By Cindy Sheehan, The Camp Casey Peace Institute, July 22, 2007
Day 11 of our Journey for Humanity and Accountability found our caravan group at the Charlottesville, VA home of David Swanson who is director of AfterDowningStreet.org. I got to know David after my group Gold Star Families for Peace became one of the first organizations to sign on to ADS when the memos were exposed on May 1, 2005. That collaboration led to what I thought was going to be the downfall of BushCo: the fact that on July 23, 2001, there was a secret meeting at 10 Downing Street that pretty much said that the invasion of Iraq was a foregone conclusion and the intelligence was going to have to be "fixed" around the policy of pre-emptive invasion.
Since that time I have gotten to know David's mom and dad, his wife Anna, and I consider their 15-month-old son, Wesley, as my nephew. The last time I had seen Wesley was at the Mother of a March on May 14th where 38 of us were arrested blocking traffic in front of Congress. Wesley had just started to walk.
Like a good Auntie, I stopped on the way to the Swanson home to buy Wes some toys. I had a grand time playing with them with Wesley. The innocence and pure joy in a baby's face always gives me hope that God will smile kindly on the world and even after all the wars, violence, destruction of the environment, the Bush Regime and other problems, that we will find some way to go on.
After a wonderful lunch (along with all of David's other talents, he is also a very good cook) and team meetings for our action on July 23rd, I went downstairs to take a short nap. I passed Reverend Yearwood who was busy writing his speech for the upcoming rally on the mall (in Charlottesville later that evening) and I lied down and looked into the next room and there was a wooden slide for a toddler. It was the exact same kind of slide that Casey received from "Santa" at his 2nd Christmas. I broke down in tears. It is so hard.
Like Wesley, Casey was such a good baby. Like most babies, he was adored. He was so good natured and was filled with wonder at every new thing he discovered and I can still here his sweet little voice say "wook, Mama" when he had something interesting in his little chubby hand and wanted to share it with me. When he got a little older he would frequently come up behind me and throw his arms around my legs, kiss me and say: "I wuv you, Mama." I can still hear his voice and will never forget the last time I talked to him when he was in Kuwait getting ready to deploy to Iraq: "I love you, Mom." He was dead not even two weeks after I talked to him. Shot in the back of the head by an insurgent's bullet. Sent to die by the lies of his Commander in Chief.
All sides of the political often accuse me of being "emotional" in my activism or politics---well, they are damn right, I am emotional. I will never stop being emotional. For the rest of my life I will be spending sleepless nights missing Casey, fondly recalling a life where he always gave the gift of himself, to his senseless death where his life was stolen by a greedy executive branch aided and abetted by a spineless Congress.
BushCo have committed many impeachable offenses, what I would call "grave, grave breeches," but the two best reasons I can think of for impeaching them now are: Casey and Wesley.
Casey and the hundreds of thousands of others who have been killed in the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq deserve some kind of justice, as do all murder victims. There was no legal, moral, urgent or strategic reason for Iraq. For once in our nation's long history of state-sponsored violence, someone with a rank higher than Specialist must be held accountable for crimes against peace and humanity. Impeachment won't cure the disease of war, we have a long way to go before we can mortally wound the war monster, but it will have a curative short-term effect.
For Wesley and all of our young people who were born into a bloody society that still uses war to solve problems, impeachment is necessary to prevent such egregious abuses of executive power in the future. No one was held accountable for the tragic loss of life or held responsible for the lies of the horrible mistake in Vietnam, and my son, Casey died in another horrible mistake of a war.
It is time to stop it now: If not now, then when? When Wesley's generation is mired in another man-made mistake of a war?
It's time to show courage of conviction and put humanity before politics.
Please go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org to find out more info about our Journey, or to donate.
Call Nancy Pelosi's office (202-225-4965) on Monday, July 23, 2007 to tell her you want impeachment back on the table.
Call John Conyer's office (202-225-5126) on Monday, July 23, 2007 to remind him that 15 Congress Reps support HRes 333 to impeach Dick Cheney---so he can get started.