Wednesday, August 31, 2005

2 Days At Camp Casey

How it was from the perspective of one of our own Roswellians.


Two Days at Camp Casey
and a journey from being an apolitical housewife to an anti-war activist
by Lonna Gooden VanHorn


http://www.opednews.com


“This war is clearly illegal as well as immoral. But what hurts worse is that it was unnecessary.” Gary at Camp Casey
Jim Hightower, in his delightfully irreverent book “Thieves in High Places” said anyone who considered taking a vacation in Crawford, Texas, in August needed to be taken forthwith to the nearest mental institution.He was right!! Crawford in August is HOT!! And HUMID!! I arrived in Crawford late Saturday night, August 13th. Believing, silly me, that in a town of less than 800 people it would be a cinch to find the Peace House or Camp Casey.

The sidewalks were entirely rolled up. There was no 24 hour gas station. There was no traffic anywhere. No one to ask directions from even if I had been brave enough to ask the natives (people I knew were mostly fervent Bush supporters) for directions. I had no idea where the Peace House or the camp were. After parking under a tree in a church parking lot and trying valiantly to sleep until the gallons of sweat rolling off my body nearly drowned me. I finally gave up and took myself out of town, traveling up the George W. Bush Parkway to a hotel in Waco that missed being a 4-star motel by about 5 stars.
The next morning back in Crawford, the Peace House was easy to find, even without directions. A little background:
I am just a housewife and mother. Apolitical all my life, it was apparent to me early on that the agenda of George Bush and those who shared power with him was different than that of any other administration I had seen in my lifetime. His government was clearly of, by, and for corporations and the very rich. He had no interest whatever in the “common good.” In fact, his intent toward the people and their environment appeared to be malevolent. And, has proven to be so.
Even so I did nothing. When we bombed Afghanistan, I did nothing.However, when Bush et.al. began clamoring for war with Iraq, and the press failed to examine their words or logic, I began writing out of my frustration over the media’s failure to do its job, which is to question those in the seats of power and hold them accountable for their words and actions. I did not understand why we should blindly believe the words of oil men who in two short years had proven themselves to be arrogant, unethical, dishonest, and staggeringly incompetent. They had already taken us from surpluses to deficits for the benefit of themselves and their class, already failed us by ignoring dozens of warnings indicating bin Laden was up to something. They were also men who stood to benefit personally either politically and/or financially from war with Iraq.
I am no longer apolitical. My vote in 2006 will be based almost entirely on how strongly the candidate supported this most incompetent and dishonest of all presidents. I would vote for people as ideologically diverse as Dennis Kucinich, liberal Democrat, a real hero who was against the war, voted against Cafta, and always votes for the people, and Ron Paul, conservative Republican, who also voted against the war, against Cafta, and is an American statesman.
I began collecting information that most people did not know but should know. I made summaries in large print and taped them to my 1994 Toyota pick-up, because, as Walter Cronkite said the media, especially the broadcast media, no longer provides the people with the information we need to make informed decisions (that is on my truck) so, as Ed Asner said, it is “up to us.” My “book on wheels" gradually came into being. At a stop light, people behind my truck or alongside it have no choice but to read what is on parts of my truck. It contains sections on the environment, the economy, what real war heroes (Eisenhower, MacArthur, Bradley, Butler, Zinni, McGovern, etc.) and other sages (Twain, Einstein, Vonnegut) have said, http://oldamericancentury.org /submit_0061.htm Iraq war veterans, the Baghdad girl blogger, “the Iraq war the Big Lie,” 9/11, Christianity and morality, the War Profiteers, etc. To make it more palatable for Republicans, most of what is on it was said by Republicans. Months ago I wrote to Cindy Sheehan to ask if she would mind if I included her daughter's poem "A Nation Rocked to Sleep" on my truck. So, when I came home from my nephew's wedding in Iowa Friday afternoon, went to my information websites and read that Cindy was camping outside of Bush's ranch in Texas, even though I hate to travel and had just gotten back from a 2500 mile road trip, I accepted that my truck and I belonged at Crawford with Cindy.I left on Saturday, August 13th. The two days I spent there are among the most memorable days of my life. The people I met were fascinating. Sunday morning I signed in at the Peace House. I immediately began retaping the information sheets that had been on my truck since March, but that I had ripped off three days earlier when my husband had driven my truck to a job interview (even I did not think driving a vehicle with nearly 90 sheets of controversial information taped on it stem to stern to a job interview would be prudent if a person seriously wanted to get the job). An obliging gentleman helped me tape, and the task was soon accomplished. People began taking pictures of my truck immediately. Cindy came out and gave me a hug. Later, I took a picture of her standing by her daughter’s poem which is taped among the pages on the hood of my truck. At lunch on Sunday, Cindy spoke a few words. She said she did not have thick skin. The media tearing her life apart really hurt her. She said if the media had examined what Bush/Cheney et.al. had said before the war with the same kind of thoroughness they used on her, their lies would have been exposed, we would never have gone to war, and her son and all the other people who have died would still be alive. Knowing she would be attacked like she has been would she do it again? “Absolutely,” she said...

To read the entire article go here: http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_lonna_go_050820_two_days_at_camp_cas.htm

6 Comments:

Blogger The Game said...

Here is another perspective of the same place:

This is from "The Radio Equalizer blog" but it is so good I had to give you some of the highlights...

A conservative went to "Camp Casey" to see what it was all about...here are some of the highlights...

From satellite trucks and cell phones to wireless computer access, every modern convenience to enhance the “message” was found in this remote part of Texas. It was all there for the gathered left-wing, socialist and self-described marxist media representatives.

Most of Sheehan's protesters were either professional, working for Fenton Communications, Code Pink, or other groups. Many were longtime protesters, with radical activism dating to 1965, or earlier.

But when political topics did arise, no matter what the issue, they all responded the same way: it's America's fault.

One issue: peasant unrest in rural China, with the brutality shown by the government and their hired thugs. Their response: that America has mistreated its black citizens, or that gays are beaten here everyday.So the hate America” crowd really does exist, intellectually bulimic, having ingested all of this bile. As a show of steadfastness to their peace-and-love cause, they looked forward to regurgitating it.

During one conversation with Sheehan, I asked how much time she would actually be spending on the bus tour to Washington. I discovered she would be on it for just two days and away speechmaking during the rest of the time. I wondered if they were paid engagements.

She is relentless, professional, well-financed and always on message: all bad things are America's fault.

9:38 PM, August 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'The highest patriotism is a love of country so deep, it calls her to a higher standard.' WWII pilot, George McGovern.

I WANT my country to be everything we were taught she was as kids! A better nation than other nations. Not an exploitive nation like most of the super powers who have gone before her have been!! And like Bush/Cheney are trying to make her now in their mad quest for power, riches and empire! No other president has made this nation so hated. Never before has she even been hated by a majority of the world's citizens.

The game's message on Camp Casey is total hogwash!!

Sure there were representatives of some liberal groups there, just as there would be representatives of conservative groups at the pro war rallies. Most of the liberasl groups there were VETERANS" groups, but the people one worked with and talked to were mostly "average" people who had stopped there for a day or two. MOST, when I was there, and most I talked to were combat veterans who came because they believed so strongly this war was a mistake. There were even some new Iraq veterans who came there. And a lot of parents of dead soldiers.

Anne Wright, one of the State Dept. officials who resigned over the war was there. I did not know who she was at the time, or I would have tried to interview her. She had not been in this country for 20 years, but came back specifically for the Conyer's hearings. She believes this bunch should be impeached, tried for treason and imprisoned and said so at the Conyer's hearings.

I have 6 kids. I encouraged all of them to join the military. I know EXACTLY how I would feel if one of them had died or been maimed in this war for corporate profit that we were lied into and that, unlike any other war, there is no "shared sacrifice" for. I know while they were there I would have been sick with worry all the time.

"Self-described marxist media representatives???" MOST of the media outlets in this country are right wing. Nearly all of the talk shows are, and all they have done is smear Cindy. They have not focused on her questions for Bush at all. Frank Rich wrote a great article about it called "The Swift-Boating of Cindy Sheehan." AND, ALL of the right wing media people are chicken hawks as well. None of them have children in Iraq. None of them have lost a child to an unnecessary war. Even the mother Bush put forward to counter Cindy had not lost a child.

The conservative certainly did not go there with an open mind, and he found what he wanted to find. I heard noone talking about things being "America's fault." There were a number of things that we, rightly, blamed Bush/co for. Ignoring warnings before 9/11. Tax cuts for the rich that will hurt the poor and destroy the economy. The unconscionable fact that the Bush family and Cheney are profiting from this war one way or another. The war they lied us into and then planned so poorly it is a disaster now.

It is not America's fault. But America's foreign policy leaves a lot to be desired. Especially under Bush. Ask anyone in the State Department.

Diplomats, Intelligence people, and military leaders are quitting or taking early retirement in droves because they know madness is at the helm.

Bush is so unhinged aides say his obscene rages are becoming hard to abide. THAT article in Capitol Blue is not sourced, "Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides," but I have read enough other articles like it that were sourced, that I tend to believe it is true. One can hope, as any sane person would hope, that it is exaggerated.

Do you ever wonder why when emergencies happen, they do not even tell Bush, but let Cheney handle it all??

EVEN IF when the "conservative" was there some folks DID bring up the fact that WE had had slaves and WE beat gays, that is not "hate America" rhetoric. It is facing facts. That does NOT make what is going on in China "okay." It is just facing the fact that WE killed most of our indigenous people, and bought and sold people we brought here in chains. Things we need to remember when we deal with the inhumanity of other countries.

I will bet there was not ONE person there who thought what was going on about the peasant unrest in China was "okay." To suggest that they did is ridiculous. AND, to suggest that those of us who ADMIT America's mistakes don't love our country is ridiculous. As George McGovern said 'The highest patriotism is a love of country so deep it calls her to a higher standard.' That is on my truck, too. In order to heal a person's or a country's illness, one must first admit it exists.

Of course Cindy has interviews and speeches. I have no idea if she gets paid for them, but even if she does, that certainly is not her motivation. She wants the president to tell her what the noble cause was that her son died for in Iraq. AND, if the cause is so noble, why does noone in the Administration have any "skin in the game?" The Bush family's FIRST God is money. Bush Sr., will shill for anyone for a buck. He made $100,000 for only one of many speeches in which he praised Rev. Syung Yung Moon. That is probably spelled wrong.

Cindy's motive, like mine, is just to get the truth out about this dishonest, war profiteering bunch. She is a gentle, lovely person. She spouts very little hate, but when she does spout a little righteous anger, as she surely deserves to, the media picks up on it and defines her by it when it is SUCH A MINORITY of the time in the first place.

She was a good mom, a loving mom, and she lost a son. She lost a son because the president lied us into an unnecessary war. Many of the people who are in the military now who enlisted before 9/11 probably enlisted in part because they thought they could serve without having to go to war. That is even more true of the Guards and Reserves. IF it had been a NECESSARY war, would any of us be bitching about it?? It has not made us safer, it has not made the world safer, and so far, it has not helped the Iraqi's while killing up to 100,000 of them. A million of them signed a petition asking us to leave for God's sake!!
Even the woman doctor Bush had at his 2005 State of the Union Address is leaving because, she says, women's rights have been set back 30 years.

Have you read the poem Cindy's daughter wrote about it?? I recommend it. It is titled "A Nation Rocked to Sleep."

Lonna

10:43 PM, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Ron said...

I particularly enjoy the .."all bad things are all Americas fault." Bwahahahahahah. Sickening phoney brain dead patriotism. What do you expect people to do? Complain about what the government of Cameroon is doing. It's our country! It's our responsibility! You know, that personal responsibility thing that this administration and its supporters have yet to claim? Cameroon isn't our responsibility. We can not(should not) tell the people of Cameroon how to live. We can call our own leaders to task though cuz we elect them, we pay them, they work for US!(supposedly) It is our job to make sure they live up to what we expect of America. I find it quite novel that when Dems are in charge the government can screw up cooking a hot dog but now suddenly they never do a thing wrong....surrrrrrre I'm goin for that one! What the peasants or China does is their business. I think there is a big difference in hating America and wanting to save it. Of course narrow minds have a hard time grasping anything more than slogans. I will give the equalizer a little credit. He know a few three syllable words.

11:04 PM, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Dedanna said...

Amen.

1:33 PM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Dedanna said...

This should give us all something to think about...

snips:

What the U.N., American and other debriefers learned from Kamel led to headline-making successes for U.N. inspectors as they tracked down banned arms-making gear inside Iraq.

But an interrogation transcript shows he told them something else as well, something they questioned and kept to themselves: All Iraqi WMD were destroyed in 1991.

Hussein Kamel, soon to be killed by fellow clansmen as a traitor, was telling the truth.

The U.N. experts had entered Iraq in 1991, after U.S.-led forces drove Iraq's invasion army from Kuwait in a lightning war, and the U.N. Security Council required the defeated nation to submit to inspections and destruction of its unconventional arms.



In fact, as President George W. Bush took office 25 months later, the CIA was reporting, "We do not have any direct evidence" Baghdad was rebuilding its WMD programs.


Evidence shows Iraq in 2001 had little interest in nuclear "reconstitution." In one captured document from that May, Iraqi diplomats in Kenya reported to Baghdad that a Ugandan businessman had offered uranium for sale, but they turned him away, saying U.N. sanctions forbade it.


Other 'indicators' surface

More...

1:18 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger Dedanna said...

Sad that so many died over it.

1:20 PM, September 05, 2005  

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