by Larry Pinkney
Though often hidden or distorted, human history is replete with examples of courage and sacrifice by a relatively few political dissenters sounding the alarm and speaking truth to power. These dissenters are scorned and ridiculed by those who control the corporate mass media and its concomitant systemic machine of perpetual war, death, and destruction. Yet, US society in particular, and Mother Earth as a whole, are in dire need of these principled dissenters whose stories represent the very best of struggling humanity. This is the essence of Cindy Sheehan and why her actions and writings over many years are of such invaluable and enduring significance. She has repeatedly actualized the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., when he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
After suffering the terrible loss of her son Casey, in the US war on Iraq, in 2004, Cindy Sheehan demonstrated an unshakable commitment to raise awareness nationally and internationally about 1) the underlying and unacceptable causes of war; 2) who the real purveyors of war actually are; and 3) the inextricable connection of—militarism and war—to poverty, corporate hegemony, the obliteration of human rights, ‘racism,’ and the de facto state sponsored ‘terrorism’ against humanity carried out as an integral part of the national and global surveillance police-state.
In the stalwart tradition of Rosa Luxemburg, Lucy Parsons, Fannie Lou Hamer, and so many other courageous women and men of all colors, Cindy Sheehan has taken her message directly to everyday ordinary people. In plain language she urges people to critically think, and to link the issues together in order to bring about an end to the insane militarism, corporate greed, and environmental ravaging of our Mother Earth.
Well before the conclusion of the eight years of G.W. Bush’s disastrous rule of perpetual war and unspeakable horrors abroad and at home, the tiny US corporate/military power elite was preparing and grooming a successor who would continue and substantively exacerbate the same Bush policies, while insidiously and effectively masquerading as someone who would bring about genuine change on behalf of the suffering masses in the US and globally. This successor and articulate political conjurer was Barack Obama—Mr. ‘hope and change,’ whose second largest 2008 Obama campaign contributor was none other than Wall Street’s notorious corporate blood-sucking Goldman Sachs. Thus, in 2008, the handwriting was in fact already on the wall, but with the complicity of the US corporate-stream mass media and numerous so-called ‘progressives,’ etc., the majority of everyday struggling people were thoroughly and cynically bamboozled to their own detriment. Indeed, on the third day of his first term as US President, Barack Obama mercilessly droned the sovereign nation of Pakistan, murdering children, women, and men non-combatants. Subsequently, Obama has gone on to massively increase the use of deadly US drone attacks upon many other sovereign nations in Africa, Asia, and the so-called ‘Middle East.’ It is estimated that at least 90 percent of the victims murdered and/or maimed by US killer drone attacks are non-combatant children, women, and men. Thus, Obama spawns more rage and hatred as a result of these ongoing killer drone attacks, and with it, the concomitant spiral of terror and perpetual war.
Prior to 2009, when Barack Obama was officially installed as the nominally ‘black’ designated standard bearer for the US system of global Empire at home and abroad, there were precious few who had the principled courage to sound the alarm. Fortunately for us all, Cindy Sheehan and a relative handful of other dissenters, refused to be complicit with, or silenced by, the nauseating and deafening chorus in those days by the supporters of corporate brand Obama’s euphoria of madness on the US Democrat/Republican plantation of the damned.
Not satisfied with his war crimes abroad, the wily corporate-controlled Drone Man Barack Obama, in service to the corporate/military elite, has bestowed upon himself his very own ‘kill list’—empowering him to target and have killed at will, individuals of any nationality (including US citizens) in the US, or anywhere else in the world, whom he, as judge, jury, and executioner, decides must die. This is Barack Obama’s so-called ‘hope and change.’ Whatever happened to international law and the US Constitution?
Barack Obama’s repeated annual signing of the so-called National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes an outrageous unconstitutional provision authorizing the indefinite detention of any person or persons in the US without the due process of a legal defense attorney, a jury of one’s peers, or even an open trial is—onerous and utterly unacceptable—and is yet another indication of Obama’s hypocritical and arrogant disdain for the US Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights.
Cindy Sheehan has long made the connection between US militarism abroad and political repression, including the militarization of the police, at home. Thanks to her courage and diligence, an increasing number of people are becoming aware of just how relevant and extremely important making these connections are to our very survival as human beings on this precious planet of Mother Earth.
It is with a sense of urgency that this book containing the writings of Cindy Sheehan—particularly as they pertain to Barack Obama and the current US political system—need to be read and re-read with a view towards making a critical analysis of the recent past, in order to bring about a seismic political change in the US and avert an even larger pending political, economic, and social future disaster in the year 2015 and beyond.
May you be inspired to creative action by the clarity and cutting-edge honesty of Cindy Sheehan’s writings in this book!
Larry Pinkney founder and curator of the Black Activist Writers Guild (BAWG) BlackActivistwg.org (Click here: Black Activist Writers Guild).