Sunday, July 9, 2017

Foreword: Peace Mom II: One Mother's Journey from Activism to Heartache to Revolution by Cindy Sheehan

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Peace Mom II:
A Mother’s Journey through Activism to Heartache and Revolution

Cindy Sheehan

Foreword

After my stint (not stunt) in Crawford, Tx in the summer of 2005, I figuratively went from “zero to eighty” in the space of 28 days.

My son Casey was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004 and 16 months after that, I was toddling around the country trying to re-activate a mostly dormant anti-Iraq war movement. However, on August 5th of 2005, I had an idea to go confront then president George Bush at his vacation home (Flying Photo-op Fake Ranch) in Crawford to ask him for “What Noble Cause” was my son and tens of thousands of others dead.

As I recounted in the prequel to this book: Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache to Activism (Atria Books, 2006), it became quite a zoo in little Crawford and the bored media (alternative and corporate) made me into an international cause célèbre and certainly a polarizing figure for those who supported George Bush and those who opposed him.

After Camp Casey was over that first crazy year, I was courted by a few book agents who wanted to rep me and sell a memoir. I remember meeting the venerable investigative reporter Seymour Hersch near the end of 2005 in Manhattan shortly after my book had been sold to a division of Simon and Schuster: Atria Books.

I felt the professorial looking Hersch was a very engaging and down to earth person who immediately told me that he thought it was too soon for me to publish a “memoir.” I explained to him that my reasoning was to be able to influence the 2006 Congressional mid-term elections so we could re-install Democrats in the majority (at least in the House) and have a chance to rid the world of the dangerous and odious Bush regime and to have a chance to end the wars. Seymour Hersch said, “then you should do it.”

Of course, when I look over the first Peace Mom (PM1 from now on), I get a little red-faced over my energetic optimism. I actually believed that if the Democrats, led by my soon to be nemesis Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), regained power in the House of Representatives, that all of my dreams of peace and accountability would come true.

Now writing Peace Mom II (PM2) in the summer of 2017, twelve years after the summer of frenetic energy in Crawford Tx, I reflect that we are further from peace and justice than we were when I predicted that Bush would be impeached and the wars would end.

Since I wrote PM1, so many amazing, tragic, wonderful, frustrating, annoying, sad, hilarious, troubling, exhausting, draining, energizing and et cetera things have happened. PM1 was only the first year of my activist life—PM2 will cover the past 11 years and not as profoundly naive as PM1. My saving grace is that my naivete came from a good place with working towards good things for everyone on this planet not just USAians.

Some of the things that I will cover in this book:

The primary theme that comes to my mind when I think of my public life from 2007-today is the absolute treachery and betrayal of me and my movement by the Democrat Party. I will cover this is FAR more detail in the heart of the book, but in PM1, I went through “heartache to activism” and after the betrayal of the Democrats in 2007 and my subsequent departure from the party of Jefferson, Truman, war, and disaster, I was thoroughly attacked and kicked to the proverbial curb by some liberal/Democrat organizations that I believed were antiwar, but they were only anti-Bush. So, PM2 will take me from "activism" back to "heartache."

As it turns out, since Trump has gladly continued and expanded Obama’s destructive wars for profit and power, those same organizations weren’t even anti-Republican war, I guess. No wars have ended, nothing has changed, except the liberals have crossed the line to attach a “neo” in front of their label and now know they cannot criticize a Republican for war, because if they point one finger at the GOP, four more fingers are pointing at their own rotten core and the DNC.

I have transformed from someone who was terrified to travel, if I had to fly, to a person that has visited every continent (except Antartica) and can be sanguine even in the worst turbulence, or annoying travel experiences with the TSA, or airport personnel. My travels have included being warmly held in the bosoms of some of what most USAians consider “the enemy” like Cuba and Venezuela, and finding out what I was inculcated and indoctrinated with regarding the “enemy” was mostly calculated bullshit.

I have met with presidents, peasants and revolutionaries and have had some very surreal experiences meeting substantial people who I was told were subpar and very subpar people who I always believed were substantial. “Do tell, Cindy!” Well, I will.

After I left the Democrat party and ran for Congress against the backstabbing, one-percenter, Nancy Pelosi, any national coverage of me and my activities dried up, so I started Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox, a weekly podcast that has been stirring the pot and poking the rotten establishment since the beginning of 2009.

I rode my bike from California to Washington DC in 2013 and since it was so “fun” (read stressful) to run against Pelosi in 2008, I have dipped my toe in the corrupt US electoral system two other times. These stories have me as a central character, but also have wider implications and instruction that go far beyond me and what I have tried to accomplish since I buried my son for lies and the benefit of a few.

My children have gifted me with five of the most precious beings on earth: my grandchildren, and their very existence on this troubled planet drive me to do my work. Frankly, I am terrified for them and they, and their child-colleagues all around the Earth deserve better from us and if we aren’t doing everything we can to insure their lives are more peaceful, prosperous and environmentally stable than ours, then we are failing them. Like the World Social Forum says and why I became a socialist is, “A Better World is Possible.” After all the real life experience, betrayal, and setbacks I have had, I still believe that a better world is possible and that is not only possible, but achievable. Thus, I have left the "heartache" behind and embraced socialist revolution.

One thing I have learned since Casey was killed is that these are ALL our children and we should try and protect them as much as we would our own children and grandchildren—even if we are parents, or not.

For 90% of my folderol and dedicated activism over the years, I had my sister/comrade/best-friend Dede Miller by my side. Tragically, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in the middle of 2015 and after a very exhausting and painful struggle, she passed away on January 22, 2017. This book is dedicated to her and will hopefully give me some kind of closure to the chapter of my life where my “Irish Twin” (she was only 11-months younger than I) is with me in spirit, but not in fact. Granted, Dede had a huge spirit and before she got cancer, a contagious joie de vivre, but, selfishly, I want her in the flesh, back by my side.

When Dede was a few days away from making her transition from this life, I told her, “You have lived a life of meaning. So many people are better off because you were alive. Your life made a difference. Not very many people can say that. I am blessed because you were my sister.”

Finally, I begin this book at the beginning of my seventh decade on planet earth. I have made almost sixty complete trips around the sun and I want my life to also have meaning. I want as many people as possible to be better off because I lived--and lived a life of service to humanity.

I want to be like Dede and I want to live up to what my seven year old granddaughter Jovie recently said, “Gigi, (what my grandkids call me) when I grow up, I want to be just like you.”

Sixty and still un-retired. I guess when the demented US Empire collapses, or the people rise up in rebellion and overthrow it, I will quit—until then, I will plant both feet firmly on the shoulders of those that went before me and refuse to give up.

Cindy Sheehan
Vacaville, Ca
July 9, 2017

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