The Slide by Cindy Sheehan

The Slide
Cindy Sheehan

Day 11 of our Journey for Humanity and Accountability
found our caravan group at the Charlottesville, VA
home of David Swanson who is director of
AfterDowningStreet.org. I got to know David after my
group Gold Star Families for Peace became one of the
first organizations to sign on to ADS when the memos
were exposed on May 1, 2005. That collaboration led to
what I thought was going to be the downfall of BushCo:
the fact that on July 23, 2001, there was a secret
meeting at 10 Downing Street that pretty much said
that the invasion of Iraq was a foregone conclusion
and the intelligence was going to have to be “fixed”
around the policy of pre-emptive invasion.

Since that time I have gotten to know David’s mom and
dad, his wife Anna, and I consider their 15-month-old
son, Wesley, as my nephew. The last time I had seen
Wesley was at the Mother of a March on May 14th where
38 of us were arrested blocking traffic in front of
Congress. Wesley had just started to walk.

Like a good Auntie, I stopped on the way to the
Swanson home to buy Wes some toys. I had a grand time
playing with them with Wesley. The innocence and pure
joy in a baby’s face always gives me hope that God
will smile kindly on the world and even after all the
wars, violence, destruction of the environment, the
Bush Regime and other problems, that we will find some
way to go on.

After a wonderful lunch (along with all of David’s
other talents, he is also a very good cook) and team
meetings for our action on July 23rd, I went
downstairs to take a short nap. I passed Reverend
Yearwood who was busy writing his speech for the
upcoming rally on the mall (in Charlottesville later
that evening) and I lied down and looked into the next
room and there was a wooden slide for a toddler. It
was the exact same kind of slide that Casey received
from “Santa” at his 2nd Christmas. I broke down in
tears. It is so hard.

Like Wesley, Casey was such a good baby. Like most
babies, he was adored. He was so good natured and was
filled with wonder at every new thing he discovered
and I can still here his sweet little voice say “wook,
Mama” when he had something interesting in his little
chubby hand and wanted to share it with me. When he
got a little older he would frequently come up behind
me and throw his arms around my legs, kiss me and say:
“I wuv you, Mama.” I can still hear his voice and will
never forget the last time I talked to him when he was
in Kuwait getting ready to deploy to Iraq: “I love
you, Mom.” He was dead not even two weeks after I
talked to him. Shot in the back of the head by an
insurgent’s bullet. Sent to die by the lies of his
Commander in Chief.

All sides of the political often accuse me of being
“emotional” in my activism or politics—well, they
are damn right, I am emotional. I will never stop
being emotional. For the rest of my life I will be
spending sleepless nights missing Casey, fondly
recalling a life where he always gave the gift of
himself, to his senseless death where his life was
stolen by a greedy executive branch aided and abetted
by a spineless Congress.

BushCo have committed many impeachable offenses, what
I would call “grave, grave breeches,” but the two best
reasons I can think of for impeaching them now are:
Casey and Wesley.

Casey and the hundreds of thousands of others who have
been killed in the criminal invasion and occupation of
Iraq deserve some kind of justice, as do all murder
victims. There was no legal, moral, urgent or
strategic reason for Iraq. For once in our nation’s
long history of state-sponsored violence, someone with
a rank higher than Specialist must be held accountable
for crimes against peace and humanity. Impeachment
won’t cure the disease of war, we have a long way to
go before we can mortally wound the war monster, but
it will have a curative short-term effect.

For Wesley and all of our young people who were born
into a bloody society that still uses war to solve
problems, impeachment is necessary to prevent such
egregious abuses of executive power in the future. No
one was held accountable for the tragic loss of life
or held responsible for the lies of the horrible
mistake in Vietnam, and my son, Casey died in another
horrible mistake of a war.

It is time to stop it now: If not now, then when? When
Wesley’s generation is mired in another man-made
mistake of a war?

It’s time to show courage of conviction and put
humanity before politics.

Please go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org to
find out more info about our Journey, or to donate.

Call Nancy Pelosi’s office (202-225-4965) on Monday,
July 23, 2007 to tell her you want impeachment back on
the table.

Call John Conyer’s office (202-225-5126) on Monday,
July 23, 2007 to remind him that 15 Congress Reps
support HRes 333 to impeach Dick Cheney—so he can
get started.