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For Memorial Day: Cindy Sheehan, Casey, and why we must help citizen candidates

Cindy Sheehan is running for Congress as an independent candidate. Many people will remember that Cindy Sheehan’s son was a soldier who was killed in the Iraq War. Cindy Sheehan is often known as the “Peace Mom”, because having her son die in an unjust war motivated her to become a spokesperson for peace and against the War in Iraq. Cindy’s statement below about the struggle to deal with the loss of her son, and the struggle to run as an independent candidate in a rigged system, is powerful and enlightening. Makes you remember why we all play around with this third party, independent candidate, movement-politics stuff. -KW

The Uphill Battle
Cindy Sheehan

A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he
cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Cindy Sheehan struggles with the systemWhen one reflects on one’s life, there are several ways to do it. We can look back in a linear fashion and say, for example: “When I was 11, my beloved grandmother died.” “In 1975, I graduated from high school.” “In 1977, I got married.” “In 1979, I gave birth to my first child, a son.” “In the 1980’s, money was tight.” You get the picture.

Or, we can look at life as a journey or path we are on. The road has been smooth, rocky, windy, narrow, or wide; we have descended into deep, dark valleys, or we have sailed along on cruise control, until an unexpected obstacle arises and there’s either a crash or a near miss.

Since my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, on April 04, 2004, I feel like I have been pulling myself inch, after painful inch out of a deep dark Valley. Some days the going felt almost effortless; but on some days it seemed like I fell back to the Valley floor and had to start the laborious journey over. Now after four years of the most grueling struggle, I feel like I have finally climbed out of that Valley only to be faced with a tall, steep mountain.

My Independent candidacy for Congress against House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has been termed by most of the punditocracy as not winnable, but certainly as an “uphill battle.” Like I just said, everyday since April 04, 2004, has been an “uphill battle” for me climbing out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, which I was thrown into by BushCo and their shadowy puppet-masters: The Military Industrial Complex. Along the way out of the Valley there have been ledges or plateaus where real healing occurred and where I have gained strength for the rest of the climb, I am not afraid of valleys, or mountains anymore. I know the reinforcements will appear when needed and the top of the mountain can be achieved.

The mountain I am facing now has a name: The System. The System in this country is a corporately- controlled, fascistic-capitalism that has taken over our government and media and, as active, dues paying members of The System holds our politicians in a prison of slavery. The System is ravenously greedy and morbidly violent. The System feeds its own by starving the rest of us or murdering children to keep its coffers filled and its wheels greased with the blood of innocents. The System must feed on us or it will die. The System resists change and will do anything it must to maintain its status quo. Climbing this mountain is fraught with danger and unbelievably hard work but I know what is on top of that mountain. I have seen it like my brother Martin and at the summit is everything that is good and worthy of the ascent.

On the top of that mountain is peace, and with true peace comes
prosperity for everyone. The top of that mountain is green with clear
running rivers and sweet air to breathe. On my mountain we are ALL fed
adequately, clothed appropriately, educated soundly and we all have
health care, are paid livable wages and a dry roof over our heads. On
the top of my mountain, problems are solved without violence whether
between family members or between nation states.

At the base of the mountain, violence is the solution to all problems
and no amount of death or destruction is too horrendous, even when
problems are imaginary. The System sucks our communities dry to feed
the war machine so our children go cold, hungry and improperly
educated. Both the air and water are poisoned at the base of the
mountain and The System doesn’t care who is exploited as long as The
System survives, unchallenged.

I could choose not to challenge The Queen of the System and live in my
own world at the base of the mountain where my newborn grandson,
Jonah, may face the same untimely and needless death as his Uncle
Casey if I choose the easy path. It would be easier in the short run,
but the cost in the long run is a price that is too steep to pay. The
cost for our apathy and laziness will be paid by all of our children
and grandchildren.

The best thing at the Summit of my mountain is Hope. I know if The
System is challenged and defeated, the healing that begins with the
death of The System will proceed and we can all be integrated into a
society that cares for what Jesus of Nazareth called the “Least of
These” and does not exist to perpetuate itself ad (destructive) nauseum.

When I was climbing out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I did
not do it alone. I had plenty of help. Some people voluntarily came
into the Valley to help rescue me, others were there for the same
reason I was: The System tossed them there like garbage. We climbed
out together.

I need your help to climb the mountain ahead.

Next to watching my son’s coffin being lowered into his too-early
grave, this is the most difficult challenge I have ever faced and I
cannot do it, and I must not even be allowed to, do it alone.

If we face it together, bonded by the “fierce urgency of now” and our
mutual love for all humankind then the ascent will be smoother and the
victory much more sweet. We will achieve.

Please go to www.CindyforCongress.org to join us in the struggle against The System.

To reach the Summit of Hope, Cindy Sheehan needs real support. And, her campaign needs money and volunteers.


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