Hopeless? by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
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Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
Oct. 18, 2009

End the Endless Wars!

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

I attended a march and rally in San Francisco today that had about 400 people in attendance. The numbers were low and so were the spirits.

People were leaving early and many were just dejected at the low turnout on such a beautiful day. I wonder how many of the ones who did show up that we would have lost if there were bad weather?

I gave a speech there and in it I said that was the last march/rally that I would attend in San Francisco and that I was going to move to DC to try and throw my body on the gears of the Machine there to bring real action and not just symbolic uselessness.

I don’t know if I can do it, because I know for sure that just me, or 10 or 20 or even 400 can’t make enough noise or cause enough trouble to make a difference.

Not only have we collectively marched millions of miles and signed millions of petitions and made millions of phone calls to our elected officials, but many people also put all of their hope eggs in the basket of another war- monger and where has that gotten us? Nowhere except deeper into quagmires and please don’t tell me that Obama wants peace when he is a pawn of the Machine that I have been trying so hard to stop.

Since my son was killed, I have thrown everything I have at the machine. Every penny I have, every ounce of energy, every relationship and even my health have been sacrificed to end the wars and five years later there is very little to show for such a profound investment and the even sadder part is that I am not the only one in the struggle. Multiply these sacrifices by thousands of us and there’s a whole lot of heartache for zippity-do-dah.

As evidenced by poor showings at anti-war marches and rallies all over the country since the Democrats came back into power in 2006, I am growing more convinced that very few people care at all about the wars and the killing and those of that do are growing weary and teary.

Americans care about issues when those issues directly affect Americans. I believe that one thing that will get people out into the streets is a forced military conscription, or draft. But even with the threats of sending tens of thousands of more troops to the war zone, the economy is swelling the ranks of the military and for the first time in six years, recruitment is meeting its quotas. So forced conscription is unnecessary. Obama’s “job’s plan” turned out to be enlistment in the military. Who knew?

What do we do? Keep doing the self-indulgent marches and meaningless symbolic actions; ramp up the efforts (with very few “troops”); or just fold our tents up and go home and try to enjoy what’s left of this country and world.

Boycotts? That would be asking Americans to sacrifice and that’s un-American!

Elect better Democrats? Don’t make me laugh, although I need a good laugh right now.

Strikes? Labor is in the pockets of the Democrats.

Shut down DC everyday until our demands are met? Not with a handful of people and no money.

Can we call for Revolution from a people that have been made afraid of their own shadows and the Leviathan that has become the United Police States of America?

I have a lot of questions right now, but as you can see, not a whole hell of a lot of answers.

It’s pathetic to me that so many people are apathetic about children dying at the hands of this monstrous military empire, but I can’t force people to care and we can’t physically drag people out into the streets with us against their wills.

I went into my very pregnant daughter’s room to lie next to her and with tears streaming down my face, I asked her for guidance.

She said: “Mom, you can’t stop wars, look how hard you’ve been trying for years and not one troop has come home. Maybe you can stop trying to kill yourself and just do your small part like everyone else.”

Maybe that’s good advice?


Scott Horton interviews Cindy Sheehan

Symbolic Actions don’t Solve Real Problems By Cindy Sheehan

Capitalism: An Apathy Story by Cindy Sheehan

Peace of the Action by Cindy Sheehan

9 thoughts on “Hopeless? by Cindy Sheehan

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  4. Protesting , writing letters, signing petitions all have failed because the Congress and President no longer represent the people of this nation.
    The only way to stop this in$anity of endless war is to remove any financial incentive and that won’t happen unless we ALL stop paying taxes to the federal government, remove our money from the banks and strike nationally.

  5. I admire everything that this noble, brave woman is doing. If words, deeds, and honor were enough to win argument against the war, she would have stopped it long ago.

    Now for the change in direction…. Everything she is doing is destined to fail. The reason I say this is because most of us, I believe, have been swept into complacency about the war because we do not have any “skin in the game” of this stupidity. The powers that be have effectively removed the public from any large amount of interest in stopping war with its much touted “all-volunteer military”. Unless someone were either so motivated, or desparate, or whatever, to sign on the dotted line of the enlistment form, he/she is only obligated to pay taxes and leave the war biz to the professionals. Paying for war then becomes as much in our thinking as paying to have garbage hauled off or roads paved – “it’s a dirty job, and am I glad I am not doing it”.

    As unfair and complicated as it is, the only way to motivate the American People to resist war is to re-instiute the draft. Once we are all “democratically” involve to submit ourselves, our siblings, uncles and brothers to the carnage, we as a group seem unable to get too excited about the death and mutilaiton of others. At some point our “fighting professionals” are almost relegated to the status of “collateral damage”.

    Bring back the military draft, and the war will end within a year!

    • And maybe that’s exactly why there is no draft now, because those in power know there isn’t a widespread opposition when it’s somebody else’s kid(s) fighting and dying for their wars. So, the wars continue.

  6. Dear Cindy,

    We love and admire you for the path you have chosen.

    You reflect with articulate strength and determination what so many of us think and feel, standing right alongside you.

    You are only lonely right now because you’ve come to the party a little early! You’re the first one to show up ! 🙂

    The system is going to crash, people will be shocked at the speed and severity of it when it all comes tumbling down.

    And you will be a wayshower, with many of us at your side, showing the way! First comes the darkness, then comes the dawn.

    Say what you have to say and do what you have to do.

    Please always now how loved and admired you are for your eloquence and your courage.

    If your son were here, he would know, in his mom, what a true patriot is and what that Constitution he swore to uphold really means.

    Thank you.

  7. Cindy. You are the conscience of the country, a country that seems to be lacking one. It’s wearing and worrying on you, but you mustn’t stop. You are truly needed, and if you were to give up, lead a life of quiet desperation, where would that leave the rest of us? I know it is selfish what I and others ask, that you lead and stand for all that is good, but know that you are loved and that we are thankful for you.

  8. Dear Cindy,

    Don’t give up hope. You have accomplished miracles in raising people’s consciousness. It will unfold to the good in times yet to come.

    Yes, we need new means. The tried and true forms of protest have not worked. Your work has been part of the new means yet to come.

    Keep walking the path of love and truth. Love, Sue Tracy

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