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Iraq | Myth and Politics

Category Archives: Iraq

Camp Casey Chronicles

boots

 Reflections on War, Crawford, and the Case against THIS War

This morning we leave Camp Casey with mixed feelings. We leave behind many new friends who will scatter, literally, across the continent over the next week. We are complete with what we needed to do, connected to our next steps, and exhausted from the heat, the humidity, and the week-long strong emotions. Now we can unravel and absorb all that we have experienced.

We are now traveling down I-35 headed toward Austin, the liberal bastion of Texas, and then on through Dripping Springs to Kerrville, to see my mother.

Had we told her we were in Crawford, she would have been right out there with us, which is why we did not tell her. She would have loved waving her own American flag and ‘cussin’ at the right wing Connecticut Yankee occupiers whom she thinks stole Texas from the “real Texans,” those Johnny-come-lately’s who wouldn’t know the Alamo from the internet.

Now 81 years of age, sporting high blood pressure and even higher spirits, she would have no doubt created a scene! We did not feel it was appropriate to let her loose in a tent with peace activists. Actually, neither one of us wanted to be responsible for her if she got out of control while “straightenin’ those old boys out,” which she does frequently with enthusiasm and abandon. She reminds us, if we dare chide her,

“ What are they going to, hit me? I’m an old lady.”

The Crawford Sherriff’s Dept. is depending on our side to be peaceful, at least.

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August 28 Camp Casey Good byes

There are few words to express the experience of being amongst a group of people who care so deeply about an issue that they drove, hitch hiked, rode bus and train, car pooled, and otherwise moved hillsides to spend two weeks speaking out against a war of choice that has put so many at risk — from many nations.  While most of the people present at the protest rally were from U.S., the effort was on behalf of all global citizens — old and young, military and civilian.

We leave this desolate ground knowing that the road back will be long and arduous.  Both our country and our world hang in the balance of decisions that were made on false evidence and intentional deception.  Representations were made for ill founded reasons and now children will grow up without parents — parents will grow old without children.  Grand parent stories will be lost to the little ones forever.

The crosses are descansos, marking the indelible fact that “something happened here.”  Something indeed that will shade my life for a long, long time.

I leave with a full heart and hope that people, in the end, are the deciders.

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Camp Casey Grows and Swells

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Oh, what a day it was! Oh, what a day!

The tent was full, our hearts were full, and my own experience became very palpable in the reality of what it means to have a child in a position to have to lead in a conflict that has been so radically misfounded.

I spoke with a young West Point grad who has just returned from Iraq and is on his way to a base in Texas. He spoke of the difficulty of being a liberal in the Army right now. When I asked him how the soldiers dealt with the facts that have come out regarding the lack of weapons of mass destruction. He said that they simply do not choose to believe the evidence, even when faced with the results of a congressional hearing. It is a most uncomfortable position to be in when they are being asked to defend what is indefensible.

The rally was moving, inspirational, exhausting, and beautiful. Nonviolent dissent at its best. A courageous thing to watch and experience

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Ten Commandments and Hot Cowgirls in Crawford, TX

Good Morning, America!

Finishing a Whataburger with cheese and “no katchup” for breakfast, we drove out to Crawford, stopping to take a picture of the two “Barbie” cowgirl posts that guard the entrance to an enormous ranch house along the road near Camp Casey. With those breasts, who would dare trespass?

 

The Barbie’s are made of black sheet metal, but this morning for the first time since we have been driving this road, they have white hats and painted boots. Gettin’ dressed up for the weekend?

Down in the center of town, at the blinking light, is Texas Star gift shop with the “biggest selection of Bush items in the world.”  I was definitely tempted to go inside and see!  On the side of the building stands a huge banner “We love W” with “George” on one side, “Laura” on the other, and a civil war cannon on the roof above, painted red white and blue. Beside the cannon flies an American flag waving for liberty. A picture will be posted tonight on this site. The signal in the tent is too weak to upload.

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Counterinsurgency Reported at Camp Casey

Insurgent Sleeps on Watch

If this is the counterinsurgency I am concerned! What fills this camp is a huge group of middle aged women with floppy hats and sagging breasts from nursing those kids who intended to serve their country and ended up building bases in Iraq for Bush and boys.

Joining us is an entire contingent of older-than-middle-aged men who know the meaning of war from the inside out. Many of them date back to the “Great War” WWII. Some with cowboy hats, bolo ties and “Hi, Ya’ll” accents. Some of them can’t hear anymore, but they are INTO it.

And then there are the Viet Nam vets who look pretty darn good, considering! They actually look younger than I figured they would. I am certain that some of them die their hair ’cause they aren’t as gray as I am!

Followed by the the Iraq Vets Against the War who are gentle giants — so young, so reminding me of my own son. One towering Marine plays taps each night at dusk, as we gather around the crosses. Last night we were joined by yet another Gold Star mother. Wearing her grief fresh and raw.  Not very scary as an insurgent, but very frightening to me as a mother of a soldier in Iraq.  

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Dripping and Blogging

veterans-for-peace

 

Heat and Laughter in a Blistering Tent

 

Hands sweaty and dripping over our keyboards, we begin another day of active activism. We are exhausted.  No more make up, looking and feeling older.  Just showing up for each critical day of “no more.” Camp Casey II is a large tent donated by a Dallas catering company on land that was donated for the month by the cousin of a local cowboy who shot his gun into the air some days ago. Called by the newspaper “a party tent” — this is no party. These folks are somber, serious. Many have children in Iraq, or, as one couple from Wisconsin told me yesterday, one son, a National Guard member, is already in Iraq, the other on his way. Special tables are reserved for military families, for Gold Star moms who have lost a child, for Veterans for Peace, for Iraq Veterans Against the War. All are represented. All are mobilized. Internet connection is rough here.  Too many trying to use the limited bandwidth.  We are being asked to rotate.  Several are are blogging live from voice stream in the center of the tent, under the looming replica of a casket painted with American Flag beside the enourmous banner painted in the likeness of Casey Sheehan, the child whose death began this vigil outside of George W. Bush’s hideaway ranch in the hill country of Texas. But this is not about one person. This isn’t just about Casey.  

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