Friday, March 16, 2018

What's to Celebrate? Iraq, 15 Years Later by Cindy Sheehan

SHOCKing and AWE-ful

On the morning of March 20th, 2003, the USA, under then Commander in Grief, George W. ("W" for WTF?) Bush began “SHOCKing and AWE-ful” against the already beleaguered population of Iraq.

The transformation of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from
Rummy and Saddam when he was still their "son of a bitch"
“our son of a bitch” (Imperial trope to designate brutal dictators friendly to US interests) to an enemy of the US Empire began under George H.W. ("W" for War Criminal) Bush along with the lies that Iraqi troops were throwing “scores” of babies out of incubators in Kuwait. 

 There is overwhelming evidence that in 1990, then US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie basically gave Saddam a green light to invade Kuwait and that there would only be “verbal condemnation” from the US, yet we all know what happened in the “First Gulf War.”

After Hussein became a garden variety “son of a bitch” under

H.W.  he was left in power in Iraq and during the regime of the Commander in Grief  Bill Clinton, the people of Iraq were devastated with crippling sanctions and active bombing. Moreover, Clinton’s Sec of State Madeleine “The Ghoul” Albright (in)famously told journalist Leslie Stahl that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it.” First of all, that is a deeply perverse and vicious statement; and secondly, “worth” what? Not too long after Clinton was just a stain on the blue dress of history, the US was once again, in an even more intense way, bombing the crap out of Iraq which eventually led to the murder of Saddam Hussein and another million, or so, Iraqi.

In 2006, I spoke to an Iraqi woman who was a pediatrician in a Baghdad hospital during the sanction's period and she said due to lack of medicine, hygiene, food, clean water, and other shortages, it was over one million Iraq children who died during Bill Clinton.

As the 15th anniversary approaches of SHOCKing and AWE-ful and the 14th anniversary of my own son Casey’s death there on April 04, 2004, today I was asked by a media outlet to comment on the legacy of BushCo and the 2003 invasion of Iraq as we “celebrate” the anniversary.

I am sure the person didn’t mean celebrate in the way we celebrate fun things like the birthdays of dear loved ones, but the question hit me wrong.

The word “celebrate” and “war” should never go together. Here in the US we don’t even celebrate the ends of wars anymore. For example, Armistice Day (Nov 11, 1918), has been transformed into Veterans Day. “Support the troops,” right? Hardly, not all of them deserve respect, and not all of the time.

As I write this, it is also the 50th year since the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. We were reminded about the great Hugh Thompson’s heroic role in stopping that massacre by threatening to kill US troops that were murdering the villagers and brutally raping the women. My response to that is “pick any day during the year and I am sure that someone will be able find a US war crime to remind us about.”

The grim reality is that My Lai was not an aberration. War was a crime then and it is now. The obvious lies that led to the invasion of Iraq have been repeated since in other places and with other "our sons of bitches" and are the true legacy and pattern of the Imperial United States of America. In fact, one of the men who worked overtime to cover up My Lai also went to the UN in 2003 to show “proof” of Saddam’s crimes to try and justify a US invasion of Iraq: yep, that’s right: the war criminal/liar Colin Powell.

I have a rule of thumb, that really should be termed an “irrefutable fact.” When the US and its purveyors of fake news, The Pentagon Press Release Readers (otherwise comically known as “journalists) in the toady media are ginning up reasons to hate a country and/or its leader(s), THEY ARE LYING.

So what “legacy” do we “celebrate” on March 20th?

To call the 2003 US invasion and subsequent (and ongoing) occupation of Iraq a "mistake" would also be highly inappropriate. The US war machine and its "coalition" knew exactly what they were doing---the destruction of Iraq to seize the oil fields and enrich the war profiteers has been highly successful for them. The destructive US foreign policy is policy, not “oops, we just fell into a war and made a mess.”

The consequences for today are a horrid legacy of poverty and disease for the people of Iraq. Depleted uranium and poisoned water and land are still killing the people there and the US is still occupying the country despite the fraud of Commander in Grief Obama ending the war in 2009; as agent orange and unexploded land mines are still haunting the people of Vietnam, who "won" the war, but have lost the peace.

According to a real journalist Dahr Jamail in a 2013 article titled: Iraq: War’s Legacy of Cancer:

“Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research, and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest.”

The destruction of Iraq has also left a legacy of the rise of IS or Daesh and the consequence of further destabilization in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

I hate to mention the legacy of Iraq here in the US, after all, didn't this country savagely and with no regard to loss of life, or the ruination of a culture, attack another country that was absolutely no threat to them, based on dozens of lies, for the profit of a few? Don't we here in the Empire deserve the blowback?

The very pitiable aspect of the almost incalculable negative effects on the people of this country is that the negative effects aren't even known by the people of this country. While the war killed or maimed thousands of US troops and while eight Iraq/Afghanistan veterans kill themselves each and every day, the average person in the US doesn't know these facts, or could not care less about them. 

However, while bridges are collapsing, trains are derailing, people are unemployed or underemployed, healthcare is still financially out of reach for tens of millions, children are being shot down in their schools, people of color are being murdered by cops in the streets, the environment is collapsing rapidly, and college tuition keeps climbing, the US has spent/lost/stolen a couple trillion dollars since the war OF terror began in 2001. All of the ills of the US can be directly traced back to the cruel barbarity of its foreign policy.

On October 21st, 2018 (51 years after the first huge March on the Pentagon), many of us are calling for another march on that cesspool of violence and money-pit of sorrow.

The Empire isn’t going to stop its legacy of death until we are organized in a much better way in solidarity with all of the occupied and oppressed people of the world to force it to stop.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Real Norma Rae: Crystal Lee Sutton (SOAPBOX PODCAST 3/11/2018)

March 11, 2018



Crystal Lee Sutton (née Pulley; December 31, 1940 – September 11, 2009) was an American union organizer and advocate who gained fame in 1979 when the film Norma Rae was released, based on events related to her being fired from her job at the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, on May 30, 1973, for "insubordination" after she copied an anti-union letter posted on the company bulletin board.



Wednesday, March 7, 2018



Organizing Conference Call

When: Weds, March21st

Time: 4:30pm pacific
5:30 mountain 
6:30 central
7:30 eastern

Who is Invited?
Anyone who is interesting in helping organize the 
Women's March on the Pentagon

Or, anyone who wants more information.


:3O to :35
Waiting for Everyone to Call

Call Closed

:35 to :40
Welcome by Cindy Sheehan

:40 to :50
Status of Organizing

:50 to :00
 Volunteer Opportunities.

:00 to :10
Stack for Comments/Questions

:10 to :20
Update on Website

:20 to :30
Final Comments/Question

Closing Remarks

If you'd like to join the call, please email
Cindy Sheehan for call-in number and code 


Monday, March 5, 2018

Hugo Chåvez: A Tribute by Cindy Sheehan (English y español)

 Hugo Chavez Frias
July 28, 1954 to March 5, 2013

A wonderful human being left us five years ago

Many people know about Hugo Chåvez, the president, and constant thorn in the side to El Imperio the meddlesome and harmful Empire to the north. But I want to eulogize Chåvez the man I knew.

Hugo Chavez, (Maria-translator) and Cindy Sheehan: Palace Miraflores, 2006

He was my comrade in the way where we were united in the struggle for peace and economic justice and equality. It’s not like I could text him, or we would chat about current events, but whenever I had the privilege to be with him, warmth radiated from his heart and I was able to connect with him in very real and human ways. Compared to the palpable realness of Chåvez, most of the US politicians I have met with are walking and talking ice sculptures.

The first time I met him in Caracas was in early 2006 at the World Social Forum. I had been invited to sit on the stage while he gave a speech to those gathered there from around the world. He introduced me as, “Señora Esperanza,” “Mrs. Hope,” in contrast to his nickname for George Bush: “Señor Peligro,” “Mr. Danger.” However, our brother, Hugo Chavez, was the one who gave us much hope.

I have met and interviewed so many people in Venezuela whose lives were immeasurably improved by the vision and dedication of Hugo Chavez. How can one put a price on going from being illiterate to being able to read? A 65-year-old woman told me her life was transformed by the adult literacy program. Education in the US is just a commodity, but the Bolivarian Revolution of  Hugo Chåvez put people first.

That is just one story out of millions and my heart still breaks with sorrow for the People of the Bolivarian Revolution.

I was with Chåvez in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the presidential inauguration of Felipé Mujica in 2010. I was amazed that Chåvez could just plunge into the crowds and interact with the people without a phalanx of bodyguards, anti-aircraft missiles and assault weapons. His security detail was prepared, but not paranoid like up here in the Empire. Someone who was universally loved by the 99% need have no fear. Chavez had no fear.

Chåvez’s courageous battle against the Empire was more successful than his battle against cancer. He was able to inspire more leftist leaders in Latin America and my friends in Cuba will always be grateful for the friendship between Venezuela and Cuba. The struggle against neo-liberalism and the Empire had been far advanced under Chåvez’s inspirational leadership.

US Presidents come and go with destructive, yet boring and predictable regularity, and are numbered for History's convenience when they should all have had black and white striped clothing and be behind bars. However, it is my belief that Hugo Chåvez Frias will go down in World History as one of the most significant figures of the early 21st Century and his passing was a tragic and profound loss to us all, as his life was an inspiration.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. His light was far too bright to be extinguished by something as cruel as death and his light shines in all of us whose hearts burn with revolutionary love for all the people.

My life and our world are far better today because of the life of Hugo Chåvez. 

 Version en español

Un maravilloso ser humano nos dejó hace cinco años:

Mucha gente sabe acerca de Hugo Chávez, el presidente, y la espina constante en el costado de El Imperio, el imperio entrometido y dañino del norte. Pero quiero elogiar a Chávez como el hombre que conocí.

Era mi camarada en el camino donde fuimos unidos en la lucha por paz y justicia económica e igualdad. No es como si pudiera enviarle un mensaje de texto, o que pudiéramos conversar sobre los acontecimientos actuales, pero cada vez que tenía el privilegio de estar con él, irradiaba calor de su corazón y podía conectarme con él de maneras muy reales y humanas. En comparación con la realidad palpable de Chávez, la mayoría de los políticos estadounidenses con los que me he encontrado están caminando y hablando sobre esculturas de hielo.

La primera vez que lo conocí en Caracas fue a principios de 2006 en el Foro Social Mundial. Me invitaron a sentarme en el escenario mientras daba un discurso a los reunidos allí de todo el mundo. Él me presentó como: "Señora Esperanza" (Mrs. Hope), en contraste con su apodo de George Bush: "Señor Peligro" (Mr. Danger). Sin embargo, nuestro hermano, Hugo Chávez, fue quien nos dio muchas esperanzas.

He conocido y entrevistado a tanta gente en Venezuela cuyas vidas fueron mejoradas inmensurablemente por la visión y dedicación de Hugo Chávez. ¿Cómo se puede poner precio a pasar de ser analfabeto a ser capaz de leer? Una mujer de 65 años me contó que su vida fue transformada por el programa de alfabetización de adultos. La educación en los EE. UU. Es solo una mercancía, pero la Revolución Bolivariana de Hugo Chávez puso a la gente primero.

Esa es solo una historia entre millones y mi corazón todavía rompe con dolor por el pueblo de la Revolución Bolivariana.

Estuve con Chávez en Montevideo, Uruguay, para la toma de posesión del presidente Felipe Mujica en 2010. Me sorprendió que Chávez pudiera simplemente sumergirse en la multitud e interactuar con la gente sin una falange de guardaespaldas, misiles antiaéreos y armas de asalto. Su personal de seguridad estaba preparado, pero no paranoico como en el Imperio. Alguien que fue amado universalmente por el 99% no tiene miedo. Chávez no tenía miedo.

La valiente batalla de Chávez contra el Imperio fue más exitosa que su batalla contra el cáncer. Pudo inspirar a más líderes izquierdistas en América Latina y mis amigos en Cuba siempre estarán agradecidos por la amistad entre Venezuela y Cuba. La lucha contra el neoliberalismo y el Imperio había sido muy avanzada bajo el liderazgo inspirador de Chávez.

Los Presidentes de los EE. UU. Van y vienen con una regularidad destructiva, aunque aburrida y predecible, y están contados para la conveniencia de la historia cuando todos deberían haber tenido ropa con rayas blancas y negras y estar detrás de las rejas. Sin embargo, creo que Hugo Chávez Frías pasará a la historia mundial como una de las figuras más significativas del comienzo del siglo XXI y su muerte fue una pérdida trágica y profunda para todos nosotros, ya que su vida fue una inspiración.

Gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón y mi alma. Su luz era demasiado brillante para ser extinguida por algo tan cruel como la muerte y su luz brilla en todos nosotros, cuyos corazones arden con diversión revolucionaria para toda la gente.

Mi vida y nuestro mundo son mucho mejores hoy debido a la vida de Hugo Chávez.
Translated by:
Tulio F. Virgüez
Coordinator of Culture & Solidarity
Vice Minister Office for North America
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Caracas - Venezuela

Order a copy of Cindy's Book about Chavez and the 
Bolivarian Revolution
Revolution, a Love Story

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Women Rise Together for Peace! (PRESS RELEASE)

March 1, 2018

For immediate release:

What: Women's Peace March on the Pentagon Against the bi-Partisan War Machine

When: October 20-21, 2018

Who: Women (and their allies) who are sick and tired of the US military war machine waging multiple wars and military misadventures around the world. 


Dozens of prominent antiwar activists, groups, and journalists have endorsed the Women's March on the Pentagon on October 20th and 21st.

The Women's March on the Pentagon was envisioned by noted Peace Activist Cindy Sheehan (whose oldest son Casey was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004) in direct contrast to the more democrat party oriented Women's March that has so far refused to address out of control US militarism as one of the root causes of violence against women.

From her home in Vacaville, CA, Cindy Sheehan stated, "There are many social ills in the US and globally which will not be addressed as long as the US slaughters innocents around the world and spends hundreds of billions of tax dollars doing so."

"A women led movement to address out of control militarism and the rampant patriarchy that causes it must arise so our children will stop fighting, dying, and killing the children of other mothers."


April 5th in Washington DC
April 9th in Boston
April 10th in NYC
April 12th in Long Island

Times and Places TBD
National Conference Call on March 14th.

Cindy Sheehan and other lead organizers are available for interviews, or for further questions.