The Frustrations of Activism

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HummerRearMarines
Confusion about the nature of the Iraq War runs deep. This mother of a dead Marine chose to honor her son and his fellow soldiers by decorating a Hummer (!), and travelling across the nation on this mobile shrine honoring the war’s “noble goals.” Sadly, not all mothers figure it out like Cindy did.

CYRANO’S JOURNAL OpEds

BY CAMILLO “MAC” BICA

Originally at OpEdNews, a CJO fraternal site

Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_camillo__070531_the_frustrations_of_.htm

Dateline: June 1, 2007

In Good Riddance Attention Whore, Cindy Sheehan’s resignation as the “face” of the anti-war movement, she makes clear the frustrations of speaking truth to power in a country that is more concerned with who will be the next American Idol than with the deaths of thousands of its own children and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. We who advocate peace understand and share Cindy’s frustration and dismay with the arrogance, ineptitude, and criminality of the current Administration, the moral and political cowardice of members of Congress, and the lack of outrage, apathy, and indifference of the American people. In solidarity with Cindy and the millions of others who make great personal sacrifices for peace and justice, endure the outrageous comments and intimidation of the ignorant, and easily lead, I offer the following dirge on the frustrations of activism.

They wage preemptive war based on lies and deception against a sovereign nation.We who advocate peace say such wars are illegal and immoral. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They chose not to serve or had “other priorities” when their Country called, and now cavalierly send our children to kill and to die in their war for oil and empire.We who advocate peace say that if the cause is so important and the threat so grave, our chickenhawk leaders and their privileged children should be the first to go. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They send our military into harm’s way unnecessarily, in inadequate numbers, with inferior body and vehicle armor, and expose them to harmful levels of depleted uranium. We who advocate peace say our troops are not cannon fodder and that such leadership is incompetent and indifferent to the needs of our military. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They deny a pay raise for our troops, cut the budget of the Veterans Administration, offer substandard physical and psychological treatment for our returning wounded and veterans. We who advocate peace say providing for the needs of our wounded and our veterans is a moral and legal obligation and should be our first priority. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They refuse to meet and to comfort the families of our fallen heroes, denigrate the memory, sacrifice, and dignity of our soldiers killed in battle by fabricating fantasies of their death and suffering to bolster patriotic support for their unpopular war. We who advocate peace say that exploiting the deaths of our soldiers and the grief and suffering of their families is unconscionable and depraved. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They torture detainees in Abu Graib, Guantanamo and “black sites” – secret prisons around the world — and deny “prisoners” even the most basic right of Habeas Corpus. We who advocate peace say that such acts increase the risk that our troops will be ill-treated and tortured should they be captured, and violate the United States Constitution and International law. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They exploit the fear of the American people post 9/11, violate their rights to privacy, misrepresented and now ignore the health effects suffered by First Responders and workers following the attacks on the World Trade Center.
We who advocate peace say such exploitation of a vulnerable citizenry, blatant disregard for their basic human rights, and indifference to the well-being of our First Responders and workers is “Un-American” and a violation of basic human decency. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They award no-bid contracts to favored corporations for personal benefit and to garner support for their corrupt agenda fleecing America of billions of dollars and, in many cases, placing the lives of our citizens (military and civilian) in danger. We who advocate peace say such war profiteering is an outrage and must be investigated and prosecuted. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They sat idle as the city of New Orleans and thousands of its inhabitants died while giving further unaccounted for billions of dollars to corporate criminals to salvage what remains for wealthy developers. We who advocate peace say such indifference to human pain and suffering is criminal and unconscionable. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They give tax cuts to the wealthy, tax incentives to the profit hungry oil industry that repeatedly enjoy record profits, ignore global warming and the environment, and cut aid to students and to health care. We who advocate peace say that fattening the corporate coffers and benefiting the affluent at the expense of the poor is anathema and a defilement of American values. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They waste billions of tax dollars on their illegal and immoral war, mortgaging our country to foreign interests and investors.We who advocate peace say such “selling of America” is fiscal suicide and threatens the future survival of our beloved nation. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

They disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, to “punish” her husband for reporting the Niger uranium-production allegations to be untrue, jeopardizing Plames’ life, the lives of many other operatives she may have worked with in the past, and the CIA’s Counterterrorism operation…We who advocate peace say that knowingly disclosing the name of an undercover agent is treason and illegal under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

On Memorial Day, they stage Air shows, weapons displays and celebrate the technology of war all intended to entice other young men and women to die in war. We who advocate peace say that Memorial Day is not for celebration, or show, or deceptive recruitment, but for grieving and remembering the brave Americans already sacrificed, some unnecessarily, on the field of battle. And they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops.

We thank Cindy for her courage, dedication, personal sacrifice, and commitment to world peace and social justice during a time of profound grief and suffering. We wish her health, personal peace, and happiness during her sabbatical of restoration. God speed, Cindy Sheehan.

Authors Website: www.svaphilosopher.com

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Camillo “Mac” Bica, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His focus is in Ethics, particularly as it applies to war and warriors. As a veteran recovering from his experiences as a United States Marine Corps Officer during the Vietnam War, he founded, and coordinated for five years, the Veterans Self-Help Initiative, a therapeutic community of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is a long-time activist for peace and justice, a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and a founding member of the Long Island Chapter of Veterans for Peace. Articles by Dr. Bica have appeared in The Humanist Magazine, Znet, Truthout.com, Common Dreams, AntiWar.com, Monthly Review Zine, Foreign Policy in Focus, OpEdNews.Com, and numerous philosophical journals.

One comment on “The Frustrations of Activism
  1. Beautifully put, and obviously refreshingly sincere. A great post. She deserves our eternal gratitude.

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