Follow the Soapbox
 
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SPN
by Cindy Sheehan
09/19/2014



 A good friend of mine Jon Gold has taken to calling the US wars against the planet, “World War Forever.” So, I’d like to thank him for the sadly relevant title of this piece.

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Today, a friend of mine named Jacob George killed himself. Jacob George Jacob was a young vet who performed three tours of duty in Afghanistan and I met him last year when I was in the middle of riding my bike across from California to Washington DC for Tour de Peace. We met Jacob in the middle of the country: Oklahoma City. I can’t begin to say what the death of such a gentle and sweet human means. The loss is horrible and not just for Jacob’s friends and family, but for all of us.

Not only is the Empire deadly to the people who live far away in foreign countries, but also to the people it recruits with lies and dangling “benefits” to lure our young people into its bloody maw and then casually tosses them to the garbage pile when they are “lucky” enough to come home from the wars for profit.

I know many colleagues and friends, as well as myself, who are beyond frustrated and devastated with World War Forever, but I also used to be friends and connected to far more people who are now saying that they are “disappointed” in Obama. My question to these people is, “just what the hell did you all expect would happen when you sat on your collective and hypocritical asses for over six year?” Where were these people when Obama sent more troops to Afghanistan, killed people in ½ dozen countries with his damned drones, supported neo-Nazis in Ukraine, destroyed Libya, supported violent rebels in Syria (which many analysts say have blossomed” into ISIS/ISIL) and all the other evil things the Peace Laureate has done in his tenure as Managing War Monger for the 1%? I am convinced these same people who are just NOW regaining consciousness will soon go back into an ethics-coma and vigorously support the next Dem warmonger would have never left the streets if a Republican were in the Oval Office. I don’t know which group of people gets under my skin more, the Google-challenged rightwing who constantly accuse ME of being a hypocrite for not “opposing Obama,” or the ethically and morally challenged “liberals” who deserted the peace movement like the rats they are because they support Democrats over peace and justice. I don’t know what the solution is because I don’t see anything changing as long as We the People keep allowing ourselves to be caught up into this never-ending death-cult spiral of partisan politics which has led to the death-cult of World War Forever. While you Republicans and Democrats are waiting for the perfect president (who doesn’t exist) or the next Congressional Super Majority (that doesn’t help), our young people like Jacob and our brothers and sisters around this planet are suffering.

How can you live with yourselves?

 


Comments

Nigel Baldwin
09/19/2014 1:27pm

On my side of the Ocean, the big news has been the Scottish Referendum on independence, and sad to say the opposition Labour Party doesn't seem to be very much better than the Conservatives when it comes to making a stand for peace. On one of his 'meet the people' tours in Edinburgh before the vote was taken, the opposition leader Ed Milliband was spoken to by a Scottish lady who asked him, "...Why are we spending £100 million on Trident submarines when so many can't get a home?" And the opposition leader's response? He turned away...

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George Henry
09/20/2014 11:00am

While I agree with you in principle, Cindy, and I too feel extreme frustration with the heads-in-the-sand (rear ends in the air where our heads ought to be) 'stance" of the majority of voters, including so-called progressive voters, I don't think we're going to open people's minds or elevate anyone's consciousness by sharply criticizing them. That tactic usually just entrenches people more in their behavior, no matter how destructive to their own interests it may be, and positions the critic as a perceived enemy or an obnoxious irritant. "Your words make me too uncomfortable, force me to think about unpleasant things and would require me to ask too many hard questions and make too many demands of myself if I were to listen to you and take you seriously" may not reflect actual words that go through people's minds, but it's probably a good verbalization of how people tend to be affected by this sort of thing (essays like this blog post). I don't question that you're a good-hearted person who is also very aware of what's really going and the implications thereof. I also think that WE (including myself because I also try and hope to be an influencer of people I come in contact with, though I am not a "public figure" and doubt that I have any desire to be) have to master the art of telling people what they want to hear in the way that they want to hear it. That does not necessarily mean compromising the truth, because I think very many people are ready to hear the truth - but it has to be served to them in a palatable way, and there is an art to doing that. Guilt-tripping oneself or others is not a way to move forward, although at some point moving forward does require acknowledging that where we were was in some way(s) sub-optimal. What do you think?

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Candace
09/24/2014 4:05pm

It is a terrible legacy of perpetual war that every day a veteran commits suicide in this country. Thank you Cindy for your eloquence and I'm sorry for the loss of Jacob George. There is no way to make the truth of what's happening palatable, George Henry. I'm afraid the country will have to hit the skids before the masses become aware.

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