matter the most… It is these individuals that you are really fighting for…

    I am a Vietnam WAR era draft dodger of conscience, and I met those same bottom feeders way back when… Don’t quit! Keep the Faith! The leaders of the right or left are the same Creature of the Dark, but the Angles of the Light are the one’s that captured your heart… and you can’t abanden them… Just re-focus your attention on the right people… now that you know who the wrong people are!!!

    May the God of Irony fly in the face of your enemies,
    and bless them with all the Poetic Justice they deserve!

    Bohemian Philoet, Gary Stonecipher
    su.ecitsuJhturTnull@naimehoB

    =====================================================================

    In 1996 Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, confronted Madeleine Albright, then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “We have heard that a half million children have died,” Stahl said. “I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.” …and Albright’s remark caused no public outcry… i.e. Albright’s remark caused no American to cry!

    Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye,” was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people to be awarded the medal twice. He was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book “War Is a Racket” was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex.

    Butler came forward in 1934 and informed Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Butler stated; “I spent 33 years in the Corps, and spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business.” He also said he had been a racketeer for capitalism who “helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.”

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    — Abraham Lincoln; 1865

    “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
    — Thomas Jefferson 1812

    “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”
    — President Theodore Roosevelt; 1906

    “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
    — President Franklin D. Roosevelt; in a letter written to Colonel House November 21, l933

    “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
    — William Colby; former Director of the CIA

    “We stand for the maintenance of private property… We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order.”
    — Adolf Hitler

    “We paid $3 billion for these television stations. We will decide what the news is. The news is what we tell you it is.”
    — David Boylan; WTVT station manager April 16, 1997

    “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it…”
    — General Douglas MacArthur (1957)

    “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”
    — Herman Goering; Nazi Air Force (Luftwaffe) commander at the Nuremberg Trials, 1946

    “…the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly… it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”
    — Joseph Goebbels; Nazi Propaganda Minister

    “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”
    — Adolf Hitler

    “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity… and Im not sure about the former.”
    — Albert Einstein

    “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”
    — Abraham Lincoln; First Inaugural Address March 4, 1861

  10. JB said on May 31st, 2007 at 9:10pm #

    Cindy:

    I’m glad you are taking some time to recoop. You need it and you’ll need it often as you continue to explore “our world”. I wish it wasn’t as ugly as it is, but, like you, if we are going to focus on something like honesty, then we must recognize the ugly–there is a lot of ugly here and it’s rooted in stupid and NOT 9/11/2001.

    Find the secret to continue the change Cindy. Dream it.

    Rest kiddo, you deserve it and you need it. Love your kids, call your friends and sleep in.

    the work will wait.

    wishing you well

    JB

  11. Grandma B said on June 1st, 2007 at 7:06am #

    Dear Cindy, As a mother and a grandmother, I fear for the future of the USA. I was too busy child-rearing and having a job when I was younger and I trusted in government doing the right thing for us and we were a strong, respected nation. But in the last few years I have become anxious and have lost all hope for this nation. I pray that my grandsons are strong and healthy and they will have a chance to live a reasonable life even though I foresee doom and gloom in the decades ahead. I’ll try to enjoy what I have left, to be valued where I can. I admire your courage under the pressure and obstacles you must have encountered while having an aching heart. You are an amazing person! I wish there were more people like you! Grandma B

  12. Charles Francis said on June 1st, 2007 at 10:52am #

    As we work toward creating a more just and nurturing society, people like Cindy are inspirational–they give us hope. But, her burn-out does not mean that those of us who, while not devoting ourselves totally to the cause, continue in our daily lives to promote peace and justice in many smaller ways should now throw in towel. Our contributions count, are even essential. It’s great that heroes arise among us from time to time and give us a spurt of progress, but the steady current that inches it’s way forward is incubator from which these extraordinary people sprout up.

  13. jose de PR said on June 1st, 2007 at 5:08pm #

    is about 15 years since i visited the United States to visit some relatives and i found that people over there doesnt care much about politics and less about international affairs. So when you say that the citizens of your counttry care much about “american idol” than what is happening in the real world…i believe you.

    maybe they are attackig you because people dont want to face real problems and responsibility. sorry to hear about how difficult has things become for you.

  14. Sarah said on July 9th, 2007 at 2:38pm #

    This is so fucked up.
    You people really are stupid for supporting Sheehan. The only way for America to survive is for all of us to work together. It’s people like you that split American’s further and further down the line.
    I for one, support Bush. I know he has made some mistakes; he’s human.
    But look at all the liberal wish-wash that you support… you see nothing wrong with it? No flaws? Mistakes? Areas of improvement? Furthermore, this is not “Bush’s war”. We are all in it as loyal Americans, and we all need to show our troops that we support them. By all these protests and acts of hate, our service men and women are shaking their heads in shame. I know that some things need to be done, it is not good that so many people are dying; yet they are serving their country and attempting to help another country which is a wonderful calling. Ya’ll are so wraped up in yourselves that you don’t see how they are helping others. Sure some soldiers don’t want to be over there, but they are doing what is right. The best thing to do would be for our President, and other leaders, to have a plan for us to get out, the sooner the better, but by taking them all out at once, it will be as if all those lives… “all the ‘Caseys’” lost their lives, or endangered their lives for no reason.
    Show loyalty to your country. Even if you don’t support Bush, it is people like this that are tearing America in half.

  15. Roger vanFrank said on August 10th, 2007 at 8:23pm #

    Bless you Cindy Sheehan for the courage and sacrifices you have made. I share your dismay over what we have become. I join with you in denouncing the evil it now represents.

    I feel that by my service and actions as a
    15 battle starred veteran WWII Serviceman,
    Citizen, Professional, Husband,and Father.
    I have earned the honor and decent respect
    of my nation and of my fellow citizens.

    Unfortunately my nation has lost
    my respect and with it my allegiance.
    It, by the actions and policies
    in all three branches of government at,
    Federal, State and Local levels
    which betray the very foundations of my nation
    has earned my tears, anguish, and complete contempt.

    What will it take to remove that contempt and
    restore my respect and allegiance
    I cannot at this time say or even imagine.
    I can only wish and hope that
    I get to live until that day that
    the marvelous nation of my birth
    can become whole, responsible and
    worthy again of the pride I no longer feel for it.