VINEYARD HAVEN - Rabble rouser and peacenik Cindy Sheehan is jumping on the Obama vacation bandwagon. The activist, who made headlines when she protested in Crawford, Texas, during former President George W. Bush’s month-long vacation there in 2005, landed on the Vineyard last night to spread her anti-war message to Obama and the media.
Reached by phone from a Boston hotel as she prepped for her trek to the island, Sheehan said it doesn’t matter who’s in the White House - she’s not going anywhere. “First of all, I oppose the policies of the U.S. government in the Middle East. I have since before my son was killed,” said Sheehan, who lost her son in the Iraq war in 2004. “I opposed it when Bush was president and I oppose it now when Obama’s president.”
Sheehan, who has never been to the Vineyard before, said she is interrupting her own vacation for the trip, which will include press conferences, peace vigils and sailing excursions on what she’s dubbed, “SS Camp Casey.” Sheehan just came off a four-month, 36-city book tour for her 100-page “Myth America” and had intended to take all of August off. “But I decided that this would be a very good way to cut my vacation short,” she said. “To demonstrate to the world that there are still people in America who care about peace.”
Sheehan said she hopes her stay on the Vineyard will put the issue back in the spotlight. “No matter who’s president, we still have to keep our end of our democracy going,” she said. “Even though Bush is no longer in office, these policies are still continuing. In many areas, they’re escalating - the occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and now the horrible fightings in tribal regions. The killing of innocent people in the name of corporate welfare, or whatever this war is for, is certainly not about freedom or democracy or keeping us safe here at home.”
So what does the activist think about the presidents August vacation? “I think taking vacations is fine,” she said. “But what this country has to realize and what the Obamas have to realize is that while he’s taking vacation, devastation and heartache don’t stop. And also that so many people around the world and in this country can’t afford vacations, even if they have jobs.”
Sheehan said she wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a one-on-one with the president. “I never got the answer to my original question to George Bush,” she said. “What noble cause? And I’d like to ask Obama the same thing. You didn’t start these occupations, but what noble cause are you continuing them for?”
I have to agree w Sheehan. Even though Obama announced in his campaign this is what he would do- a surge in Afghanistan, he later said this action was to avenge 911. We can't ignore the suffering, death & destruction, and the very real expense that robs us from being able to fund health care, education, and a myriad of things, that would be better use of the money.
We have to break loose from the notion that we are always involved in wars, and have dulled our senses to it. These ongoing wars, are bankrupting our country both morally, and financially.
Perhaps George Orwell said it best:
The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous