The Cold, Cold Steel of Handcuffs

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.

The worst thing about the performance, besides that anyone would think that almost 8 years of unpunished high crimes and misdemeanors is anywhere near approaching funny, the stellar-in-their-own-minds, Washington “Elite” and some of the press corps were laughing uproariously and gave the traitor wearing a tuxedo and a cowboy hat a standing ovation.

Cameras were banned that night and from what I understand, agreements were made that video would not be shot, but still the song can be heard on YouTube. I get the feeling when these modern day Vampires get together like this, they frequently laugh at the rest of us with their parodies of heartache and devastation and chuckle all the way to the bank when they cash their paychecks drawn on the blood of so many innocent people.

On a par with his other wickedly “hilarious” bit about looking for WMD at the Correspondent’s Dinner in 2004 right before his lies killed my son, Casey, whenever I see George tap-dancing, smirking, snickering, singing, or generally acting very undignified and un-presidential; I just want to scream: “What’s so freaking funny?” I have found many opportunities for laughter and joy over the past four years, but I still lie awake at night mourning my son who wouldn’t be in an early grave if his commander-in-chief was not such an unrepentant murderer.

I am not the only one who has been sent into a lifelong paradigm of grief and longing during the years of BushCo. There are literally millions of people in Iraq and Afghanistan whose lives have been torn asunder by Mr. Vaudeville. Thousands of our own citizens in the Gulf States are still displaced from their homes by Katrina and the incompetence of the “Brownie” that George parodies in his song. Many of us have lost our jobs, our homes, our health insurance, our retirement safety net and pine for any semblance of financial security while George just wants to shake the dust of DC off his feet and head back to his pig farm in Crawford and live a life filled with “clearing brush.” I hope he’s been saving his money, because gas has just about tripled since his reign of terror began almost 8 years ago.

The death of the 4000th soldier KIA in Iraq will probably coincide with the fifth anniversary of the invasion this month. 4000 souls who won’t get a “do-over” or be able to slink off into relative peace and quiet like BushCo. Other troops have been turned into occupiers, torturers and puppy-killers and will have to have some deep therapy to be re-integrated into our society and the Washington Press Corps laugh at George’s antics like they are not also responsible for the mayhem he has unleashed on the world.

George and Dick think that they are getting off scott-free from their crimes against humanity probably because they are confident that the reich-wing, reactionary Supreme Court will support their crimes after Congress approves them.

We need to join the world community and communities like Brattleboro. Vt. in relentlessly pressing for war crimes tribunals against George and Dick, et al. For once, American regimes cannot ride contentedly into the sunset after their terms are up to live in comfort while millions of us suffer. It cannot happen this time. BushCo need to be, if not confined behind bars, confined into small prisons of their own making and be terrified to step outside their cloistered existences lest they be swept into real prisons, housed with the real people that they always condemned in their unbridled arrogance.

By my calculations there are 314 more days of the Bush nightmare left; millions of more people to kill or oppress; at least one more country on their list of impending invasions; and countless more crimes against our constitution to commit. Electing a black man with the middle name of Hussein or a woman with Bush-style foreign policy credentials will not be enough to redeem our standing in the world after 8 years of George. They need to go now. It took New York less than 48 hours to get rid of Gov. Eliot Spitzer for crimes far less egregious than BushCo’s. Unless the 110th Congress wants to go down in infamy as fiddling while George burns the world, then they had better get busy.

I was thinking what would be an appropriate gift for BushCo on the fifth anniversary of their greatest crime against humanity and I researched what would be a socially acceptable fifth anniversary gift for them. Wood is the traditional choice, and being a peace activist who is opposed to the death penalty, an electric chair did not even cross my mind (well—it did for just a second.) The modern gift on the fifth anniversary is “silverware.” I would chip in for silver-plated handcuffs that they can stylishly wear to prison.

Anyone else?

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 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.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Wendy said on March 13th, 2008 at 7:10am #

    Cindy bleats : “The worst thing about the performance, besides that anyone would think that almost 8 years of unpunished high crimes and misdemeanors is anywhere near approaching funny, the stellar-in-their-own-minds, Washington “Elite” and some of the press corps were laughing uproariously and gave the traitor wearing a tuxedo and a cowboy hat a standing ovation.” Sounds to me like somebody is angry because she can’t attract the audience she once did, like when the media surrounded her in August 2005. Cindy, is it possible your 15 minutes, the longest 15 minutes ever, are finally over? Peace on Earth. Wendy

  2. D.R. Munro said on March 13th, 2008 at 7:19am #

    I would forfeit an entire years salary for those hand-cuffs, Cindy. No amount of money can replace what has been in the past eight, what will help heal the wounds is justice.

    Yet, justice will never come.

    We should just refer to this as what it is. It isn’t a sing-and-dance, it isn’t a “night out with the boys,” it is a giant middle-finger to the entire world.

    “I committed these crimes . . . and not only am I not punished for them! I can actually mock them . . . and you! And get away with it!”

    This monster should not be afforded a single happy day for the rest of his life. If there was true justice, he would wallow in the misery of the countless deaths and suicides he has caused, and drown in the grief.

    I must, however, point out on thing I didn’t agree with you on:

    “torturers and pupp-killers will have to have some deep therapy to be re-integrated into our society”

    I think you are off-base with this one. These soldiers do not deserve amnesty for their equally heinous crimes against humanity. They don’t deserve therapy – the gas chamber is more like it.

    I mean, we hanged Nazis from poles at Nürnburg for less than what some of these men have done.

    The staff at places like Bagram and Abu Ghraib MUST be held responsibile for thier actions – and not have them pawned off on Bush.

  3. D.R. Munro said on March 13th, 2008 at 7:24am #

    Hey Wendy, how much media attention do you have? How many articles do you have published? How many people do you have donating to your campaign?

    That’s what I thought.

    To use the old cliche: Put up, or shut up. No one cares about the opinion of an armchair warrior.

  4. hp said on March 13th, 2008 at 8:51am #

    D.R., we could take it one notch further and punish those at the top, sitting in their offices in Tel Aviv.

  5. Evie said on March 13th, 2008 at 10:51am #

    Having 3 sons and a DIL in the military, in and out of the Middle East, I understand Sheehan’s rage and sorrow. When I hear news of a soldier killed my stomach knots and my first thought is – is he mine, please god don’t let it be mine.

    My complaint with Cindy is her soapbox is not used constructively.

    I pity the spot she’s in – from a seemingly contented housewife and mother in suburbia to a supposed voice of the sheeple, traveling and chatting with leaders in Egypt, Europe, Latin America – groomed and supported by foundational phonies (e.g. Medea Benjamin) who “work for peace” for decades yet fail time after time after time.

    Cindy doesn’t seem to get beyond her grief to outline concrete methods of what her followers need to do to change the system.

    We can change the party of the politicians, we can change their race and gender, we can tweak their rhetoric, we can even seat one or two kucinich-ish types who vote anti-this or that, we can blame it all on the puppets of BushCo and ClintonCo and maybe ObamaCo eventually – but the basic corrupted system and power structure remains in control.

    The pacifists pass the collection plate, sign the petition, sell the T-shirts – and the powers that be laugh all the way to the central banks.

    I think Sheehan is simply one more tool in the ruling class shed used to fleece we the sheeple.

  6. rosemarie jackowski said on March 13th, 2008 at 11:42am #

    I have met Cindy and I have a lot of respect for her. She is a hero.

    I believe that she should endorse a candidate. Nader would be my choice. Too many so-called anti-war people vote for pro-war candidates. As long as the dems/repubs are in control, we will continue to be in a war loop.

    Also, there is the issue of Congress. Bush and Co. have no planes, no bombs, etc. It is the Congress that has to take the blame for the 2 million + Iraqi lives that have been taken since we started bombing in 1991. The troops had a choice to kill or not to kill. The Iraqis did not.

  7. HR said on March 13th, 2008 at 1:55pm #

    No, nothing will happen to the criminals. Nearly half of the voters chose them, twice, and some of the commenters here would do it again, singing God Bless America as they did. If the wars were going well, Bush would be incredibly popular, which makes me very fearful of an attack on Iran before November. The idiots who slapped on the car magnets and antenna flags in support of the invasion of Iraq still have them in storage, ready to slap on again, to glorify our next slaughter of civilians.

    The U.S. has been on a downhill path since Reagan was elected governor in California 42 years ago. Accountability went down the toilet with the pardon of Nixon, followed a few years later by Bush I’s pardon of the Reagan criminals from Iran-Contra.

    Face it, folks, we are a country of morons. The shoot-your-in-the-foot politics of the last 4 decades goes way beyond the rationalization of ignorance.

  8. Arch Stanton said on March 13th, 2008 at 2:00pm #

    Oh, don’t be so hard on Cindy. True, she’s no Emma Goldman but given the trajectory of her sojourn through the American corporate state over the past few years, she hasn’t done all that bad. Don’t whine, don’t fear, don’t mourn–organize!

  9. Bill said on March 13th, 2008 at 3:08pm #

    The more Georgie does this crap, the more glaringly obvious it is that he is a complete psychopath….I’m glad his term is almost over.

    If we can now get thru the rest of it without another “911” event and him suspending elections and the constitution.

  10. Evie said on March 13th, 2008 at 3:26pm #

    One mistake was not stopping Bill Clinton’s highway of death sanctions. I suppose for some when death is out of sight it’s out of mind.

    George the boy Bush is counting the days when he can return to beer with whiskey chasers on the porch at the ranch and not be forced to read teleprompters and take his meds.

    Iran, if the US does invade which I don’t believe it will, but if such a move is on the chess board it will be launched by a democrat. Remember WWI Woodrow Wilson-Dem, WWII Roosevelt-Dem and WWII Hiroshima/Nagasaki Truman-Dem, Vietnam Johnson-Dem.

    If war goes wider or deadlier – it will be by a Democrat – the other cheek on the corporate ass.

  11. Evie said on March 13th, 2008 at 3:29pm #

    Oh, I forgot Korea, Truman-Dem.

  12. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 13th, 2008 at 7:07pm #

    Impeachment is forever.

    Please say something tomorrow about Winter Soldier in DC, or over the weekend, Cindy

    and stay incendiary.

    I’m vastly ignorant about electoral politics, but it’s already obvious that a victory in San Francisco over Nancy P. would constitute a California earthquake of more than 8,

    Yo! Stay incendiary!

    And using your pennies as your Peace Chest dictates, whether for silver cuffs or other things

    We’re with you, and will be, whatever November brings.

  13. Robert B. Livingston said on March 14th, 2008 at 1:57am #

    Wendy: “Cindy bleats”
    Arch Stanton: “she’s no Emma Goldman”

    What is the matter with these people?!

    So much undisguised and disguised hatred and pedestrian arrogance!

    Cindy is an amazing writer– who else could have put this subject better, or more honestly?

    I will never get over the crudity of Bush’s sense of humor looking for WMDs– or worse, the obsequiousness of a press that failed to revile it. And now we have something just as bad. Sorry– I don’t even want to bother to hear it. Life is too short.

    Our country is in an evil way– and I am trying to understand why. Perhaps it results from something Mumia Abu-Jamal recently posited– that for a certain class there is value in reality shows where people eat buckets of worms: they can prove who is in charge.

    It is time we all turn off our television sets. In a world this crude and hurtful, there is nothing funny– not even Jon Stewart (who is just another commercial shill after all: Nader on Friday; Hillary on Monday).

    We are all taught to find our own meanings in the Rorschachs– whichever ones they dish out to us– and then go out and buy the crap they’re selling.

    I admire Cindy because she isn’t selling anything (hardly her own candidacy in San Francisco).

    But she sure is telling us what she isn’t buying.

  14. Hue Longer said on March 14th, 2008 at 4:09am #

    Wendy don’t read shit…he’s a semi paid fuckwit who is first to the trigger because that’s his job

  15. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 14th, 2008 at 9:23am #

    Click “Refresh” if audio cuts out completely.

  16. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 14th, 2008 at 9:29am #

    A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over…is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen.
    – G. K. Chesterton

  17. zeldon said on March 14th, 2008 at 3:03pm #

    a great step forward would be to replace
    Pelosi with Sheehan.

    more important than distinctions
    between obama and clinton

  18. Jeremy Wells said on March 15th, 2008 at 6:54pm #

    Dump the Democrats!

    We Need an Anti-Corporate People’s Peace Party
    Independent of Corporate Money!

    As both Democratic and Republican parties are now corporate funded, they both support corporate agendas. Both Obama and Clinton support a continuation of the war in Iraq, both support corporate “for-profit” health care agendas. On many issues essential to corporate profit there has been, for many years, bi-partisan support. We essentially have a corporate political establishment party with two branches. We need to establish a new socialist party independent of corporate money that is free to represent the interests of the people.

    We must go beyond looking for any one “candidate” or individual who can be trusted to become elected and then solve all our problems. Historically, these individuals end up being targets of assassination and corruption. Non-corporate third parties are typically very small, financially impoverished, and often committed to an ideology that is often incomprehensible to most people. The Green Parties are hopelessly split between Greens and Green-Democrats, a division that has kept the Green Parties from growing.

    Now is the time to establish a new political party, a People’s Peace Party

    The People’s Peace Party (PPP) shall be an “umbrella party” that will unite the millions of people now in opposition to the current corporate regime and it’s various foreign and domestic policies. Millions are opposed to the war in Iraq. Millions are of Americans are concerned about global warming, lack of affordable health care, lack of living wage jobs, the destruction of public education, etc. The massive shift in wealth to the benefit of a few is destroying the living standards of the vast majority of people.

    There now exists a “virtual” PPP among the tens of millions of people who are opposed to the on-going destruction of this country and it’s peoples. We are atomized and left powerless by the existing political situation. For many years we have joined single issue campaigns and have marched, protested, written letters, supported Pacifica Radio KPFK, listened to “Democracy Now!”, and tried to be as “activist” as personally possible. Despite all these efforts we remain collectively powerless and the needs of the people for peace go unfulfilled.

    “Divide and conquer” has been used throughout history by ruling elites to maintain power and control over exploited populations. The existing corporate regime in the U.S. has constantly tried to destroy any natural alliances between oppressed peoples. Race, language, nationality, and class are constantly used to keep the people atomized and politically powerless. We the people of the United States, forever exploited and increasingly impoverished by these divisive tactics, understand how this has worked in the past. We must now seek a new way to unite our forces and energies to create an ecologically sustainable society that seeks to end the vast social in-equalities that are destroying us all.

    Corporate control of government has meant that corporate agendas to maximize corporate profit have become federal policy. Or more simply put – the corporations are looting the federal government. War will continue as long as war is to make profit for oil companies and the military-industrial complex. Bush has stated that he would not endorse any environmental policy that threatens the profit of polluting business. No serious reconstruction aid for Katrina victims because there is essentially no profit to corporate business in helping poor people. Privatization of all social institutions is relentlessly pursued.

    The principle of maximizing corporate profit now controls every aspect of social, economic and cultural life. This control and looting by the corporations of the government has led to massive federal debt, decline in the dollar, unending financial corruption, until the U.S. is now on the brink of economic collapse.

    The People’s Peace Party (PPP) Founding Principles

    * The PPP affirms the principle that the government of the United States is a government “of, by, and for the people”. In order to remain independent of corporate corruption, the PPP does not accept contributions from corporations or their representatives.

    * The PPP seeks to prohibit corporate money (and thus agendas) in election campaigns by seeking government funding of elections at all levels of government, not just the federal level. The PPP seeks to end the “person hood” of corporations which grants them rights of citizenship without the responsibilities expected in society.

    * The PPP seeks to end war. War will never end as long as war is waged for profit. Thus we will end the privatization of the federal government, especially privatization of the military (mercenaries, CIA outsourcing, etc.).

    * The PPP seeks to end the corporate control of mass media. The corporate profit agendas has totally blocked accessible public discussion and dialog on the critical issues we are now facing. Public oversight and democratic local control of the mass media is essential for democracy to function. The vast potential of television to expand the cultural and intellectual life of the people has been subordinated and destroyed by corporate advertising and political agendas. Corporate advertising and control of mass media must be minimized and eliminated where possible.

    * The PPP will create mass media programs of various types to educate the people on the PPP agenda, platforms, candidates to be widely distributed through existing non-profit networks. We would urge everyone in agreement to become active at what ever level is personally possible.

    * The PPP would implement a program to transition to a peace economy. The proposal by Dennis Kucinich to establish a Department of Peace should be implemented. We would withdraw all U.S. troops for the Middle East. The PPP would reduce the military budget by 50%. Shut down the 700 plus foreign military bases. Shut down costly and failed military systems. (planes that don’t fly, “star wars” programs that don’t work, etc.) We would re-instate all tax cuts implemented by the Bush regime for corporations and wealthy individuals. A vigorous audit of corporations and wealthy indivuals would be undertaken to minimize tax fraud.

    * The PPP works towards a humanistic immigration policy that uses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it’s guide. Nearly every article of the Declaration is continuously violated by the bi-partisan corporatist regime as it wages a global war of genocide (“colateral damage”) against unprofitable humanity. We would end all immigrant concentration camps, ICE raids that has incarcerated thousands and broken families. We would seek to examine and correct the conditions that have cause this mass migration into the U.S.

    The PPP would end all “free-trade” treaties such as NAFTA, CAFTA that are destroying the economic life of millions of farmers and workers in Mexico. We would end subsidies to corporate agriculture that have dumped cheap corn into Mexico, causing subsistence farmers to leave the land.

    The majority of people of Mexico are living in poverty. The PPP would insist that the Mexican government begin a vigorous program to upgrade the living standards of it’s citizens. Minimum wages, national health care, massively increase funding for schools and teacher salaries, etc. must be undertaken to stem the flow of immigration. Foreign and domestic corporations operating in Mexico, business and wealth in Mexico must be taxed in addition to massive foreign aid from the United States to remedy the massive inequality between the two countries.

    By ending war and militarism, the “peace dividend” that was possible with the collapse of the Soviet Union would finally become a reality. The peace dividend would mean that the vast funds for war and destruction would become available to cope with the many crises humanity now faces.

    The November 2008 election should be considered a starting point to establish the PPP, which would run candidates at federal, state, and local elections. Millions of people know WHY we need to end corporate control of government. We must create the MEANS to make this happen.